Accessible Events - November 2016

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 access@vsamn.org 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.

Grant opportunities for Minnesota artists with disabilities

Deadlines are drawing near for two arts programs. Grants to help Minnesota emerging artists with disabilities to create new work are now available from VSA Minnesota and the Jerome Foundation. Six grants of $2,000 each will be awarded in early 2017 to writers, performers, composers, visual or multi-media artists. Grant money can be used for whatever will help the artist create new work – art supplies, a class, mentor, computer, camera, time to do research, festival entry fees, etc. Jan. 17, 2017 is the application deadline. Guidelines are available at www.vsamn.org or can be requested in several formats at 612-332-3888, 800-801-3883, or emerginggrant@vsamn.org

Metropolitan nonprofit arts organizations have two funding opportunities between now and mid-2017 to help make arts facilities, programming and activities more accessible to people with disabilities.

ADA Access Improvement Grants of up to $15,000 are available in the seven-county Twin Cities area. The grants are intended to make significant or long-term improvements with potential to involve more people with disabilities as participants or patrons in arts programs. Shorter-term projects may also be funded, with a maximum $7,500 grant.

The grants are administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Application deadlines are Dec. 9, 2016 and May 1, 2017. $155,000 is available to be awarded. Several information meetings and workshops on accessibility subjects will be offered, or groups can direct questions to or make an appointment with VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888 or access@vsamn.org. Grant guidelines can be downloaded at www.vsamn.org

Join public policy network
The Arc Minnesota’s Public Policy Network provides legislative updates and helps Minnesotans get involved with issues at the state and federal levels. It provides information about upcoming hearings, action alerts, what proposed laws and policies mean, and when gatherings are help. The 2017 Minnesota Legislature convenes in January and preparations are well underway. Sign up by visiting the organization’s website, at www.arcmn.org/stayinformed FFI: Mike Gude, 651-604-8066, mikeg@arcmn.org

Independent living technology
Senior Community Services, a statewide nonprofit that helps older adults and caregivers live independently for as long as possible, hosts an independent living technology conference on new advancements in assistive-technology to enhance life for the state’s growing population of older adults. The conference is 1-5 p.m. Fri, Oct. 14 at Minnetonka Community Center, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd. Caregivers, seniors, city officials, health professionals and others will gather to discover the latest advancements in assistive- technology to help older adults remain independence at home. The keynote address, about innovations in senior housing, will be presented by John Louiselle, CEO of NextDoor Housing. NextDoor has developed a new, portable senior housing option. See innovative products and websites. FFI: 952-541-1019, www.seniorcommunity.org

Social safety workshop in St. Cloud
Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) hosts a workshop on social and emotional safety Sat, Nov. 19 at Calvary Community Church in St. Cloud. Social Safety: Strategies for Navigating Online and Offline will give parents, educators, caregivers, and providers tools to help pre-teens and teens navigate social situations. Presenter is Sara Pahl, a therapist who has worked with individuals with ASD for nearly 20 years. She specializes in working with systems, such as families and schools struggling with behavioral issues, as well as working with adolescents and young adults with ASD. Registration is $35 for AuSM members; $40 for non-members; and $10 for individuals with autism FFI: www.ausm.org

Successfully advocating for your child
NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a free class called How to Successfully Advocate for Your Child. Parents of a child living with the mental illness and/or disabilities will learn how to effectively advocate for their child with providers regarding treatment plans and challenging behaviors, and with family, friends and caregivers on how best to meet the child’s needs. It is 6:30-8 p.m. Wed, Nov. 30 at Wentworth Library, 199 Wentworth Ave. E., West St. Paul. Preregister. FFI: 651-645-2948, namihelps.org

PACER offers workshops
PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Workshops are offered throughout the state. Advance registration is required for all workshops. Hot Tips on the Individualized Education Program: Is Your Child’s IEP Individualized and Appropriate? is 6:30-8:30 pm. Tue, Nov. 29 at PACER Center. Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn how to use the valuable information in their child’s special education evaluation report to determine how well the Individualized Education Program (IEP) addresses the child’s unique needs. Parents should bring a copy of their child’s most recent school special education evaluation report and current IEP to the workshop. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions catered to their needs. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org

Helping students succeed workshop
Helping Students Succeed is a free two-hour workshop that provides information to parents of school-age children about special education services, the evaluation process, Individualized Education Programs (IEP), 504 plans, accommodations and modifications. The workshop, sponsored by NAMI Minnesota is 6:30-8:30 p.m., Tue, Nov. 22 at the Shoreview Library, 4570 N. Victoria St. FFI: 651-645-2948, namihelps.org

Understanding early episode psychosis
NAMI Minnesota offers a free class to help young people who have experienced psychosis and/or their family members and loved ones understand symptoms, causes and treatments of psychosis. Participants who have experienced psychosis will learn how to self-advocate and get back to work or school and achieve recovery. Loved ones and family members will learn how to help and support a young person through recovery. The class is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tue, Nov. 15 at St. Andrew’s Church, 800 Stillwater Road, Mahtomedi, and Tue, Nov. 22 at Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. N., Roseville. Preregistration required for each class. FFI: 651-645-2948, namihelps.org

Find workplace success
Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) offers an AuSM Skillshop, Working With Autism: Four Helpful Hacks and One Golden Ticket, 7-9 p.m. Tue, Nov. 15 at Minnesota Life College, 7501 Logan Ave. S. #2a, Richfield. Draw on the trial-and-error experiences of a recently retired man with autism, Mitch Potter, who developed strategies to manage his behaviors in the workplace and to use his unique abilities to be a valuable employee. Potter worked as a high school teacher, newspaper reporter and editor, human resource consultant, and web director for a global consulting firm. When diagnosed with autism in his late 40s, Potter already had developed strategies to manage his behaviors in the workplace and to use his unique abilities to be a valuable employee. Preregister. FFI: www.ausm.org

Mental health support offered
NAMI of Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 60 free support groups living with a mental illness and their families. In the Twin Cities NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, more than 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups provide help and support. Parent resource groups are facilitated by a parent who has a child with a mental illness and who has been trained to lead support groups. A group meets 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. FFI: Jody Lyons 651-645-2948 x109.

Family support groups help families who have a relative with a mental illness. A group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae. 651-484-0599.

Open Door Anxiety and Panic support groups help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. The group used to meet at Goodwill/Easter Seals. Another group meets 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul.

Young Adult NAMI Connection is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. A group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-645-2948, www.namihelps.org

Vision loss group offers activities
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. 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 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, www.mcil-mn.org 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

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