abc
QUICK LINKS:

People with Disabilities Speak for Change in Public Programs

Updated: 05/20/2014 1:33 PM
Created: 05/19/2014 3:45 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Officials from several Minnesota departments gathered in Duluth on Monday to hear from people with disabilities. Their input will guide changes to public programs that impact the disabled, but several were frustrated with the bureaucratic process.

Minnesota's Olmstead Plan is meant to direct public programs for people with disabilities while giving the disabled a voice in the process. That was why the Olmstead Subcabinent set up shop in Duluth's city council chambers on Monday. The group of state officials wanted to hear how they could better serve people with disabilities, but Bridget Riversmith said the meeting itself was a problem.

“While I really appreciate the listening sessions, three minutes once a year does not feel adequate for me to give my input,” Riversmith said.

She said many disabled people like her did not hear about this opportunity to speak up, and those who did had to work or could not make it to city hall. Advocate Laura Birnbaum said people with disabilities in the rural reaches of the Northland have a tough time arranging a ride.

“Transportation is rural areas is a huge issue so transportation just to get to their daily jobs, fun activities or just daily life things that a lot of us take for granted they don't have access to,” Birnbaum said.

Birnbaum hopes more can be done on the transportation front, but she said an even bigger issue is that people with disabilities don't always see independence as an option.

“So a person with a disability, if you don't see other people working in the community getting paid competitive wages or you don't see people living in their own apartments on their own it's about informed choice or even knowing that's is an option. So how do you advocate for something that you want if it's not even part of your reality,” Birnbaum said.

She said people with disabilities can feel secluded even living in communities, but social workers bridging the gap could make a difference.

“To really connect people and kind of get rid of that label so people will see a person and not just a label,” Birnbaum said.

That takes time and resources, but people with disabilities and their advocates said they will continue to rally for state support. 

The Olmstead Subcabinet has two more listening sessions scheduled on June 9 and August 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The location of those meetings is still being determined.

Front Page

  • Alleged Wisc. Bank Robber in St. Louis County Jail

    A man was arrested in Duluth Saturday night after he allegedly robbed a bank in Eau Claire, Wisc. the night before. The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Eau Claire on Friday night.

  • Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener

    The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.

  • Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season

    Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.

  • "By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth

    Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally. 

  • MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000

    Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.

 

Dense Fog Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland; Bayfield; Burnett; Douglas; Iron; Price; Sawyer; Washburn
Expires: 11/24/2014 12:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Bayfield; Douglas
Expires: 11/25/2014 6:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland
Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Iron
Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Ontonagon
Expires: 11/25/2014 7:00 AM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement