Opportunities – December 2020

APPOINTMENTS Find ways to serve Interested in serving on a state board, commission or committee? Openings are posted by the […]

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Find ways to serve

Interested in serving on a state board, commission or committee? Openings are posted by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. Several disability-focused groups have openings posted at this time. Applications may be submitted online, and must be submitted within 21 days of the public date listed on the Open Positions page, to be assured of full consideration by the appointing authority. Appointing authorities may choose to review applications received by the Secretary of State after the 21 day application period. FFI: 651-201-2640.


PACER offers workshops

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are online at this time. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Workshops are live-streamed. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs.

Tech for Girls Club: Coding a Story is 10-11 a.m. Sat, Dec. 5. In the workshop, middle school girls of all abilities will create their own story and use Scratch, an online coding program, to code scenes and animate characters. Zoom access links for this workshop will be emailed to participants the week of the virtual meeting.

Focus on Wellness: Apps to Support Mental Health for All Ages is 2-3 p.m. Tue, Dec. 8. The workshop will offer a one-hour overview of a variety of mobile apps that can support wellness for individuals of all ages.

Working Toward Positive Educational Outcomes: Mental Health and Special Education is 6:30-8 p.m. Thu, Dec. 10. The workshop will provide parents and others with information to help prepare for a positive IEP team approach to supporting a child’s mental health needs in school and during distance learning.

FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800- 537-2237, www.pacer.org 


Training on self-care

NAMI Minnesota in collaboration with McCubbin Training and LeadingAge Minnesota has created a free, online training on Self-Care for Senior Workers During COVID-19. The training helps caregivers develop personal strategies for managing stress and practicing self-care as they continue to provide care for others. The training is targeted for caregivers of older adults living in care centers, assisted living, their own home and adult foster care settings. It is about 20 minutes long and can be viewed on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. To access the training go to NAMI MN’s Upcoming Trainings and see “Self-Care Training for Senior Workers.” FFI: 651-645-2948.

Learn about assistance dogs

Can Do Canines is hosting its Tails to Tell presentations virtually, to share information about Can Do Canines and its assistance dogs program. Upcoming dates include

  • Thu, Dec. 10, 11:00 a.m.; and
  • Sat, Dec. 19, 11:00 a.m.

Each presentation will be led by a Can Do Canines staff member and will include testimonials from an assistance dog team and a puppy raiser, a photo tour of the facility and more. Attendees will also have the chance to ask questions. Preregister. FFI: 763-331-3000, ext. 152; tailstotell.can-do-canines.org

Helping employees live in a pandemic

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has developed an online mental health program for employers to offer their employees to help them manage their stress, coping skills and resiliency during this unprecedented time. The new program is called HELP – Helping Employees Live in a Pandemic. HELP program classes include:

  • Minding Your Mental Health During COVID-19,
  • Keeping in Touch: Staying Connected During COVID-19,
  • Coping with Kids,
  • Self-Care and Mindfulness,
  • Physical Activity, Nutrition, Positive Psychology, and
  • Question, Persuade and Refer, which teaches the three steps anyone can take to help prevent a suicide.

Classes are one hour long. Employers can choose one or all of the classes to be offered through Zoom or another online platform. NAMI Minnesota appreciates, but does not require, an honorarium for delivering the classes. Contact NAMI to schedule a class or classes. FFI: [email protected]

Minnesota STAR program

Program staff is working to provide services and keep clients safe. The equipment lending library has specific procedures and only no-contact loans are offered. All equipment is tested and sanitized prior to shipping. STAR staff wears proper PPE (personal protective equipment) during the process. Device loans continue to be for 30 days. After equipment is returned to STAR it is quarantined for five days. After the quarantine period equipment is once again sanitized, inspected and tested. Virtual demonstrations are done on as needed. Information and assistance services continue as usual. FFI: 651-201-2640, [email protected]

Online mental health support

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a variety of free online peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, friends, spouses/partners, as well as parents of children and teens. Led by trained peer facilitators, the support groups help individuals and families learn coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. The groups are specifically for those individuals suggested by the group’s title. For example, Family Support Group is only for family members and NAMI Connection is only for those who live with a mental illness and are over 18 years old, etc. Find a complete listing of group meetings and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Support Groups”. FFI: https://namimn.org/ support/nami-minnesota-support-groups/.

MCIL is online

The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides classes and activities, currently in a virtual format. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St. Paul and most activities are there or start there. Check the website to see what and events are listed on the website, www.mcil-mn.org. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for classes updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. The People of Color with Disabilities group meets 5:30-8 p.m. the third Thu of each month. FFI: 651-603-2030

Centers for independent living statewide

Minnesota centers for independent living statewide have gone to a mix of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically centers offer an array of classes, training programs and other services tied to independent living. Centers that proving PCA, homemaker and other staffing for clients continue to do that in person. But most services aren’t provide at facilities. Facilities aren’t open to the public at all or on a limited basis, varying by center. Check with a local center before going in. FFI: www.macil.org/

Vision loss group offers activities

Vision Loss Resources has opened with safety protocols in place. Some services are offered virtually. Low vision assessments are available by phone. Ask about virtual support groups, distance learning, and no-contact grocery shopping and reading support. Events and activities are offered virtually through the community center. The rehabilitation center is open for vision rehabilitation training, both in-person and remotely. DeafBlind Services Minnesota provides one-to-one services to adults and children with deafblindness. No deafblind community activities are scheduled at this time. FFI: 612-871-2222, [email protected] 

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