Opportunities – October 2023

Conference  AuSM Conference draws near  The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) has opened registration for its Sixth Annual Autistic Community […]


AuSM Conference draws near 

The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) has opened registration for its Sixth Annual Autistic Community Summit. The day-long event is Sat, Oct. 14 at Lionsgate Academy in Shoreview. Features include integrated social opportunities throughout the day, including a social room to can take a break to meet other autistics at any time during the day, and lunchtime meet up groups to visit with with others who have similar identities and interests. Both half-hour and full-hour presentations are incorporated throughout the day to give more people the opportunity to present. the summit will be a hybrid format, offers in-person and virtual. All speakers are neurodivergent, although we have invited some neurotypicals to support as moderators of panels. The summit is planned as a sensory and accessibility-friendly experience. Cost $35. Scholarships are available. FFI: Autism Society of Minnesota  

Info & Assistance 

Many classes available 

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has set up a wide variety of free and in-person 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, smoking cessation, a suicide prevention class called QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities and many more. 

NAMI Minnesota’s Online Support Groups moved to a new and improved platform, HeyPeers. HeyPeers provides a safe, easy to access environment exclusively designed for online support group meetings. 

The classes and online support groups 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 click clicking on “Classes” or go straight to All Currently Scheduled Classes

STAR offers resources 

The Minnesota STAR Program offers a wide range of online resources for people with disabilities in the state and region. STAR’s mission is focused on assistive technology needs and resources. This includes panel discussions and seminars. Participants need to preregister. See upcoming programs at https://mn.gov/admin/star/ 

Anyone who wants to see informational device videos as well as prior webinars can visit the MN STAR Program YouTube Channel 


Take a survey 

Minnesota Council on Disability is preparing for the 2024 legislative session. Developing public policy only works when the public has a role in crafting what we work on. That is why completing the council’s Public Policy Survey is so important. Public input is vital to the council’s work because disabled Minnesotans’ perspective helps the council find priorities, problems, and solutions to focus on in the 2024 legislative session. 

MCD thanks everyone who completed the survey at the state fair booth. Take the Public Policy Survey and lend valuable perspective to make the council’s work better. Go to 2024 MCD Public Policy Survey


Minneapolis seeks appointees 

Hey, Minneapolis residents, 27 city boards and commissions have openings for appointments this fall. The city seeks applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences representing the demographics of Minneapolis to strengthen the work of the city. City boards and commissions offer a direct way for residents to advise city leadership about topics important to them. Translation and interpreting is available so all residents can participate. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 31. Find more information about the openings on the city website. 

Minneapolis has more than 50 volunteer-based boards, commissions and advisory committees that help shape key policy decisions, represent their community in the city’s administration of services and supply valuable insights. Boards and commissions have brought forward recommendations that have resulted in many positive changes. Disability voices are needed throughout these discussions.

Boards and commissions fall into a handful of categories: appeal boards, development boards, general advisory boards and special service districts (defined areas within the city with special services). Appointments to boards and commissions are made twice a year: in the spring and fall. People can apply and stay up to date on vacancies, position descriptions and timelines by visiting the city website. FFI: 612-673-2216 or emailing [email protected]

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. Some in-person workshops are offered at PACER Center and also offered online. Other workshops are wholly 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. Access Press only provides a sampling of the workshops offered. 

Supplemental Security Income: Qualifying for Benefits is 7-8:30 p.m. Thu, Oct. 12. The workshop will provide basic information on applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for young adults aged 18 and over. Participants will learn about SSI’s eligibility criteria and how to submit a successful application. Offered in Duluth. 

Understanding Pre-Employment Transition Services and Supplemental Security Income is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wed, Oct. 18. The workshop will provide basic information on Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for young adults. Participants will learn about the importance of early work experience for future success and how SSI benefits can help. Offered in Grand Rapids. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, PACER Center  

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

You are not alone. Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.