Accessible Events & Services – April 2017

More events information: VSA Minnesota is here. The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner […]

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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.


Income tax season is in full swing, and there are now more than 220 sites across the state offering free tax assistance for those filing income tax and property tax refund returns, the MN Dept. of Revenue announced. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax-Aide programs are two free tax preparation options where volunteers help taxpayers prepare their federal and state income and property tax returns. People with disabilities are among those who qualify for services. All volunteers are certified by the IRS to prepare basic tax returns. Most sites are open through April 18. FFI: 651-297-3724, 1-800-657-3989.


The 22nd annual Minnesota Autism Conference is April 26-29 at DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Minneapolis. Experts, educators, therapists, direct support professionals, parents, caregivers, and people with autism spectrum disorder will connect, collaborate, advocate, and educate at the event, which is organized by the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM). Daily keynote speakers, 32 expert-led topical breakout sessions, exhibitors offering a variety of autism services and products, and resources provided through the AuSM Bookstore. 2017 keynote speakers will include autism icon Temple Grandin; Steve Silberman, best-selling author of NeuroTribes; Kerry Magro, autism advocate; and Chris Ulmer, special education teacher and motivational speaker. Gala 6-10 p.m. Fri, April 28. FFI:



Vision Loss Resources is offering a full menu of vision rehabilitation services, available in clients’ home or onsite at VLR. An affordable individualized service plan will be offered to each participant. The rehabilitation services are geared to provide participants the practical skills they need to remain independent and at safe at home. Services are offered as part of an affordable service plan. Sliding fee scale options are available and a grant from United Way will help continue to serve those who cannot afford to pay for services. The support groups, peer counseling, and volunteer services will continue to be offered without charge. FFI: 612-843-3411



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,



NAMI MN offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI has 60+ free support groups living with a mental illness and their families. In the Twin Cities NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, 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. 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. RVSP to participate: RSVP hotline 612- 843-3439; activity phone 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



Sunrise Rotary Club’s 12th annual Community Forum is 7:15-9:15 a.m. Thu, April 20 at Town and Country Club, Marshall and Otis avenues, St. Paul. $25 covers hot breakfast buffet and helps defray facility fees. Pre-registration and payment by April 13 is required. Sue Abderholden, executive director, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Dr. Eduardo Colón-Navarro, director of psychiatry, Hennepin County Medical Center and Tom Roy, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Corrections will talk about challenges they face in trying to keep Minnesotans with mental illnesses out of prison. The panel will also explore whether current practices might be reformed to better aid individuals and their families dealing with mental illness crisis situations. The program opens with brief video by students from Gordon Parks High School. FFI:



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 here. FFI: Mike Gude, 651-604-8066, [email protected]



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, [email protected], website.



Ramsey County – Volunteer Services is looking for people who want to help in an office. Volunteer office assistants are needed in several areas. Multiple shifts are available, Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Midway area and downtown St. Paul locations have limited reimbursement for parking expense or bus fare is provided. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. Ask about accommodations. FFI: 651-266-4090, [email protected]



Attend the opening reception of the show and sale, 5:30-8 p.m. Thu, April 27 at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Golden Valley Campus, Larson Atrium, 3915 Golden Valley Road, Mpls. Brief program at 6 p.m. ASL interpretation. Call to request other accommodations. Free. Regular exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon-Fri, to May 19. FFI: 612-775-2507 or 888-413-3323,




  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."
  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself, & others from the COVID-19 virus."

Mental Wellness