Accessible Events – February 2013

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

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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. On the web accessible performance listings are found at, or,  or (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota and across the country. 

Connect with performances on Facebook. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota on Facebook ( Sign up to connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances Across Minnesota on Facebook (

Arts Accessibility grants available

Access to the arts for people with disabilities has increased in recent years, thanks to grant support. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Access Improvement Grants for metro arts organizations are available for the fourth year by 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. Deadlines are March 8 and 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 protected],


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 website has blog that is always worth checking out, to see what activities Upstream Art staff and artists are doing in the community. The blog is updated regularly. Visit


Take the Polar Plunge

Whether it’s one toe at a time, eyes tightly closed with an uneasy step forward or a fearless cannonball, brave souls are already planning their grand entrance into the icy waters at the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge, presented by Minnesota law enforcement for the benefit of Special Olympics Minnesota. Registration is now open for the 2013 Plunge Season. With 16 Polar Bear Plunge events scattered across the state through March 16, dare-devils and do-gooders alike are sure to be “freezin’ for a reason.” Brave Plungers jump into the frigid Minnesota waters as individuals or as a member of a team to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota. Although each participant must raise a minimum of $75 to Plunge, the average Plunger raised more than $200 in 2012. The total amount raised in 2012 was $2.85 million. FFI: 800-783-7732,, [email protected]


Winter Walkabout

It’s time to register for the Winter Walkabout, a snowshoe fundraiser for Vinland Center and its programs. 2013 date is Feb. 23 and online registration is underway. Costs range from $25 to $70, depending on how many register and when registration comes in. Enjoy the beautiful grounds at Vinland’s main campus in Loretta and learn about the services provided by Vinland, Last year, 150 snowshoers participated. The goal for 2013 is to have 250 snowshoers. FFI: or,

Gallery tours are offered

Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls, hosts accessible gallery tours. Next ASL tour is 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2. Tours are always the first Saturday of the month. Free admission. A tour guide and interpreted  work in tandem to bring works of art to life in hour-long conversational strolls through the galleries and, during the summer, in the Sculpture Garden. The free tour begins in the Bazinet Garden Lobby next to the admission desk, and registration is not required. Assisted listening devices and portable stools are available for tours. Large-print and Braille visitor guides are available at the lobby desk. Audio description is programmed for selected events and also available by request with at least two weeks advance notice. FFI: 612-375-7609, [email protected],

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 ever Tuesdays, a 10 am,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:


Meet south metro officials

The Arc Greater Twin Cities invites south metro area residents to a home visit with their elected officials from Minnesota Senate District 51 and Dakota County District 4 to discuss issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The event is 6:30-8 p.m. Tue, Feb. 19 at the home of Deb and Victor Harris, 1381 Lakeside Dr., Eagan. Sen. Jim Carlson, Rep. Sandra Masin, Rep. Laurie Halverson and Dakota County Commissioner Nancy Schouweiler are invited to attend. The event is free but space is limited, so pre-register by Fri, Feb. 15. FFI: 952-915-3665, [email protected]


Plan for conference

Deadlines are approaching for the 2013 Minnesota State Self-Advocacy Conference, “Together, Yes We CAN!” Deadline for exhibit space for businesses and organizations is March 1. Rate is $350. The conference is April 26-27 at Crowne Plaza, St. Paul Riverfront Hotel, 11 E. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Several organizations sponsor the conference. FFI: 651-641-4053, [email protected]

Anne Henry honored

Join The Arc Minnesota at 5:30 p.m. Wed, Feb. 20, 2013 as Minnesotans with disabilities and their advocates honor Anne Henry for her extraordinary public policy advocacy and the major improvements she has helped attain in policies and programs that affect people of all disabilities. The Arc Minnesota’s annual Public Policy Recognition Event at the Midland Hills Country Club in Roseville. Event proceeds benefit The Arc Minnesota’s public policy advocacy program. FFI: Dawn Lampros, 651-604-8070, [email protected]

Independent living classes offered

The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) offers free and accessible classes on living independently for people with disabilities. Most classes are held at 1600 University Ave., #16, the green tile building at University and Snelling, St. Paul, unless specified. The office will be closed Mon, Feb. 18 in observance of Presidents’ Day. A full calendar of all events is offered online. Enjoy field trips, knitting and crafts, wii fun, cooking, and classes to help with everyday living.  With the exception of the weekenders outings, all events are free of charge, accessible and mostly scent-free. Please RSVP and give two weeks’ notice of needed accommodations. FFI: Corbett, 651-603-2028, [email protected] -or- Cindy, 651-603-2037, [email protected]

The newest events include:

  1.  A new event is a happy hour gathering, with games, movies and fun starting 4-7 p.m. Thu, Feb. 21.
  2. A workshop on service and working dogs 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tue, Feb.12, at Goodwill/Easter Seals at Fairview and Charles avenues.
  3. Internet safety Facebook 101, 10-a.m. – noon Tue, Feb. 12;
  4. A 4-part Disability Management series starting 1-3 p.m. Wed, Feb. 13.
  5. The Working Well with a Disability series starts 6-7 p.m. Thu, Feb. 28.
  6. Cook heart healthy foods in the MCIL kitchen 1-6 p.m. Tue, Feb. 26.
  7. Weekender outing on March 23 from noon to 2 pm, at Hazel’s Northeast (Please bring spending money for this)


Free exterior house painting

Metro Paint-A-Thon offers free house painting for low-income seniors and people with disabilities every August, Qualifying home owners whose homes need paint and minor exterior repairs must live in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington counties. Deadline to apply is April 12. Eligibility guidelines are online. FFI: 612-276-1578,, .


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],


Help with arts calendar

VSA Minnesota is seeking a volunteer or volunteers to assist with the compilation of the monthly VSA Minnesota arts calendar. The calendar lists accessible performances, films, galleries and events throughout the region. FFI: Jon, 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883, Voice/ TTY, [email protected]


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. Accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, [email protected],


Volunteer with RSVP

Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible to receive free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. RSVP/Volunteers of America of Minnesota and AARP Foundation need volunteers with good budgeting and organizational skills to help manage finances of older or disabled low-income individuals. Have a few hours a month to volunteer? Money Management Program staff will train and match you with someone in the community. FFI: 612-617-7821

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

You are not alone. Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.