Accessible Events & Activities – August 2018

More events information: VSA Minnesota is here. The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of […]

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More events information: VSA Minnesota is here. The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of its home page. For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at [email protected] or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883. Another web events listing is (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows across the country. Facebook is another way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota. Connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances across Minnesota on Facebook.



The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is encouraging people who provide direct support to peopl with disabilities and older adults, or are interested in exploring these careers, to register on a new online job board and hiring resource. Direct Support Connect is a free, safe and secure service provided by DHS that responds to the high demand for direct support workers in Minnesota. It is designed to help people who need services to find a worker who is a good match for them.

Workers can use the service to find part-time and full-time work opportunities, and find links to career building classes and resources from DHS. They can easily filter and review jobs compatible with their schedule, skills and preferences. The service also provides secure messaging to respond to job postings. “Direct support workers help people with daily needs as they live, work and have fun in the community and at home,” said Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “Together we can build a robust resource for Minnesotans who need this help and for those who are looking for rewarding and flexible work.”

As more workers register on Direct Support Connect, DHS encourage peoplewho are looking for workers to register on the site as well. Go to to learn more.



Volunteers are a valuable resource at Radio Talking Book, broadcasting local news and information programs to blind and print-impaired listeners from sites in Duluth, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud and the Communication Center in St. Paul. The goal is to provide accurate and timely information to thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. FFI: Roberta Kitlinski, 651-539-1423



Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give just 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. The Council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, [email protected], or at their website.



Since 1992 disability service organizations have relied on the Made in the Shade Walk, Run & Roll event as a fundraiser and community celebration. This year’s event is Sat, Sept. 15 at Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun), Mpls. What sets this fundraiser apart is that it is unusual for so many organizations to unite for a fundraiser. The event benefits each organization through sharing event expenses as well as resources for in-kind donations, so that the majority of money raised goes directly to their bottom line. The 2018 partner agencies include EGH, Homeward Bound, Inc., PAI, Partnership Resources, Inc., The Phoenix Residence, TSE, Inc., and Wingspan Life Resources. These seven agencies provide support and services to more than 6,000 people. Sign up now for a day of fun and celebration. Funds raised help pay for many essential services such as accessibility in homes and transportation, adaptive communication technology, educational and skill-building classes, job training, health & wellness memberships, and so much more. Because of recent state budget cuts, the seven organizations rely on the event to raise needed funds. More details can be found on the Made in the Shade Facebook page:  Or contact Kristine Morin, Homeward Bound, Inc. at 763-746-4821, [email protected], to get involved.



The annual Can Do Woofaroo, a fundraiser for Can Do Canines, is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat, Sept. 29 at Can Do Canines, 9440 Science Center Drive, New Hope. Take part in a fundraising walk, enjoy games, music, food and activities including paw painting. Bring your furry friend. Preregister soon for this day of fun. FFF:



Join PACER Center for the ninth annual Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying Sat, Oct. 6 at Normandale Lake, Bloomington to raise awareness for bullying prevention. More than one out of every five students reports being bullied during the school year. Help PACER make a difference by taking steps to help create a world without bullying and uniting for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Registration opens soon. Event sponsorships available. FFI:



Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities hosts its second annual health and wellness conference, Healthy Independent Living for People with Disabilities Tue, Sept. 25 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Mpls. Matthew Sanford is the keynote speaker. The conference is for direct support staff, professionals working with people with disabilities and people experiencing significant health challenges. CEU’s and certificates of attendance available. Sponsors are still welcome. FFI:



Autism Society of Minnesota has announced its first-ever AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit, presented by Anime Twin Cities. Save the date of Sat, Sept. 22. It will include a keynote presentation and nine breakout sessions featuring topics including mental health, executive functioning, sensory needs, employment, relationships, and more. This event is for individuals on the spectrum, by individuals on the spectrum. Visit the AuSM Bookstore, network with peers, and visit with vendors who support adults on the spectrum. Additional details about the summit have been posted and registration is open. FFI:



QPR is a free, one-hour presentation sponsored by NAMI Minnesota that covers the three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide – Question, Persuade and Refer. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States, and more than one million adults have been trained in classroom settings in more than 48 states. The QPR class is 5:30-6:30 p.m. Fri, Aug. 24 at NAMI Minnesota, 1919 University Ave. W., Suite 400, St. Paul. FFI: 651-645-2948 x198, or the classes tab at




Vision Loss Resources provides free and low-cost activities in the Twin Cities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Life skills classes for those with low vision; card games, craft classes, book clubs, walking groups, dinners out, special outings and technology classes are among the offerings. Participants need to RVSP to participate, at least three working days prior to an event. The calendar is also available on the Vision Loss Resources website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own or additional copies. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155,



The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030



Jewish Family Service of St. Paul, in partnership with Sholom Home East and the Alzheimer’s Association, facilitates a caregiver support group for people who are providing care to a loved one suffering from dementia. Designed to provide proven resources and methods for caregivers who are caring for someone at home or considering in-home services or a transition to assisted living or long-term care. Meets 3-4 p.m. on the second and fourth Mon of each month in the Community Room at Sholom Home East, 740 Kay Ave., St. Paul. Free and open to the public. RSVP. FFI: Grace, 651-690-8903, [email protected], or Cassandra, 651-328-2014, [email protected]



ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud, offers a number of classes, events and other opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities in central Minnesota. The center offers its own programming and hosts, other groups. One group it hosts is the St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month. The center has a full schedule of its own activities including support groups, classes and more. FFI: 320-267-7717



AuSM offers free support groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with autism. Check the website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10,



Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) announces a new free resource for caregivers and parents. The Caregivers of Kids with Autism Support Group provides a space for parents and caregivers of children with autism ages 4-21 to come together, discuss challenges, share solutions and form relationships with families in similar situations. Many families report feeling alone or isolated, and support groups allow caregivers to make meaningful connections. Meeting at 10:30 a.m.-noon on the second Sat of each month at AuSM, 2380 Wycliff Street #102, St. Paul, and led by a therapist. FFI:



The St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month at ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud. Free. Meetings are open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the general public. The group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000



NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a free educational course that helps families gain a greater understanding of mental illness, discuss resources, build communication skills, reduce stress and find support. More than 4,000 Minnesota families have benefited from this course, taught by family members who have walked the walk. The Family-to-Family course meets weekly for 12 weeks on Mon starting 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 10 at NAMI Minnesota, 1919 University Ave. W., Suite 400, St. Paul. Preregistration required. FFI: Helen, 763-227-0271.



NAMI Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 70 free support groups for people living with a mental illness and their families. NAMI Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. In the Twin Cities NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, more than 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups provide help and support.

Parent resource groups are facilitated by a parent who has a child with a mental illness and who has been trained to lead support groups. A group meets 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. FFI: Jody Lyons, 651-645-2948 x109.

Family support groups help families who have a relative with a mental illness. A group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae, 651-484-0599.

Open Door Anxiety and Panic support groups help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Another group meets 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul.

A peer support group is offered for LGBTQ adults living with a mental illness. The group meets 1-2:30 p.m. Sat, Living Table United Church of Christ, 3805 E. 40th St, Mpls. FFI: David, 612-920-3925, 651-645-2948.

Young Adult NAMI Connection is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. One group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. A group also meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thu at Dental Office of Dr. Crandall & Associates, 2300 East Highway 96, White Bear Lake. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-645-2948,



Take a trip back in time as Minnesota Renaissance Festival hosts Sign Language Saturday, with ASL interpretation, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat, Sept. 15 at the festival grounds, 12364 Chestnut Blvd. (off Hwy 169, 7 miles south of Shakopee). Tickets $24.95 (advance $21.95); child 5-12 $15.95 (advance $12.50); senior 65 and older $22.95; under age 4 free. Free parking. Disability parking and portable toilets as well as a first aid station are available. Motorized scooters available for rent, but not wheelchairs or strollers. FFI: 952-445-7361,



Walker Art Center hosts Sensory Friendly Sun, a monthly, free event for kids, teens and adults with autism spectrum disorder or sensory sensitivities and their families, offering the opportunity to make art together, explore the galleries, watch a short film, or just hang out in a different setting. The galleries will be closed to all other visitors, allowing guests to enjoy the museum in a safe environment where accommodations such as quiet spaces, headphones and fidgets can be provided. In order to ensure an optimal experience and avoid crowds, reserve space ahead of time online. This program was created in consultation with the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) and the University of Minnesota’s Occupational Therapy Program. At Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Mpls. Upcoming dates are 8-11 a.m. Sun, Sept. 2 and Oct. 7. Free. FFI. 612-375-7610,



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