Opportunities – June 2022

Conferences  Speakers sought for summit  Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) seeks speakers for the fourth annual AuSM Autistic Community Summit, […]

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Speakers sought for summit 

Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) seeks speakers for the fourth annual AuSM Autistic Community Summit, to be held virtually on Sept. 18. The event centers autistics, allowing them to share wisdom they’ve gained through lived experiences. In the process, it builds leaders and advocates. 

AuSM is seeking autistic speakers to apply to present a breakout session during the virtual event. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to literature and arts from autistics; navigating and self-directing support services; managing interactions with medical providers; how to write a waiver; meaningful inclusion, especially for those with higher support needs; hiring and training staff; person-centered planning across the lifespan; autism and mental health; autistic pride/self-acceptance; shutdowns and meltdowns; emotion regulation; masking; managing medical interactions; executive function and autism and intersectionality, including race, age, gender, sexuality, etc. Assistance with the application and the opportunity to discuss other topics. 

To apply to present, visit www.ausm.org. Applications are due Friday, July 2, and will be reviewed by the Autistic Community Summit committee. Applicants will be notified by July 31. FFI: Zephyr James, AuSM’s Community Engagement Specialist, at 651-647-1083 ext. 23 or e-mail [email protected] 

Info & Assistance

Dental care for veterans 

Aspen Dental clinics are providing free dental care on Sat, June 11 for veterans. the event is in its eighth year. Several clinics in Minnesota are participating. Appointments are required. FFI: 1-844-277-3646 

Hearing Loss Matters 

The award-winning local documentary Hearing Loss Matters that was coproduced by TPT Twin Cities and the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing is now available on demand, at  http://www.tpt.org/hearing-loss-matters/ The 26-minute film reviews about age-related hearing loss. 

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 a new audio activities line. To listen to the audio version of the calendar, call 612-235-3654. The calendar is also available on the website. Ask about virtual support groups, events, distance learning and no-contact grocery shopping and reading support. FFI: 612-843-3439, 612-871-2222, [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/. 

Classes offered online 

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has set up a wide variety of free online mental health classes. Choices include  Hope for Recovery, Transitions, Ending the Silence, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, In Our Own Voice, Family to Family, Positive Psychology, Creating Caring Communities, a suicide prevention class called QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities and many more. 

The classes are designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Classes” or go straight to https://namimn.org/education-public-awareness/classes/scheduled/

Children, youth and families 

PACER workshops sampling 

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are online and livestreamed at this time. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. 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. 

Let’s Talk Tuesdays: A Discussion About Pediatric to Adult Healthcare Transition is 6:30 PM – 8:30 p.m. Tue, June 7. PACER wants to hear about personal experiences, barriers, successes, suggestions, and questions regarding the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare. Join Pat Lang, coordinator of PACER Center’s Health Information Center, and Wendy Berghorst, transition specialist with the Minnesota Department of Health, to discuss this topic. 

Mental Health Technology: Management  and Maintenance is 1-2 p.m. Wed, June 15. Part two of this series will feature apps and devices to help manage distressing moments, symptoms, and can assist with medication management. Tools demonstrated will be appropriate for late elementary-aged students and up. 

Tech for Teens Club: Building Websites is 10-11 a.m. Sat, June 18. The workshop will introduce teens with disabilities to a method of designing websites using the free online tool at Weebly.com. Students will learn how to use template designs and insert small amounts of code to customize and publish their own websites online. This is an extension of the coding websites workshop but past attendance isn’t required. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org  

Sign up for camp 

PACER Center offers EX.I.T.E. Camp, EXploring Interests in Technology and Engineering, for middle school girls. The five-day camp is August is for girls with disabilities who are entering grades 6-9 in the fall. Camp is free and will be held virtually, but participants need to register by Sat, June 11. Do amazing experiments, make friends that will last a lifetime, discover how science, technology, engineering and math can be cool and exciting. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org 

  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."
  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself, & others from the COVID-19 virus."

Mental Wellness