MNCCD announces leadership change
The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) announced leadership changes at its annual meeting in December in Minneapolis. One loss that will be keenly felt is that of departing Board Chairman Randall Bachman.
Bachman has stepped down from the board, after leading the consortium through a state of transition. He is the retired head of AXIS Healthcare and has served as board chairman of the Autism Recovery Foundation.
MNCCD Executive Director Sheryl Grassie described Bachman as a “remarkable” board chairman, who worked very hard and took his volunteer role very seriously. He was praised for keeping MNCCD on an even keel, and being a leader in setting up its legislative agenda and its first-ever conference in 2017.
Several MNCCD members said they admire Bachman for his leadership of MNCCD and on autism-related issues. “Legislators paid attention when Randy would speak,” said Anne Henry of the Minnesota Disability Law Center. “He has a manner of speaking that command attention.”
In thanking the group, Bachman recalled his decades of human services work and how many changes have occurred thanks to the hard work of many people. As a college student in the late 1960s, his psychology class visited a Missouri state hospital. “It was an eye opener,” he said. “It was bedlam.” Much work was done since those years to make sure that people are housed in community settings.
He urged MNCCD members to continue to work together toward common goals. “You don’t make change by yourself,” Bachman said. “Don’t ever discount what you do on a day-to-day basis. It all matters.”
Although Bachman is stepping down as chairman of the board of MNCCD, “don’t be surprised if you see me skulking around the capitol,” he said.
The group also recognized Henry, who retired from the law center in late 2017. Henry will continue to work on complex care issues.
Two more outgoing board members were thanked. Longtime Minnesota disability rights activist and retiring MNCCD Board member Christopher Bell and his wife recently moved to North Carolina to be closer to family. Also stepping down from the board is Andy Pomroy, of the law firm of Fredrikson and Byron.
MNCCD will start the 2018 legislative session with new Policy Committee co-chairmen, as Dan Endreson, public policy director for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upper Midwest Chapter and Ben Gustafson of Fraser step down. Gustafson is moving to California. Endreson will stay on the MNCCD board. Josh Berg of Accessible Space and MNCCD lobbyist Bill Amberg are the new committee co-chairs. MNCCD will elect new board officers and seat new board members in the future.
AccessAbility teams up with Women’s Advocates to provide many services
AccessAbility, Inc. and Women’s Advocates have announced a new partnership, effective in 2018. The partnership allows women staying at Women’s Advocates to partake in AccessAbility’s program opportunities as they continue on their journey to independence.
Women’s Advocates is a safe place where victims/survivors of all backgrounds and cultures can escape domestic violence and begin to heal. Its mission is to eliminate violence in the lives of women, children and families. The nonprofit offers shelter, meals, clothing, transportation, personal needs items, counseling, support, advocacy, referrals, crisis phone and other basic services to women and their children daily. Residents will be eligible to work with AccessAbility for up to 90 days to support the transition between emergency shelter and independent housing.
“This new relationship with Women’s Advocates is a natural extension of the work currently underway with yet another group of persons facing barriers to economic security and full community inclusion,” said Brad Janowski, director of programs at AccessAbility.
AccessAbility’s mission is to provide opportunities for self-sufficiency to people with barriers to employment and community inclusion. These barriers include, but are not limited to homelessness, mental and physical disabilities, adult re-entry, and/or a lack of successful work history and required skill-sets. Learn more at www.accessability.org
The Arc chapters merge
The Arc of Minnesota has announced that as of January 1, 2018, its Minnesota chapters have merged into one organization. The intent of the merge is to support more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc chapters participating in the merger include Greater Twin Cities (St. Paul), Midstate (St. Cloud), Minnesota State Chapter (St. Paul), Range (Eveleth), Southeast (Rochester), Southwest (Mankato) and West
Maintaining local connections is important to the chapters. Throughout 2018, website visitors will see all regional information integrated into one website. During the transition, contact information and current region website links are available on each of the separate web pages. Minnesotans can still access organizational information in three ways. Regional offices can be contacted during business hours. Calls are typically responded to in one day.
Another way to get in touch is to contact an advocate by calling toll-free, 1-833-450-1494 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Or leave a message after hours and an advocate can return the call. Submit our Ask An Advocate online form and an Advocate will contact you.
The Arc Minnesota is committed to supporting people across Minnesota and that commitment is ongoing through the merger process. Anyone living in a county or region not previously supported by The Arc can call 1-833-450-1494 or call a regional office.
Four chapters remain as affiliate members of The Arc Minnesota. Those are The Arc Northland, The Arc Stevens County, The Arc Mower County and The Arc Freeborn County.
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