Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Disability Rights March & Rally!

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

Join us in celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act and reaffirming our Rights!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
1:00 – 4:00 pm

Come for some or all of the events

  • 1:00: Gathering & orientation at the MN History Center
  • 1:30: Disability Rights March to the Capitol
  • 2:30: Disability Rights Rally in the Capitol Rotunda
  • Featured speakers and entertainment

Accommodations for the orientation and rally include ASL interpreters, CART, and audio description.

For more information or to confirm audio description services or to request a reasonable accommodation not listed above, please contact Cindy at ADA Minnesota, 651-603-2015 or email, by July 7, 2017.

Use this link for a printable flier: Disability Rights March (PDF)

Principles of Digital Accessibility

Posted on May 18th, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

What is Digital Accessibility?

Broadly speaking, digital accessibility refers to electronic information and communications designed to “work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability.” (Accessibility – W3C)

Digital accessibility is about making electronic information and communications available to people with a variety of disabilities: auditory, cognitive and neurological, physical, speech, visual, or some combination. In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) 2017, here are four principles to keep in mind when creating electronic content, such as webpages and Microsoft Office documents.


Can users perceive your information? For many people, vision is the primary mode of perception and this explains why so much effort is placed on the visual presentation. However, this does not account for other means of perception: namely, hearing and tactile feedback. Content should be developed with these perceptions in mind, and it needs to be easily changeable among these three modes–visual, auditory, and tactile–to meet the needs of individual users. To make your content perceivable:

  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content.
  • Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia.
  • Create content that can be presented in different ways, including by assistive technologies such as screen readers, without losing meaning.
  • Make it easier for users to see and hear content.


Can users interact with your information? Traditionally, users interacted with electronic information using a mouse and keyboard. However, limiting access to these interactions does not account for people who cannot use such devices–or cannot use them in traditional ways–and instead rely on assistive technology. Nor does it account for all the ways to access information on mobile devices. However they choose to access your information, people should be able to use it. To make your content operable:

  • Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • Give users enough time to read and use content.
  • Do not use content that causes seizures.
  • Help users navigate and find content.


Can users understand your information? As the content creator, your information makes sense to you. But would it make sense to someone who has never encountered it before? Does it take into account people who have difficulty comprehending, remembering, or focusing? To make your content understandable:

  • Make text readable and understandable.
  • Make content appear and operate in predictable ways.
  • Help users avoid and correct mistakes.


Does the presentation of your content actually work as you intend it to, on any device a user chooses to use? Will it continue to work for the foreseeable future? To make your content robust:

  • Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools.

For more information, refer to our digital accessibility resources.


Diversity of Web Users – How People with Disabilities Use the Web
WCAG 2.0 at a Glance

Partners in Policymaking Program Opens for Applications

Posted on May 10th, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

News From: MN Employment and Economic Development

The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities introduced the Partners in Policymaking program in 1987, and, through expansion to other states and countries, has trained more than 27,000 people worldwide.


Nationally recognized Partners in Policymaking® program opens for applications, offered at no cost

To increase their knowledge and confidence, and gain new tools and strategies to better advocate for their needs, Minnesotans with disabilities, self advocates, and parents of young children with developmental disabilities are encouraged to apply for the Partners in Policymaking® leadership training program. Sessions are held monthly over eight months, starting in September 2017.

This groundbreaking program was developed by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.  “Graduates report that they gained a greater understanding of disability law and policies, and increased their self confidence in advocating for their needs,” said Dr. Colleen Wieck, Executive Director of the Governor’s Council.  “Many have become leaders in their own communities as they speak up for people with disabilities.” The Minnesota-inspired program is also offered in most states and a number of foreign countries.

Described by many as life-changing, the highly acclaimed and finely-tuned leadership training taps into national experts, and utilizes group participatory learning experiences. There is no cost for participants. In its 30-year history, it has helped more than 900 Minnesotans to become effective advocates for themselves, their children, and others with disabilities.

Sessions cover the history of the disability and self-advocacy movements, inclusive education, supported living, competitive employment, and avenues to influence county, state and federal legislative processes. To make participation convenient, the two-day sessions are held on Fridays and Saturdays, from September to May (with no session in December), except for a Sunday and Monday session in March when participants prepare and meet with legislators at the Capitol.

Costs for the Partners program are covered by a federal grant. Child care and respite allowances are given, and overnight accommodations are also provided for those who travel from outside the metro area to attend. Mileage is reimbursed and meals are also provided. Sessions are held at the Crowne Plaza Aire, at 3 Appletree Square in Bloomington, near the Mall of America and the MSP International Airport.

Limited to 40 Minnesota residents, the class members are selected by a panel of Partners graduates and representatives of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The first session for the 2017 to 2018 program year is September 15 to 16. Local experts and nationally recognized leaders in school inclusion, community organizing, governmental processes, and disability issues are among the presenters. The application deadline is July 1, 2017.

“This program is based on the belief that systems change is best brought about through the efforts of those most affected by them, and we seek to arm these individuals with the tools needed to be successful in the public policy arena,” said Wieck.

For further information, visit: or contact Brenton Rice at, or 651-242-6589.

The application is available at the website and can be completed online.

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities: Call for Action

Posted on April 28th, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

News from Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities:

State funding is urgently needed for employment services for adults with disabilities.

“Employing people with disabilities in competitive jobs is a win for the state, for employers and for workers.”

“ROI: Every $1 invested in Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) yields nearly $9 in consumer wages.”

Your action is urgently needed to preserve employment services.

Jobs conference committee members from the Minnesota House and Senate are meeting this week to determine what legislation should be passed on to Governor Dayton. Please let them know that employment services for individuals with disabilities is a critical need.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) empowers Minnesotans with disabilities to find and keep jobs by providing employment services such as job counseling, job search assistance, training and job placement.

Please take a moment to contact legislators on the conference committee and ask them to include an additional $3.5 million in funding for Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) in the final jobs bill agreement.

Sen. Jeremy Miller (28, R)

Sen. Paul T. Anderson (44, R)

Sen. Gary H. Dahms (16, R)

Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (59, DFL)

Sen. David J. Osmek (33, R)

Rep. Pat Garofalo (58B, R)
651-296-1069 or 888-667-3337

Rep. Jim Newberger (15B, R)
651-296-2451 or 800-706-9962

Rep. Joe Hoppe (47B, R)

Rep. Marion O’Neill (29B, R)
651-296-5063 or 800-920-5875

Rep. Tim Mahoney (67A, DFL)

Questions? Contact Jo Erbes, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities: 612-455-1232,

Urgent Action Alert: Protect Complex PCA Services in Conference Committee

Posted on April 28th, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

As you are aware a group of individuals have been working on a Complex Care Bill this legislative session. As bill now move through the conference committee it’s time to reach out to legislators. Lance Hegland recently shared this information:

If you or someone you know relies on PCA program help 10+ hours each day, please contact the following MN House Reps as soon as possible. This is really important for those living in the areas listed. We need everyone’s help so Representatives clearly understand the staffing challenges plus health and safety risks we’re experiencing.

Representative Matt Dean [District 38B]
North Oaks, White Bear Lake, Hugo, Dellwood area
Rep. Matt Dean’s Website

Representative Joe Schomacker [District 22A]
Luverne, Pipestone, Slayton, Balaton, Tracy area
651-296-5505 or 888-727-6307
Rep. Joe Shomacker’s Website

Representative Tony Albright [District 55B]
Jordan, Shakopee, Prior Lake area
Rep. Tony Albright’s Website

Your Minnesota House Representative — tell your Representative to pass your critical message along to Representatives Dean, Schomacker, and Albright. Find Your State Representative

Tell them: “Protect the lives — the basic health and safety — of older adults and people with disabilities impacted by our severe PCA staffing shortage. Include the complex PCA service language from Senate File 800, Article 1: Sections 5-9, lines 8.10 to 16.25 in the Health and Human Services (HHS) Omnibus Bill.”

Thank you for your support of older adults, people with disabilities, support workers, and our families throughout Minnesota.

Sincerely, Lance

Lance Hegland


The U.S. Access Board Town Hall meeting

Posted on April 14th, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

Save the Date!!

The U.S. Access Board is pleased to announce a Town Hall meeting!!!!

May 9, 2017 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

University of Minnesota
University Recreation and Wellness Center
123 Harvard Street, SE
Room 169 (Beacon Room)
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The tentative agenda includes the following:

  • 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. Welcoming remarks and overview of the Board
  • 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Panel discussions
  • 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Open Q&A session

Access Board meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. An assistive listening system, computer assisted real-time transcription (CART), and sign language interpreters will be available. Persons attending are requested to refrain from using perfume, cologne, and other fragrances for the comfort of other participants.If you need additional information, please contact Dave Yanchulis (202) 272-0026 or

PDF version of this notice

Seeking public comments on person-centered planning

Posted on April 14th, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

Minnesota’s Olmstead Subcabinet is seeking public comments on person-centered planning throughout the month of April.

People with disabilities and their families are invited to participate in a special public comment period on person-centered planning during the Olmstead Subcabinet meeting on Monday, April 24th, 2017.

This is your opportunity to share your thoughts and experiences with the Olmstead Subcabinet regarding:

  • What is working well with person-centered planning?
  • What are some opportunities for improvement?
  • What would you like the Subcabinet to know about your experience with person-centered planning?

There are several ways to share your comments, thoughts, and experiences (please submit your comment before April 30th):

  • In person – Attend the Olmstead Subcabinet Meeting on April 24th, 2017 in person or by phone. The meeting is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. The public comment period take place from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Each person will be given 3 minutes to allow everyone enough time to participate.
  • Online – Use our online form on our website to submit your comment.
  • Mail – Olmstead Implementation Office, 400 Sibley Street, Suite 300, St Paul, MN 55101
  • Survey – Complete this short online poll about your experiences with person-centered planning [The poll has been closed.]
  • Phone – 651.296.8081 – Leave your comment on our voicemail.

Vision of Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan: All people with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting of their choice.

Disability Matters Day at the Capitol

Posted on February 16th, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

From: The Arc Minnesota Organizer of Disability Matters Day at the Capitol

Disability Advocates!

Come on February 28 to the State Capitol! Self-advocates, family members, other advocates, and their allies will gather for Disability Matters Day at the Capitol, and we invite you to join us there, too. Sign up to come using the online registration form. Set up a meeting with your legislator before you come. On the day of the event, check in at the L’etoile du Nord Room in the basement of the State Capitol after MN-CCD’s Tuesday at the Capitol, and pick up materials and fact sheets that you’ll need that day. Then join advocates from around the state at 11:30 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda, and rally for the services that make your life possible. Before or after the rally, share your story and concerns with your state legislators before you head home.

The event’s sponsors include Brain Injury Alliance of Minnesota, Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation, Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, and The Arc Minnesota.  Contact Mike Gude with any questions and to RSVP at See you at the Capitol!

Minnesota’s Accessible Reading Source

Posted on January 31st, 2017 in Featured, Uncategorized

Does any of the following describe you?

  • Have trouble reading print?
  • Can’t see the words on a page?
  • Find words too small and blurry?
  • Can’t hold a book or turn pages?
  • Have a reading disability?

The Communication Center at SSB (Minnesota State Services for the Blind) may be able to help.

The Communication Center provides books, newspapers, magazines and other printed materials in alternate formats for people who are blind, visually impaired, DeafBlind or who have other disabilities that make it difficult for them to read print.

Services provides help people stay informed, in-touch with their communities, entertained, and to meet their education and employment goals. These include:

  • Transcription into Braille, audio, or electronic text–including books for students
  • 24/7 radio broadcast of Braille, audio, or electronic text
  • Access to news, job postings, and TV listings by phone or mobile device
  • Extensive library of books in accessible formats

Services are provided to anyone with a qualifying visual or physical disability. To determine if you’re eligible, complete and submit the application for services form (Word).

Minnesota Disaster Recovery Center to Open in Hennepin County

Posted on December 14th, 2016 in Featured, Uncategorized

A disaster recovery center will open Thursday, Dec. 15 in Hennepin County to help renters, homeowners and businesses in Minnesota affected by the severe storms and flooding of Sept. 21-24.

Read the complete news release: Minnesota Disaster Recovery Center to Open in Hennepin County (PDF)