Editor’s Column – August 2005

ADA Minnesota pulled off, in my opinion, Minnesota’s best ADA celebration ever! It was a great time. There were exhibitors […]

ADA Minnesota pulled off, in my opinion, Minnesota’s best ADA celebration ever! It was a great time. There were exhibitors from every corner of the disability community. Many exhibitors that had no previous connection to disabilities were there because, they said, being part of the disability community is just good business! Cindy Held Tarshish and all the committee members have much to be proud of. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication; it was well worth it. We will bring you much more of an expanded article and photos of the fabulous day in the September issue.

John Tschida has written an update of the successes of the Minnesota Consortium of Citizen with Disability (MN-CCD). As most of you know, the MN-CCD staged a tremendous effort early in this year’s legislative session by submitting a disability agenda bill to the state legislators. I believe this was a first try at this style of action by MN-CCD. With excellent leadership and an incredible follow—up push by the many other members the action was far more effective or successful than most could have ever imagined.

There was a lot of work put into writing this Disability Bill before it was completed and ready for the step that where need to be taking for it to be considered by the legislative for authoring. We all have to be thankful for these efforts by the Legislators and members of MN-CCD. They all did a great job. Thank you and congratulations.

Last month we printed an article about MA-EPD. There were several inaccuracies in the article that were brought to my attention by readers and by some of the professionals who support the Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities. I take full responsibility for the accuracy of everything published in Access Press and mistakes at this level are completely unacceptable. The Department of Human Services, in cooperation with the Work Incentive Connection has written an article addressing the inaccuracies and explaining some of the policies more completely. But I’ve also decided we can make a learning opportunity out of this blunder.

Our mistake identified a problem: many people, including many of us very involved with MA-EPD, misunderstand the program and how all the policies related to this program work. So test your own knowledge. If you read the first article, you might want to go back and see if you can find the inaccuracies and correct them. Then be sure to read the new article below. This incident was a reminder of how many complex governmental policies people with disabilities depend on, and how much effort is required to understand and stay clear about all their details. The MA-EPD program is intended to be a positive step to independence, and it’s one that’s helped me. I want to be sure it’s well publicized and well understood.

On page 17 you will find a nomination form for this year’s up coming annual Charlie Smith Award. The award dinner will be November 4 at Como Park’s, Black Bear Crossing. Please send in your nomination soon. And we will see you at the party!

Congratulations to our own Terri Ricci, her article in July’s Access Press entitled “Access Press Makes Russian Connection” is being reprinted on the Open World Leadership Center website, www.openworld.gov. The Center was established by Congress in 2000 and is located at the Library of Congress.