MOHR impact
Summer 2022
Full inclusion, community with individuals on 'the hunt'
In the fields and woods of northern Minnesota lies an opportunity for inclusion and community with centuries of history and an abounding level of local interest‑ the large animal hunt.

People with disabilities enjoyed such an adventure with an expert guide and now full-time executive director of East Polk County DAC, Cooper Wilson.

Just shy of 30 years old, Wilson has hunted since his youth, and shared his experience with Larry Ostlund and Dale Williams, who attend the EPCDAC program.

“They’ve been limited to an extent by their disabilities their whole lives, and haven’t had these opportunities,” said Wilson. “It was a fun thing to do, to give it a shot and both enjoyed it.”

Using rifles chambered in 7mm magnum with suppressors, the men pursued cow elk, females weighing 500 to 700 pounds. The place was 2S Whitetail Ranch in Clearbrook, just over a half hour from Fosston. Wilson went to high school with the owner.
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'Save our Homes' rally takes message to mansion
Families sponsored a "Save Our Homes" June 24 rally at the Minnesota governor's mansion in St. Paul to communicate the seriousness of the disability funding situation.ACR Homes, a residential disability care provider, promoted the rally and the group has a Facebook page dedicated to the effort.
Group home closures put many disabled Minnesotans at risk, advocates say - Minnesotans with a range of disabilities face a worrisome future as a wave of group home closures hits the state.

Keep connecting, for sake of disability services
Summertime visits with your legislators can be valuable in keeping them up to date on program functions and needs. Continual conversations with state leaders need to happen to keep disability services in the forefront and on the agenda. Photo from Worthington Daily Globe: Rep. Joe Schomacker, right, lends a hand at Rock County Opportunities in Luverne.
DSP, Tip of the Spear award winners shine
Epic Enterprise, Functional Industries, ProAct, TSE round out DSP, Tip of Spear Awards
Please join MOHR in congratulating the top Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) for the state of Minnesota and the prestigious "Tip of the Spear" Award winner, an inspiring and impactful individual who has greatly benefited the lives of people with disabilities. -more-
At right, DSP Award recipient Sam Davis, right, with an individual at Functional Industries in Buffalo.
  • Tom Fix, ProAct, Inc., Shakopee - Enrichment Focus, Metro
  • Samantha Davis, Functional Industries, Buffalo - Enrichment Focus, Greater Minnesota
  • Alyssa Sampson, Epic Enterprise, Northfield, Enrichment Focus, Greater Minnesota
  • Anna Thompson, TSE, Inc., St. Paul - Employment Service, Metro
  • Mari Sorgatz, Epic Enterprise, Northfield - Employment Service, Greater Minnesota
  • Lynne Megan, TSE, Inc., St. Paul, Tip of the Spear
Above, DSP Award winner Tom Fix, center, with ProAct CEO Judie Foster-Lupkin, left, and Day Support Services Manager Ali Brown in Duluth.
Sorgatz, Sampson receive DSP awards from MOHR
MOHR has updated its Purpose, Mission and Guiding Principles. Learn more about the organization and the values it upholds.
In the NEWS
Bemidji Pioneer 30th Annual Fishing Has No Boundaries event held for anglers with disabilities Dozens of anglers gathered at the shore of Lake Bemidji on Saturday for a day of fishing as part of Bemidji’s 30th annual Fishing Has No Boundaries event. The event, with the purpose of offering those with disabilities a chance to go fishing, drew about 55 anglers from around the region.
Star Tribune 'The system is in ruins': Minnesotans with disabilities feel left behind amid workforce shortage - Before the pandemic, Caleb George-Guidry lived in a group home with a circle of friends and staff who understood his spirited personality. He also attended a day support center where he enjoyed a wide range of activities, from painting to yoga, designed for adults like him with significant disabilities. Now, more than two years later, George-Guidry's life has been turned upside down. Because of severe staffing shortages, the 31-year-old last fall was forced to move out of his group home of the past 12 years and into a new house with strangers who did not comprehend his way of communication.
Star Tribune Letter from MOHR member These words hit me powerfully in the June 5 story, "Doors close for disabled adults." As a Twin Cities psychologist who has worked with people with disabilities on their life enrichment and employment goals for more than 35 years, I can say that the safety net designed to protect the people with the most significant needs among us is tragically failing these individuals.
Duluth News Tribune Disability staff shortages increasing due to COVID, wage issues - ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Programs that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are among the many affected by COVID and wage issues. Many programs providing employment and day enrichment supports had to shut down at the start of the pandemic. Once they were able to reopen, they were unable to find adequate staffing. "We're chronically short 15 to 20 positions across the state," said Steve Skauge, president of Productive Alternatives, a service that connects adults with disabilities to employment opportunities.
Access Press Paula Goldberg's PACER legacy to live on Paula Goldberg is remembered for her strong advocacy and passion for helping children with disabilities. Goldberg, a cofounder of PACER Center and a driving force behind its anti-bullying efforts, died May 15. at her winter home in Santa Monica. She was 79 and lived for part of the year in Minneapolis.
Mankato Free Press Our View: Legislature: GOP rejection of special session hurts outstate- We hope Minnesota legislators of good faith consider a self-evaluation and inward prayer-like contemplation to ask themselves if they’re doing everything they can for the people of Minnesota as soon as they can.
A legislative special session is one thing they can still do to fill the many unmet needs of seniors, school children, people with disabilities, farmers and workers..
Grand Rapids Herald Review- Pandemic lockdowns, closures tough on people with disabilities (subscription-based) (HealthDay News) -- When the early days of the pandemic prompted social distancing measures and gym closures, people with certain disabilities had a much harder time getting exercise and their mental health suffered, new research shows. Researchers studying those impacts surveyed more than 950 people with diverse disabilities. They identified four categories of individuals within the disability community with varying levels of impact, with the most affected group known as "heavily impacted."
NBC News In a first, airport installs mock airline cabine to help fliers with disabilities Travelers with physical, cognitive and other limitations can build confidence and reduce stress at the mock cabin at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport.
WCCO Radio New DEED Office of Public Engagement focused on improving inclusion efforts
MinnPost How providing more money for special education would actually mean more money for all Minnesota public school students Because special education services are mandated by the federal government — and because federal and state funding doesn’t actually cover the cost of them — districts move money from other budget areas to cover the costs.
KSTP Special Olympics Minnesota sends off 145 athletes, coaches to USA games Special Olympics Minnesota athletes and coaches hit the runway Saturday morning to make their way to Orlando for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Athletes were sent off with a breakfast party at the Radisson Blu and a water salute from airport firefighters.
MinnPost Call the special session, Gov. Walz; Greater Minnesota cannot wait - editorial in Mankato Free Press.
Star Tribune State enforcement action against disability service provider could affect hundreds Bridges MN has been sanctioned more than 50 times for a wide range of health and safety violations.
CBS Dallas Forth Worth Employing adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Hugs Cafe and Greenhouse gives back Owner of Hugs Café and Greenhouse, Ruth Thompson's vision has created a recipe for success. (Be sure to watch the story below).
The Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation - provides leadership, inspires excellence, engages in advocacy, and facilitates the success of its members through collaboration, research, networking, awareness building, resources, and active participation in legislative and policy-making forums.