ACCESS PRESS readers often learn of the accomplishments and successes of disability organizations in these pages. This month, we have some exciting news of our own to report. In March, ACCESS PRESS received a generous gift from The Medtronic Foundation.
The $10,000 grant comes at a critical time for the paper. Having just celebrated our ten-year anniversary last year, the paper is in a strong position to expand. This year’s plans include increasing circulation and expanding the number of drop sites in the Twin Cities area. To broaden our base of financial support, we welcome Tim Benjamin to the crew this year, and he is doing an excellent job getting the advertising accounts in order and promoting the paper to new organizations and companies.
Another result of the grant funds is that ACCESS PRESS will have a consistent national presence. Yes, before long we will be going on-line. Putting the paper on the web will also make it accessible to more people with disabilities, and will provide a much easier route for researching topics. As one of only twelve such papers in the country, ACCESS PRESS plays an important role in documenting the history and continuing work of people with disabilities to win full access.
As we expand our size and our reach, we anticipate that the paper will need to upgrade some of its internal systems as well, from bookkeeping systems to hardware to data management systems to communications. Some of these upgrades are already underway, and the additional funds from this grant will allow us to purchase the equipment and take the time necessary to have the systems in place to move Access Press to the next level.
At the same time, the paper is in a difficult transition because of the serious illness of founder and editor, Charlie Smith. The Medtronic Foundation grant is extremely important to maintaining the paper. The grant helps support the part time managing editor position held by Jeff Nygaard and provides funds for freelance writing and investigative reporting.
ACCESS PRESS received an initial grant from The Medtronic Foundation in 1999, and we are excited they have chosen to renew that support. We are committed to insuring that ACCESS PRESS continues as a strong voice of the disability community.
Thanks to The Medtronic Foundation!