No more bullying
October is National Bullying Prevention Month when students, schools, and communities come together to raise awareness and show support for those who have been bullied.
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center is raising awareness that bullying is a serious issue and people need to take action. It is now supported by hundreds of schools, countless students, major corporations and celebrities, and PACER’s efforts have spawned an international bullying prevention movement. One in three American children will be bullied this year, more than 13 million students in all. PACER considers bullying to be a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. Research shows that children who are bullied at school, in the community, or online are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders and the lasting effects can be tragic. Students are planning events and activities across the country to raise awareness and support their peers, including celebrations of Unity Day on Wednesday, Oct. 22. That’s when people will unite by wearing orange and making a widespread statement that bullying needs to end. To make it easier for individuals and organizations to hold events, PACER offers a free student event planning guide developed in partnership with Facebook. FFI: KidsAgainstBullying.org, TeensAgainstBullying.org
Play explores spinal cord injury
Mixed Blood Theatre presents Colossal. Performed in four 15-minute quarters with a half-time show, featuring a dance company, a drum corps, and a fully-padded cast, this production simultaneously celebrates and attacks our nation’s most popular form of theater: football. A star football player – a pro prospect, one of the most graceful runners in the world, and a man in love with a teammate – struggles to move forward in the wake of a catastrophic spinal cord injury. With a cast of two dozen men, and full contact choreography, this play about love, ability, and extraordinary feats of strength tackles definitions of masculinity and the male body as a vehicle for language, violence, and silent expression through dance, football, and disability.
Toby Forrest, a quadriplegic actor from Los Angeles, leads an ensemble that includes Stephen Yoakam, Ansa Akyea, Darius Dotsch, and two dozen others. Colossal is a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, to be produced in a single year at the Olney Theatre Center, Mixed Blood Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, and Southern Repertory. The play will be staged at the Alan Page Auditorium at Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls. All performances Oct. 10–Nov. 9 use projected subtitles in English. The ADS and ASL shows are 7:30 p.m. Sat, Oct. 18. For tickets, choose between first-come, first-served, no-cost admission under Mixed Blood’s Radical Hospitality program, or guaranteed admission ($20). Any patron that self-identifies as having a disability is eligible for a no-cost advance guaranteed reservation and for a free cab ride to and from the theatre. Call the box office for more information and to reserve these services. FFI: 612-338-6131, email@example.com, http://www.mixedblood.com
Learn about person-centered service
Having person-centered services is increasingly important for self-advocates and their families Helping individuals, families, and direct care staff to think in person-centered ways and create services that meet those needs, dreams, and desires is a priority. The Arc Minnesota and its local chapters statewide host “Person Centered Thinking: Putting YOU in Charge!” the 2014 annual conference, Sat. Nov. 15 at the Shoreview Community Center, 4580 Victoria St. N., Shoreview.
Conference registration fee is $75, including all conference workshops and presentations, lunch, and refreshments. All other meals are on your own. Tickets for the Saturday night awards banquet are $50 each.
“Whether you are a parent, family member, self-advocate, service provider, or partner of The Arc, you’ll be glad you joined us for this important conversation,” said Don Lavin, The Arc Minnesota Executive Director. “You’ll leave with new skills and work alongside people who share your concerns. Together we will shape our own person-centered plans and work to ensure people in Minnesota have self-directed, inclusive lives. “
Keynote speaker is Anne Roehl, a leader in person-centered thinking and planning at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration. Roehl has worked in a variety of settings supporting individuals and families impacted by disabilities. Although her formal education focused on disability studies, she says she’s learned the most from the people she’s served and from her young son who has autism.
During the keynote address, each table will have a person-centered thinking trainer to lead attendees through discussions and exercises. Learn what person-centered thinking means and how it’s different from person-centered planning. In afternoon breakout sessions, participate in detailed exercises on the topics of employment, housing, problem-solving, rituals and routines, and creation of person-centered organizations.
Parent Jean Bender of St. Paul has benefited from The Arc’s annual state conferences. ”I attend the conference every year. Besides the information I gain through different presentations, there are great opportunities to connect with other family members and people with disabilities to share both our struggles and success stories. Caring for a family member with a disability can be difficult at times, but when I attend The Arc state conference, I get an energy boost. I come away with new ways of thinking, new friends, and renewed motivation. I know many other families will benefit like I do if they attend.”
For a full conference agenda and to register, visit The Arc Minnesota website at www.arcmn.org. Contact Mike Gude with any questions at 651-604-8066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AuSM hosts skillshops
Parents, family members, caregivers, support staff, educators, therapists, individuals with autism, and anyone touched by autism can participate in the monthly 2014-2015 AuSM Skillshop. Get toilet training tips, learn about housing options, obtain nutrition strategies, learn how to reduce anxiety and much more. Cost for workshops ranges from $10 to $40. Join AuSM and save on fees. Participants must preregister. FFI: 651-647-1083, www.ausm.org
Essay contest offered
Lions Club International sponsors is sponsoring an essay contest for students with visual impairments. Students must be 11, 12 or 13 years of age on Nov. 15, Local prizes will be awarded as well as one grand prize winner of US $5,000. Deadline is Nov. 15. The contest theme is “Peace, Love and Understanding.” The contest may be sponsored in a local school(s) or organized, sponsored youth group(s), or individuals may be sponsored as well. Essays must be no longer than 500 words in length, submitted in English, type-written in black ink and double-spaced. Each essay must be submitted with a completed entry form. FFI: Debra Wasserman, 507-332-2792, email@example.com
Life with autism series
The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) hosts classes full of information, strategies and hope-filled stories through the Life with Autism Series (formally known as the Discovery Series). Classes are led by autism experts and parent speakers, covering a wide range of ages and issues, providing parents and caregivers much needed support. The series starts at 6:30 p.m. Wed, Oct. 29 with the Life with Autism: Intro to Autism class. The class is designed for those in need of an overview of autism as well as practical tips on how to help individuals. This is followed by classes focused on adolescents and adults. Classes are For parents, family members and caregivers. All classes are held at AuSM offices in St. Paul. 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 people 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, more
The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living offers many life skills classes as well as fun outings and activities for people with disabilities. MCIL is located at 530 N. Robert Street. St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website,http://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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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