Action Alerts & News Update from MNCDHH for November 9, 2012

Published 11-09-2012

In this Issue:

11/27 ACTION ALERT – Come to the Vikings Stadium planning meeting in Duluth

What: Public meeting to give comments to the Vikings Stadium architects

When: November 27, 2012, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Where: Holiday Inn & Suites, Lake Superior Room 200, West First Street, Duluth, MN

Accessibility: RSVP and request interpreters by calling 218-727-7492

Why go?: Your tax dollars are paying for the stadium, and everybody should be able to enjoy the experience fully. This includes people who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. The Vikings Stadium architects need to hear what you want!

Here are some of the accessible features that other stadiums have included. You can request them during the public comment period:

  • At TCF Stadium in Minneapolis, all messages transmitted over the PA system are captioned on the main scoreboard (not on separate screens like at the Twins Stadium).
  • Assistive listening devices for hard of hearing people.
  • Braille and large print menus for people who are deafblind.
  • Personal captioning that can be transmitted to an iPhone, iPad or smart phone.
  • Loop systems for hearing aids.

Dann Trainer represented the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens at a metro area public meeting about the Vikings Stadium on October 16, 2012. Thank you, Dann, for advocating on behalf of the community!

Read about Dann’s comments in the online MinnPost article at

Your opinion matters! Please let the architects know the features that you would like to see at the Vikings’ new stadium.

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ACTION ALERT – Please provide feedback to TDI on your experiences with captioned Internet videos

Here is your opportunity to provide feedback on the captioning of Internet videos!

TDI is gathering information about your experiences with captioned Internet video programming. TDI will share this information with the FCC and the TV broadcast industry to help in the development and maintenance of quality captioning standards. This will also help the equipment manufacturers and TV program producers know whether their devices and/or software applications are meeting your user needs and expectations.

The TDI survey link is at: You can save this link as a bookmark on your browser, and it is also viewable on mobile devices.

You can submit this survey form as many times as you like.

Each time you watch an Internet video or use a device to view Internet captions, please submit information about your experience with the video or device. You can report both problems and good experiences (like ease of access to controls or other best practices that you want to see).

TDI will only use your personal information to contact you if they have specific questions for you or want to follow up with you about your experiences.


  • Only new prerecorded full-length TV programming is currently covered under the CVAA.
  • At this time, video clips are not covered.
  • Live programming is not covered now, until March 30, 2013.
  • Prerecorded programming that has been edited for the Internet will be covered as of September 30, 2013.
  • Archival programming that aired on TV before the IP Captioning rules became effective will be covered as of March 30, 2014.

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ACTION ALERT – Ask your U.S. Senators to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

The CRPD is an international treaty that promotes, protects, and ensures the rights of people with disabilities. This also includes deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing people. The United States signed the CRPD on July 30, 2009, and now the U.S. Senate has to ratify (approve) the treaty.

Many other countries have already ratified the treaty, so we here in the United States should not be behind!

Both the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). You can see the long list of other supporters at

Good news! Both our U.S. Senators in Minnesota, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken, already support the CRPD. Please thank them for their support!

Please ask everybody you know in the U.S. to contact their Senators and ask them to put the CRPD to a Senate floor vote and make sure that it is ratified.

Sample message to send to your Senators:

I stand with the National Association of the Deaf and the Hearing Loss Association of America, among other organizations and advocates, in my strong support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I am contacting you today to urge you to support the ratification of the CRPD. As your constituent, I request that you vote for the ratification of the CRPD when it comes to a vote on the floor of the Senate. Thank you for support of this important treaty that impacts me and others that I know.

How to contact your Senators:

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Humphrey Institute students work on Employment Task Force project to remove barriers to state employment of people with disabilities

Five graduate students from the Humphrey Institute have chosen MNCDHH and the Minnesota Management and Budget’s (MMB) Affirmative Action Office as the site of their capstone project. This project is supported by MNCDHH’s Employment Task Force.

The students are working with MNCDHH & MMB staff to remove barriers that prevent people with disabilites from getting jobs in state government. The percentage of people with disabilites employed in state government has dropped from 10.1% in 1999 to less than 4.1% in 2012. This is not acceptable.

The students are doing the following tasks for their capstone project:

  1. Review 1300 state job descriptions to identify discriminatory language, and make recommendations to either eliminate or replace the words with descriptions of essential functions of the jobs. For example, many state job descriptions require that applicants hear, see, have oral communication skills, be able to drive, lift or speak – but most of the time these are not essential functions of the job.
  2. Create a model recruitment and retention plan that will become part of the state affirmative action plans that human resource directors can use to hire people with disabilities.
  3. Write a draft of an executive order similar to President Obama’s Executive Order for the Governor to sign that makes the hiring of people with disabilites a priority for the state of Minnesota.

The Humphrey School capstone group is comprised of Jill Novitzke, Abigail Peterson, Alicia Gedan, Koffi Gozo, and Colin Stemper:

  • Jill is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing, and is in her last half of the Masters of Public Affairs program at the University of Minnesota.
  • Abigail is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, and is in her second year of the Masters of Public Policy program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
  • Alicia is a second year Masters of Public Policy student concentrating in health care policy with an emphasis in advocacy.
  • Koffi is a Master of Public Policy student, with an emphasis on economic community development, and program evaluation.
  • Colin is a second year Master of Public Policy student concentrating in health and human services policy.

They started their work on September 28th, and will complete it in the first week of December. We are thankful that they chose our project, and we are excited to see the outcomes of this project and integrate them into our plans for implementation.

For more information about the Employment Task Force please go to

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Education Collaborative Plan Status – New leadership, Birth through 5 survey, gift cards from CSD & ASLIS, and spring retreat

New leadership

Elise Knopf of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Katie Thorpe of State Services for the Blind will represent their agencies on the Collaborative Steering Committee. Thanks to Directors Dick Strong and Kim Peck for contributing financially to the plan and agreeing to participate in the planning.

Joyce Daugaard resigned from the position of Collaborative Plan coordinator and will remain as a consultant. Kathy Arnoldi, her replacement, is a powerhouse and well respected within the education community.

Marian Hausladen, SSW (School Social Worker) and community advocate, has been added to the team of professionals who will facilitate the plan’s implementation. Marian was a social worker in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program for Saint Paul Public Schools for more than 30 years; she has also held a variety of positions with MNCDHH and other DHH community-focused organizations.

We are privileged to welcome Kathy and Marian to the team!

Birth through 5 survey

The Birth through 5 parent survey is now complete and on its way to 600-plus families across Minnesota. The purpose of this survey is to obtain parent perspectives on the services their children and families are receiving from community, school-based and/or private providers.

The results will be used to set benchmarks for state agencies and service providers for the next three years. We contracted with the Management Analysis Division to develop the survey with feedback from parents and members of the Steering Team.

Gift cards from CSD & ASLIS

Thanks go to AnnMarie Mickelson of CSD and to Pamela Nygren Wellumson of ASLIS for generously contributing gift cards from Target as incentives for parents to answer the Birth through 5 survey.

Parents are inundated with requests to fill out surveys, and research shows that offering a small incentive significantly increases the response rate. These generous contributions will help us to provide $5 gift cards to many of the respondents.

Spring retreat

A retreat for Collaborative Plan Stakeholders will be held on April 8th and 9th at the Minnesota Department of Education. Cheryl Johnson of Colorado has agreed to facilitate the planning retreat.

If you have questions, comments or ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact Kathy at

For more information about the Collaborative Plan, go to