Opportunities – September 2023

Take a Survey  Dealing with workforce shortage?  The Olmstead Implementation Office is seeking feedback about experiences with employment! The Olmstead […]

Take a Survey 

Dealing with workforce shortage? 

The Olmstead Implementation Office is seeking feedback about experiences with employment! The Olmstead Workforce Shortage and People with Disabilities Work Group is made up of community members, advocates, and state staff. During the past two years, group members have been gathering information to make recommendations for improving the Olmstead Plan. To help fill in the gaps in information, the work group is asking for specific feedback from people with disabilities. The survey data will be presented to the Olmstead Leadership Forum and used to improve the next version of the Olmstead Plan. Complete the survey by end of day Thu, Sept. 14, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/workforce-public-2023 

Conference 

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  

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. 

Assistive Technology for Healthy Habits is 6:30-7:45 p.m. Thu, Sept. 14. Families know that all children need good health to function well in school and at home, but how can parents help their children develop and stick to healthy habits? In this workshop, parents will see demonstrations of several fun and engaging apps, along with other tools that can help support wellness. Topics covered include exercise, nutrition, sleep, social emotional learning, and screen time. Online. 

STEAM Rollers: Fall Series Part 1 is 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sat, Sept. 16. STEAM Rollers is a science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) tabletop role-playing group (like Dungeons & Dragons) for middle to high school students. Up to six participants will immerse in a challenge while taking on the persona of a STEAM professional to solve a related problem. Youth won’t want to miss this fun and immersive experience! At PACER Center. 

STEAM Rollers: Fall Series Part 2 at 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sat, Sept. 23. STEAM Rollers is a science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) tabletop role-playing group (like Dungeons & Dragons) for middle to high school students. Up to 6 participants will immerse in a challenge while taking on the persona of a STEAM professional to solve a related problem. At PACER Center. 

Tech for Teens Club : PACER Makerspace Experience is 1-2 p.m. Sat, Sept. 23. Join Tech for Teens staff on a tour of the new PACER Makerspace. Get a first look at the cutting-edge tools and equipment and help staff plan for 2024. provide feedback and ideas to staff. At PACER Center. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, PACER 

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 NAMI and click on “Classes” or go straight to All Currently Scheduled Classes

  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."
  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself, & others from the COVID-19 virus."


Access is Love. Celebrate Pride with MCD. June 29 & 30.
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