MOHR impact
June 2021
Need for virtual programs continues
Rochester, Duluth providers speak up
ABC@Home remote services
Virtual Tai Chi with CHOICE, unlimited
WDIO TV - Dancing, art, Tai Chi are online classes through CHOICE, unlimited
WDIO TV - Joy of cooking moves online for CHOICE, unlimited
InsideABC - ABC launches ABC@Home
When the pandemic closed most in-person services, many Minnesota day programs pivoted to virtual formats to stay connected. It's been a lifeline to hundreds, if not thousands with disabilities.

Virtual programs provide classes on education, fitness, cooking and recreation, and also offer social engagements. And, they have eased the sense of isolation many experienced.

Funding for such services is currently paid at the same rate as in-person work, and could hold steady or be cut by lawmakers and the governor. Service providers are eagerly awaiting the results of Health and Human Services budget negotiations, and final results to be signed into law.

Providers say that continuing these services is also crucial to support those who are unable to return to programs in-person. Additionally, they have learned that this type of service helps people who are ill, in hospice or for other reasons unable to attend. For these and other reasons, providers are asking that virtual services be made a permanent offering for individuals with disabilities.

Virtual programming started organically, more than a year ago for some providers. When the pandemic first hit in March of 2020, CHOICE, unlimited in Duluth kept checking in with clients, and soon started structured online gatherings. -more-
Hiring crisis for disability service providers deepens
Finding staff for disability program providers was an issue prior to the pandemic and the problem has not eased. As more people want to return to in-person services, providers are struggling to fill positions and many are unable to have more people return to in-person programming.

Spring Lake Park-based Rise, with more than two dozen locations in the Twin Cities and outstate, is stepping up advertising for its openings, changing its compensation model and offering a $1,000 hiring bonus, as well as adding HR recruitment staff, explains VP of Advancement Noel McCormick.

Many of its open positions, including for direct support professionals (DSPs), have far fewer applicants, some are not attracting qualified people and others are garnering no applicants at all. A number of case manager and supervisory positions which were easier to fill in the past are open now.

Some providers are seeking any possible solution while waiting for legislative action to make direct care wages more competitive with the overall job market, explains Linda Moore, executive director of Chrestomathy, Inc. in the Twin Cities.

The nonprofit said that while many industries face similar labor challenges and have had to become more competitive with wages, disability service providers are not able to increase their price point for services to offset increased wage expenses. -more-
Polk County DAC's East Grand Forks and Crookston locations.
MOHR Life Enrichment Award winners featured
Achieve Services 'The Morning Show' earns statewide recognition
WACOSA wins prestigious recognition - KNSI Radio

WACOSA receives 2021 Life Enrichment Award - WJON Radio
Ramping up, MOHR DSP Awards, DSP Week
Summer is the time to start thinking about the Annual MOHR Direct Support Professional Awards and DSP Week in September. How have the DSPs in your sphere made a positive impact this past year and who stands out as exceptional?

Nominations for MOHR's DSP of the Year Awards begin in July and will be awarded at the Fall Conference in September. National DSP Recognition Week is September 12 to 18. You can plan ahead to show appreciation and acknowledge the important contributions DSPs make.
Camaraderie, training, Lake Superior MOHR Fall Conference
Registration opens July 12 for the in-person MOHR Fall Conference in Duluth, which runs September 16 to 17. The cost is $160 and the event is limited to 150 attendees. So many topics, and opportunities to connect with colleagues:

  • 'Don't Go There,' avoiding power struggles
  • Waiver Reimagine panel
  • Assisting TBI (brain injury) individuals in the workplace
  • Assistive technology for engagement
  • Sex, healthy body image and sexuality
  • Creative ways to motivate participants
  • Exceptional goal setting
  • Mentorship

Have lunch at JJ Astor's in the rotating top of the Radission Hotel Duluth (registration limited). The event follows MOHR's Legislative Conference on September 15 at the same location.
Sept. 15 | Legislative Conference
Sept. 16-17 | Fall Conference
Radisson Hotel Duluth
In the NEWS
MRCI reboots community day service, disability program - Mankato Free Press

One local mom is bringing a Minnesota special hockey team to the med city - KIMT 3 News

Pandemic Exaggerated Pressures on DSPs, report finds - Disability Scoop

Mankato MRCI Thrift Shop closes its doors - Access Press

Minnesota must boost wages for home health care workers - MinnPost

Families fight to change law that keeps people with Down syndrome off organ donor list - WCCO 4 News

Artists with disabilities continue performing with the help of Zoom - KSTP 5 News

Labor Dept. initiative to improve employment for people with mental health conditions - KSTP 5 News

'I have hopes and dreams': 26-year-old determined . . .

'Now is the time to finally make humane treatment of our citizens with developmental disabilities a priority - The News Gazette, Illinois

Disability advocates in western NY rally for better wages for direct service professionals - Spectrumlocalnews

New Jersey reopens day programs days before planned protest by disability community -
Musician profile and MDI feature from Disability Channel Minnesota
Waiver Reimagine resources available -
You can find more information about Waiver Reimagine on the MOHR member website. Find links to the DHS Waiver Reimagine page, the Community-Based Services Manual, and answers to frequently asked questions. The MOHR subcommittee devoted to Waiver Reimagine will continue to provide more information as it becomes available.
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The Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation - To Advocate and support members in providing meaningful services to persons with disabilities and communities served.