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 [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 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.
Disability Viewpoints is a public access television show by and for people with disabilities. Mark Hughes and his team of co-hosts feature current news, interesting people and groups, and events in Minnesota’s disability community. The show is produced by volunteers at CTV North Suburbs in the Twin Cities. The show has a Facebook page, and a web page here.
Disabled and Proud
Disabled and Proud is aired on KFAI Radio, 6:30-7 p.m. Thursday. Host Sam Jasmine and her guests explore a wide range of topics that are important to people with disabilities. KFAI is at 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7FM in St. Paul. Listeners outside of the Twin Cities, or those looking for a past show, will find the show’s archives online at www.kfai.org/disabledandproud To be added to the show’s email list, contact
Prepare for the future
AuSM offers an AuSM Skillshop, Preparing for the Future: Guardianship and Supplemental Needs Trusts, 7-9 p.m. Tue, Feb. 16 at AuSM, 2380 Wycliff St # 102, St Paul. The workshop will include practical strategies for family members, educators and therapists who work with or care for individuals on the spectrum. Learn the process for establishing legal guardianship for adult children with disabilities, how to qualify for free legal assistance, and the importance of supplemental needs trusts and how the trusts help provide for a loved one with autism while still maintaining eligibility for government benefits. The workshop will be led by Jason Schellack, Schellack is an attorney and the Executive Director of Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC, a law firm dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities and their families. FFI: www.ausm.org
Free tax assistance
Income tax season is in full swing and free tax preparation sites are open across Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that there are more than 240 sites across the state offering free tax assistance to those filing their income tax and property tax refund returns. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax-Aide are two free tax preparation programs where volunteers help taxpayers prepare their federal and state income and property tax returns in communities throughout Minnesota. To receive free help from a VITA site, persons must be age 60 or older, have a disability, speak limited or no English and have annual income of $54,000 or less. The AARP Tax-Aide program offers free tax preparation for all taxpayers, particularly those who are age 60 or older. AARP Tax-Aide sites do not have income or age restrictions. All volunteers are certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and will only prepare basic tax regroups turns. To find a local site, hours and dates, and a complete list of items to bring when visiting a site, visit the department’s website. Search for a site by zip code or county, as well as sites with language interpreters and volunteers certified to complete military returns. FFI: 651-297-3724 or 1-800-657-3989, www.revenue.state.mn.us
Vision loss group 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 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
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 regroups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St., St. Paul. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, www.ausm.org
Medicaid Citizens’ Advisory Committee
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is looking for up to 10 individuals who would like to serve on the Medicaid Citizens’ Advisory Committee (MCAC). The purpose of the committee is to ensure that continued high-quality health and medical services are provided to low-income persons. The committee, representing Medicaid clients, advises DHS and helps define what the Medicaid program should be in relationship to future health care and technological needs. New members will be appointed for the years 2016-2017. Meetings are typically held quarterly at DHS, 540 Cedar St., St. Paul, Minnesota. Letters of interest will be accepted until the end of the business day on Feb. 15. Medicaid (Medical Assistance) clients will be given preference, but also urge members of consumer groups, concerned health care professionals and others interested in serving on the MCAC to submit a letter of interest to apply for committee membership to Sean Barrett, Federal Relations, Health Care Administration, Minnesota Department of Human Services, P.O. Box 64983, St. Paul, MN 55164-0983. FFI: Sean Barrett, 651-431-2298, [email protected]
Prepare for 2016 Legislature
Two groups are asking people to share stories for the upcoming legislative session. Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities is seeking stories about the challenges of living on $736 per month, the allowable limit for Medical Assistance. These are for the Faces of Disability exhibit. FFI: Sheryl Grassie, consortium director, at 952-818-8718 or [email protected] Best Life Alliances is seeking stories and photos to support its campaign for an increase in caregiver wages. Pieces don’t have to be lengthy and there is a template as well as a consent form. FFI: [email protected]
Plan for conference
Save 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. FFI: Deborah Richman, 952-857-0551, [email protected]
Attend PACER benefit
Award-winning singer Idina Menzel will headline this year’s PACER Center benefit, Sat, April 30 at Mpls. Convention Center. Events start at 6 p.m. with a silent auction, followed by a live auction and performance. Tickets start at $70. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000; www.pacer.org
Vinland’s Winter Walkabout
Winter Walkabout is a 3K snowshoe event to raise funds and awareness for Vinland National Center. Music, raffle drawings for great prizes, hot food, and a lakeside bonfire all create a festive event that is fun for the whole family. This event is open to people of all fitness and experience levels. The event is Sat, Feb. 27 at Vinland’s campus in Loretto. $15 per person, includes Walkabout t-shirt and lunch. Kids ages 12 and under attend free. FFI: 763-479-3555, www.vinlandcenter.org
Creative Kids Contest
Children with disabilities and their families are invited to join PACER for a morning of creativity, fun and exploration. 10 a.m.-noon, Sat, Feb. 27 at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd, Bloomington. Children will use their imaginations to express themselves through various mediums and vibrant colors. This year’s artwork will focus on themes of unity, inclusion, kindness and friendship. The artwork of children with disabilities will be entered into the Creative Kids contest. The winner will become the cover design of the PACER Greeting Card, which is sold online and at the April 30 benefit. The original artwork of the top 10 designs will be sold at PACER’s Benefit Silent Auction. Children ages 4-17 are eligible. FFI: 952-838-9000, www.pacer.org
Workshops for Artists
Springboard for the Arts presents a series of free workshops on business skills for artists, at George Latimer St. Paul Central Library, 90 W. 4th St., St. Paul. ASL available. Offered Saturdays through April 9. FFI: Kathryn, 651-292-4381, or their website.
Jerome Emerging Artists Show
Enjoy artwork and writing by six Minnesota artists with disabilities who received Emerging Artist Grants in 2015 from VSA Minnesota, with funding provided by the Jerome Foundation to enable them to create new work. Opening night reception is 6-8:30 p.m. Thu, Feb. 11, with program at 7 p.m. The exhibit will be up through Feb. 27 at Homewood Studios, 2400 Plymouth Ave. N., Mpls. Free. Artists include Renae Carpenter, Cambridge – acrylic painting; Michael Cohn, St. Louis Park – dance: choreography and performance; Naomi Cohn, St. Paul – poetry; Chris Juhn, West St. Paul – photography; Romayne Kilde, Fergus Falls – pencil drawings; Liza Sylvestre, Mpls. – multi-media: painting/drawing/performance. They will show work, and present new writing and performances at the reception. Exhibit hours: 5-9 p.m. Tue ; 1-6 p.m. Wed and Fri, 1-4 p.m. Sat. FFI: Homewood: 612-587-0230; VSA Minnesota: 612-332-3888; or via the website.
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], or their website.