News Update from MNCDHH for July 3, 2012
In this Issue:
Community and MNCDHH representatives met with Governor Dayton for a ceremonial bill signing on June 27th at the Capitol
What the bill signing was about
Governor Dayton officially signed the HF2253/SF1861 bill on April 2nd, which makes Medicaid coverage available for children who use ASL as their first language and who need inpatient mental health services at specialized facilities such as the National Deaf Academy in Florida.
Details of the bill and the work that we did are available at http://www.mncdhh.org/legislation/451/legislation-2012#MedicaidChildren.
What the ceremony was like
Representatives from the community and MNCDHH had the opportunity to meet with Governor Dayton and the legislative bill authors, Representative Kathy Lohmer and Senator Michelle R. Benson, for a ceremonial bill signing on June 27th at the Capitol. Those of us who were lucky enough to attend the ceremony were pleased to meet Representative Lohmer and Senator Benson, and we found Governor Dayton to be a very gracious host.
We knew that Governor Dayton was a very busy person who has many things to do (such as visiting Duluth to give support to the people who suffered from the flooding there), and so we expected that the ceremony would be quick. However, when the governor came to meet us in the beautiful reception room of his Capitol office, he took the time to speak to everybody there and then asked us if we had any questions for him. He told us a few stories and pointed out the historical paintings in the reception room which showed the Civil War, the signing of the treaty of Traverse des Sioux, and Father Hennepin discovering the St. Anthony Falls.
When there were no more questions left to ask, the governor seated himself at a desk in the reception room and we gathered around him for the bill signing ceremony. After we had our group photo taken (see below), the governor handed out Sharpie pens with his name on them.
He then surprised us by inviting us to see his private office space, and took us through a door to see his small but comfortable rooms. There was a corner office with three desks where he and his staff worked, a small closet-like room where he had a private desk, and a comfortable meeting room decorated with historical black and white photos from the Minnesota Historical Society, a round wooden table, and a side table full of the governor’s souvenirs. He was especially proud to show us a basketball signed by the Minnesota Lynx players.
In all, the governor spent about 25 minutes with us. It was obvious that he enjoyed chatting with us, as his staff finally had to inform us that it was time to leave. We discovered later that he has invited visitors to see his private office space only a few times in the past, so we were doubly honored by the whole experience!
Group photo with the governor
June 27, 2012 – Bill Signing with Governor Dayton in the Governor’s Reception Room
From left to right: Alan Parnes, MNCDHH board member, Kathleen Smith, MADC vice-president, Michelle Ooley, MNCDHH staff member, Representative Kathy Lohmer, Teika Pakalns, MNCDHH staff member, Governor Mark Dayton (seated at desk), Jamie Taylor, MNCDHH staff member, Senator Michelle R. Benson, Piper the service dog (on floor), Roberta Johnson, MNCDHH board member, and Elise Knopf, former MNCDHH board chair.
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MNCDHH has a grant from the Secretary of State for Election 2012 activities
We are happy to announce that we have received a new grant from the Secretary of State to support Election 2012 activities for deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing voters.
With this grant, we plan to support voting workshops, accessible debates, candidate ad captioning, and other activities that will help you make your voting decisions and go to the polls on Election Day.
Election Day is on November 6, 2012, so mark your calendars and watch for future announcements from us!
Here is a link to the Secretary of State’s Elections page: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=134
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Doug Bowen-Bailey has an ASL vlog about the June 19-20 flooding in Duluth
You have probably seen and heard the news about the bad flooding that happened on June 19-20 in Duluth. There has been a lot of damage, but visitors are still welcome.
If you plan to visit this summer, don’t change your plans as the Duluth area needs your support now!
Doug Bowen-Bailey of Digiterp Communications lives in Duluth. He has done an ASL vlog for those of you who would like an explanation in ASL about what has happened there and why you should still visit.
See Doug’s ASL vlog at http://youtu.be/Ogt9Hj8T0oY.
Here is a transcript of the ASL vlog:
On the two days of June 19 & 20, Duluth experienced torrential rains. The previous record rainfall was 8.5” in 72 hours. For this storm, the National Weather Service reported recorded rainfalls of up to 10” in some areas of Duluth during a 24 hour period. That volume of water caused incredible damage.
You may have seen images or video showing what took place. This is an explanation of what happened during that time and after.
It’s important to understand that Duluth is located by Lake Superior. Because it’s on a hill, many people thought that Duluth can’t experience flooding.
However, it’s also important to know that Duluth has 42 named creeks and streams flowing through its city boundaries.
So, 10 inches of rainfall magnified the strength of these streams and many overflowed their banks like the one pictured. All of that water couldn’t stay in the stream beds.
Also, many of the streams are piped underground so that the city can be built over them. But the volume of water overwhelmed the culverts and storm sewers causing overflow and damage.
Some roads crumbled due to erosion. The water simply ate away the foundation to the road.
On other road ways, the water created sinkholes that collapsed as cars drove over them.
Those two days of rain caused incredible destruction to area roads and bridges.
Duluth, however, is both resourceful and resilient.
If you came to visit, you may see some flood damage, but Duluth is mostly open for business and visitors. So, it is worth coming to see for yourself.
That doesn’t mean that all is well for everyone. President Obama declared the region to be a federal disaster area. This means FEMA can come provide assistance for rebuilding. But that won’t mean enough financial support for everyone.
For some people living the area, the flood waters have been replaced with personal property that was damaged by those waters.
So, this will be a long-term rebuilding effort for many. The federal government, through FEMA, can provide some help, but Duluth has also set up a local fund that can assist with long-term rebuilding efforts to help individuals, families, and businesses get back on their feet.
If you want to be a part of helping people recover, you can contribute to the long term recovery fund at: www.2012floodrelief.org.
If you want more information about the flood, to learn more of what happened, or to see how you can help or how you can be helped, visit the City of Duluth’s website at: www.duluthmn.gov
So, while the flood did cause a lot of damage, the Duluth area is on the road to recovery. It’s worth a visit to see the recovery as well as all the beauty Duluth has to offer.
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Celebrate the 22nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26th in Minneapolis
When and Where
Thursday, July 26, 2012
U of M Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center
2001 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411
- U.S. Department of Justice attorneys will give updates on 2010 regulations & current implementation
- Motivational speaker Dana Zimmerman
- Entertainment by artists & performers with disabilities
- Light refreshments
- Opening performance by Mark Erickson: Mark is an Anishinaabe drummer and storyteller who lives in Minneapolis and who is blind.
- Performance by the Ole Olson Onstage Ensemble & Entourage: The group, from VSA Minnesota, will perform “See Me Hear Me – An Attitude toward Accessible Arts.” Performers with and without disabilities include Sam Jasmine, Juliette Silvers, Kaitlyn Mielke, Jon Skaalen and others. It will be ASL-interpreted, audio described and captioned.
- Closing performance by Kaitlyn Mielke: Kaitlyn, who is from Victoria, Minnesota, will perform “Defying Gravity” from the musical WICKED in ASL. She served as Miss Deaf Minnesota from 2009-2011 and is a summer intern at VSA Minnesota as part of course work for a Master’s program at the University of Minnesota.
This event is being sponsored by the University of Minnesota Disability Services, ADA Minnesota, VSA Minnesota, ACCESS Press, Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services, State Services for the Blind, the Minnesota State Council on Disability, and the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living.
Sign language interpreters, CART, assistive listening devices and audio description will be provided. Other disability related accommodations requests should be made by July 9, 2012. To request an accommodation, or for additional information, please email Cindy Tarshish with ADA Minnesota or call her at 651-603-2015.
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NAD successfully continues with lawsuit to get Netflix to caption Internet streaming videos
On June 16, 2011, the National Association of the Deaf (along with the Western Massachusetts Association of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, and a deaf individual, Lee Nettles) filed a federal lawsuit against Netflix in Massachussetts. This lawsuit said that Netflix violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing to provide captions for their “Watch Instantly” streaming videos, such as movies and television shows, on the Internet.
On June 19, 2012 (one year later!), the judge presiding over the NAD vs. Netflix case said that the case could continue. This is an important victory, as Netflix had argued that the ADA applied only to physical spaces, and asked for the case to be dismissed (finished). The judge disagreed and said that “the legislative history of the ADA makes clear that Congress intended the ADA to adapt to changes in technology,” meaning that the ADA should also apply to website-only businesses like Netflix.
The judge did not dismiss the case, so both the lawsuit and the fight for 100% Internet captioning will continue!
Watch NAD’s ASL vlog with captions explaining the recent developments in the NAD vs. Netflix case at http://youtu.be/VsPCTVFWoo4.
For more news and information about how you can support 100% Internet captioning, check NAD’s website at http://www.nad.org.
For the full article about the judge’s decision, see http://nad.org/news/2012/6/landmark-precedent-nad-vs-netflix.
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