Editor’s Column – November 2001

The Open House was an enormous success! Fifty people signed the guestbook and I know that there were many people […]

The Open House was an enormous success! Fifty people signed the guestbook and I know that there were many people that didn’t sign in. We have received letters and e-mail with congratulations and apologies for not attending. I was told that at one time there were 15 wheelchairs in the office of Access Press. It makes me very happy to know that I can really have a gathering of my wheelchair-using peers within our office. That’s an example of the kind of access we want. We gave away coffee mugs, so if you were unable to attend, an AP mug is waiting for you at the office. Stop in and pick one up. I would love to have the opportunity to meet each and every one of Access Press’ supporters.

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Congratulations to the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living. Their 20-year anniversary celebration was held at the Four Points Sheraton in St. Paul on October 24th. The 100 or so participants dined together before David Hancox gave a gift of roses to Jean Rieck and Betty Culver for exemplary service to him and to MCIL. The director of the Minnesota State Council on Disability, David Skilbred, keynoted the evening with a thought-provoking speech summarizing the accomplishments of MCIL, the state of the disability rights movement, and the trials that we will face in our community with a recession looming over us.

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Lolly Lijewski interviewed the staff and director at The Center for the Independence of the Disabled in New York

(CIDNY) in the wake of the September 11th attacks, and her article raises some interesting questions. Should each of us have our own evacuation plan that does not hinge on the help of others? How can we access the evacuation plans that already exist? Should there be a registry of individuals with disabilities and where they live? How do we keep this registry confidential? What would we gain or lose as individuals if we do register? How many rights will all Americans have to give up to combat the terrorism? These are valid questions we should be asking ourselves.

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Anne Roberts from People with Disabilities for Change in Duluth introduces the group to AP readers. This is the first group of many, I hope that has offered to keep us informed on what’s happening in disability communities in Greater Minnesota. We look forward to hearing more from People with Disabilities for Change and any other groups in Greater Minnesota that would like to introduce themselves.

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In September we said that we would have more news on the sale of Becklund Home Health Care. After talking to lots of people and checking with clients and staff, it seems like the transition is going smoothly, but it’s really too early to tell exactly what this major sale will mean for former Becklund clients (and the rest of us). So, for the time being, we have put off our plans to file a report. We will “keep our ears to the track” as the health care marketplace continues to evolve.

If a major company like Becklund couldn’t survive, what other changes may be coming?