MOHR impact
May 2022
Welded 'Candy Crane' to engage community for big art event
A welded sculpture made by individuals with disabilities at Hubbard County DAC, “Candy Crane,” is being featured at the Sculpture Trail Opening and Tour event on May 21 in downtown Park Rapids. Fourteen sculptures are on hand, chosen for quality, style, materials and responsiveness of entrants.

“This has increased the sense of pride that HCDAC artists feel and validates the work, talent and creativity,” said Hubbard County DAC Executive Director Laura Johnson.

Candy Crane is a creation by people at the DAC’s Salvage Depot. Individuals took part in a basic welding course taught by Alex Hine this past winter, said Johnson. In this class, people were taught welding skills as well as safety procedures. Using those new skills, they proceeded to design and create the crane sculpture with the help of DAC staff.

The Sculpture Trail project was initiated in 2018 in Red Bridge Park, providing a beautiful setting on the Fishhook River, Johnson said. In 2019, it expanded to two locations in downtown Park Rapids -more-
Video - Life Enrichment programs awarded
MOHR 2022 Life Enrichment Award winners highlight the importance of community-based services. Read stories in area media.

Pioneer Press: Walz, top lawmakers reach deal
Pioneer Press: $1 billion for health and human services. Finer points of how the money gets spent still need to be worked out.
Final alert to reach out
MOHR is urging members, families and other supporters to reach out one last time to legislators to ask that they invest in wages and benefits for Direct Support Professionals working in waiver-funded disability services.
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MOHR testifies for Omnibus HHS Policy, Funding Bill
At the Conference Committee on Senate File 4410 meeting last week, MOHR Government Affairs Committee Chair Lynn Noren gave an impactful summary of DWRS funding, clearing up misconceptions.

"Current state-set reimbursement rates for these services do not provide for wages and benefits that allow us to hire the staff needed to support Minnesotans with disabilities to live full and meaningful lives," said Noren.

The Minnesota Senate's Health and Human Services proposal acknowledges the wage crisis for direct support professionals (DSPs) and recommends adjustments to the DWRS system to use more up-to-date market data. Noren said it acknowledges the very real difference in the average wages currently paid to DSPs compared to those in similar occupations in Minnesota.
In the NEWS
Duluth News Tribune Understanding impacts of the disability staffing crisis - Before the pandemic, Dan Jarvis was on his way to levels of self-reliance he’d never known. A 30-year-old lifelong Duluth man with autism, Jarvis was living in a group home not far from his parents' house in the Hunters Park neighborhood when COVID-19 arrived
KSTP 5 News As group homes in Minnesota struggle to find workers, families forced to provide complex care for loved ones with disabilities - For the last six months, Nick Skluzacek’s regimented life has been anything but routine. The 29-year-old has Dravet Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes a severe form of epilepsy.
Blackduck American Moving Home - Disability leader drawn back to Northome - There are days when Tim Stanoch, 63, goes out the northern Minnesota Developmental Achievement Center's front door to make sure there's no church steeple on top.
KARE 11 News Target Field debuts new UnitedHealthcare Sensory Suite for guests with disabilities - The roar of the crowd, the seas of people in their seats, the blaring music and voices of the announcers are all part of the experience of catching a Twins game at Target Field. But for people with sensory issues, a game can start to feel overwhelming.
13 Towns Cooper Wilson is new East Polk County DAC director - With an engaging smile and pleasant attitude, Cooper Wilson is a Fosston, Minn. hometown guy who is new to disability services.
MN Department of Health Advocating for and supporting Minnesota's disability community through COVID-19
Mankato Free Press Writing of people with disabilities to be shared at reading
St. Cloud Times Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota Linda Hood advocates for accessible restrooms at St. Cloud State
Sports Illustrated University of Minnesota to Host Special Olympics USA Games in 2026 - Gov. Tim Walz said he is “incredibly proud” to have Minnesota host the seven-day event, which is expected to draw as many as 4,000 athletes, 10,000 volunteers, 1,500 coaches and 75,000 fans from all 50 states, Canada and the Caribbean.
Willmarradio.com Willmar Area Community Foundation gives out more than $188,000 in grants - $20,000 to the Bethesda Foundation to support the launch of Elevate 360 Employment Services program which will provide employment opportunities for under-employed persons such as individuals living with disabilities, mental health concerns, or in recovery. $8,000 to Advocacy & Inclusion Matter to increase programming, classes and events for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
WLNS 6 TV County of San Diego’s Recruitment of People with Developmental Disabilities for Paid Internships was a Success

Loveland reporter-Herald (Colo.) Fort Collins Police Services announces ‘game changer’ Vitals Aware app program
Spring Training Conference this week in Duluth to benefit members
MOHR spring conference attendees will learn how to turn communications into resources and support, build up new leaders and look to the future of day services. The Spring Training Conference kicks off on Thursday in Duluth and has much to offer. Many will be refreshed and better prepared to do their jobs, while making helpful connections with their peers.
The Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation - To Advocate and support members in providing meaningful services to persons with disabilities and communities served.