Editor's Column - July 2003

On page 11 (print edition), you’ll find a Section 8 Mainstream Voucher Program pre-application form.  It’s been some time since the MN Supportive Housing Consortium has taken applications, so this is a great opportunity to get your form in before the crowds.  A Section 8 voucher guarantees the government will pay a portion of your rent; you will only be required to pay approximately 30 percent of your household income as rent.  Here’s a chance to live in any rental property in Hennepin or Ramsey county where the owner will accept your voucher.  Guaranteed rent payment should be an incentive to any property owner!  Plus, after one year, the voucher is good throughout the United States.  So you can move anywhere from South Dakota to Hawaii; your choice!

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If you’ve called the Access Press office recently and heard an unfamiliar voice, it is our new office and financial manager.  Terri Ricci will be running much of the behind-the-scenes, everyday operations.  She will also be working with me to increase our advertising revenue.  For the last 10 years, Terri has been working at Medtronic in various capacities—from Human Resources to Diversity Training.  Terri has also been very involved in the Business Leadership Network, which helps employers recognize the advantage of employing people with disabilities, and helped develop their training programs.  With her background, I’m sure Terri will make a quick transition and a fine addition to the Access Press staff.

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Mary Belford, a friend of mine, went to see “Finding Nemo.”  With no writing experience asked if she could do a review of this new Disney movie.  I said sure, but what does it have to do with disabilities?  Mary went on for hours telling me about this wonderful movie—how every character has some kind of disability, but the disabilities are secondary to their abilities.  Her four-year-old daughter didn’t realize the characters were even disabled until well after they left the theater.  It sounded like a good movie, so I let Mary take a stab at it. 

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The nationally known writer and storyteller Kevin Kling, who many of you have heard on “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio, has joined the ranks of Access Press writers. Kevin is allowing us to pick some of our favorite stories of his to print.  If you have a favorite that you would like to see, let us know and we’ll try to get it for all AP readers to enjoy.  I would like to thank Mary McGeheran for her help and support—and Kevin, I’m very grateful to you for sharing with us.

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Another new addition is Melody Martin.  She offers her thoughts in the Spirituality and Disability column this month.  Thanks, Melody, for your contribution.

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Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts has put on a play called “Cloud Cuckooland” at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis.  The play was a pure joy!  We have two articles concerning Interact this month:  one is an interview of the artistic/creative director, Jeanne Calvit; the second is a review of “Cloud Cuckooland” by Derek VanderVeen.  Both are very entertaining.  Check them out.  Thanks, Donn and Derek, for these articles. 

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“What is the most fun you have recently had at an accessible arts or entertainment activity?”  We recently posed that question to a group we found out and about.  A big thanks to Jo Erbes and the United Cerebral Palsy volunteers for allowing us to ask this question and take photos of them and the kids on their Zippity Zoo Day. 

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