Opportunities -- September 2021

Board openings

Apply for Minneapolis boards, commissions

Thirteen Minneapolis city boards and commissions have openings for appointments. The positions are open until filled; application deadline is Oct. 1 unless marked otherwise. The city seeks applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences representing the demographics of Minneapolis to strengthen the work of the City. Translation and interpreting services are available so all residents can participate.
Ninety-eight openings are available so Minneapolis residents should consider applying. The Commission on Civil Rights, Advisory Committee on Aging, Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, and groups that work on everything from local food to zoning to workforce issues need members. FFI: 612-673-2216, OpenAppointments@minneapolismn.gov

Get Up Stand Up seeks members

Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization in working to unite, educate and support those dealing with spinal cord injuries and to advocate for research and the restoration of function. The group is seeking new members for its board. Open board positions are for a Minnesota disability law professional, a treasurer/accountant and a secretary. Positions are volunteer and unpaid. Detailed information is available about each position, FFI: kirk.ingram@gusu2cure.org or joe.dailey@gusu2cure.org, www.gusu2cure.org

Conferences

MOHR announces conference

MOHR plans an in-person conference Sept. 16-17 in Duluth. MOHR, the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation, is comprised of about 100 adult day, day training and habilitation, extended employment and supported employment service provider members serving in excess of 26,000 Minnesotans with disabilities. Cost is $160 and space is limited. Full program, hotel and registration information are available online. FFI: www.mohrmn.org

 

Autistic Community Summit

The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) will hold its fourth annual AuSM Autistic Community Summit, an event organized by autistics for autistics to build a strong community through education, shared stories, and advocacy. The event will be held virtually Sat, Sept. 18. It is an opportunity for autistic adults to gather and learn, while sharing the wisdom they’ve gained through lives of experience. This year’s keynote speaker is Wendell Britt, Jr., an autistic man who will speak about overcoming structural barriers for marginalized groups. Following the keynote, breakout sessions led by autistic speakers will focus on topics ranging from autistic identity to communicating with health care professionals. Schedule details and registration for the AuSM Autistic Community Summit is available on AuSM’s website. FFI: www.ausm.org

Children and families

Fly with Project KITE

PACER Center offers Project KITE, a series of five free virtual workshops that brings together education professionals and the parents of children with whom they work. Through collaborative trainings, teams learn about assistive technology designed to enhance learning and increase inclusion of students with disabilities.Three separate teams with three members per team are needed to make a complete KITE group. Teams must be from Minnesota.Each single team is built around a focus child (aged 3-8) and consists of a parent of a child with special needs;a classroom teacher; a related service provider working with the child (for example a special education teacher, speech therapist, paraprofessional, occupational therapist, etc.)Each team member must apply individually. Applications for Fall 2021 teams are due by September 30th.

Assistive technology can be as simple as a pencil grip or as complex as an iPad. When used effectively, it can open doors to new skills and abilities for a child with a disability. During Project KITE, teams of parents and professionals learn and work together to discover and trial assistive technology that can benefit their child, student and the classroom. The project includes the loan of an iPad loaded with useful learning and communication apps for the duration of the program. FFI: www.pacer.org/stc/kite

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.

Text-Based Augmentative and Alternative Communication Tools is offered 2-3 p.m. Wed, Sept. 8. The one-hour workshop will explore text-based augmentative communication (AAC) apps and programs to benefit individuals with communication needs, but who don’t find the common symbol-based AAC apps to be a good fit.

Tech for Teens Club: Coding Virtual Reality is 10-11:30 a.m. Sat, Sept. 18. In the Tech for Teens webinar, participants will use code to create a virtual reality solar system and then be able to use a smartphone or tablet (or VR headset if one is available) to move around in 3D virtual space. See how virtual reality headsets work with the code and discover how coding can be used in all areas of science. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org

INFO & ASSISTANCE

Call the help desk

The Arc Minnesota Help Desk offers a direct link to information and assistance. Call and an Arc Minnesota staff member will answer. Callers can discuss a personal situation goals, options, and a way forward. If staff is unable to help with a situation directly, callers will be connected with a partner agency.
If no one can take a call, leave a message for a call back.

The help desk is presented as a way to be helpful and equitable. The public can still use the website’s Ask an Advocate form or use the Frequently Asked Questions to quickly find resources. FFI: 952-920-1480, www.arcminnesota.org

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/

Vision loss group back in-person

Vision Loss Resources is starting to bring back some in-person activities in July at the Minneapolis office.  Some of these activities will be both available in-person, as well as remotely on Zoom. Anyone planning to attend an in-person activity must RSVP by calling the RSVP Hotline at 612-843-3439 or emailing rsvp@vlrw.org. RSVP two working days prior to the activity. Due to space limitations, all in-person classes will have a 10-participant maximum. A wait list will be kept after classes reach capacity so that people can be contacted if there are openings. At this time, masks are required to be worn at all in-person activities. Participants should bring beverages and snacks.

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 support groups, events, distance learning and no-contact grocery shopping and reading support. FFI: 612-843-3439, 612-871-2222, info@visionlossresources.org

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/