Accessible Events – September 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.


Healthy Relationships project

East metro families of children who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder can connect and learn about safe social connections at the Healthy Relationship Project, a three-part event for the whole family at the Woodbury YMCA, 2175 Radio Drive, Woodbury. Sessions are Saturdays, Sept. 25, Oct. 24 and Nov. 21. Families are encouraged to attend all three sessions, but it is not required.

Children ages 2 – 7 participate in structured play, youth ages 8 – 15 engage in activities while learning about friendships, safety and bullying. Parents get resources, tools and tips for keeping their children safe in the community. All sessions are free, but pre-registration is required by Sept. 21. The Healthy Relationship

Project is a collaboration of The Arc Greater Twin Cities, the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS), the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), Special Olympics Minnesota and the YMCA. FFI: 952-920-0855, [email protected]


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,


Think safety in September

Throughout September, National Preparedness Month highlights hazard-focused themes leading up to the September 30 National PrepareAthon! Day. Minnesota State Council on Disability has information available to keep people safe from natural disasters.

To obtain a copy of an Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities or the Emergency Plan for People with Disabilities, visit the council’s website here.


Vision loss grp 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/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


A Working Life is theme

A Working Life, The Arc Minnesota’s 2015 Statewide Conference, will be held Oct. 24 at the Shoreview Community Center in Shoreview. The all-day event will include workshops on best practices, success stories, and one-on-one assistance and advice to help more people with disabilities gain competitive employment. Keynote speaker is Nancy Brooks-Lane, a national leader and cutting-edge thinker on securing jobs for people with disabilities in the workforce.

A Working Life will help counter misconceptions about employment and people with disabilities; expand one’s vision of what employment opportunities are possible; and help self-advocates, parents, and direct support staff learn best practices for finding jobs that match unique interests and skills, one person at a time.

The conference will benefit adults with disabilities; parents of children who are still in school or have graduated from high school; high school students with disabilities who are approaching graduation, and direct support staff who support people with disabilities. Go to to see the full conference agenda and register online.


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. One-time 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], or at their website.


Autism in Business

On Thu, Oct. 22, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) will bring together Minnesota’s top corporate leaders, business professionals, state agencies and autism advocates in St. Paul for Autism in Business, a forum focused on providing positive strategies for employing and retaining individuals with autism. It will feature a keynote presentation, leadership luncheon and breakout sessions on topics including how to achieve diversity hiring goals, theory of mind in the workplace, a moderated panel of people with autism discussing their employment experiences, successful employment stories from business managers and leaders, and tactics for companies wishing to employ individuals with autism. FFI:


Plan for training conference

As part of the ongoing commemoration of the 25th anniversary of passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Minnesota State Council on Disability hosts an ADA Celebration/Training Conference Wed, Oct. 28 at Mpls Convention Center. The conference focuses on employment, technology, advocacy, and community living and includes a career fair for people with disabilities, in partnership with the Minnesota Business Leadership Network.

It will also feature speakers and informative breakout sessions. The noon hour keynote program will be broadcast live statewide on tpt with participation from communities across Minnesota. The council is examining how employment has been impacted by the ADA as part of an overall effort to describe its role in Minnesota.

Take a short survey on employment here. FFI: 651-361-7803,


Chautauqua offers diverse arts opportunities

For the first time since 1992, the Minnesota arts community will come together to explore how accessibility to the arts for people with disabilities has evolved since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.

The Arts Access Chautauqua is presented by VSA Minnesota Sept. 25-26 at the Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts, Mpls. The event is for musicians, actors, writers, storytellers, dancers, visual artists, audience members, and administrators for arts, disability and public agencies. It includes three general sessions, 14 panel presentations, seven networking groups, a Friday evening public performance by artists with disabilities, and an art exhibit, The event will acknowledge successes in the Minnesota arts community that have taken place since passage of the ADA; recognize and show artistically the emergence of people with disabilities as active members of the Minnesota arts community; identify challenges that continue to serve as barriers to full inclusion of people with disabilities in the state arts environment; clarify best practices for arts organizations to serve people with disabilities more effectively; and explore new opportunities to more fully engage people with disabilities with the arts.

Speakers include individuals and representatives for the State Arts Board, Interact Center (St. Paul), Mixed Blood Theatre, Children’s Theatre, Fringe Festival, University Disability Studies, Department of Transportation, Vision Loss Resources, Giving Voice Choir, History Theatre, Kairos Alive, Accessible Web Design, Radio Talking Book, Metro Deaf School, DeafBlind Services and VSA Minnesota.

The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Cowles Center’s Goodale Theater. Artistic Coordinator Leslye Orr will introduce performers including Interact Theatre, CHOICE, unlimited’s Arts Program (Duluth), poets Raymond Luczak and Joyce Sutphen, storyteller Amy Salloway, music groups Treading North and Carei Thomas and Friends, and Mike Cohn and Friends in allability dance. Additional performers will entertain at the Friday and Saturday morning general sessions and the closing session Saturday afternoon.

More than 40 visual artists participating in the Chautauqua art show/sale responded artistically to the theme “Here I Am” in offering reflections on where they are today as artists and as persons with disabilities. Among the artists are Ken Benson, Simon Carvalho, cynTHIA Kimman, Lisa Dietz, Janelle Doyle, Diego Dunji, Mark East, Janice Essick, Stephanie Griener, Robin Hoy, Tara Innmon, Lucy Johnson, Angela Johnson, Pamela Kirton, Kandace Krause, Ruth Lais, Cecilia Lieder, Brad Marjesky, Lynne Ness, TJ Neumiller, Rosemary Perronteau, Christine Peterson, Jennifer Platter, Bridget Riversmith, Jonelle Salemi, Anne Sawyer-Aitch, Julia Spencer, David Spohns, Anne Spooner, Celie Taatjes, Tim Traver and Bob Williams.

Open captioning, ASL interpreting and audio description will be available, and a fragrance-friendly setting observed. Chautauqua (pronounced sha-tawk-wa), an Iroquois word, meaning “two moccasins tied together” or “jumping fish,” refers to an adult education movement that originated in 1874 in Chautauqua, New York. Chautauquas feature lectures, plays, and musical performances.

Cost for the entire two-day event is $50 for early registration; $60 for registration after Sept, 15. Friday tickets with the evening show are $35. Show-only tickets are $15 general admission and $8 for students

Attending the entire two-day Chautauqua is $50 ($60 after Sept. 15 and $70 same-day registration). Attending the show and post-reception only are $15 general admission and $8 for students. Participants can also register for only Friday or only Saturday. Those who attend for one or both days have continental breakfast and lunch included.

For more information or to register for the conference or attend the Sept. 25 show, go here, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883, or email Shelia Bland, [email protected]




  • Struggling with Long COVID? Get support. Talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Struggling with Long COVID? Get support. Talk to your healthcare provider.

DON'T LOSE IT! • Keep your Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare active • Fill out and return your renewal forms Watch your mail and go online NOW