Opportunities – January 2020

ADVOCACY Weigh in on website The St. Paul Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities invites everyone to attend its […]


Weigh in on website

The St. Paul Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities invites everyone to attend its meetings and weigh in on important issues. The meetings are open to all, regardless of where they live and work. Next meeting is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tue, Jan. 21 at Rondo Community Outreach Library Community Room, 461 N. Dale St., St. Paul. Ramp parking, light rail and bus service are available for this location. The meeting topic is an accessible website for the city. ASL interpretation is provided. For other accommodations, please ask at least 48 hours in advance. FFI: TJay Middlebrook, 651-256- 3015, [email protected]

Networking and support

The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) Professional Networking Group meetings bring together mental health professionals who provide support to individuals on the autism spectrum together to learn. Each meeting will focus on a topic, such as therapeutic alliance, support services, or other problem-solving challenges. An AuSM counseling and consulting services staff member will present a case example and then facilitate an open group discussion for sharing relevant cases. Troubleshoot challenges and learn from other professionals. All meetings are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at AuSM’s office, 2380 Wycliff St. #102, St. Paul. Upcoming dates include Jan. 27 and March 23. RSVP. FFI: autismcounseling@ausm. org, 651-647-1083 


Apply for Project KITE

Project KITE is a series of five free workshops that travels to Minnesota locations. These workshops bring together education professionals and the parents of children with whom they work. Through collaborative trainings, teams learn about assistive technology designed to enhance learning and increase inclusion of students with disabilities. Three separate teams with three members per team are needed to make a complete application. Teams must be from a similar geographic area. Each single team is built around a focus child (aged 3-8) and consists of a parent of a child with special needs, a classroom teacher and a related service provider working with the child. Service providers can include special education teachers, paraprofessionals, speech therapists, occupational therapists and others. Each team member must apply individual. Deadline is Sat, Feb. 22. FFI: 952-838-9000, www.pacer.org

PACER workshop sampling

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Workshops are offered throughout the state, with some workshops available online. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Many 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. FFI: 952-838-9000, www.pacer.org

  • Living on Your Own Series: Part3: Taking Care of Meal Planning – Technology for Grocery Shopping, Cooking, and More is 2-3 p.m. Wed, Jan. 15 at PACER Center. The third workshop in the ‘Living on Your Own’ 3-part series will demonstrate apps and devices for meal planning, making a grocery list, and following cooking instructions to help adults with disabilities live more independently.
  • Tech for Teens Club: Building a Robot is 10 a.m.-noon Sat, Jan. 18 at PACER Center. Teens with disabilities will assemble a robot and program it to respond to the environment. Students will learn about the entire process of building a robot, from assembly to executing code. The workshop is designed for students with basic computer skills, but no previous coding knowledge is required. Students of all abilities are encouraged to attend.
  • Introduction to Assistive Technology and the PACER Simon Technology Center Services is 2-3:30 p.m. Tue, Jan. 21 at PACER Center. The PACER Simon Technology Center has a variety of services to support the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities. The workshop will explore STC services and an introduction to AT consideration and tools. 


Hope for Recovery Class in St. Paul

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) hosts a free class that provides information on mental illnesses, treatments, crisis management, the mental health system and local resources along with practical strategies for helping a loved one or friend. It includes learning the LEAP strategy for improving communication: Listen, Empathize, Agree-on what you can, and Partner. The class is for family and friends of a teen or adult living with a mental illness and people living with a mental illness who are doing well in their recovery. It will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat, Jan. 11 at NAMI Minnesota, 1919 University Ave. W., Suite #400, St. Paul. Preregister. FFI: 651-645-2948, “classes” at www.namimn.org

MCIL hosts classes and activities

The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for 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. FFI: 651-603-2030

Classes and support in Sauk Rapids

Independent Lifestyles, Inc., 215 N. Benton Dr., Sauk Rapids, offers many groups and classes, for free or a small fee. These include advocates for independence, post-polio and Parkinson’s support groups, and sports including bowling. Advocates for Independence meets 2-4 p.m. the first and third Wed of each month. Make a difference in the community for people with disabilities. Increase leadership, assertiveness and communications skills. Become a better advocate and have fun. People of all abilities are welcome. FFI: Michele Pelka, 320-281-2042. Learn self-defense and improve fitness with adapted martial arts and Tae Guk Known Do. Wear loose clothing and bring a bottle of water. The classes are on Fridays unless there is a holiday. Scott Ridlon is instructor. FFI: 320-267-7717, 320-281-2042

Mental health support offered

NAMI Minnesota offers more than 500 free educational classes and presentations statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 70 free support groups for people living with a mental illness and their families. In the Twin Cities NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, more than 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups provide help and support.

Parent resource groups are facilitated by a parent who has a child with a mental illness and who has been trained to lead support groups. A group meets 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. FFI: Jody Lyons 651-645-2948 x109.

Family support groups help families who have a relative with a mental illness. A group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae. 651-484-0599.

Open Door Anxiety and Panic support groups help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Another group meets 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul.

A peer support group is offered for LGBTQ adults living with a mental illness. The group meets 1-2:30 p.m. Sat, Living Table United Church of Christ, 3805 E. 40th St, Mpls. FFI: David, 612- 920-3925, 651-645-2948.

Young Adult NAMI Connection is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. One group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. A group also meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thu at the dental office of Dr. Crandall & Associates, 2300 E. Highway 96, White Bear Lake. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651- 645-2948, www.namihelps.org

Vision loss group offers activities

Vision Loss Resources provides free and low-cost activities in the Twin Cities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Check out the newly redone website, accessible on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Life skills classes for those with low vision; card games, craft classes, book clubs, walking groups, dinners out, special outings and technology classes are among the offerings. Participants need to RVSP to participate, at least three working days prior to an event. The calendar is also available on the website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155, www.visionlossresources.org

St. Cloud Area Parkinson’s Disease group

St. Could Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group typically meets 1-2 p.m. on the third Mon of each month at ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Dr., Sauk Rapids. Meetings are open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the general public. The free group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000

Adults with Autism support groups offered

AuSM offers free support groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with autism. Check the website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, www.ausm.org 


Book readers sought

Volunteers are a valuable resource at Radio Talking Book, broadcasting local news and information programs to blind and print-impaired listeners from sites around the state and at the Communication Center in St. Paul. The goal is to provide accurate and timely information to our thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. FFI: Roberta Kitlinski, 651-539-1423

Be a tutor

Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps are seeking 1,700 tutors for the 2019-20 school year by asking residents to Help Minnesota Be More. Both full- and part-time tutors are being recruited to begin a year of paid service this fall. By joining Reading Corps or Math Corps, individuals will be helping more than 35,000 students statewide. Reading Corps and Math Corps are statewide initiatives to help every Minnesota student become a successful reader by the end of third grade, and proficient in math by the end of eighth grade. Tutors are being sought for three different levels of commitment: 35, 25 or 18 hours a week. Tutors receive a stipend every two weeks and can earn up to an additional $4,200 for student loans or tuition, which can be gifted to a family member if the tutor is 55 or older. Many tutors also qualify for additional benefits like free health insurance and child care assistance. FFI: www.minnesotareadingcorps.org

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 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. Provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251- 9110, [email protected], http://tinyurl.com/ adult-opportunities 

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