Editor's Column - July 2001

Just as we were going to print, Access Press was informed of the sudden death of disability activist Jay Johnson. Director of OPTIONS Resource Center for Independent Living in East Grand Forks, Jay has been an outspoken advocate for equal access for people with disabilities. His funeral will be Monday, July 9 in Grand Forks. We have lost another strong voice for civil rights. In the August issue, we will carry a profile of Jay and his years of activism.

This month we have no fewer than four major articles contributed by advocates in the community.  How lucky we are to have such knowledgeable and committed advocates who are also good writers, AND who are willing to volunteer their time to inform our readers.  A big
Thank-You to these writers!

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On page 1, disability law attorney Kathy Hagen highlights the actions taken by Minnesota to guarantee state workers their rights under the ADA.  This major news went almost entirely unreported in the major media.  Also on page 1, John Tschida reflects on the just-ended and
somewhat bizarre 2001 legislative session.  We fully expect to have more on this in the August edition, once we have some time to sort through the details of this unusual session.

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On page 8 we see John Tschida’s byline again, as he gives us a great summary of some of the
major developments in regard to the ADA over the past year.  Sue Abderholden commemorates the 26th anniversary of the passage of IDEA with an account on page 9 of an exciting national conference on implementation of IDEA that took place last month.  Sue also gives an overview
of special education in Minnesota in the year 2001.  Happy Birthday, ADA and IDEA!

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Part 2 of Amy Farrar’s series on Repetitive Motion Disorders appears in this issue.  This month, Amy looks at what the states and the federal government are doing to reduce the incidence of these disabling injuries.  Since President Bush halted the implementation of national ergonomics standards, it may be up to the states to protect workers from these often easily-preventable injuries.

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The Directory of Organizations appears on pages 10 and 11 this month.  Regular readers will notice that it is longer, due largely to the fact that we are now listing E-mail addresses for many of the groups.  Also, we have rearranged the Directory, listing groups alphabetically by category
rather than in one big list.  We hope it is more usable this way.  Let us know what you think.

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Access Press this month says goodbye to editorial assistant Nathan Halvorson.  Nathan was here through some very tough times, and stuck with the ship through the illness and death of Charlie Smith.  Thanks for your hard work and loyalty to the paper, Nathan.  You’ll be missed!

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After months of assessing the adequacy of our current office space, we have decided to move. The new (and larger) space is in the same building, in Suite S-104 (at the south end, right near the bus stop).  Phone, fax, and E-mail, should remain the same. Watch future issues of Access Press for an  announcement of our open house.

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