Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings. Readers looking for additional opportunities to enjoy the arts have these options:
For information on galleries and theater performances around the state, join the Access to Performing Arts email list at email@example.com or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY).
To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883. On the web accessible performance listings are found at www.vsamn.org/calendar.html, www.mrid.org, www.testing.accesspress.org , or http://c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota and across the country.
Connect with performances on Facebook. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/Audio-Description-Across-Minnesota/202035772468).
Take the Polar Plunge
Whether it’s one toe at a time, eyes tightly closed with an uneasy step forward or a fearless cannonball, brave souls are already planning their grand entrance into the icy waters at the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge, presented by Minnesota law enforcement for the benefit of Special Olympics Minnesota. Registration is now open for the 2013 Plunge Season. With 16 Polar Bear Plunge events scattered across the state between Jan 26 and March 16, dare-devils and do-gooders alike are sure to be “freezin’ for a reason.” Brave Plungers jump into the frigid Minnesota waters as individuals or as a member of a team to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota. Although each participant must raise a minimum of $75 to Plunge, the average Plunger raised more than $200 in 2012. The total amount raised in 2012 was $2.85 million. FFI: 800-783-7732, www.plungemn.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
Northland 300 marks 25 years
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Northland 300 and its work to support Special Olympics Minnesota. Thousands have enjoyed this North Shore snowmobile ride and fundraiser. Organizers are preparing for the next big event Jan. 23-27 and have posted information about the event history on the event website. The event has raised more than $3.6 million over the years. Information on registration and pledges is also available. FFI: Kathy Karkula, 612-789-2081 or email@example.com; www.northland300.org , www.specialolympicsminnesota.org
It’s time to register for the Winter Walkabout, a snowshoe fundraiser for Vinland Center and its programs. 2013 date is Feb. 23 and online registration is underway. Costs range from $25 to $70, depending on how many register and when registration comes in. Enjoy the beautiful grounds at Vinland’s main campus in Loretta and learn about the services provided by Vinland. Last year, 150 snowshoers participated. The goal for 2013 is to have 250 snowshoers. FFI: www.VinlandCenter.org, www.winterwalkabout.org/register.html
Tuesdays at the Capitol
Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) resumes its traditional legislative session schedule once the 2013 legislative session is underway, starting Jan. 8. This includes full membership meetings on Fridays during the legislative session from 12- 1 in room 500 N of the State Office Building as well as “Disability Matters Tuesdays at the Capitol” on Tuesdays during the legislative session at 10 am in the basement cafeteria of the State Office Building. FFI: www.mnccd.org
Advocacy kickoff day
Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) hosts a panel of state and legislative leaders, noon-1 p.m. Fri, Jan. 18 at Kelly Inn, 161 St. Anthony Ave., St Paul. Hear about the status of health care in Minnesota, the challenges faced in health and long term care reform, as well as solutions for the future. Information will also be available about the MN-CCD Tuesdays at the Capitol advocacy program. Enjoy free refreshments. RVSP by Jan. 14 to ensure a seat, although walk-ins are welcome. FFI: Christian Knights, 763-520-0725, firstname.lastname@example.org
Help with computer skills
Adults who are unsure about their basic computer skills now have a way to easily assess what they know, pinpoint what they need to learn and earn a certificate that shows employers what they know. A broad community collaboration of organizations, led by the St. Paul Public Library and the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium (SPCLC), announce the launch of the Northstar Digital Literacy Project, developed in response to the many people asking for help finding jobs in a tough economy. The Northstar Digital Literacy Project offers free, online assessments of basic computer skills in six modules: basic computer use, world wide web, Windows 7, Mac OS X, using e-mail, and Microsoft Word. Spanish-language and close-captioned versions are available. At the end of each test, the user receives the results, listing the skills that have been mastered and the areas that need improvement. Anyone can take the tests online at www.digitalliteracyassessment.org
Attend a Kidshop
The Kidshops program is designed for school-aged children and teens (7-17) with a sibling or parent who has a mental illness. Kidshops provide an opportunity for kids to discuss feelings and share ideas. Each workshop includes games, team-building activities, coping strategies and fun. Kids receive a “tool” that offers them a way to talk about their feelings with their family. A Kidshop will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat, Jan. 26 at Northwest Youth & Family Services, 3490 Lexington Ave. N., Shoreview. Kidshops are free, but pre-registration is requested. FFI: NAMI Minnesota at 651-645-2948
Help with arts calendar
VSA Minnesota is seeking a volunteer or volunteers to assist with the compilation of the monthly VSA Minnesota arts calendar. The calendar lists accessible performances, films, galleries and events throughout the region. FFI: Jon, 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883, Voice/ TTY, email@example.com
Open the Door to Education
Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give just 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. The literacy council provides training and support. Accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mnliteracy.org/volunteers/opportunities/adults.