Charlie Smith Award Given to MN-CCD

The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD) is earning their just rewards this year. They have won numerous awards […]

The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD) is earning their just rewards this year. They have won numerous awards over the past year.

Co-Chairs Joel Ulland of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-MN Chapter and John Tschida of the Courage Center have certainly established the makings of a great pair. They joined forces and brought together the disability community into one great force to be reckoned with.

The Charlie Smith Community Award, given by the Access Press Board of Directors, recognizes MN-CCD’s leadership in the following four areas:

1) Legislative Change: educating elected and appointed officials in advocating for changes in public policy at the national, state and local level to remove barriers that prevent or delay successful community integration for individuals with disabilities;

2) Administrative or Systems Change: Advocating and educating for change within government agencies at all levels to ensure laws, ordinances, and policies are implemented and administered in a way that is consistent;

3) Community Education: Informing organizations and individuals within and outside the disability community on the need for policy change and advance the needs and goals of Minnesotans with disabilities;

4) Consumer Education: Informing consumers of their rights and opportunities to influence the policy-making process and providing them with information regarding changes to programs and services that affect their daily lives, with the goal of developing strong self-advocacy skills.

As John Tschida stated in his August Access Press article Victories and Concerns As Legislature (Finally) Adjourns, “Several core components of the Minnesotans with Disabilities Act of 2005, the comprehensive proposal championed by the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, were enacted into law, including lower parental fees for parents of kids with disabilities, choice of community provider for those leaving nursing homes, lower prescription drug co-payments and an increase in the personal needs allowance.”

The MN-CCD has won other awards in 2005 including:

The Policy Award . . . from the Department of Human Services for their demonstrated public policy leadership, advocacy and education, all dedicated to improving the lives of persons with disabilities. This Award was given at the Age and Disability Odyssey Conference in Duluth;

A Special Award For Outstanding Achievement . . . from the Minnesota State Council on Disability for successfully enacting important provisions of the Minnesotans with Disability Act during the 2005 legislative session;

The First Annual Luther Granquist Systems Change Award . . . sponsored by Arc Minnesota recognizes their advocacy efforts on behalf of people with developmental disabilities and their families.

If you are not a member of the MN-CCD, now is the time to join this great coalition of organizations and help them to become stronger and more successful in the next legislative session. For more information on the MN-CCD, please contact John Tschida at the Courage Center at 763-520-0533.

When you join, you’ll be among some of the best organizations in Minnesota that are working for the disability community. MN-CCD members include: Accessible Space, Inc., Access Press, Advocating Change Together, Alliance Healthcare, Arc Great Rivers, Arc Hennepin-Carver, The Arc of Minnesota, ARRM, Assis-tive Technology of Minnesota, AXIS Healthcare, Brain Injury Association of Minnesota, Children’s Mental Health Partnership, CILNM, Courage Center, Disability Services-Hamline University, Fraser, Freedom Resource for Independent Living, Inc., Gillette Children’s Specialty Health-care, Hemophilia Foundation of Minnesota, IAPSRS-MN, Independent Lifestyles, Inc., IPSII Inc., Lifetrack Resources, Mental Health Association of Minnesota, Mental Health Legislative Network, Metro Work Center, Inc., Metropolitan Center for Independent Living, Inc., MN Assoc. of Community Mental Health Programs, MN Assoc. of Community Rehabilitation Organizations, MN Assoc.–Self Help for Hard of Hearing, MN Disability Law Center, MN Habilitation Coalition, MN HomeCare Association, NAMI-MN, National Multiple Sclerosis Society-MN Chapter, PACER Center, State Advisory Council on Mental Health, Southwestern Center for Independent Living, STAR Program, United Cerebral Palsy of Minnesota.

MN-CCD—Thank you for being a primary resource for all of the people that you serve!