Opportunities -- October 2021

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Care Work Workshops

The Minnesota Council on Disability encourages people with disabilities to register for free virtual care work workshops hosted by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater. Workshops are 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26, and Nov. 2. The series is on Zoom and Facebook Live. The workshops are based on Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s book Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice and will center around disability justice, joyful accessibility, and community. Aegor Ray, a queer and trans writer, multidisciplinary artist, and organizer will facilitate the events. Attendees can also participate in art activities, such as weaving, and stamp making, led by teaching artists Nailah Taman and Julie Boada.

The workshop series will be hosted on Zoom and Facebook Live. ASL interpretation will be provided at every workshop. Please indicate additional accessibility needs when registering. FFI: https://hobt.org/

Disability inclusion in a business world

A National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) presentation is 10-11:30 a.m. Mon. Oct. 4. Th presentation for employers will speak to the three stages of progress of employment of persons with disabilities over the last 30 years. Advance registration is required. Captioning and sign language interpreting will be provided.

About the presenters: Richard Pimentel returned from Vietnam as a disabled veteran and became an advocate for all persons with disabilities. His inspiring life story was made into a full-length motion picture called Music Within. He is a leading expert on practical issues in leadership, disability inclusion, disability management, overcoming barriers, crises and change in the workplace, disabled veterans employment opportunities, job retention, COVID-19 return to work, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act.

Milt Wright is the creator and founder of Milt Wright & Associates, Inc., which provides consultation and produces products on disability management, the ADAAA, workers compensation cost reduction, integrated disability management, disability inclusion implementation, wounded warrior inclusion, self-advocacy, attitude change, job creation and job retention. His company has successfully trained more than 1 million professionals for employers throughout the country.

Preregistration is required. FFI: https://www.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJItf-msrD8jGVfkGtTd72TODwvtZVbbm8M

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.

Rare Diseases: From Diagnosis to Care Plan is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tue, Oct. 5. Erica Barnes of the UMN Medical School discusses the Chloe Barnes Rare Disease Advisory Council, dedicated to understanding the rare disease community’s needs, increasing care access and coordination, and reducing diagnosis time.

Tips and Tools for Talking with School Staff is 7-8:L30 p.m. Thu, Oct. 7. The workshop provides parents of special education students practical tips and interactive problem-solving experiences to build the skills necessary to communicate effectively with school staff and resolve differences.

Inspiring Possibilities Part One: Living, Learning, and Working After High School is 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Fri, Oct. 8. Join PACER for part one of the free transition-to-adulthood mini-conference series for Minnesota parents. Hear from community experts and PACER transition specialists on a variety of topics. Ask questions and connect virtually with other parents.

Hot Tips: Is Your IEP Individualized and Appropriate? is 7-8:30 p.m. Tue, Oct. 12. Parents will learn to use their child’s special education evaluation report to determine how well the Individualized Education Program (IEP) addresses their child’s needs. Parents should have the child’s most current school evaluation and IEP.

Lunch & Learn : An Introduction to Assistive Technology and PACER Simon Technology Center Services is noon-1 p.m. Thu, Oct. 14. Assistive technology refers to a category of items that can help support individuals with disabilities. This virtual workshop provides a broad overview of assistive technology tools and consideration, and how the Simon Technology Center can help.

Working Together: Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health Needs at School is 6:30-8 p.n. Thu, Oct.. 14. The training will show 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

National Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 3-9

National Mental Illness Awareness Week is October 3-9, 2021. Join NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to learn about mental illnesses, treatment options, self-care, and mental health around the world. Free online classes and forums will feature clinical professionals, researchers, faith leaders, mental health advocates, and people with lived experience with mental illness. Topics will include National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Healing and Understanding, Depression Screening Day, World Mental Health Day and more. register online for events. FFI: 651-645-2948, www.nami.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. Starting on Oct. 7, 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

Free online mental health classes

NAMI Minnesota has set up a wide variety of free online mental health classes for September and October. They include classes such as Hope for Recovery, Family to Family, In Our Own Voice, Creating Caring Communities, Ending the Silence, Positive Psychology, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, Minding Your Mental Health: Covid-19 and Beyond, a suicide prevention class called QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities, and 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.” FFI: https://namimn.org/education-public-awareness/classes/scheduled/

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/.

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