Accessible Events - September 2017

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 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.



Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced a new collaboration to access medical records electronically from HealthEast. HealthEast is based in St. Paul.

HealthEast will transmit complete secure medical records for Social Security disability applicants, with the appropriate patient consent. Social Security will receive medical records within minutes or hours, as compared to weeks through the traditional manual process (mail, fax, or secure website). The electronic process saves time and money.

“This fast, safe, and secure method for receiving medical records will significantly shorten the time it takes to make a disability decision and makes the process more efficient,” Berryhill said.

Over the last several years, Social Security has entered into similar relationships. The agency currently receives electronic medical records from several very large organizations including the United States Department of Defense, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Kaiser Permanente, and Johns Hopkins Medicine. Social Security plans to continue expanding health IT partners with new high volume organizations, as well as additional facilities with existing partners.

People may apply online for disability benefits by visiting

To create a Social Security account, please visit

To learn more about Social Security’s Health IT program, please visit



The Sally Awards celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of artists, educators, volunteers, philanthropists and leaders who strengthen and enrich the stage of Minnesota with their commitment to the arts and arts education. The five 2017 recipients and categories are Arts Access, Hunter Gullickson, Guthrie Theater accessibility coordinator; Commitment, J. Otis Powell; Education, Z Puppets Rosenschnoz; Initiative, Bee Yang; Vision, Rhiana Yazzie. Event is Mon, Oct. 16 at Ordway Concert Hall, 345 Washington, St. Paul, with 6:30 p.m. social time, 7 p.m. ceremony and reception at 8:15 p.m. Free but reservations required, ASL offered. FFI: 651-224-4222,



MDI hosts the Ability Bash, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wed, Sept. 13 at the Solar Arts Bldg, 711 15th Ave NE, Mpls, above Indeed Brewing Co. Tickets are $75 ($25 tax-deductible) includes appetizers, desserts, and valet parking. Venue is wheelchair-accessible. Enjoy food, music, a live auction and much more. Proceeds advance the careers of people with disabilities. FFI: Melissa McKeever,, 651-999-8304 or 651-999-8215 or Katie Johnson, 651-999-8215,



The silver anniversary Made in the Shade Walk, Run & Roll is 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Sat, Sept. 16 at Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun, Mpls. The 2017 partner agencies include Ally People Solutions, CHOICE, Inc., Homeward Bound, Partnership Resources, Inc., The Phoenix Residence, Inc., TSE, Inc., Wingspan Life Resources and Zenith Services. Together the agencies support almost 1,400 people. Enjoy live bluegrass music, a free hamburger lunch, vendors, an art contest and display, and a short program. Sign up now to attend, volunteer or be a sponsor. FFI: Janet Virnig, Partnership Resources, Inc. 952-925-1404,



Rise Inc. hosts its annual fundraising gala 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thu, Oct. 5 at the Mpls. Northwest Marriott. RSVP by Sept. 22. WCCO-TV’s Kate Raddatz is master of ceremonies for the program. Events start at 5:30 p.m. with social hour, games and a cash bar, followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. and an awards program, live auction and Fund-A-Need for Unlocking Possibilities 7:30-8:30 p.m. Pentair is the premier sponsor for the event. FFI: Ian, 763-792-2448



Lupus Link hosts the Great (Point) 8K Sat, Oct. 14 at Central Park in Maple Grove. The 8.k distance is less than one half mile. Go the short distance for lupus awareness and help raise funds for Lupus Link. Form a team for the event or enter on your own. Details are on the organization website. FFI:



Join PACER for the 8th annual Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying on Sat, Oct. 7 to raise awareness for bullying prevention. One out of every five students reports being bullied during the school year. Help PACER makes a difference by uniting against bullying and uniting for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Register now, as a group or individuals. Rates are $20 for adults and $10 for children, with children age six and under participate for free. Event sponsors are also sought. FFI:



Bring your well-behaved dog and well-mannered friends to the Can Do Woofaroo Sat, Sept. 16. Enjoy pet-centric exhibitors, live entertainment, and of course…dogs. A fundraising walk starts at 11 a.m., followed by demonstrations, entertainment and more. Gather pledges and help raise funds. Event is at Can Do Canines, 9440 Science Center Drive, New Hope. More details online.



Sign Language Saturday at Minnesota Renaissance Festival is 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat, Sept. 16 at the festival grounds, 12364 Chestnut Blvd. (off Hwy 169, 7 miles south of Shakopee). Enjoy a variety of comedic acts, performances, and improvisations with American Sign Language interpreting. Motorized scooters are available for rent, but not wheelchairs or strollers. Tickets $23.95 (advance $20.95); discounts for children and seniors. Advance tickets available online and at participating Menards, Super America and Walgreen’s. Discount coupons available at participating Subway locations. Free parking. FFI: 952-445-736,



New works by artists from Spectrum ArtWorks and other artists with mental illness are in a new traveling exhibition, at Mpls Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, second floor. A panel discussion will conclude the Minneapolis exhibit Sept. 27, and then it will move to St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth, until April and then the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Bio-Med Library. Free. FFI. 612-752-8242,



A multi-media exhibit designed to spur conversation about mental illness and suicide will be at Owatonna Arts Center, 435 Garden View Lane, Owatonna though Sept. 24. Free. Since it opened in 2015 at Macrostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, this exhibit has traveled to churches, art galleries and colleges in Rochester, Duluth, Red Lake, Bigfork, Virginia, Bemidji, Hibbing, Minneapolis, Minnetonka and Little Falls. Fifty artists participated – painters, poets, sculptors and glass workers. Free, open 1-5 Tue-Sun. FFI: Silvan Durben, 507-451-0533, venue information. To host the exhibit, contact Katie Marshall, 218-326-2697.



Interact Visual Artists are exploring the subject of food and their relationships and perceptions of food and art. Individual cultural traditions were compared by exploring different ethnic foods. The artists have approached the call in a variety of media and styles to demonstrate both existing and new understandings of one of the most basic building blocks of life, food. Exhibit is at Birchwood Café, 3311 E. 25th St., Mpls. until Oct. 8. Artists include Angela Weller, Ashlea Karkula, Bonnie Thorne, Carol O, Daniel Metchnek, Ingrid Hansen, Janice Essick, John Riddle, Lucy Johnson, Mike Harris Jr., Renai (Volz) Drane, Rosemary Perronteau, Sherry Bartholomew, Vance Diamond, W.S. Norton and Wendy Johnson. Free. FFI: Interact: 651-209-3575,



Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Get Up Stand Up and Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury Association are bringing together people with spinal cord injuries/dysfunction, their families and/or care providers by presenting the opportunity to learn more about optimal care, health and wellness opportunities. The Bridging Together: Spinal Cord Injury Conference is 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sat, Sept. 23 at Allina Health, Mpls. Lectures, panel discussions and exhibits will help attendees learn about local, national and international spinal cord injury research. Discuss and learn about the many options to become more physically, mentally and socially active. Hear personal stories and share information needed for daily living. Save the date and watch for details.



Healthy, independent living is the focus of a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD). Save the date of Tue, Oct. 3 and make plans to attend the conference at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Mpls. The church is accessible. Keynote speaker is Henry Emmons. Emmons is a doctor and author of the book, The Chemistry of Joy. The conference is for direct support staff, professionals working with people with disabilities, and people experiencing significant health challenges. CEU’s and certificates of attendance are available. MN-CCD is seeking conference presenters, vendors and sponsors. Make plans now to participate in or support the event. Check on the website home page’s conference tab. FFI:



Autism Society of Minnesota is seeking papers for the 23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference April 25-28, 2018. Submission of presentation proposals is open to those with expertise on autism-related topics. The Minnesota Autism Conference is the largest annual educational event for the Minnesota autism community, making it a prime opportunity for researchers, therapists, educators, and individuals on the spectrum, parents, caregivers, and other autism experts to present their work. A conference education committee will review submitted papers. Selected speakers will present among an esteemed group of experts while connecting with and educating the autism community. Submission deadline is Nov. 17. FFI:




Central Minnesota’s Independent Lifestyles Inc. Center for Independent Living seeks entries for the BetheONE video challenge; Changing the Face of Ability by ending bullying and respecting people with disabilities. Create a two-minute video and be eligible to win $500, $250 or $150. The contest is open to anyone – groups, classes or individuals. Deadline is Sept. 15. FFI: 320-529-9000, website.



National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 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 70 free support groups for people living with a mental illness and their families. NAMI Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. 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 full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-645-2948,



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, at least three working days prior to an event. The calendar is also available on the Vision Loss Resources website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own or additional copies. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155,



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, 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



ICICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud, offers a number of classes, events and other opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities in central Minnesota. The center offers its own programming and hosts, other groups. One group it hosts is the St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month. The center has a full schedule of its own activities including support groups, classes and more. FFI: 320-267-7717



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, 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



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,



QPR is a free, one-hour presentation sponsored by NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) that covers the three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide – Question, Persuade and Refer. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. It is the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States. A class is offered 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tue, Sept. 12 at NAMI Minnesota, 800 Transfer Road, Suite 31, St. Paul. Registration required. FFI: 651-645-2948,



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 Council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110,, or at their website.