Free training with national speaker

July 31, 2019


This training is free and prior to the Odyssey conference at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center in Duluth, Minnesota

To learn more and to register for this session go to:

Training information:

Good Life? How to Use Charting the LifeCourse

Charting the Lifecourse™ are a collection of life planning materials created BY FAMILIES to help individuals and families to develop a vision for a good life. Charting the Lifecourse™ can help people with disabilities and their families think about what they need to know at any age or stage of life, including how to find or develop supports and discover what it takes to live the lives they choose. In this session, we will focus on how individuals, families and people that work with families can use Charting the Lifecourse™.

Presenter: Jane St. John is a national speaker and trainer for the Charting the LifeCourse™ at the University of Missouri -Institute for Human Development, UCEDD.  Jane specializes in supporting families, supported decision making, family leadership and parent/family training. Jane is the parent of three young men. Her son Ben has a developmental disability.  Jane is a strong supporter of community inclusion, and has worked closely in her community to promote inclusive practices.



Twin Ports ADA Celebration

Access North and North Country Independent Living will be co-hosting a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on August 2, 2019 at Park Point.  The event will include a concert in the park with Gaelynn Lea, storytelling by Amy Salloway, mayoral proclamations, speakers, food vendors, accessibility awards, and exhibits by local artists.  Festivities will run from 1-4 PM.  All are welcome to attend–bring your own chair and umbrella.


Seeking Board Members

Arc Northland currently has open positions on the Board of Directors for an individual with a marketing/communications background and an individual with legal background.  For more information please contact Laurie Berner, Executive Director at


Parent Meetings about Autism

DHS will host the next in a series of public meetings about services for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Specifically, the meetings will share information on services for people younger than 21 years old that are available through:

  • • Medical Assistance
  • • MinnesotaCare
  • • Minnesota Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA).

Upcoming dates

June 26 in Moorhead

  • • Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m.
  • • Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2019
  • • Place: Moorhead Public Library Community Room (118 5th St,. Moorhead, Minnesota 56560)
  • • RSVP: Space is limited; please email to reserve a place.

July 31 in Grand Rapids

  • • Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m.
  • • Date: Wednesday, June 31, 2019
  • • Place: Itasca Resource Center, Room 122 (1209 SE 2nd Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744)
  • • RSVP: Space is limited; please email to reserve a place.
  • • Webinar option: To participate, email


Meeting topics include:

  • • General autism information
  • • Information on the Early Intensive Developmental and Behavioral Intervention benefit
  • • How to access state financial help.

Participants will have the chance to ask questions and tell DHS staff about problems and successes related to autism services.


Anyone who needs a reasonable accommodation or language assistance to participate in these meetings should as soon as possible and list the type of accommodation needed.


Free App to Help You Tell Your Story to Public Officials

Partners in Policymaking has a great app available to help you compose and practice your personal story to present to elected public officials or other policymakers. Learn the best ways to introduce yourself and talk about your issue, record and practice your story, and include a photo if you would like.


Criminal Record Expungement Clinics

Sponsored by Legal Aid Service of NE MN

First Tuesday of every month

Ordean Building conference rooms, 424 W. Superior St.

Clinics begin promptly at 2 PM.

Bring a copy of your criminal record with you and find out:

Can the court expunge my record?  How do I fill out the petition?  What documentation do I need to include?  Where do I file the petition?  How do I get a hearing?  And more!

Open to the public.  No RSVP necessary.


Partners in Policymaking Program

Minnesotans with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities are encouraged to apply for a comprehensive advocacy training course, Partners in Policymaking® ( program at no cost.  Starting in September, the nationally recognized leadership training offers eight sessions over nine months.

“Our goal is that graduates gain a clear understanding of disability law and policies.  The training increases their self-confidence in advocating for their needs,” said Dr. Colleen Wieck, executive director of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. “As they have learned to speak up for people with disabilities, many have become leaders in their own communities.” The Minnesota-inspired program is also offered in most states and several foreign countries.

This highly acclaimed and finely-tuned leadership training taps into national experts and utilizes group participation.  Described by many as life-changing, in its 32-year history, more than 1,000 Minnesotans have become leaders in their own communities.  Participants become effective advocates for themselves, their children, and others with disabilities.

Sessions cover the history of disability and self-advocacy movements, inclusive education, supported living, competitive employment, and avenues to influence county, state and federal legislative processes.  For convenience, the monthly two-day sessions are held on Fridays and Saturdays, from September to May (with no session in December). The March session is on a Sunday and Monday, when participants prepare for, 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 provided for those who travel from outside the metro area to attend. Mileage is reimbursed, and meals are provided. Sessions are held at the Crowne Plaza Aire, at 3 Appletree Square in Bloomington, near Mall of America and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Limited to 40 Minnesotans, participants are selected by a panel of Partners graduates and representatives of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The first session for the 2019 to 2020 program year is September 13 to 14.  Local experts and nationally recognized leaders in school inclusion, community organizing, governmental processes, and disability issues are among the presenters. Applications can be downloaded at and are due by July 8.

“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.

Those selected to participate in the program must attend all sessions and complete homework assignments.  For further information, or to get an application form, go to or contact Brenton Rice at, or 612-242-6589.

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.