Editor’s Column – February 2005

Well, I’m no Gene Larkin, but I’ll do my best to pinch hit for Tim while he is laid up […]

Well, I’m no Gene Larkin, but I’ll do my best to pinch hit for Tim while he is laid up for a bit. Our Editor-in-chief is recovering from a bout of pneumonia and related complications. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tim and his family. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Tim Benjamin and Terri Ricci for the unbelievable job they do by creating a paper each month that is invaluable to the entire community. If people only knew how much work is involved in producing Access Press every month? In the past three-weeks, I have found out that it is a great task!

Socrates Café by Mike Cohn is yet another reminder of how societal fears can be diminished if people with disabilities are given a chance to participate and how we can all be accepted as having value and something to add to the group if just given a chance.

Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) allows working people with disabilities to qualify for Medical Assistance (MA) using higher income and asset limits. Linda Wolford reports the findings of a survey of MA-EPD recipients. Some very interesting figures are reveled. I, myself, thought transportation would be a bigger barrier than it was discovered to be. I commend the respondents on an 80% response rate, which is phenomenal. I encourage anyone currently on MA and thinking about getting into the workforce to please look into MA-EPD.

Jeni Mundl writes about some very useful Assistive Technology products regarding mathematics. Check out these suggestions and maybe you will be inspired to register for that trigonometry class you’ve been putting off. Jeni + Access Press = Great information.

If you are in need of accessible housing, I hope you’ll check out HousingLink’s Housing Referral Service described by Sue Speakman-Gomez and yours truly in the article titled “Accessible Rental Info: Housing Referral Service.” It is a great tool for finding a place that best suits your individual needs.

Please take the time to read Anne Henry’s article on the Governor’s proposed cuts and the individual stories regarding the cuts to the Consumer Directed Community Services (CDCS) program. As Mary Fenske perfectly summarized in her story about Paul; “We had a program that provided self-determination, a high quality of life, and was cost-effective. Paul will now have essentially the same life with another layer of bureaucracy that will cost two and one-half times as much.” These are the kind of stories that need to be heard in St. Paul and in Washington D.C. One way to get involved is to attend “Lobby Day at the Capitol” sponsored by Courage Center, the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living and the Minnesota Association of Centers for Independent Living. This event will be held on March 15, 2005. Look for more information in the mail and in Access Press next month.

Mike Chevrette, Access Press, Chair