Accessible Events & Activities – July 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.



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.



Celebrate the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The theme for this year’s Minnesota celebration is ADA & Mental Health: Removing the Stigma. Join community members 1-4 p.m. Thu, July 26 at the Science Museum of Minnesota, Discovery Hall, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.

Keynote speaker is Marya Hornbacher, a Minneapolis-based awardwinning writer, journalist, teacher and lecturer whose body of work includes a huge range of topics, including writing, literature, feminism, ethics and mental health. Enjoy entertainment with Sam Miltich and Friends, presenting The Improvised Life: Exploring Intersections of Mental Health & Creativity through Jazz, a program highlighting cultural contributions of famous artists with mental illness and inspiring hope through his own story and original compositions. Another entertainer to look forward to is Adina Burke. Burke identifies as a bisexual woman with cerebral palsy, using storytelling through spoken word poetry and punk music to address issues of sexuality and ableism. Light refreshments will be served.  Hear other speakers and an official proclamation honoring the day.

The event is free and in a wheelchair-accessible venue. Free admission to the Science Museum for ADA attendees will include its exhibit Mental Health: Mind Matters.

There is a charge for parking. The Science Museum of Minnesota has its own parking ramp, separate from the RiverCentre ramp. The RiverCentre ramp has been closed for repairs. Parking meters are on streets nearby. Accommodations provided include CART, ASL interpretation and Audio description. The museum is wheelchair-accessible. Please let organizers know if accommodations are needed.

Everyone is asked to preregister by Mon, July 16. Go to to sign up. Many disability community organizations are working to put together this event. For more information, or if you have difficulty completing the form, please contact Cindy Tarshish at 651-603-2015 or [email protected]




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. Registration is open, as are requests for presentations, vendors and sponsors. FFI:



Autism Society of Minnesota has announced its first-ever AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit, presented by Anime Twin Cities. Save the date of 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 will be announced soon. Registration opens soon. 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



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



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,



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]



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:



Center’s annual symposium on children and young adults with mental health and learning disabilities is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed, Aug. 8 at the Mpls. Convention Center. Registration fee of $35 includes lunch. The national keynote speakers include Dr. Steven Schlozman, associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he practices child and adult psychiatry; Rosemarie Allen, president and CEO for the Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence, the lead agency for ensuring equity in educational practices throughout the nation; and David Stember, clinical psychologist and maintains faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. He is a recognized expert in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, learning, and behavioral disorders. Many topics will be covered by speakers and in breakout sessions. FFI:



After nearly three years of planning, construction and exhibit design and development, the new Bell Museum will open to the public on July 13-15, with a grand opening celebration made possible by co-presenting sponsors General Mills and McGough Construction, as well as Boston Scientific and 3M. It is at Larpentuer and Raymond avenues, north of the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus The Bell, known previously as the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History, is the state’s official natural history museum, established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1872. In 2011, the museum merged with the Minnesota Planetarium Society to ensure the return of a dedicated public planetarium to the Twin Cities. The facility’s planetarium is situated at the heart of the building, surrounded by high-tech exhibits, renowned wildlife dioramas, and outdoor learning experiences.

The new Bell not only includes the full dome digital planetarium, but all new exhibition spaces covering broad scientific concepts from cellular to cosmic levels. Improving access was one of the driving reasons behind the new building. The museum offers full physical access throughout the site from parking and outdoor spaces to planetarium seating, gallery exhibits, and more. It plans to host sensory-friendly programs and relaxed planetarium shows for visitors with a variety of needs. ASL interpreted planetarium shows, programming for guests with memory loss, assisted listening devices and closed captioning throughout the galleries are offered or in the works.

Yet another feature is an accessible website with adjustable text size, contrast and language settings site wide. Go to the site to learn about programs, hours, admission costs and other information, at



The 25th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival features 11 days (Aug. 2-12) full of 650 performances of storytelling, comedy, drama, music, opera, dance, improv and other theatrical entertainment by 150 companies at 15 accessible Minneapolis venues. At least 40 shows throughout the festival will include accessibility services such as audio description and ASL interpreting. Additional performances will have electronic scripts available for patrons to follow the story line. Look for interpreted shows posted in mid-July, at For a daily recording of shows presented with AD or ASL, call VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888. FFI: 612-872-1212,



The inaugural Family Fringe highlights six selected companies producing adventurous work geared toward young people and their caregivers in 30 performances at Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul, Aug. 2-5 and 9-12. Family Fringe Central offered at Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul, to participate in additional free arts activities during the festival. Every show at Family Fringe will include an AD and/or an ASL interpreted performance. Check the schedule for specific show accommodations at Tickets $5 for children and $10 for adults. For a daily recording of shows presented with AD or ASL, call VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888. FFI: 612-872-1212,



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.



Reach for Ralph, Hammer Residences’ annual summer fundraiser benefiting adults and children with developmental disabilities, 5:30-10 p.m. Thu, July 12 at Earle Brown Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center. Enjoy a casual atmosphere, dinner, auctions, games and beautiful outdoor space. The mission of Hammer is to provide adults and children with developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience life to its fullest. Proceeds from the event will be used to support and expand our programs and services for children and adults with disabilities. Tickets $100 at the door. FFI: 952-345-0115,



Support the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) and register a team for the inaugural AuSM Connections Jigsaw Puzzle Competition, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat, July 21 in the Mall of America rotunda, Bloomington. Prizes will be awarded in both divisions to the three teams completing their puzzles in the quickest time. Teams will keep their competition puzzle, created by PuzzleTwist. Compete in the adult or family divisions, in teams of four. Cost is $50 per team. Who can complete a puzzle in the shortest amount of time? All proceeds support Autism Society of Minnesota programs and services for our local autism community. FFI:



The St. Paul Saints baseball team and its home at CHS Field in St. Paul host Showings with the Saints at Andy’s Gallery. The art shows are set up in cooperation the Show, a nonprofit arts group that promotes diversity in art and welcomes artists from all backgrounds. The events are free and are welcoming artists of all abilities. Artists can show a wide range of work during a baseball game. The artists will be recognized during the games. FFI: [email protected]



Autism Society of Minnesota’s 23rd Annual AuSM Golf Classic tees off at the new Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo Mon, Aug. 6. AuSM Golf Classic participants will enjoy the exciting new course while networking with professionals from across Minnesota. In addition to 18 holes of a golf in a scramble format, the event will feature lunch, a silent auction, contests to win exciting prizes, and an awards banquet sponsored by Fox Sports North. All proceeds benefit local autism community programs and services. Sponsors and silent auction donations sought. FFI: Monika Kopet, 651-647-1083 ext. 27, [email protected] (sponsorships),



Minnesota Access Alliance presents a workshop about current trends and the future of arts access for persons with diverse sensory and cognitive abilities, at Orchestra Hall, Target Atrium, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. Program is targeted to arts administrators. Roger Ideishi, program director and associate professor of occupational therapy at Temple University in Philadelphia, will speak about a global wave of sensory friendly, relaxed experiences at cultural arts venues including museums, performing arts, zoos and even comedy clubs. OC offered 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fri, July 13. For additional accommodations, contact Maren Levad at 651-259-3480 or [email protected]. Free; pre-registration is requested online at EventBrite: FFI: [email protected]



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