More events information
VSA Minnesota is at http://vsamn.org 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 email@example.com 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.
Annual dart tournament
The Twin Cities Blind Audio Dart League hosts its annual tournament at the Bloomington Crown Plaza Hotel and Suites Feb. 20-22. The tournament brings together blind and sighted players from 10 local teams and blind dart leagues throughout the country. Sighted players are welcome, but everyone is required to play blindfolded to keep it fair. The dartboards are custom-made to provide spoken feedback so that every player knows his or her score. The boards also tell players where their darts land, allowing them to zero in on a specific spot on the board if they want too. Sighted spotters help locate the rare dart that misses the board. Founded in 1989, the Twin Cities Blind Audio Dart League is an entirely donor-supported nonprofit organization that offers blind and sighted darters the opportunity to play and socialize together on an equal playing field. Local teams dart against each other at venues throughout the metro area from September through April. FFI: Catalina Martinez, 612-227-3011, www.audiodartmaster.com
Polar plunges are underway
The 2015 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Minnesota is back and bigger and better than ever. Plungers, many in costumes, jump into frigid waters to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota, helping more than 8,000 athletes. Plunges began Jan. 31 at White Bear Lake. The Mpls Plunge will be held at Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun, Thomas Ave. S and West Calhoun Parkway. This Plunge begins at 11 a.m. Sat, March 7. This year children ages 10 and younger can take the Pee Wee Plunge at the Mpls Polar Plunge. Those wanting to do a 5K on a home treadmill or too “chicken” to plunge also have opportunities to help raise money. FFI: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.plungemn.org
Puppet workshops for families
The Autism Society of Minnesota and Z Puppets Rosenschnoz offer free theater workshops for families with autism in February and March. The workshops, which will take place at the Nokomis Community Center in Mpls, Duluth and Rochester, are open to parents, caregivers, siblings ages seven and older and young people with autism. Workshops incorporate basic yoga and mindfulness techniques, singing and puppetry. The Monkey Mind Pirates provide entertainment while helping families navigate the seas of stress. Two workshop sessions are offered on Sundays through March 29. Session 1, held from 1-2:30 p.m. is open to individuals of all abilities and their families. Session 2, held from 3:30-5 p.m. is open to individuals who are group ready and their families. Workshop sessions will culminate in participants performing alongside Z Puppets as the “Sailor Chorus” in a sensory-friendly performance of Monkey Mind Pirates in late March at Children’s Theatre Company, Mpls. This performance is open to the public. Watch for details. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 19, www.ausm.org
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
MCIL offers classes, 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’s new location 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 this 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
2015 AuSM Skillshops
Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) offers two-hour skillshops for parents, family members, caregivers, support staff, educators, therapists, individuals with autism, and anyone touched by autism. AuSM Skillshops will be held at the AuSM office in St. Paul as well as partnering locations including St. David’s Center, Fraser, Lionsgate Academy and Merrick, Inc. Cost per event is $25 for AuSM members; $40 for non-members; $10 for AuSM members with ASD; and $10 for students. Upcoming workshops include It’s Not Easy Being a Teen!, 7-9 p.m. Tue, March 3 at Lionsgate and concurrent sessions 7-9 p.m. Tue, April 7 on calming behaviors and toilet training, at AuSM. Preregistration required for the skillshops. FFI: www.ausm.org
Discuss lifestyle and work opportunities
The Minnesota Disability Law Center of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid is interested in talking with individuals and families seeking independent and integrated work and living opportunities. People with disabilities, or who have a loved one with a disability, are encouraged to call. The center wants to hear from people who feel they are living or working in places where they cannot reach their true potential. Anyone looking for help can call the center at 612- 334-5970, 1-800-292-4150 (greater Minnesota) or 612-332-4668 (TTY)
ADA marks 25th anniversary in July
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark in civil rights legislation, turns 25 years old on July 26. The Minnesota State Council on Disability (MSCOD), in cooperation with a coalition of disability organizations, is planning several projects and events to celebrate this historic day.
This milestone brings great cause for celebration and reflection. As part of an overall effort to describe the ADA’s role in Minnesota, MSCOD is examining how employment has been impacted by the ADA. The study includes employers, employees and job seekers with disabilities.
Personal experiences and insight will be invaluable to the success of this study. Results will inform the public’s understanding of ADA’s impact, and provide valuable data for agencies seeking funds in order to serve people with disabilities. Survey results will be used by MSCOD to develop employee training programs. Take the survey at http://tinyurl.com/ADA25employmentMN The survey is administered by the Improve Group, an external research and evaluation firm in St. Paul. individual responses will be confidential and anonymous. MSCOD is asking that everyone share the survey.
Contact Andrew Mosca at 651-361-7803 or Andrew. Mosca@state.mn.us with questions about the content or purpose of the survey. To take an alternative version of this survey (paper or phone), contact Dillon Balthaser at 651-447-5535 or email@example.com
MSCOD and other groups plan a 25th ADA Anniversary Celebration and Family Day at the Minnesota History Center on noon – 4 p.m. Sun, July 26, with yearlong festivities culminating in a free event which will include live entertainment, an open mic, arts activities and much more. A portion of tpt’s upcoming documentary about the ADA will also be aired at the event.