Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings. Readers looking for additional opportunities to enjoy the arts have these options: For information on galleries and theater performances around the state, join the Access to Performing Arts email list at firstname.lastname@example.org 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. On the web accessible performance listings are found at www.vsamn.org/calendar.html, or www.mrid.org, www.testing.accesspress.org, or http://c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota and across the country.
Sign up to connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances Across Minnesota on Facebook or
www.facebook.com/pages/ASL-Interpreted-and-Captioned-Performances-Across-Minnesota/257263087700814. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota Performances on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Audio-Description-Across-Minnesota/202035772468.
Want to attend a show but not finding the accessible services needed? Contact the performing company as far in advance as possible to request the service. Arts organizations can borrow a captioning display unit from VSA Minnesota for free. Call the Minnesota Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-627-3529 with the number of the arts organization box office. With video relay a caller’s video phone (VP) number automatically connects to a sign language interpreter when making a call to another caller who does not also have a VP.
Job training available
Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota offers job training classes in several career fields, and also offers instruction in job skills, job searching and interviewing techniques; earning certifications, credits or CEUs; and providing ongoing employment and support services. Automotive services, banking and finance skills, construction, customer service call center and medical office skills training are offered. Scholarships are available for training if certain enrollment and eligibility criteria are met. Training programs range from eight to 12 weeks long, consist of more than 150 hours, and include paid training in some cases. All training programs are available to those who meet eligibility requirements and complete the required enrollment process. To find out more, interested parties should come to a prerequisite information session held at 1:45 p.m., the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the main office, 553 Fairview Ave. N, St. Paul. FFI: 651-379-5997
Free eye exams for service dogs
Ophthalmologists from Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners will be conducting free eye exams for service dogs during the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event in May. The eye exams will be provided free of charge to eligible service animals including detection dogs, guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs and therapy animals. There are locations in St. Paul and St. Louis Park. Registration for the free eye exams must be completed by service animal owners or handlers by Tue, April 30. Appointments are first-come, first served. FFI: www.acvoeyeexam.com
Disability Day at the Capitol
Disability Day at the Capitol is Thu, April 25. Make plans now to attend and speak out about budget decisions and plan to meet with your legislators. Events start at 10 a.m. in the great hall of the state capitol with registration, followed by briefings at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. A rally is at noon, and then participants can break for lunch on their own. The event is free but participants should register. The event is sponsored by Advocating Change Together, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, People First of Minnesota, Self-Advocates Minnesota, and The Arc Minnesota. FFI: Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, 1-800- 669-6442, email@example.com
Tuesdays at the Capitol
Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) resumes its traditional legislative session schedule once the 2013 legislative session is underway. This includes “Disability Matters Tuesdays at the Capitol” on every Tuesdays, a 10 a.m. briefing in the basement cafeteria of the State Office Building and full membership meetings on Fridays during the legislative session from 12- 1 in room 500 N of the State Office Building as well during the legislative session FFI: www.mnccd.org
Artists around town
Upstream Arts, a Mpls-based program for artists with disabilities, offers a number of programs and services for artists. The mission of Upstream Arts is to enhance the lives of adults and youth with disabilities by fostering creative communication and social independence through the power of arts education. The program has a blog that is always worth checking, to see what activities Upstream Art staff and artists are doing in the community. The blog is updated regularly. FFI: www.upstreamarts.org
Art in Bloom
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S., Mpls, hosts tours starting in the second floor rotunda. On the second weekend of each month, free tours are offered for visitors with memory loss, Alzheimer’s and their friends or care partners. ASL tour is 7 p.m. Thu, April 25 and 1:15 p.m. Sun, April 28. Interpreted tours are also scheduled on other days. Free. FFI: 612-870-3131, TTY 612-870-3132; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.artsmia.org
Regional VAACT Fest
Community theaters from seven states will be featured at Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre, 333 Fourth St. S., Fargo. AD sessions are at 12:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Fri, April 26, ands 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sat, April 27. Tickets are $20 for all plays ($5 per play session); full festival package $85 includes all shows, workshops, parties, awards brunch. FFI: 701-235-6778, www.fmct.org
Arts Accessibility grants available
Access to the arts for people with disabilities has increased in recent years, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Access Improvement Grants for metro arts organizations are available through VSA Minnesota with money from Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Nonprofit arts groups in the seven-county metropolitan area can apply for grants of up to $15,000 to help make their arts programming, activities and facilities more accessible to people with disabilities. Deadline is May 17. Potential projects anything that helps to remove barriers and more effectively serve and attract artists, audience members, board or staff with disabilities. FFI: VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888, email@example.com or www.vsamn.org/forms.html