Accessible Events – November 2015

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

Generic Article graphic with Access Press logo

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.


Emerging Artist grants
Minnesota artists with disabilities who are emerging in their art form are eligible for $2,000 grants from the Jerome Foundation. Application deadline is Fri, Dec. 11. Applications are available online here. FFI: 612-332-3888 or 1-800-801-3883, or [email protected]


Contestants needed
The Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota competition is searching for women to enter the 2016 pageant. Deadline is Mon, Feb. 15. The competition is based on advocacy achievement, communication and presentation. The winner spends a year representing Minnesotans with disabilities. Minnesota’s winner represents the state in the national pageant. Check the Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota-American Facebook page for details. FFI: [email protected]


Take transportation access survey
ADA Minnesota and the Great Lakes ADA Center seek participants for a national survey, Transportation Access and Experiences. It is designed to improve understanding of accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities. It is conducted by the ADA Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC), a collaborative research project of seven ADA regional centers. The larger project focuses on community living, community participation and work/economic participation disparities of people with disabilities. The survey will improve understanding on transportation access of people with disabilities and provide information to make improvements at regional and national levels. People with disabilities are urged to share their personal experiences with public transportation. The survey can be found here.  More project information is at


Attend town hall forums
The Minnesota Stroke Association and Brain Injury Alliance team up to host 2015 Town Hall Forums. Share personal stories about brain injury and other disabilities with legislators. The final three events are 4-6 p.m. Wed, Nov. 11 at Regions Hospital Rehabilitation Institute, Second Floor, 640 Jackson St., St. Paul; 6-8 p.m. Tue, Nov. 17 at Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Drive, St. Cloud; and 2-4 p.m. Sat, Dec. 5 Matthews Park Community Room, 2318 29th Ave. S., Mpls. FFI: Erica Schimel, 612-378-27542, 1-800-669-6442; [email protected]


Influence decision-making
A new opportunity to influence transportation decision-making is available. In January 2016, the District Councils Collaborative of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Olmstead Implementation Office in collaboration with veteran community organizer Rick Cardenas offer Leading in Transportation Access, a six-session training including classroom talks and knowledge sharing as well as community field trips. Learn about increasing accessibility through ADA compliance, being heard on boards and advisory groups, and using personal experiences to change transportation policies and projects. Up to 10 people will be selected.

Applications due Fri, Dec. 4. Accommodation will be made to submit a verbal application. A small educational stipend will be available to participants. Elders and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Funded by Community Innovation Grant Program, a partnership of Headwaters Foundation for Justice and the Bush Foundation, with in-kind support from the Olmstead Implementation Office. FFI: Rick Cardenas, 651-224-5279, [email protected]


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,


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, 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


Housing options outlined
Anyone searching for innovative housing options for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities should attend Creative Housing: Bringing the Pieces Together, with The Arc Greater Twin Cities, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat, Nov. 14 at DoubleTree Hilton, 2200 Freeway Blvd., Brooklyn Center. Keynote speaker is Caryn Sullivan, Pioneer Press columnist and author of Bitter of Better: Grappling with Life on the Op-Ed Page. Sullivan has an adult son with autism. Attend a resource fair, meet service providers and attend breakout sessions on housing issues. Cost is $25, which includes lunch and refreshments. Sponsored by The Arc Greater Twin Cities, Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and Washington County. FFI: 952-920-0855,


Policy summits set
The Minnesota Consortium for Citizenswith Disabilities (MN-CCD) hosts policy summits in preparation for the 2016 legislative session. Sessions at 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Sat, Nov. 14 at Arrowwood Lodge, 6967 Lake Forest Road, Baxter and Sat, Nov. 21 at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, 1460 Curve Crest Blvd, Stillwater. Meet legislators, hear about upcoming issue MN_CCD and other groups are working on, enjoy lunch and discussion of issues, and present testimony. The event is free but preregistration is requested. FFI: [email protected]


Crisis Link line open
A new Crisis Link has been launched as part of, 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 website, the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433, or Disability Linkage Line at 1-866-333-2466. FFI:


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,


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,


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], and here.


  • 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.