Accessible Events – June 2018

More events information: VSA Minnesota is here. The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of […]

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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 (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.


Midsummer’s dreamers

An experienced group of actors with disabilities brought a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to the Lakeville Area Arts Center June 7. ProAct Playhouse took the stage for the production “We’ve tailored a lot of the roles to meet each individual’s needs and strengths,” said Amanda Thomm,
director. The latest offering was inspired by the group’s 2017 presentation of “Romeo and Juliet.”

ProAct Playhouse has been known to tackle disability topics with an edge of comedic flair that communicates messages in an entertaining fashion. The troupe began nearly 10 years ago out of a life skills class at ProAct in Eagan. Some of the actors have been with the group since its founding. ProAct serves individuals with disabilities, most from Dakota County. Part of its mission is to provide community-integrated opportunities in the performing arts, and a


platform from which to share their talents.

Thomm said most of the play centers on love and relationships, which are relatable themes for everyone. “One of the challenges has been to translate the antiquated language of the original play,” she said.

Headquartered in Eagan, ProAct serves people with developmental and other disabilities, brain injuries and other barriers to employment and community inclusion. Most of the people served are from the Twin Cities area, southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin.


Courage and Triumph: A sensory-friendly show

The Minnesota Orchestra performs its first full-orchestra sensory-friendly family concert 2 p.m. Sat,
July 14, at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.

Tickets are $12. Assistant Conductor Akiko Fujimoto leads the Minnesota Orchestra for the performance, which is designed for patrons of all ages and abilities, including those on the autism spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities. The concert, Courage and Triumph, is hosted by local music therapist Lyndie Walker and features cellist Nygel Witherspoon.

The 60-minute program, which follows the format of a standard family concert, includes music from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, West Side Story, Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and Stravinsky’s Firebird. Sensory-Friendly Concerts give community members more freedom to choose how they engage in live-music experiences, and provide a judgment-free space where individuals of all abilities can enjoy classical music together. Concerts take place in a relaxed environment where audience members are welcome to be who they are and move, vocalize, clap or otherwise respond to the music freely at any time.

Come early for pre-concert activities, including opportunities to try orchestral instruments, engage in creative movement, participate in collaborative art-making, learn more about the program, and meet musicians. This is a concert for all ages to enjoy. Braille and large print playbills and assistive listening devices are available.

Originally conceived and designed in 2013 by Orchestra musicians in partnership with local music therapist Lyndie Walker of ToneWorks Music Therapy, the Minnesota Orchestra’s full-orchestra sensory-friendly concert in July is the first of its kind at Orchestra Hall, and has been designed with support from an accessibility team composed of orchestra staff.

The Orchestra’s 2018-19 season will continue to expand the Sensory-Friendly Concert Series, featuring five Family Concerts (comprising three distinct programs) which will all be Sensory-Friendly experiences. Save the dates of March 10, May 12 and July 28, 2019. FFI: 612-371-5656,



Center’s annual symposium on children and young adults with mental health and learning disabilities is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed, Aug. 8 at the Mpls. Convention Center. Registration fee of $35 includes lunch. The national keynote speakers include Dr. Steven Schlozman, associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he practices child and adult psychiatry; Rosemarie Allen, president and CEO for the Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence, the lead agency for ensuring equity in educational practices throughout the nation; and David Stember, clinical psychologist and maintains faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. He is a recognized expert in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, learning, and behavioral disorders. Many topics will be covered by speakers and in breakout sessions. FFI:



The Arc Minnesota hosts Arc in the Park, 5-7:30 p.m. Wed, June 27 at Como Park Pavilion, 1119 Midway Parkway, St. Paul. It’s a free evening of family fun and a great place to connect with families and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and get to know more about The Arc Minnesota. With music, food, carousel rides, face painting, games, treats and more, there is something for everyone. RSVP by Wed, June 14. FFI:



The St. Paul Saints baseball team and its home at CHS Field in St. Paul host Showings with the Saints at Andy’s Gallery. The art shows are set up in cooperation the Show, a nonprofit arts group that promotes diversity in art and welcomes artists from all backgrounds. The events are free and are welcoming artists of all abilities. Artists can show a wide range of work during a baseball game. The artists will be recognized during the games. FFI: [email protected]



Minnesota’s 28th annual celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act is 1-4 p.m. Thu, July 26 at the Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. This yearly collaboration of many disability organizations is a good opportunity to celebrate success at look at challenges ahead. The focus is on current mental health issues. Enjoy entertainment, speakers, an official proclamation, light refreshments and more. ASL interpretation, audio description and open captioning provided. Ask about other accommodations. The ADA celebration, admission to the Science Museum and its exhibit Mental Health: Mind Matters exhibit are free. Guests are asked to preregister at Omnitheater admission and parking cost extra. Watch organization websites, including State Council on Disability, for more details. FFI: Accommodations, call Cindy Tarshish at ADA Minnesota, 651-603-2015 or [email protected]



Metropolitan Center for Independent Living and TUGG offer chances for organizations to see the film Summer in the Forest. The documentary film that explores the life and work of Catholic activist, author and philosopher Jean Vanier. Vanier created L’Arche – a community for people with disabilities – a commune at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris all the while revealing the universal need for love and companionship. There are now 150 of these communities around the world. Different ways to show the film are offered. FFI: [email protected],



Autism Society of Minnesota’s 23rd Annual AuSM Golf Classic tees off at the new Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo Mon, Aug. 6. AuSM Golf Classic participants will enjoy the exciting new course while networking with professionals from across Minnesota. In addition to 18 holes of a golf in a scramble format, the event will feature lunch, a silent auction, contests to win exciting prizes, and an awards banquet sponsored by Fox Sports North. All proceeds benefit local autism community programs and services. Sponsors and silent auction donations sought. FFI: Monika Kopet, 651-647-1083 ext. 27, [email protected] (sponsorships),



Katharine Horowitz and Regina Marie Williams present new works at Southern Theater, 1420 S. Washington Ave., Mpls. Performances feature actors with disabilities. Horowitz’s work will be performed in ASL with an immersive soundscape and no audible spoken language. Some supertitles will be used. Williams’ work features improvisation and clowning. ASL offered 7 p.m. Tue, June 12, 7:00 PM. Katharine’s piece will be performed in ASL. Regina’s will be ASL-interpreted. Free. FFI: 612-332-7481, [email protected]



Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities hosts its annual health and wellness conference, Healthy Independent Living for People with Disabilities Sept. 25 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Mpls. Matthew Sanford is the keynote speaker. This is the second year for the conference. Registration is open, as are requests for presentations. Presenters are needed. Any interested people with background in health and wellness can submit a proposal  FFI:



Autism Society of Minnesota has announced its first-ever AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit, presented by Anime Twin Cities. Save the date of Sept. 22. It will include a keynote presentation and nine breakout sessions featuring topics including mental health, executive functioning, sensory needs, employment, relationships, and more. This event is for individuals on the spectrum, by individuals on the spectrum. Visit the AuSM Bookstore, network with peers, and visit with vendors who support adults on the spectrum. Additional details about the summit will be announced soon. Registration opens soon. FFI:



A long and growing waiting list for services provided by the Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation program has led to an indefinite delay in receiving the employment services that many Minnesotans with disabilities are eligible to receive. A public forum sponsored jointly by the Minnesota State Rehabilitation Council and Vocational Rehabilitation Services will explore how the greater statewide workforce development system can help to meet the employment needs of people with disabilities. The forum is 1-3 p.m. Mon, June 11, at the Minneapolis North WorkForce Center, 800 West Broadway Ave., Mpls. All are welcome to attend. FFI: Karla Eckhoff, [email protected]



Minnesotans with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities are encouraged to apply for the Partners in Policymaking, a nationally recognized free leadership training program. Eight sessions are held over nine months, starting in September 2018. Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities created the program to increase advocacy skill levels. Sessions cover the history of disabilities and parent, self-advocacy and independent living movements, inclusive education, supported living, competitive employment, and avenues to influence county, state and federal legislative processes. Sessions held at Crowne Plaza Aire, Bloomington. Application deadline is July 9. FFI: Brenton Rice, 612-242-6589, or here.


The St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month at ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud. Free. Meetings are open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the general public. The group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000



Vision Loss Resources provides 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, at least three working days prior to an event. The calendar is also available on the Vision Loss Resources website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own or additional copies. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155,



The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events 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, Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030



ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud, offers a number of classes, events and other opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities in central Minnesota. The center offers its own programming and hosts, other groups. One group it hosts is the St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month. The center has a full schedule of its own activities including support groups, classes and more. FFI: 320-267-7717



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 website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10,



Jewish Family Service of St. Paul, in partnership with Sholom Home East and the Alzheimer’s Association, facilitates a caregiver support group for people who are providing care to a loved one suffering from dementia. Designed to provide proven resources and methods for caregivers who are caring for someone at home or considering in-home services or a transition to assisted living or long-term care. Meets 3-4 p.m. on the second and fourth Mon of each month in the Community Room at Sholom Home East, 740 Kay Ave., St. Paul. Free and open to the public. RSVP. FFI: Grace, 651-690-8903, [email protected], or Cassandra, 651-328-2014, [email protected]



Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) announces a new free resource for caregivers and parents. The Caregivers of Kids with Autism Support Group provides a space for parents and caregivers of children with autism ages 4-21 to come together, discuss challenges, share solutions and form relationships with families in similar situations. Many families report feeling alone or isolated, and support groups allow caregivers to make meaningful connections. Meeting at 10:30 a.m.-noon on the second Sat of each month at AuSM, 2380 Wycliff Street #102, St. Paul, and led by a therapist. FFI:



Volunteers are a valuable resource at Radio Talking Book, broadcasting local news and information programs to blind and print-impaired listeners from sites in Duluth, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud and the Communication Center in St. Paul. The goal is to provide accurate and timely information to our thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. Volunteers are needed to provide this important service. FFI: Roberta Kitlinski, 651-539-1423



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 Council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, [email protected], or at their website.




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Access is Love. Celebrate Pride with MCD. June 29 & 30.
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