Employment is focus of events
Highlighting employment and resources for people with disabilities is the focus of the interactive, statewide Employment Dialogue and Resource Fair 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wed, Oct. 28 at Ramsey County Conference Center, 121 E. 7th Place, St. Paul. This is a change in location from the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The Minnesota State Council on Disability (MSCOD), the Minnesota Business Leadership Network and the Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury Association are cohosts.
The day’s activities are free but pre- registration is requested here. The statewide portion of the event will be produced and televised by Twin Cities Public Television. It features retired U.S. Senator Tom Harkin; the Senate sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act – along with Minnesota policy makers, employers, job seekers and employees. Minnesotans statewide can attend local gatherings and take part, in engaging employers who may not understand the process and the value of hiring people with disabilities and to advance employment opportunities and resource knowledge base for job seekers.
In St. Paul, the business leadership group hosts a career fair. The spinal cord injury group will host a resource vendor fair. Performers and artists with disabilities will provide entertainment. Lunch will be available for those who have registered in advance.
“We want to begin a conversation about how to move the dial toward getting more people with disabilities hired in Minnesota,” said Joan Willshire, executive director of MSCOD.
“Our goal as an organization is to have qualified candidates with disabilities engage in the event and to network with member employers and others employers throughout Minnesota who are continuously looking to diversify their workforce and hire qualified individuals,” said Ann Macheledt, chairperson of the business leadership group.
“This event, being held during the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, allows us to continue the discussion about where we are today and further our vision for the future,” said Macheledt.
The group offers participating employers resources for recruiting candidates with disabilities, information on disability issues/topics, recognition for best disability employment practices and exposure to an untapped market for goods and services.
The spinal cord injury group offers paths to education, advocacy, and networking for Minnesotans who have been impacted by spinal cord injury or other causes of paralysis.
Many people mistakenly assume that people with disabilities will add cost and complexity to the workplace. According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor, it’s just the opposite. Businesses actually gain a competitive edge when they include people with disabilities in their labor pools.
For more information or to access a schedule of times and events, visit www.mscod25ada.com or call MSCOD at 651-361-7809.
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]
The State Rehabilitation Council needs applicants to represent vocational rehabilitation participants, disability advocates and business, industry or labor. Members come from across the state and are appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton, to help shape vocational rehabilitation policy and spearhead customer satisfaction and effectiveness studies. Members assist with statewide needs assessments, participate in strategic planning, help with statewide planning and advocate at the federal and state levels for program dollars and changes in policy. FFI: Gail Lundeen, 651-259-7364, [email protected]
Committee member sought
St. Paul city officials need a disability community representative for the Planning Commission Transportation Committee, Applications are due by Fri, Oct. 23. FFI: 651-266-6617, www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=550
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, 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
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, www.ausm.org
Ecosystem, Show Us Your World
The Show Art Gallery, 253 E. 4th St., #100, St. Paul displays works by artists from all walks of life, including artists with disabilities, in a cooperatively run gallery, retail store and community space in Lowertown. This art show focuses on artwork that celebrates intricacies within the scope of an artist’s habitat, network or ecosystem — elements that artists are exploring through their art that are necessary to thrive. Hours: Wed.-Thurs.-Fri. 11 a.m. -6 p.m. (First Fri until 9 p.m.), Sat. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Ecosystem, Show Us Your World exhibit is up through October. Free. FFI: 651-419–8022, www.theshowartgallery.org
A retrospective of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act is presented in this exhibit featuring artists with disabilities in all gallery spaces, facilitating community conversations about accessibility and inclusion, a professional development workshop for educators on inclusive practices, and a day of performing arts events. The Main Gallery features painter Annie Young (Burnsville), painter Sherrie Grube (Burnsville), wood artist Paul J. Flick (Minneapolis), and literary artist Alison Bergblom Johnson. The Up Gallery features artists from Laura Baker Services facilitated by Martin Thorsheim. Allina Medical Clinic showcases a photo essay documenting the work of the Guild’s Autism and the Arts program, led by Laura Goodwin. Photography by Rob Morrow and Meg Ojala. Location: Northfield Arts Guild, 304 Division St., Northfield. Free, through October 28. Request access accommodations (2 weeks preferred) at 507-645-8877. FFI: http://www.northfieldartsguild.org.
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.