MOHR impact
December 2020
Virtual release party Dec. 18 on Facebook and Zoom | listen on YouTube
Remote services fill needs, bring together
Opportunity Partners engagement, experiences, more benefits
When day services at all Opportunity Partners locations were suspended by the state from March to July 2020 due to the pandemic, the impact was felt by hundreds of adults with disabilities who rely on OP for activities, engagement and employment.

When it became clear that restrictions on day services were going to continue for some time, OP pivoted to offer remote services to interested individuals -more-
WACOSA video effort began before COVID-19, bridged social gaps
WACOSA Connect Academy, live on the Zoom online meeting platform, began a year ago as we started to look at new ways to use technology, specifically video-making and video communication. We saw this as a way to increase connections between the people we serve and community businesses.
I would like to share a story about a client who I serve at Rock County Opportunities (RCO) in Luverne, Minn., and how our Virtual Service program (remote services) has positively influenced his life. First, I would like to give a little background about this individual. I have known him for over six years, and we have always had a pretty good relationship. This man normally kept to himself while he was at the RCO building. -more-
MSS virtual efforts bring people together from far and wide
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary suspension of day programs in Minnesota, MSS knew that the people in its programs were still going to need additional support while at home.
The nonprofit quickly pivoted and created a series of engaging remote classes so people could feel connected and engaged while staying safe. MSS brought tablets to those who did not have the technology to join in, so everyone was included. Class topics include current events, cooking and nutrition -more-
Johnson leads MOHR through storms, earns top award
The “Tip of the Spear” has been aptly described as the first to rise to the challenge, take meaningful action and persist in accomplishing the objective. MOHR’s 2020 award bearing this name goes to a person who kindly and firmly enters the arena to advocate for people with disabilities, Julie Johnson.

Serving as MOHR’s president for the last two years, little could she have known what COVID-19 would bring to an industry that was already facing substantial challenges. Service suspensions and ongoing constraints have placed immense financial challenges on MOHR members.

“Julie’s advocacy efforts on behalf of all disability service providers throughout the state have been nothing short of heroic,” said a group of disability professionals making one of two nominations. Interviewing with local media, writing countless letters to legislators, the governor and the Department of Human Services as well as the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Johnson fought for emergency grant funding to maintain the disability service infrastructure during the pandemic.
The MOHR Executive Committee presents the 'Tip of the Spear Award' to President Julie Johnson during an online meeting.
Vegetable cut crew supports substantial Albert Lea food producer
Cedar Valley Services in Austin, Minn. began working with Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen during the busy summer months of 2018, providing a short-term workforce when they needed help with their vegetable line.

We were scheduled to work in addition to their temporary employees and college students, and it was just for the summer season. Initially we had one job coach and three consumers commute to the food service plant in Albert Lea. -more-
MOHR leader Steve Ditschler named for workforce award
ProAct CEO Steve Ditschler received the Mark McAfee Friend of Workforce Development Award from the Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board. Ditschler is retiring from Eagan-based ProAct after 20 years and has served as treasurer for MOHR since its inception. -more-
In the NEWS
MRCI, CHOICE, Interact share virtual info on radio - full program - KFAI Disability and Progress

MN disability services increasingly concerned . . .

Pandemic cuts number of clients at ERDAC, still producing holiday crafts - Mesabi Tribune

Communities that KARE: Best Buddies in Minnesota - KARE 11

Kickstart: Grants support MDI and its mission employing people with disabilities

Grand Rapids plastic plant to expand, add 75 jobs - Star Tribune

Honors: MOHR has named its outstanding disability employers for 2020

New Program Aims To Train Doctors On Developmental Disabilities

SMILES Center connects people with disabilities- KEYC Mankato

Rochester volunteers are making the holidays special for people with disabilities on Christmas Eve - KAAL TV News

Minnesota non-profit helping those with disabilities, mental illness stay active during pandemic - KSTP 5 News

Support Minnesota artists with disabilities with Interact Center's holiday sale- 4WWL

Multiple Rochester organizations spreading awareness for International Persons with Disabilities Day - KIMT TV News

A seat at the table: Maplewood disability rights advocate wins seat on City Council
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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.