In this season of giving thanks, through volunteering and with your proudest gifts, we ask you to remember the value of the disability journalism Access Press offers. There are no dedicated disability-only news beats in Minnesota’s mainstream media, yet more than a half a million people with disabilities live in Minnesota. Every year people with disabilities face state cutbacks on much needed assistance, challenges finding care providers, and employers who don’t understand what accommodation means. Parents struggle to get the help they need from schools and the community for their children with mental health, developmental and physical disabilities. We cover that. We help sift through everything happening at the legislature and in the disability community throughout the state. We exist for and with you.
Many don’t know that Access Press is a 501-c3 nonprofit. We depend on donations and sponsorships to continue to produce the paper you know and trust. We are Minnesota’s Disability Community News Source. We promote the social inclusion and legal rights of people with disabilities by providing a forum for news, features, opinion and conversation to benefit people who are often invisible and marginalized in mainstream society and the people who care for them. We have a lived knowledge of disability through our incredibly committed board and our staff. Our editor is an award-winning journalist with a long history of excellence in covering these issues. We are one of only a few multi-disability-focused newspapers published in the United States.
Access Press board members and staff have a strategic plan to expand access to disability news in Minnesota. What this means is distributing more of our newspaper statewide. We will expand our Twin Cities and greater Minnesota distribution sites and subscriptions with the goal of reaching Minnesotans wherever they are.
With your help, we will develop a stronger and accessible online presence. We will build a social media strategy that will include live features of social media to extend our presence and offer different ways to access our important journalism, be a part of the conversation on a pressing issue or learn more about a bill proposed at the state capitol. Our website will be re-built to include more news and timely information. We will ensure every part of our website is accessible.
We will introduce new social and educational events that are accessible, give the disability community a chance to come together and connect before hearing from current newsmakers and experts on timely issues in news, the arts and other areas. These events will start not only in the Twin Cities, but also in communities across the state.
Having access to us means more than providing an important news source, to us it also means bringing people together safely and ensuring many voices are heard. You will play a role in this vision if you want. We expect these voices to come through social media, storytelling, video, podcasts and in letters and editorials.
Why should you invest in Access Press?
When you invest in Access Press you are investing in the entire disability community, including yourself. People with disabilities depend on us. Caregivers depend on us. Disability organizations depend on us. We need your help to continue this important work. Please make your proudest gift today. There is no number too small, or too big. If you are unable to give today, can you create a legacy gift by including Access Press in your will? Can you volunteer your time to help us find new advertisers?
Pablo Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Please share your gift with Access Press and invest in a half a million people in Minnesota with a disability and the people who love them. You can donate online (AccessPress.org/donate), send a check, give through Give to the Max Day on Thursday, November 18 or make a distribution through your IRA or Donor Advised Fund.