Tag Archives: Access Press

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” *

A recent issue of Access Press overflows with both information and reminders.  Front page information is that Stuart Holland who has managed the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network since 1986 is retiring.  His retirement prompted the newspaper to published a great review of the RTB history written by Jan Willms.  It’s a good read and a good reminder.  http://www.accesspress.org/blog/2017/09/08/retirement-awaits-new-chapter-for-radio-talking-books-holland/

But don’t stop there, subscribe to Access Press online or pick up a free copy at a convenient newspaper rack.  AP is a timely and indispensable source of information about what’s happening in the disabilities community – a tool for anyone who has a disability or who is in a position to share the news with friends, family, patrons, the faith, academic or other community.  So many resources, so many opportunities to share the word!  Much more about the mission, content and programs of Access Press here: (http://www.accesspress.org)

“Feast” is the theme of Interact Visual Artists’  exhibit (https://interactcenter.org/artists/visual-arts/) open through October 8 at Birchwood Café in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. (http://birchwoodcafe.com)  The exhibit explores the subject of food and the relations and perceptions of food and art.  Individual artists assume varying relationships with food by exploring different ethnic foods and approaching the issue in a variety of media and styles.

October 5 – Talk of the Stacks features journalist and food industry authority Larry Olmsted, 7:00 PM at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall.  Olmsted’s book, is entitled Real Food Fake Food: Why you don’t know what you’re eating and what you can do about it…. The event is free, doors open at 6:15; programs begins at 7:00 PM

October 12 – The City of Minneapolis is offering a class for group that are interested in creating a cooperative.  Sessions run October 12-December 7.    Details here:  http://webbercamden.org/2017/09/27/city-of-minneapolis-free-class-on-creating-a-cooperative/   To learn more about the history and present state of coops check this recent talk given by Tom Pierson at the Seward Coop –https://seward.coop/posts/1048

October 18 – The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) announces the Autumn Open House, 5:30 – 7:30 PM at the historic Crosby Mansion, 2105 First Avenue South.  RSVP by Friday, October 14 at iatp.org/open-house.  Speakers include IATP ED Juliette Major and Tara Ritter, Senior Program Association for Climate and Rural Communities.  Free and open RSVP by 9/14. (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15ed34ccdaf2ec36 .  IATP is also developing a robust distance learning component, including an informative podcast series on NAFTA(https://www.iatp.org/blog/201709/trade-ag-your-ears-our-new-podcast-uprooted)  Take time to explore the many facets of IATP, a robust and timely resource essential in this world of global/corporate economic flux. (https://www.iatp.org/nafta-portal)

October 20 – Insurgent knowledges: Book talk with Damien Sojoyner and Sabrina Vaught.  Sojoyner is the author of First Strike: Educational enclosures in Black Los Angeles (U of M 2017) and Vaught is the author of Compulsory: Education and the dispassion of youth in a prison school, U of M Press 2017,7:00 PM at the East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street in St. Paul.  Details online.

October 21 – A Resister’s Handbook: A benefit performance for East Side Freedom Library.  Xavier Morilla, described as “a labor leader, activist, podcaster, writer and storyteller” – not to mention President of SEIU Local 26.  Working with Levi Weinhagen, Morilla has created the presentation in which Morilla will share his “wit and optimism” with ESFL supporters at a fundraiser event, 5:30-7:00 PM.  A minimum tax-deductible gift of $25 is requested at the door.

November 2-  ESFL will also co-sponsor a timely presentation, The Origins of the Radical Right and the Crisis of Our Democracy, a talk by Nancy MacLean, Professor History and Public Policy at Duke University.  The event is sponsored by ESFL, ISAIAH-Minnesota and the U of MN History Department.7:00 PM at ESFL 1105 Greenbrier Street in St. Paul, 651 230 3294. http://eastsidefreedomlibrary.org

A recent study by the Pew Research Center reports on details of the digital divide.  Data re the Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington area are above average, with plenty of room for improvement.  Broadband access in households with income under $20K was 55.5% while 86.6% of 20K+ households enjoy broadband access.

The latest greatest fad at Eat My Words bookstore is Squibs. Squibs are short one-to-ten-page writing pieces – with or sans visuals – described by Squibs hosts as “mini-stories with a beginning, middle and end.”  They can be about any topic that helps get the writer writing.  To follow the EMW muse to a new life of squibbing, join a Squib writing session, Saturdays Noon-1:00 PM at EMW Bookstore, 214 13th Avenue NE (new location) 651 243 1756 or more at www.eatmywordsbooks.com.

Note to out-of-control bibliophiles: Help is at the ready:  https://www.bustle.com/articles/183327-9-things-book-lovers-do-in-the-fall-because-autumn-is-the-perfect-season-for-reading

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As we plunge into the season’s political melee, it might be a good time to catch up on some basics of the democracy.  Following are some tools to help us review and put in contemporary context some of the basics:

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  * Quote from  L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

 

Give thanks by sharing access to ideas and information

Disability doesn’t make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does. Stella Young

This quote popped to mind this week as I pored through the most recent issue of Access Press. (www.accesspress.org) I remember reading the quote a couple of years ago in an obituary for Stella Young, a physically challenged Australian journalist and advocate for people with disabilities. Her observation may help explain a fact that perplexes me, i.e. why so many people miss the wealth of information and ideas that Access Press generates and every month at free and handy newsstands we pass by every day.

Though this great resource is targeted to the disabilities community, the content is relevant to a broad circle of readers who need to know, to take action and to share with a friend, family member or neighbor. If there’s a missing link in this information chain it’s that too many people just don’t understand the depth and breadth of this robust resource that hides in plain sight on local newsstands or with a click on the keyboard. (http://www.accesspress.org/the-real-story/about/)

With Thanksgiving on my mind, it seems a good time to share some of the treasures found on the pages of Access Press. As a regular reader I know AP as a unique, comprehensive and an untapped community resource – unrealized because folks don’t know what lies within the literal or virtual pages of the monthly journal. The potential readership of AP extends to individuals challenged by physical or psychological barriers, to those who would love to learn and enjoy activities – and have their ideas shared — without nighttime driving, climbing steps, and to those whose eyesight, hearing or stamina are not what they once were, That reach extends to anyone who knows someone who has yet to discover the resources featured in AP.

So, with thanks to Executive Director & Editor-in-Chief Tim Benjamin and to all who create and support AP, what follows are random links to what I gleaned from the November 10, 2016 issue which is still on the newsstands and forever online:

  • An example of calendar updates are regular updates from the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living that offers skills classes, events and more, all of which are listed on their website. The note in AP includes something I hadn’t seen elsewhere “MCIL activities are “free, accessible and mostly scent-free – the sort of inside scoop readers need to know (mcil-mn.org))

There’s much more, but you get the idea – AP is a dependable, accessible, affordable gift to all of us. The unique treasure trove of information and ideas will be of interest to you and to many in your circle who aren’t yet aware of what they’re missing.

Face it, you’ll be looking for conversation starters during the coming holiday season. Those gathered will thank you in the moment for changing the conversation and in the long-term for sharing Access Press.

 

Direct Support Professionals – Clarification + Resources

Earlier this week this blog carried a piece about Direct Support Professionals Week which ends tomorrow. (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/to-honor-and-thank-direct-support-professionals/) The intent was to honor and thank those good people who daily meet the needs of individuals with physical and mental challenges.

Unfortunately, that post contained a muddled sentence that implied the opposite of what was intended. With apologies, I want to correct any confusion and to share what was intended, i.e. that I totally support the opinions and data stated by individuals who are far more knowledgeable about what is a political football.

The fact is, those who care for our family members, friends and neighbors who are physically or mentally challenged are grossly and unfairly underpaid. In order to make that fact abundantly clear, I would cite a series of critical articles posted in recent months by Tim Benjamin, Editor of Access Press.

Though Tim has covered the issue of pay for Personal Care Attendants (Minnesota’s term for Direct Support Professionals) in numerous AP editorials, he has doubled-down in recent months, in particular since July 2016. Tim makes a compelling case that Minnesotans – all of us — need to pay heed to the fact that those who care for vulnerable Minnesotans are under–recognized, under-valued and woefully underpaid – and that this is the reason there is a woeful shortage of workers who are able, but disinclined, to meet what is not only a personal but a societal need. Click on Tim’s powerful and timely editorials starting here:

http://www.accesspress.org/blog/2016/07/08/editors-column-july-2016/

The Legislature has failed to come to grips, much less take action, on what is a public disgrace that diminishes the work of these professionals – with tragic results on the welfare of deserving residents of our state, a state that boasts of its compassion and commitment to the common good.

If you’re into data, read Dick VanWagner’s metrics-laden piece in last week’s Access Press: http://www.accesspress.org/blog/2016/09/09/by-the-numbers-is-there-really-a-shortage-of-pcas-heres-an-analysis/

Though there are other references to the issue, these are good places for each of us to learn about and frame the issue – then think about what we can do to face and remedy the crisis in care.

One priority is to follow monthly up-dates in Access Press –free and readily accessible at countless public newsstands that we pass by every day.  Click here to learn more about AP (http://www.accesspress.org) or subscribe to the online edition here: http://www.accesspress.org/subscribe/.

Read it and learn!

 

ADA at 26: The celebration – and the challenge – continue

I don’t need easy. I need possible. ~ Bethany Hamilton

It was just a year ago we were celebrating the 25th anniversary of passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s time to rekindle and repeat the celebratory spirit – and to remember that the movement for inclusion and equality is not a sprint but a marathon. (https://www.minnpost.com/minnesota-blog-cabin/2015/04/celebrating-impact-ada-embracing-challenges-remain) Happily, the disabilities community is joining forces again this year to recharge us all

“Celebrating Diversity in Our Community” is a grand public event set for Tuesday, July 26, at the Minnesota History Center, 345 West Kellogg in St. Paul. The celebration begins at 3:00 with a keynote address by Ken Rodgers, Chair of the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities.

Beginning at 6:30 the focus is on fun! That fun includes a chance to get to know Angelique Leie, 2015 Miss Wheelchair Minnesota and to enjoy the artistry of members of the Young Dance Company. Then enjoy an evening featuring the classic rock & roll music of Tamarak.

Learn more about the very talented Angelique Leie and about the Miss Wheelchair Minnesota program here: http://blog.easystand.com/2015/04/ms-wheelchair-minnesota-2015-pageant/

Get to know the unique Young Dance Company here. http://www.youngdance.org/company-overview

Learn and listen to Tamarak here: http://www.tamarak.iwarp.com)

Accommodations for the evening include ASL interpreters, audio description and CART – and food will be available for purchase. The event itself is free and open to all.

 

 

The Disabilities Rights Movement – Celebrating the impact of ADA, embracing the challenges that remain

The history of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) did not begin on July 26, 1990 at the signing ceremony at the White House. It did not begin in 1988 when the first ADA was introduced in Congress. The ADA began a long time ago in cities and towns throughout the United States when people with disabilities began to challenge societal barriers that excluded them form their communities, and when parents of children with disabilities began to fight against the exclusion and segregation of their children.

Writing in 1992, Arlene Mayerson knew well the stories and the struggles of the thousands of people who turned personal challenges into a movement. As Directing Attorney of Disability Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) she was in the thick of it all. As lecturer at Berkeley Law School she continues the good fight.

Every American, able or challenged, has experienced the impact of ADA. In fact, ADA has is so imbedded in our daily lives that it is difficult to realize that it is just a quarter century since passage of that federal law. Still, on July 26, 2015 the nation will celebrate the changes wrought in our society over the past 25 years.

It is not too soon for organizations and institutions, schools, the faith community, children’s groups, social service and government agencies, health care providers, senior groups and families to start thinking ahead about how to best join in the celebration.

The good news is that leaders of the disabilities rights cause have gathered and produced an awesome selection of resources, events, and tools to spark interest and support local initiatives.

For those of us who may have experienced but never fully realized the societal changes of which we were a part, Arlene Mayer’s brief history, written in the wake of passage of ADA, offers an informative – and highly accessible – review of the roots and growth of the movement.   (http://dredf.org/news/publications/the-history-of-the-ada)

The ADA Legacy Project (http://www.adalegacy.com) is a major initiative to honor the progress that has been made while reminding us that much remains to be done.   One of the goals of the ADA Legacy Project is to honor the contributions of individuals with disabilities and their allies who persevered in securing the passages of this landmark civil rights legislation. There is an ADA Anniversary Tool Kit, suggested themes, a media kit, proclamations, pledges and more. (http://www.adaanniversary.org)

My personal favorite of the ADA Legacy Project resources is a collection of “Moments in Disability History” selected from the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities website and archives. (http://www.mn.gov/mnddc/ada-legacy/index.html) The collection of “moments” includes audio and video clips, historical documents, images and slides covering the decades that led up to the passage of the ADA. “They are the ‘moments’ every self-advocate, parent and professional advocate should know and be literate about in order to create future policy. The collection of “moments” creates a common ground for study of the disability movement. The prime mover behind the “moments”, Ed Preneta, notes that “the events, or aftermath of the events, changed history and their impact resonates with us today.”

Though I have not yet plumbed the depths of the Disability History Museum (http://www.disabilitymuseum.org/dhm/index.html) it is intriguing and inviting. The Museum is actually a virtual project “designed to offer people with or without disabilities, researchers, teachers and students with a wide array of tools to help deepen their understanding of human variation and difference, and to expand appreciation of how vital to our common life the experiences of people with disabilities have always been.” The virtual museum includes over 300 primary source documents and images, many designed to show young people who take access for granted the challenges that faced people with disabilities before the movement.   The virtual museum also features information about the situation in developing countries with special reference to the UN Convention on Disability Rights. (http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml)

As we celebrate ADA we must be mindful of 21st Century challenges and possibilities. In the past quarter century technology has changed the nation and the world –and the options for people with disabilities. Today’s challenge is to assure that we capitalize on the potential of technology to expand – not limit – opportunities for everyone. The 25th anniversary offers an opportunity to honor the triumphs to date with a clear eye on future possibilities. An earlier blog post focused specifically on efforts to expand access to government information for people with disabilities. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/category/disability-issues/

The story of the Americans with Disabilities Act is long, complex and inspiring. It is a story of individuals and families, institutions and organizations that saw a need and summoned the strength to create and sustain a movement. This is a story we all need to learn, remember and emulate. What better time than the celebration of ADA at 25!   More to follow…

Related Poking Around posts:

https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/tag/people-with-disabilities-social-inclusion/

https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/shout-out-to-ada-at-20/

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/blog/mary-treacy/access-press-25-quarter-century-serving-and-reflecting-minnesotas-disabilities-comm

 

 

 

 

 

Some non-partisan notes on 2014 votes

Have you ever found yourself alone and clueless in the voting booth, suddenly aware that there are whole columns of unknown candidates vying for positions you never knew existed? There’s an app for that!

My Ballot is now up and running for the November 4th election. The site provides the voter with a sample ballot complete with links to popular sites that provide information about each candidate. It covers any election in the state of Minnesota.

Find My Ballot at www.myballot.info – Enter your zip code and you’ll find the exact replica of the ballot you’ll face in the voting booth – with a digital crib sheet. You can’t vote online, but you can prepare yourself to make the best decisions when your turn comes.

Still, for some Minnesotans, getting to the polls this season will present a mighty challenge. The October 10 issue of Access Press, now on the newsstands, shines light on a harsh reality — voters with disabilities can’t depend on a lift to the polls this year. Since 2008 the Rides to the Polls Coalition, made up of several disability service providers and organized through Courage Kenny, has been funded by the Frey Foundation to provide rides to persons with disabilities. Those funds are no more, and no other provider has been able to continue the service.

The Secretary of State’s office encourages voters who need transportation to the polling place to contact family, friends or neighbors. It would seem appropriate to reverse the message to encourage mobile Minnesotans to consider family members, friends and neighbors who might need a ride.

Though Metro Transit in the Twin Cities must offer regular fixed-route transit service free of charge on Election Days the rule does not apply in non-urban areas. In some communities political parties provide rides.  In any event, this patchwork approach falls far short of the need, particularly since people with disabilities have long depended on the Rides to the Polls Coalition.

One option is for voters with disabilities to vote absentee by mail or by going to an elections office prior to Election Day. This means people need to know the rules of absentee voting in advance. For the rules on absentee voting and everything else you ever wanted to know about Minnesota election law and were afraid to ask, check Ballotpedia where the Secretary of State posts all the rules: http://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota_elections,_2014#Voting_absentee

 

 

 

Spotlight on access – physical and virtual – at the 2014 Great Minnesota Get-Together!

The healthy being craves an occasional wildness, a jolt form normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite, his own little festival of Saturnalia, a brief excursion from his way of life. – Robert MacIver, sociologist

It’s State Fair time — when new taste treats compete with cheese curds for olfactory prominence, military issue 4-H dorms house weary teens demo-ing the latest in control of frac-sand or groundwater pollution, research-in-progress shares space with Goldie Gopher at the aU of M show-and-tell. Still, as J.V. Bailey (for whom the building that now houses the Minnesota State Fair Foundation is named) observed the “the State Fair approaches in scope and effort an institution of learning.“

Writing in 1934 Bailey celebrated that “the State Fair teaches by exhibit, lecture and pamphlet, the means whereby two blades of grass can be grown with less cost and less effort than ever before.” A noble goal that has inspired, instructed and entertained Minnesotans of every era and every age for over 150 years!

Fair-going veterans and newbies alike are well advised to prepare for the adventure with a good online primer such as

http://www.mnstatefair.org/pdf/media/MSF_History.pdf. ( In case you’re tempted – or inspired to rectify the situation-  Wikipedia is out-of-date.)

The real wonder – and irresistible attraction – of the Minnesota State Fair is that the Fair continues to interpret, share and adapt the Minnesota story. The 2014 “Great Minnesota Get-Together” overflows with ideas, many having to do with access – for Fair attendees and for those who prefer a Virtual Fair Experience

Access on site

At the top of the list for many will be the increased accessibility of fair displays for people with disabilities. This includes the area that was once Heritage Square, now a new transit center, resplendent with restaurants, shops and heritage center. (Good to know that my favorite, the once-threatened Minnesota Newspaper Museum, lives on at the 4H Building!) Gone are the steps to the area that posed a barrier for anyone with mobility issues.

There are also more resources this year. Metro Mobility will have additional stops and ASL interpreters will be on hand. Wheelchair battery recharging can be found at the Care and Assistance Center.

There’s an Attraction Access Guide to assist fairgoers in making choices about rides available at all ticket outlets on the Midway and Kidway. Look for the free park and ride lot with free wheelchair-accessible bus service for people with disabilities and their companions.

This is but the tip of the physical access iceberg – The full range of expanded resources is spelled out in the most recent issue of Access Press on newsstands now – or find the issue online by clicking on http://www.accesspress.org/2014/08/new-history-museum-fairs-new-attractions-designed-for-access/?utm_campaign=987c871d8-RSS-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7c7ff77da6-9878c871d8-415185557

Access from home

Been there, done that and want to refresh the memories? Tried listening to the walking tour from home? There’s an app for that!   http://sites.mnhs.org/mobile-tours/web-app/#tour/tour-76/stop/stop-126 or call 1-877 411 4123 – listen and remember the sights, sounds and smells.

Want some visual background? Click on the inventory of photographs of the State Fair, 1953-1968 at the Minnesota Historical Society site: http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/sv000087.xmIH.M.Schawang photo company https://www.google.com/search?q=minnesota+state+fair+photographs&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=faDnU5vADJe0yASDlIDQCA&ved=0CB4QsAQ&biw=1553&bih=999

Even the prestigious Library of Congress pays archival homage to the Minnesota State Fair circa 1909 – www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007662332

And there are countless good reads and listens – histories, reminiscences, newspapers, podcasts, including these and more:

The Minnesota State Fair: Origins and traditions, by Kathryn R. Goetz, originally published in MNopedia, republished in MinnPost, August 20, 2013. A readable intro to the history of Minnesotans’ favorite gathering.

Minnesota State Fair: An Illustrated History, by Kathryn Strand Koutsky, Garrison Keillor, foreword by Linda Koutsky.   Coffee House Press, 2007

State Fair: The Great Minnesota Get-Together, by Susan Lambert Miller, foreword by Lorna Landvik, Minnesota Historical Society.

Minnesota State Fair, The History and Heritage of 100 Years, by Ray P. Speer and Henry J. Frost, Argus Publishing Company, 1964.

Seed Queen:The Story of Crop Art and the Amazing Lillian Colton, by Colleen Sheehy, Minnesota Historical Society, 2007.

Once again, Minnesota Public Radio is just one of the radio stations that will be broadcasting from their booth. Though with all of the politicians who will be roaming the grounds this season it’s hard to predict who will show up, here’s the link to MPR’s fair schedule: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/events/minnesota-state-fair/

History at the Fair

If you do go to the State Fair, don’t miss Minnesota History Day – Sunday, August 31. http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/events-programs/minnesota-history-center-day-state-fair

A critical feature of the re-designed area on the West end of the fairgrounds is the History and Heritage Center, home of the State Fair History Display. To keep up with plans for the history display follow developments on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minnesotastatefair