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Featured Blog Posts (40)

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2019

Every October 1st, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) kicks off National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or NDEAM. This month is meant to educate the masses about the employment issues that the disabled population faces, as well as to celebrate all of the many and varied contributions of…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on October 1, 2019 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Employment Tips: Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is there to protect those who qualify within its parameters from many different occurrences, including discrimination in the workplace. This means that when it comes to hiring, pay, promotion, firing, etc., an individual cannot be discriminated against by their employer because of their disability. Below I will go over more in depth what it looks like to be an employee that falls under the ADA, and what employers are…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on October 1, 2019 at 7:12pm — No Comments

Employment Tips: Accommodation Cost

When someone with a disability, or someone who recently acquired one, finds themselves in a position at work where they are struggling to complete their required tasks, requesting an accommodation is the next step. Often times the thought of discussing with your employer how to accommodate your position or workspace can be daunting. They also might worry that what you are requesting will be too expensive for them to fulfill. Luckily, the Job Accommodation…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on August 29, 2019 at 9:58pm — No Comments

Healthcare Access

Obtaining healthcare in America can be a challenge for anyone, whether it’s due to cost, amount of coverage, or various systemic barriers. The disability population in particular will deal with not only systemic barriers, but physical and programmatic ones as well. While the ADA is there to protect people with disabilities, that doesn’t always mean that it will prevent health care services from causing issues for their patients. This could include a lack of…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on August 1, 2019 at 7:05am — No Comments

Direct Support Professionals Staffing Shortages

It’s no surprise to anyone immersed in the healthcare world that there’s been an extreme shortage of direct support professionals (DSPs) the last few years. DSPs are anyone that works closely with individuals who need extra care, whether in a facility, or in a person’s home. While this position is of extreme importance, it rarely gets the recognition it deserves from the state and government lawmakers. DSPs are given low wages that are hardly sufficient to…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on July 1, 2019 at 10:28pm — No Comments

Trello- A Tool for Project Management & Task Lists

Trello is a free cloud-based website that also offers an Android and iOS app. It is a fabulous tool whether you decide to use it alone or to use it for team collaborative projects. Here are some Trello basics:

 

Boards:

Boards can be described as a whiteboard where you create a project and keep information. Here are some examples one might create as boards:

            Students- create a board for…

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Added by Erika J. Kluge on March 15, 2019 at 8:00am — No Comments

The Change Game

Spring has sprung, and change is in the air! The plants are activating, the creatures have stopped hibernating, and the heat is very motivating. Working at a disability resource center has taught me a lot about Spring and how it brings about change. One of the biggest subjects that I work with this time of year is housing. Now that it is warming up people are starting to think about transitioning and moving to someplace that fits their needs. The big underlying factor in terms of housing is…

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Added by Thabiso Rowan on April 29, 2019 at 4:49pm — 1 Comment

Interview With Kianna Lehman

Kianna Lehman has been a receptionist at Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) for almost 5 years. She enjoys her job because of how she gets to be of assistance to those who have disabilities such as herself. Her background is in Business and Management.

You had mentioned that your…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on April 26, 2019 at 11:15pm — No Comments

Employment Tips: Accessible Location

Over the years I have gone to countless interviews. Some of these meetings took place in quaint non profits or super hip production houses, while others were in big corporations that were within glistening skyscrapers. The majority of my meetings and interviews with prospective employees went off without a hitch, but some had complications. These issues sprang from lack of an accessible location.

One of the first things I do when I get an offer…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on April 1, 2019 at 6:31pm — No Comments

New Beginnings

Welcome to the beginning of your new life! This phrase can mean something different for each

individual person. When you repeat this phrase to yourself it might invoke excitement, or maybe this

phrase invokes fear. Maybe the phrase doesn’t relate to you at all. Maybe you feel stuck in your life and

you do not foresee any new beginnings on your path. Let’s take it back a step and look at what might be

the “beginning” of your new life. What if you could start your…

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Added by Thabiso Rowan on March 26, 2019 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Interview With Michelle Vrieze

Michelle Vrieze spent several years working in the education field, and then went back to school for her Master’s Degree in Human Services. Currently she works as a Staffing Specialist for MCIL -- meaning that she matches clients with PCA’s in order that their personal care and homemaking needs are met. Read on to learn more about Michelle!

How did you get started at MCIL as a Personal Assistant Staffing Specialist? What…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on March 31, 2019 at 4:04am — No Comments

Employment Tips: Illegal Questions

The hiring process can be a stressful time for anyone. There’s a lot to think about and consider: fine tuning your resume, gathering references, creating a convincing cover letter, and submitting your application. Next in line comes the offer for the interview—the applicant’s time to really showcase to their potential employer why they’re a great fit. As you get ready for the interview, there’s a few things that you should consider and be aware…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on March 18, 2019 at 3:27pm — No Comments

Interview With Mary Kay Walch

Mary Kay Mary Kay Walch, director of sales and marketing at BlueSky Designs, has worked in the assistive technology

industry for more than 30 years. Improving product design and life for individuals with disabilities. Educating

families, therapists, teachers and suppliers. Her specialty is improving accessibility and independence…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on March 4, 2019 at 11:12am — 3 Comments

Verbose- A More Powerful Tool for Vision and Learning Disabilities

Verbose is a text to speech program which will read text or saved documents. Voice settings allows changes to speed, pitch and volume of the speech engine voice.  Converts text to voice or saves as mp3 to play later or save for a later time. There is a professional and a free version of Verbose. The professional version works with more formats, provides different voices, and will convert information from a picture as well as a text document.

  • Reads any text on your computer out…
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Added by Jennifer Mundl on February 28, 2019 at 12:41pm — 1 Comment

Funding and Equipment Programs

Assitive Technology and Computer Equipment

  • Access For All: Computer Program from UCP - This project of UCP of Central MN builds and repairs computers for people with disabilities. Used computers are refurbished and distributed to people with disabilities for an application fee.…

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Added by Jennifer Mundl on February 19, 2019 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Revisiting Speechify: Why, Because Everyone Should Know About It!

I introduced you to Cliff Weitzman, the creator of Speechify, and his text-to-speech applications in July of 2017. I was excited to share information about his product because Speechify created its own niche in the text-to-speech realm. It simply read text aloud, any text. It was easy to use, offered high-quality voices, and read digital text that other text-to-speech readers did not identify without having to process additional steps. Did I mention it was free? It was available for Mac,…

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Added by Erika J. Kluge on February 15, 2019 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

All About The Resources

Life, in all its glory and wonder, can be quite confusing. As I have been confined to the bounds of my apartment for days, due to the ferocious winter landscape of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, I cannot help but appreciate the solitude and comfort of being able to work from home. Somehow, I found a position that has set me up for success. The trick now is finding a way to improve and master my operation as an employee. I find that seeking the ultimate resources is the way to go.

I…

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Added by Thabiso Rowan on February 13, 2019 at 1:14pm — 2 Comments

Employment Tips: Assistive Technology

As a person with a physical disability, there are a myriad of things that I need to think about and plan for in my daily life. This includes my personal life, my mobility, my education, and even my career. I may need to adjust the way I complete tasks, get to a destination, complete my schoolwork, or navigate my place of employment. Any workplace that I am hired at will have to accommodate me to their best of their ability--enter Assistive Technology (AT)…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on February 11, 2019 at 11:10am — 2 Comments

Speech-to-Speech--Using A Telephone Independently

Speech-to-Speech--Using A Telephone Independently

Speech-to-Speech (STS) is a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). This is a service allowing persons with hearing or speech limitations to access the telephone to place and receive calls. STS enables persons with a speech disability to make telephone calls using their own voice or an assistive voice device. A caller may use a communication device such as a Tobii or Dynavox. Speech-to-Speech uses…

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Added by Jennifer Mundl on February 7, 2019 at 10:25am — 3 Comments

Interview With Nick Wilkie

Nick Wilkie Nick Wilkie has devoted his career to working in the Human Services field. The last 12 years he has been employed by the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL), working as a Transition Specialist, then shifting to Advocacy within Public Policy. Currently, he is heading the promotion, outreach, and teaching of a new…

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Added by Adrienne Kleinman on February 4, 2019 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

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