SAM (Self Advocates Minnesota), The Arc Minnesota Southwest, and SMILES Center for Independent Living are teaming up to present Non Partisan Voter Education for People with disabilities. The free workshop will address issues on the upcoming ballot such as Guardianship and Voter ID. Voter ID creates barriers for voters with disabilities. SMILES agrees with the position of the Arc Minnesota: “Voter ID laws create unnecessary barriers and burdens for Minnesota voters with disabilities and would prevent them from exercising their right to vote. If such laws are approved in Minnesota, they will likely decrease voting among people with disabilities, not increase the integrity of our electoral system and procedures. The Arc Minnesota opposes the voter ID proposals passed by the Legislature and urges Minnesotans to vote no on the voter ID amendment scheduled to be on this fall’s general election ballot.”
According to the League of Women Voters Minnesota, ten percent of voters with disabilities do not have a photo ID. This could affect as many as 27,000 Minnesotans with disabilities. Even if the IDs are provided “free,” people will incur costs to travel to the county or state office, and present documentation to prove their identity, such as a birth certificate. It costs $26.00 to have a copy of one’s birth certificate made in Minnesota. People should not have to pay to ensure their civil right to vote.
The Voter ID amendment changes the Constitution of Minnesota to limit the right to vote only to people who have an ID. The right to vote is a protected constitutional right, unlike other, ordinary activities of choice such as buying liquor or driving a car. Voting is how we participate in democracy. People should not have to pay to ensure their civil right to vote.
Sign up for the October 18 workshop to learn more about the Voter ID amendment, Guardianship and How to find your polling place. You must register to participate, and you must RSVP by October 12 for the light supper of pizza and a beverage before the workshop. Please let us know when you register and RSVP if you will need accommodations due to disabilities. Call Michelle at 507-345-7139 or Claudia at 507-345-4223 to register and RSVP or use this contact form.
Download this flyer for Non Partisan Voter Education for People with Disabilities:
On 5/1/2012 at Mankato City Center Hotel from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Exhibits open from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Workshop Description: This FREE workshop will help parents of children with disabilities understand how to use the special education transition process to help plan for life after high school. Parents of students in the 9th grade and beyond are encouraged to attend. Click here to register.
Transition is an important step in preparing students with a disability for life after high school. Between the ages of 14-22, parents and students are encouraged to start thinking about life after high school. SMILES Transition Program provides a bridge between the security of school and the opportunities and responsibilities of adult life by offering resources in areas of post secondary schooling, employment, housing and other areas of need.
SMILES offers Independent Living skills training to students within the school and community to assist with the transition process. We are currently working with students in the both Wells and Fairmont High Schools. Staff members have been teaching students how to advocate for one self, develop employment skills, and budget money for living on your own after high school.
SMILES collaborates and networks with many organizations that provide a variety of services for students with disabilities by serving on local Community Transition Interagency Committees (CTIC) within our service area. The committees consist of parents, students and staff from your school district and members from service agencies in and serving the county you reside in.
Look for the SMILES booth at the Mankato CTIC Open House preceding the PACER Workshop: Transition: Pathway to the Future on Tuesday, May 1st from 6-7 pm at the Mankato City Center Hotel.
Participants in the workshop, which runs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, will learn how to help students achieve their dreams and goals. Parents of students in the ninth grade and beyond are encouraged to attend. Workshop topics will include:
- Using the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to develop transition services
- Having high expectations
- Understanding the age of majority and transfer of rights to the student
- Identifying required transition areas for planning
- Learning about adult services
Baseball Youth League Open House in Waseca tonight at the SMILES office in 505 South State Street. Call Jane at 507-345-7139 or toll free at 888-676-6498 for more information or to sign up if you can’t make it to the Open House.
Open House events have been held in Mankato and New Ulm. SMILES Baseball team is for students aged 9 through their graduation year. Call Jane if you have questions or concerns about the age for signing up to play. Get your Game ON! and sign up for Baseball Youth League today!
Are you getting connected with the activities and events that you want from SMILES? Check us out here: events and activities or on SMILES Facebook Page and get connected!
SMILES is your place to get information, learn about things that matter to you and have fun! You can use our interactive calendar to find out what’s going on at SMILES, call or get on our email list to stay connected.
Tonight we start a new Self Determination Workshop series. Each month, on the third Thursday, we will discuss a topic of interest to people who like to make up their own mind. We will be learning about how to decide for yourself, how to get the skills to do what you want, and live the life you want for yourself!
Of course, Bowling with SMILES is going on EVERY TUESDAY at the WOW! Zone now through March 27th from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. $5 per night includes shoe rental! Bring your friends and family to bowl at the same $5 rate!
SMILES Offices in Fairmont, Mankato, New Ulm and Waseca will close from December 26 – 29, 2011 and January 2, 2012. We will be open December 30, 2011 and January 3, 2012. Happy Holidays!
SMILES offers students the opportunity to job shadow as part of career planning. Today we have a guest blogger who is exloring career options:
Today at SMILES was fun.I learned many new things. For an example, I didn’t know we had a center for independent living. I’m glad I came today.
With just under 7 1/2 hours left for this year’s statewide online giving event, nearly $9 Million dollars have been donated by more than 31,000 individuals to almost 3500 non-profit organizations… and there’s still over 7 hours to go! Keep it up, folks, and thanks for all the support and kind words… Here’s just a few of the comments we heard today:
What a great organization!
SMILES provides to those most in need.
We are very happy to assist this wonderful organization in our Mankato, MN community.
The employees of SMILES are dedicated to their mission in good times and bad.
Thank you all so much!