Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes

Our Options’ Self Advocacy group is participating in the DETS Training.  DETS stands for Disability Equality Training.  Our teacher is Bev Kaler from Self Advocates Minnesota.  We meet two times each month on Wednesday afternoons. The first four sessions, we talked about was Building Personal Power.  We made value collages about ourselves and shared them with the group.  Our value collages had pictures and words about things we value.  We also learned how to be assertive using respectful language. On Valentines Day we had Open Mic Night where every member had an opportunity to talk, sing, tell a story, read a poem, tell jokes, or share a hobby.  It was difficult for many of the advocates to stand in front of the group and perform.  The objective of this experience was to help us build confidence in ourselves. Our second four sessions, our topic was Connecting to Disability Rights.  We learned about disability laws and history.  We discussed the three disability laws:  Americans with Disability Acts, Section 504, and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  We role played the game, “You be the Judge” where we listened to stories about people and decided if what happened to them was legal or not legal.  We were educated on our rights as contributing members of our communities. Our last three sessions will be about Building Community.  We will discuss ways we can be leaders and contribute to our community.  We will experience the pride of giving back to the community and making it a better place by doing a volunteer project. Lastly, we will all graduate with a celebration that honors and... read more

Impact On Services

September 30, 2015 Olmstead Plan Approved Judge Donovan Frank approved the Minnesota Olmstead Plan on Tuesday. In his conclusion. Judge Frank made clear that individual choice is central to the Olmstead decision and the plan should not be construed as an effort to force the closure of certain facilities. Options and programs like ours are faced with several state and federal initiatives that will have a significant impact on the services we provide such as the Olmstead Plan and the principles it incorporates. While writing an article for the website that covers the key initiatives and the potential impact to Options services, I received a special edition newsletter, The Buzz, from Wacosa. Wacosa is a Day Training & Habilitation program, serving people in the St. Cloud and surrounding areas.   In The Buzz, Steve Howard, the Executive Director, writes about five initiatives that will have the most significant impact on programs like ours. His article effectively captures the key elements of each initiative, expresses the concerns, and poses those questions all providers like ours are asking. Because Steve graciously allowed me to link his newsletter to our website, I would like to share Steve’s article as he has done an amazing job in thoroughly explaining why these changes are worthy of our attention.   In conclusion, he provides excellent recommendations on what we can do to share our views regarding the future of center-based services. I too encourage you to take the time to read the articles in The Buzz and welcome any questions you might have. Over the next year we will hear much more about these initiatives... read more