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 a senior on a regular basis and do things that you both enjoy, like watching a movie, playing games or friendly conversation. Onetime or ongoing opportunities through the NIP Senior Program. FFI: Jeanne, 612-746-8549, www.neighborhoodinvolve.org
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, or here.
MCIL offers classes and activities
The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) offers many life skills classes as well as fun outings and activities 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, www.mcil-mn.org. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030
Adult support groups offered
Autism Society of Minnesota (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 web site for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, www.ausm.org
Plan for conference
Save the date of Sat, March 19 for the Meeting of the Minds Dementia Conference, a collaboration between the Alzheimer’s Association and Mayo Clinic. It’s a day filled with dementia information, presentations, support and resources for people with mild cognitive impairment or early dementia, families, friends and professionals. It will be held at St. Paul RiverCentre. General conference registration will open at 9 a.m. Mon, Jan 4. FFI: Deborah Richman, 952-857-0551, email@example.com
New Equity Advisory Committee
Metropolitan Council is seeking applicants for a newly created advisory board to help advance equity in the Twin Cities region. The Equity Advisory Committee will advise the Council in advancing equity in the region, and specifically how the council implements the equity commitments in Thrive MSP 2040, the region’s long-range development plan.
Members of this committee will influence council decisions related to regional policies on transportation and transit, local planning, housing, environmental issues and more. The committee will have 21 members, representing geographic districts to assure region-wide representation, as well as people from different races, incomes, abilities and backgrounds. Applications will be accepted through at least Jan. 4, 2016. FFI: 651-602-1630
Take part in survey
The Minnesota Statewide Independent Living Council (MNSILC) is a governor-appointed council of volunteers dedicated to developing statewide planning and policies necessary to support individuals to make their own choices in all areas of their lives. MNSILC is conducting a statewide needs assessment to better understand the experience of people with disabilities in Minnesota. Results from this survey will inform the writing of the next State Plan for Independent Living, which will be in effect from 2017-2019. This plan is shared with legislators, advocates and others and guides MNSILC’s work as well. MNSILC collaborates with Vocational Rehabilitation Services, State Services for the Blind, and Minnesota’s eight Centers for Independent Living. To help the survey, consumers need to weigh in with their experiences as a person with a disability in Minnesota, especially with regard to living independently. Survey respondents and spaces for on-site data collection are needed. FFI: Laura Schauben, Wilder Research, 651-280-2700, firstname.lastname@example.org for survey questions; Pam Taylor, 612-518-1497, email@example.com to be a data collection site MNSILC questions; to take the survey go here.
Family to Family course
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota offers a free, 12-week educational course that helps families gain a greater understanding of mental illness, discuss resources, build communication skills, reduce stress and find support. More than 3,000 Minnesota families have benefited from this course, which is taught by family members who have walked the walk. The course starts 6:30-9 p.m. Thu, Jan. 7, at Canvas Health, 8451 E. Point Douglas Road, Cottage Grove. FFI: Donna, 651-788-6363.
Crisis Link line open
A new Crisis Link has been launched as part of MinnesotaHelp.info, the state’s comprehensive website for services, resources and information. Crisis Link connects people with resources for dealing with a variety of intense situations, including mental health and/or substance abuse problems for both children and adults, need for emergency housing or longer term housing, fear of being harmed, or need for health care, food, a job or transportation.
Crisis Link has an extensive listing of contact information for helping organizations, primarily government and nonprofit agencies, including suicide and domestic violence hotlines. It features an online chat service available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays to ensure people get to the information they need. Crisis Link is integrated into Minnesota’s information and assistance system that includes, in addition to the Minnesotahelp.info website, the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433, or Disability Linkage Line at 1-866-333-2466.FFI: go here.
Vision loss group offers activities
Vision Loss Resources offers 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. FFI: RSVP hotline 612-843-3439; activity phone 612-253-5155, www.visionlossresources.org
‘Here I Am’ Exhibit at MRA
Three dozen Minnesota artists with disabilities have artwork in the “HERE I AM” exhibit at MRA – The Management
Association, through the end of 2015. Originally submitted for VSA Minnesota’s Arts Access Chautauqua, the 30 artworks along the main hallways at the MRA headquarters reflect where the artists feel they are today as individuals with disabilities. Artists are listed on the VSA Minnesota website. The free exhibition can be viewed during normal business hours, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., 9805 45th Ave. N., Plymouth, just off Highway 169 near County Road 9. MRA, formerly TruSight, is a not-for-profit employers association that supports more than 4,000 employers with human resources leadership and management services. The exhibits it hosts provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to share insight into their disabilities through artwork and personal biographies.
Eddie Albert Twait art show
St. Paul artist Eddie Albert Twait’s watercolors are on display through December at Vision Loss Resources, 1936 Lyndale Ave. S. (at Franklin), Mpls. It is part of a series coordinated by VSA Minnesota. Free during business hours 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Fri. FFI: VLR 612-871-2222, VSA MN 612-332-3888, their website.
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 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. Another web events listing is http://c2net.org (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.