Accessible Events – December 2013

Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings. Readers looking for additional opportunities to enjoy the arts have these options: […]

Generic Article graphic with Access Press logo

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 [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. The web accessible performance listings at VSA Arts Minnesota, www.mrid.orgAccess Press or  c2: caption coalition, inc., which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota and across the country. Performances on Facebook; sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota. Connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances across Minnesota on Facebook


Access guidelines change for great outdoors

Long time Wilderness Inquiry traveler Bob Gregory is shown getting into the tent that has a wide platform and ramp access.

Anyone planning a trip into the great outdoors may see some changes. This fall the U.S. Access Board issued new accessibility guidelines for outdoor areas maintained by the federal government. The specifications for newly built or altered trails, picnic areas, and beach access routes will help federal areas comply with the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).

Advocates hail the change, saying it means that individuals who use wheelchairs or adaptive equipment will have improved access to federal lands. Places where terrain makes the changes impractical are exempt from the new guidelines. Despite concerns about that limitation, the change is still a positive move forward.

“Opportunities for integrated outdoor recreation are an effective catalyst in changing attitudes,” said Greg Lais, executive director of Wilderness Inquiry, a Minnesota-based non-profit organization whose mission is to hare the adventure.”

Until recently, many people in the disability rights movement considered access to recreation a lower priority when compared to issues of employment, health care, or access to basic services, such as the use of restrooms or the ability to enter a building through the front door,” Lais said.

The new standards are more than a blueprint for building or remodeling outdoor areas and facilities; they have the potential to forge real social change. By guaranteeing real access for everyone, they will make it easier for people to connect to the outdoors and to each other.

“There is no greater statement of social acceptance than being asked to recreate together as a friend, peer or colleague. The accommodations people make in a social, recreational context do translate into other areas of life—including employment, health care and access to basic services. The clear, practical guidelines from the U.S. Access Board will help illuminate best practices in the outdoor recreation industry. We welcome them as a tool to help us provide equitable access to the natural world,” Lais said.

The U.S. Access Board is an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards for the built environment, transportation, communication, medical diagnostic equipment, and information technology.

For a copy of the final guidelines, go to the website, or contact Bill Botten at [email protected]



MNsure, Cub Foods are partners

MNsure and Cub Foods have joined forces to provide consumer information about the state health insurance marketplace in Cub Foods stores throughout the state. Cub Foods shoppers will find MNsure consumer brochures and fact sheets in the Cub pharmacies printed in four languages; Spanish, Hmong, Somali and English. Materials include general information about the state health insurance marketplace, including contact information, plan benefits and cost-saving options offered only through MNsure. FFI: 1-855-3MNSURE (1-855-366-7873),



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




Open the Door to Education

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 literacy council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, [email protected],



See the holiday lights in Phalen Park

Phalen lightsEnjoy a spectacular drive-through holiday light experience, from the comfort of a motor vehicle. Phalen Park in St. Paul is transformed through the IBEW Holiday Lights display, put on by the electrical workers’ union, Woodbury’s King of Kings Church and other sponsors. See more than 50 larger-than-life holiday light sculptures and animated displays.

The display is nightly, including holidays, 5:30-10 p.m. through New Year’s Day. The park is at 1615 Phalen Drive E., St. Paul.Cost is $10 per vehicle, or $8 on value nights Sunday through Thursday. (No discount on holidays.) The rate is $15 per limo/passenger van/mini bus and $30 per coach bus. Proceeds go to charities focused on fundamental community needs such as food, shelter, education, and the environment.



Attend free concerts

The Hennepin County Government Center continues its annual tradition of seasonal and holiday performances, free and open to the public. All performances are noon –1 p.m. unless otherwise noted, at the Hennepin County Government Center Public Service Level (Skyway Level), 300 S. 6th St., Mpls. On Fri, Dec. 13, 80 Parkview School kindergartners perform cold weather and Spanish songs. On Tue, Dec. 17, hear the Chippewa Middle School eighth grade orchestra. The City-County Chorus rounds out the shows on Wed, Dec. 18.



Youth Legacy Foundation holiday crafts

Join the Youth Legacy Foundation for some holiday fun 10 am,-noon Sat, Dec..14 at the Edina Library Meeting Room, 5280 Grandview Square, Edina. Enjoy sandwiches and make Christmas gifts at four stations. Cut and wrap soap, wrap jars of candy with ribbon, make greeting cards and create songs and email them to your loved ones. Learn about the foundation and how it serves youth. Youth who identify as experiencing disabilities are welcome. Preregister. FFI: Bridget Siljander, 612-293-7008, Bridget at [email protected]


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