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.
FREE TAX PREPARATION
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 Minnesota Department 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 from both programs are certified by the IRS to prepare basic tax returns in communities throughout Minnesota. Most sites are open now through April 18. FFI: 651-297-3724, 1-800-657-3989
JOIN PUBLIC POLICY NETWORK
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 convened in January and preparations are well underway. Sign up at www.arcmn.org/stayinformed. FFI: Mike Gude, 651-604-8066, [email protected]
ATTEND AUTISM CONFERENCE
The 22nd annual Minnesota Autism Conference is April 26-29 at DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Minneapolis – Park Place. Experts, educators, therapists, direct support professionals, parents, caregivers, and people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) 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. AuSM also will hold its gala 6-10 p.m. Fri, April 28. A schedule of rates and dates is online. FFI: www.ausm.org
MENTAL HEALTH AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
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 admission 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 (NAMI), 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 will open with a brief video produced by students from Gordon Parks High School. FFI: www.stpaulsunriserotary.org
JOIN PUBLIC POLICY NETWORK
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 whe gatherings are help. The 2017 Minnesota Legislature convened in January and preparations are underway. Sign up at www.arcmn.org/stayinformed. FFI: Mike Gude, 651-604-8066, [email protected]
CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Children and electronics is topic Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) offers an AuSM Skillshop to give parents and caregivers strategies for helping their children find a more balanced relationship with electronics. Electronic Addiction: How to Break Free From Battles Over Screens is 7-9 p.m. Thu, March 23 at St. David’s Center, 3395 Plymouth Rd., Minnetonka. Preregistration required. Parent coach Barb Andrus will outline solutions. FFI: www.ausm.org
MADE IN THE SHADE WALK
Save the date for the 25th annual Made in the Shade Walk, Run and Roll Celebration, Sat, Sept. 16 at Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun, Mpls. The event’s is to bring people with disabilities in our community together for a day of celebration, camaraderie, exercise and most of all, fun. It’s also to raise awareness and funds for eight agencies which provide essential life services for people with disabilities such as housing, employment support and educational programming. In 2016, 65 sponsors supported the 1,400 people served by the eight partner agencies.
The 2017 partner agencies are Ally People Solutions, CHOICE, Inc., Homeward Bound, Partnership Resources, Inc., The Phoenix Residence, Inc., TSE, Inc., Wingspan Life Resources and Zenith. The agencies use funds raised for many essential life functions such as remodeling to create safe and handicap-accessible homes, purchasing accessible vehicles, purchasing iPads to use for speech, and communication, funding educational and skill-building classes, job training, health and wellness programming, and more. There’s plenty of time to get involved. FFI: www.madeintheshade.org
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 here.
BE A FREQUENT FILER
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]