Accessible Events – April 2014

Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings, a sampling of theater, music, arts, walks, runs, dances and gala events […]

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Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings, a sampling of theater, music, arts, walks, runs, dances and gala events for our community. Readers looking for additional opportunities to enjoy the arts have these options:

VSA Minnesota unveiled its new website on Feb 17. The site has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of the home page. VSA Minnesota would like feedback on the design, so users should weigh in on the site or at [email protected] or 612-332-3888 ext. 2. The new website is intended to be easier for volunteers to maintain and expand. Users of the site should change their bookmarks if they haven’t already done so.

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 in Minnesota and 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



Art in Bloom

Mpls Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S. hosts free disability-friendly tours. ASL tour is 7 p.m. Thu, May 1, and 12:15 p.m. Sun, May 4. (Tour begin in second floor rotunda). On the second Fri & Sat of each month at 10:30a.m., free tours are offered for visitors with memory loss, Alzheimer’s and their friends or care partners (April 11-12, May 9-10, and June 13-14). Assisted listening devices, wheelchairs and verbal description tours are available. FFI: 612-870-3131, 612-870-3140, TTY 612-870-3132; [email protected],


Find activities at hub

The Youth Legacy Foundation has expanded its offerings for youth with disabilities adding an events listing for the many programs and resources available for youth with disabilities. This includes disability-specific and mainstream options where accommodations can be made to promote community inclusion. One recent feature was the Wisconsin Youth Leadership Forum summer retreat. Check the forum webpage regularly for events and opportunities. FFI:


Learn about MnCHOICES

MnCHOICES is a new way to assess needs of people who need long-term services and supports. People with disabilities and family members can attend What is MnCHOICES?, a Sages forum 1-3 p.m. Fri, May 2 at Christ the King Church, 8600 Fremont Ave. S., Bloomington. Nancy Jurgensen of Minnesota Department of Human Services and Rosemary Geist of Dakota County will give an overview of MnCHOICES, which will be used annually to assess all Minnesota residents with disabilities who use government services. MnCHOICES was launched in Ramsey and Dakota counties in 2013 and will be introduced statewide this year. Register by Tue, April 29. Cost is $15 at the door. Checks are payable to ISD #271. Sages is a collaboration of community organizations offering education about disability issues for self-advocates, family members, caregivers and service providers for people with disabilities. The organizations of Sages are The Arc Greater Twin Cities, Fraser, The Learning Exchange, Living Well Disability Services, Opportunity Partners and ProAct. FFI: Gina Carpenter, 952-681-6122, [email protected]


Minnesota Autism Conference

The 19th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference, presented by the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM), is April 30 – May 3 at the DoubleTree Hilton by Mpls Park Place Hotel, 1500 Park Place Blvd., Mpls. It is open to the public and is beneficial for educators, doctors, clinicians, therapists, employers, caregivers, paraprofessionals and parents and families of individuals on the autism spectrum, including adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Speakers include author and radio host Garrison Keillor and several well-known professionals in the autism field. Registration fees are $105 per day for AuSM members and $135 per day for non-members. Evening presentations on Wednesday and Thursday are an additional fee of $40 for AuSM members and $50 for nonmembers. The complete schedule is online. FFI: 651-647-1083, [email protected],


TAAC appointees sought

Metropolitan Council Seeks applicants for four vacancies on the Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC), which advises the council on management policies for special transportation services in the region, including Metro Mobility. The TAAC must include riders and advocates for older people and the disability community, as well as representatives of service providers and other appropriate agencies. Applicants are sought from four districts. District B includes western Hennepin County, Carver County and Scott County, except for New Prague. District E include parts of Anoka and Ramsey counties. District F includes Washington County and part of Ramsey County. District H includes most of Dakota County. At least half of the committee must be certified as ADA paratransit eligible under the Americans with Disabilities Act and be active users of public ground transportation in the metro area. Terms are up to four years, concurrent with the Council’s, and would expire in January 2015. The deadline for applications is April 30. FFI: David Russell, 651-602-1662, [email protected]


Vision check for service dogs

Ophthalmologists from BluePearl Veterinary Partners will be conducting free eye exams for service dogs during the annual 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. Registration for the free eye exams must be completed by service animal owners or handlers at ACVO eye by April 30. To qualify, animals must be “active working animals” that were certified by a formal training program or organization or are currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization can be national, regional or local in nature. Owners/agents for the animal(s) must FIRST register the animal via an online registration form beginning April 1. Once registered online, the owner/agent will receive a registration number and will be allowed access to a list of participating ophthalmologists in their area. A few Twin Cities area clinics are participating. FFI:


Free help with house painting

The Metro Paint-A-Thon helps low-income seniors and people with disabilities continue to live independently in their own homes, enriching their lives and their neighborhoods. The deadline to apply is April 14. Each August, thousands of volunteers scrape, prime and paint these homes at no cost to the homeowner. The effort brings stability and renewal to neighborhoods in cities throughout the seven-county metro area. This year, volunteers from companies, congregations, civic groups, and schools will paint homes during the summer, culminating the weekend of August 2-3. To qualify, homeowners must own and occupy a single-family home, in need of paint, but not in need of major repairs. The home must be in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington counties. The homeowner must be 60 years of age or older, or have a permanent physical disability (if under age 60) and meet monthly income guidelines. FFI: 612-276-1579,


Share a smile

Brighten the day of a senior citizen in north or southwest Minneapolis and have fun. Visit an elder and do things together: movies, games, crafts or just friendly conversation. Hang out with an elder on a regular basis and do things that you both enjoy, like watching a movie, building stuff, playing games or friendly conversation. One time or ongoing opportunities through the NIP Senior Program. FFI: Jeanne, 612-746-8549, [email protected], or

  • Wash your hands! Hands that look can still have icky germs!
  • Work with your care provider to stay healthy. Protect yourself. Vaccines are your best protection against being sick.

You are not alone. Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.