Opportunities – September 2020

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES PACER offers workshops PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families […]

Choose among many opportunities


PACER offers workshops

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are online at this time. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Many workshops are live-streamed. Check website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs. FFI: PACER, 952- 838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org 


Helping employees live in a pandemic

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has developed an online mental health program for employers to offer their employees to help them manage their stress, coping skills and resiliency during this unprecedented time. The new program is called HELP – Helping Employees Live in a Pandemic. HELP classes include: Minding Your Mental Health During COVID-19, Keeping in Touch: Staying Connected During COVID-19, Coping with Kids, Self-Care and Mindfulness, Physical Activity, Nutrition, Positive Psychology, and Question, Persuade and Refer, which teaches the three steps anyone can take to help prevent a suicide. Classes are one hour long. Employers can choose one or all classes to be offered through Zoom or another online platform. NAMI Minnesota appreciates, but does not require, an honorarium for classes. Contact NAMI to schedule a class. FFI: [email protected]

MCIL is online

The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides classes and activities, currently in a virtual format. Check the MCIL website. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. The People of Color with disabilities group meets 5:30-8 p.m. the third Thu of each month. FFI: 651-603-2030

Centers for independent living statewide Minnesota centers typically offer an array of classes, training programs and other services tied to independent living. Centers providing PCA, homemaker and other staffing for clients continue to do that in person. Most services aren’t provided at facilities. Facilities not open to the public at all or on a limited basis, varying by center.

Freedom Resource Center, which serves parts of Minnesota and North Dakota, is only providing services by phone or email. Independent Lifestyles, which serves the Sauk Rapids area, is providing a mix of virtual, off-site and in-person services.

Access North staff are remotely and any office meetings by appointment only. Some services are available in-person.

Options Interstate Resource Center staff have met people car to car, outside, and in ways they can insure social distancing. Staff is also using technology and phone to provide service.

Online mental health support

NAMI Minnesota offers free online peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, friends, spouses/partners, and parents of children and teens. Led by trained peer facilitators, 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. FFI: https://namimn.org/support/nami-minnesota-support-groups/

Minnesota STAR program

Staff is working to provide services and keep clients safe. The equipment lending library has specific procedures and only no-contact loans are offered. All equipment is tested and sanitized prior to shipping. STAR staff wears proper PPE (personal protective equipment) during the process. Device loans continue to be for 30 days. After equipment is returned to STAR it is quarantined for five days. After the quarantine period equipment is once again sanitized, inspected and tested. Virtual demonstrations are done on as needed. FFI: 651-201-2640, [email protected]

Southwest and Southeast Centers for Independent Living and SMILES Independent Living

Both centers have stayed open and are providing service by phone, video conference, and some in-person services based on the need for this, the needs of the individual, and with proper protocols in place. Centers serve every area of the state. FFI: www.macil.org

Vision loss group offers activities

Vision Loss Resources has opened with safety protocols in place. Some services are offered virtually. Low vision assessments are available by phone. Ask about virtual support groups, distance learning, and no-contact grocery shopping and reading support. Events and activities offered virtually through the community center. The rehabilitation center is open both in-person and remotely. DeafBlind Services Minnesota provides one-to-one services to adults and children with deafblindness. No deafblind community activities are scheduled at this time. FFI: 612- 871-2222, [email protected] 

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  • 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!

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