The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) has introduced individual membership. MNCCD is a broad based coalition of advocates working to change public policy to create a more equitable society for people who have disabilities. MNCCD does this work by building awareness, providing education and engaging the community. Minnesotans who have disabilities, their family members, and allies can be individual members of MNCCD if they share its mission, vision, and values. People who already work with MNCCD through a member organization aren’t eligible for individual membership. Employees of an organization that would qualify for membership are generally not eligible for an individual membership. Additional details are included in the application form. FFI: https://www.mnccd.org/members.html
Children and families
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.
Educating your child with mental health needs: Special education is 6:30-8 p.m. Tue, Feb. 9. The workshop focuses on the challenges students with mental health needs may experience with distance learning, including hybrid models, and offers strategies for using the IEP to provide support and instruction.
Tech for Girls Club: Code a ping pong game is 10-11 a.m. Sat, Feb. 20. In a virtual Tech for Girls workshop, participants will use Scratch to code their own ping pong game. Girls will learn how to code sounds, movement and point scoring to their game. No coding experience is required. Zoom access links for this workshop will be emailed to participants the week of the virtual meeting.
Housing: Starting the journey. How do we start? Step one is 6:30-9 p.m. Mon, Feb. 22. Families can help their children get started with their vision for community living, housing and services. An overview of housing and service options will be provided. Registration recommended for all three workshops in the series, which continues March 8 and 22. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org
INFO & ASSISTANCE
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/.
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/
Healthcare for heroes
NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) in collaboration with McCubbin Training and LeadingAge Minnesota has created a free, online training on Healthcare for Heroes – Self-Care Training for Senior Workers. The training helps caregivers develop personal strategies for managing stress and practicing self-care as they continue to provide care for others. It includes a salute from Gov. Walz, is targeted for caregivers to older adults living in care centers, assisted living homes, their own home, or 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 namimn.org and see Self-Care Training for Senior Workers. FFI: 651-645-2948.