Opportunities – November 2021

Advocate Join statewide council The Minnesota Statewide Independent Living Council (MNSILC) is seeking applicants to fill positions opening up in […]

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Join statewide council

The Minnesota Statewide Independent Living Council (MNSILC) is seeking applicants to fill positions opening up in January 2022. Anyone with an interest or knowledge of the independent living philosophy is welcome to apply. Individuals with disabilities, parents, guardians, representatives of service providers or businesses are also urged to apply. Applicants are sought from throughout the state.

The council meets 10 times per year. Until further notice meetings will be held via Zoom or through a call in option.

To apply visit the Boards and Commissions section on the Minnesota Secretary of State website. Include a cover letter expressing interest in serving on MNSILC and a resume with the online application. View Member Responsibilities on the Members tab of the MNSILC Website (www.mnsilc.org) for more information. Assistance is available to complete an application. FFI: 612-518-1497; [email protected]


The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities has announced three new products to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Council’s formation. The New Stargazers: 50 Years of Bold Achievements is a short documentary that describes the major milestones of the council’s work across the last half century. Brittanie Hernandez-Wilson, council member and Partners in Policymaking graduate, is host.

Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities: 50 Years of Empowering Advocacy, Expanding Capacity and Envisioning Systems Change is a book that organizes the council’s work around the federal Developmental Disabilities Act requirements of advocacy, capacity building, and systems change. The second publication, entitled inVISIBILITY, depicts the progress made from 1905 through 2021 in a series of photo collections. FFI: www.mncdd.org

Children 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.

Back on Track for School Success: Mental Health and Education is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thu, Nov. 4. Many children and youth experienced new or different challenges managing their mental health and emotional wellness over the last school year. The webinar will provide parents and others information and strategies for supporting school success and looking at how mental health impacts learning.

Reading Tools for Chrome is 2-3 p.m. Tue, Nov. 9. Many tools on the Chrome web browser that can assist with reading such as audio options, visual customizations, and study supports. Learn about these options for use with different reading materials.

An Overview of Bullying Prevention is 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thu, Nov. 11. The webinar will provide an overview of how bullying is defined, the roles involved, and helpful tips to address bullying behavior. It includes a discussion of the laws and steps required in addressing bullying of or by students with disabilities.

Tech for Girls Club Into Space: Comets is 10-11 a.m. Sat, Nov. 13. Head into space and explore what elements comets are made of and then make comets using household items.

Working Together: Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health Needs at School is 6:30-8 p.m. Tue, Nov. 16. The training will discuss how mental health challenges can impact children and youth engagement at school and strategies for working with schools when educational progress becomes a concern.

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

Info & Assistance

Interested in service dogs?

Can Do Canines hosts an open house 6-8 p.m. Thu, Nov. 11 at its campus, 9440 Science Center Drive, New Hope. Potential clients, volunteers, or anyone who might be interested in supporting the organization is invited to attend to learn how an assistance dog changes the life of a person with a disability. The organization is especially excited to offer this open house, because there is a currently a minimal wait list for some types of assistance dogs. All Can Do Canines dogs are provided to clients free of charge.

Through a self-guided tour, attendees will be able to watch a trainer working with an assistance dog, talk with a Puppy Program volunteer, and meet graduate teams from each of the five types of areas Can Do Canines trains dogs: hearing, mobility, seizure, diabetes and childhood autism. No preregistration is required. FFI: www.candocanines.org

Support group offered in Waconia

NAMI Minnesota sponsors free support groups for families and friends of individuals living with a mental illness. Led by trained facilitators who also have a family member with mental illness, the support groups help families develop better coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. A new (in-person) family support group will meet in Waconia on the first and third Thu of each month, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., at St. Joseph Catholic STEM School, 41 E. 1st Street. Please use door #5 on Pine Street. The group will be following COVID guidelines. Online family groups are also offered. FFI: Jan at 612-554-0825,www.nami.org

New website announced

The System of Technology to Achieve Results (STAR) Program has a new website for its library of loanable devices. Visit Minnesota Assistive Technology for All (MNAT4ALL) at https://mn.at4all.com/ and check out the new database. The STAR Program team has developed a site which features images of devices and links to manufacturer websites. MNAT4ALL allow users to create their own account, track the history of items they have borrowed, request loans, request demonstrations, and complete surveys. Feedback is sought on the new database. FFI: 651-201-2640; 1-888-234-1267; MN Relay: 711 or toll free at 800-627-3529

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.
Three new groups are offered:

BIPOC Connections Support Group: A peer-led support group for people in BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) communities who live with mental illness. Meets 10-11:30 a.m. 2nd and 4th Sat.

Young Adult Family Support Group: A young adult peer-led support group for families and friends of a person living with a mental illness. Meets 5-6:30 p.m. the 4th Wed.

BIPOC Family Support Group: A peer led support group in BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) communities for families and friends of a person living with a mental illness. Meets 5-6:30 p.m. 1st and 3rd Sat.

Find a complete list of NAMI Minnesota support groups, 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/.

Calendars are available

Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota’s 2022 calendars are available and will ship in November. Two formats are available. The wall calendar has the most pictures of DSAMN’s community. The calendar is 12 by 18.5 when opened. Cost is $20. The desk calendar is the perfect gift. Cards are 8 by 5.5 inches and includes display easel. Cost is $24. proceeds support activities for people with Down syndrome. FFI: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/DSAMNCalendar

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/

Centers for independent living statewide

Minnesota centers for independent living statewide have gone to more in-person 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. Check with a local center for open hours. FFI: www.macil.org/

  • Wash your hands! Hands that look can still have icky germs!
  • Work with your care provider to stay healthy. Protect yourself. Vaccines are your best protection against being sick.

You are not alone. Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.