MOHR impact
April 2021
Rick Cardenas, Flickr
Cliff Poetz, courtesy ACL
Cardenas, Poetz were disability icons
The state lost two substantial disability advocates in recent weeks, Rick Cardenas and Cliff Poetz.

Cardenas secured funds for and led the "Remembering with Dignity" project, which replaced numbered grave markers at state institutions with actual names of the people with disabilities who were buried, explains Bob Brick, who recently retired from Accord. He also worked for years with self-advocacy groups at MSS, speaking and teaching young people how to advocate in St. Paul. Cardenas served with Advocating Change Together, the Center for Disability Leadership and Self-Advocates of Minnesota. Several obituaries ran celebrating his life - Star Tribune | Pioneer Press | Access Press

Another disability icon of note who passed on was Cliff Poetz. Active in The Arc, and the Institute on Community Integration, he was a "pioneer in the self-advocacy movement." View Facebook post and photos
Son is mother's joy, DSPs his lifeline
Matt Wagner was born with Down syndrome in 1985. His mother, Nancy, was told she had a mongoloid baby. A nurse said the family should send him away to avoid the heartache of raising him. The Wagners found many people who could help and their son now attends Opportunity Partners and lives in an apartment. Direct support professionals are a crucial component to his life and need our support, his mother said. Read her story
Matt Wagner needs a stable cadre of DSPs to maintain his well-being.
Bringing services out in new ways, enriching lives
Five out of six MOHR Life Enrichment Award winners in 2021 were recognized for online service innovations for people with disabilities and the sixth for an entirely different approach to community engagement.

Even a pandemic couldn’t stop the determination of Minnesota service providers to reach people with valuable services. No matter the situation, human needs are the same, and MOHR members are there to provide valuable help. -more-
Please congratulate our 2021 Life Enrichment Award winners:
  • Achieve Services, Twin Cities
  • MRCI, Mankato, New Ulm, Twin Cities
  • MSS, Twin Cities
•   Opportunity Partners, Twin Cities
•   Pinewood Cloquet, Inc., Cloquet
•   WACOSA, Waite Park (St. Cloud)
Working now for future success, better lives, services
Julie Johnson, above left, formally receives MOHR's Tip of the Spear Award at the association's first in-person meeting in many months, held at WACOSA near St. Cloud. Lynne Megan presented. -more-
Disability Services Day at the Capitol presented a great opportunity to share with legislators how our services support people with disabilities to maximize their abilities and live their best lives possible. We were not sure how this important day would turn out since it was held virtually, but thankfully it was well attended and went smoothly.

We are fortunate to have built ongoing relationships with legislators who consistently champion causes important to our field. Thank you to everyone who participated in this day and to those who did the behind the scenes planning to make it happen. I am looking forward to having this event in person next year.

Challenges ahead, shaping policy

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we know there is a challenging year ahead as we continue to provide quality supports to people with disabilities across the state. What we have learned in the last year has shaped our current legislative efforts. Our focus areas include making Employment Exploration Services rates adequate and sustainable, making remote services a permanent option for people, and using one-time federal funds coming to Minnesota to provide tools to address workforce recruitment and retention. Our hope is to continue partnering with the legislature, DHS, and all other interested -more-
Timely topics, new Lake Superior setting, great times with industry pros
Many helpful topics are ahead for MOHR's Fall Conference- September 16 and 17 in Duluth:

  • 'Don't Go There,' avoiding power struggles
  • Waiver Reimagine panel
  • Assisting TBI 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 helpful sessions and encouragement follow MOHR's Legislative Conference at the same location on September 15. More info and registration coming!
Sept. 15 | Legislative Conference
Sept. 16-17 | Fall Conference
Radisson Hotel Duluth
In the NEWS
Minnesota unemployment drops slightly

Virtual music assists nonverbal man - ProAct, Inc.

Archives: 2011- millions in cuts expected for disability services - The Bemidji Pioneer

Opinion: Learning from pandemic: human needs the same - MinnPost

SEMCIL helping people who live with disabilities break down barriers

Minnesota's All-Hockey Hair team endures, despite obstacles - Star Tribune

Disabled may want to save stimulus money in an ABLE account - CNBC

Opinion: I shouldn't have to dehumanize my son to get him support - The Nation

People with disabilities bumped on vaccination list for veterinarians, advocates say - Washington Times

VIRTUAL SCHOOL: Southeast Minnesota teen benefits from online setting

DD Council's 'Partners in Education' completely revised - MN DD Council

2021 National CP Awareness Award Winner - CP Foundation | Facebook
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.