July 31, 2020: The Capitol Connector View in browser
  • Celebrating 30 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Guardianship Changes in Minnesota
  • Empowered to Vote - Take the Rev Up MN Voter Pledge!
  • Updates from Washington D.C.
  • Noteworthy News & Resources
Celebrating 30 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

All month long, advocates have been celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - the disability community’s flagship civil rights law, which promised access and opportunity in all areas of life. It is because of the passionate and powerful leadership of people with disabilities nationwide that the ADA was passed, and we know that the movement for disability justice is as important now as ever. People with disabilities nationwide have experienced discrimination in health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black, indigenous, and people of color with disabilities continue to experience racism and ableism every single day.

To help overcome these ongoing injustices, The Arc Minnesota remains committed to our mission of promoting and protecting the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are honored and humbled to have been partners in the important work that started 30 years ago (and long before that!) by people who had a vision of a better future for themselves and others with disabilities.

We will continue to work in solidarity alongside and on behalf of everyone living with disabilities, and thank you all for your advocacy, partnership, leadership, and wisdom. We wish everyone a very happy ADA celebration month as we reflect on the monumental changes that have been accomplished in the past, and all that we need to continue to work on together in the future.

Here are some great resources which highlight this important moment in the disability community’s history:

Guardianship Changes in Minnesota

There were important changes made to Minnesota’s guardianship law during the 2020 legislative session - many of which are going into effect tomorrow, August 1st. The Arc Minnesota strongly supported these changes, because they:

  • promote supported decision-making and other less-restrictive alternatives to guardianship;
  • strengthen the Guardianship Bill of Rights and make sure that individuals’ preferences are respected as guardians make decisions about important elements of life;
  • protect and ensure access to employment and employment supports;
  • mandate time-limited guardianships for young adults under 30, to make sure that each guardianship order respects individuals’ capacity to learn, grow, and explore other decision-making supports;
  • allow time-limited guardianships for people over 30, which can help make sure their guardianship is more individualized and tailored to their specific needs;
  • allow guardians to create ABLE accounts, which can help support financial success and stability for people with disabilities;
  • and more!

These changes embrace progress toward less restrictive alternatives for individuals with disabilities, mental illness, and older adults, and help ensure they retain their civil rights. They also align with our work to promote the self-determination and autonomy of people with disabilities, honor their capacity and resiliency, and support them in building true belonging in their communities.

To help you understand these changes, we have made a fact sheet that you can review at https://bit.ly/GuardianshipReform.

You can also learn more about these changes and how they might affect you by joining us for a webinar on Thursday, August 13 from 11:00 am - 12:00pm.

You can join 3 ways:

Captions will be available.

With questions or for more information about the guardianship law changes, you can contact Advocate & Planning Specialist Allycia Wolff at allyciawolff@arcminnesota.org.

Empowered to Vote - Take the Rev UP MN Voter Pledge!

The Primary Election is just under 2 weeks away - on Tuesday, August 11th! Primary elections are our chance to choose which people running for office will be on the ballot in our General Election in November.

Do you promise to vote this year? Sign the REV UP MN Voting Pledge and you’ll receive information about candidates on your ballot, where you need to go to vote, a reminder to VOTE on Election Day, and more. Any information shared in the voter pledge will be kept private, and will only be used to share nonpartisan information and resources about the elections this year. 

Your vote has power in these upcoming elections, so take the pledge to vote today at https://forms.gle/xmii92dRzecANmpS7.

Updates from Washington D.C.

Contact Minnesota Senators about the Accessible Voting Act!

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of the Accessible Voting Act, which was introduced to break down the barriers for people with disabilities and adults over 65 at the polls. Even though federal laws are supposed to make sure that polling places are fully accessible, only 17% of polling places were fully accessible in 2016. A strong focus on voting accessibility is important to make sure that all citizens can use their right to vote during the upcoming election.

The Accessible Voting Act has been endorsed by The Arc of the United States and many other organizations that work to uphold and protect the rights of people with disabilities. The bill would create an Office of Accessibility to expand voter accessibility, and create a new state grant program to improve accessibility during voter registration, absentee voting, and in-person voting. These state grants will help expand the options for casting a ballot so voters can pick the method that works best for them. They would also create a national resource center on accessible voting to train election officials in accessible voting methods and cultural competency.

Take a moment to contact Senator Klobuchar and thank her for her work on this important bill at www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public. Also contact Senator Tina Smith and ask her to sign on in support as well: www.smith.senate.gov.

You can review the Accessible Voting Act here: https://bit.ly/2P961dQ

Noteworthy News & Resources

From MPR News:

Don’t let COVID-19 stop your vote. Here’s how to vote by mail in Minnesota

Primary primer: What you need to know about Minnesota's August election

From Minnesota Department of Human Services:

Deadline is Friday for food support for school children

From Star Tribune:

Minnesota Supreme Court upholds Minneapolis anti-discrimination rule for landlords

From TPT:

A police reform bill was signed into law. What’s in it? 

From Pioneer Press:

Thousands have protested over George Floyd’s death. These are the stories of 4 and what they’re trying to change

From Huffington Post:

Police Violence Against Black Disabled People Can’t Be Ignored Anymore

From Disability Scoop:

Senate COVID-19 Relief Proposal Overlooks Disability Community, Advocates Say

Interruption Caused By COVID-19 Poses Challenges Beyond Classroom

Biden Calls For End To Waiting Lists For Medicaid Waivers

From Nonprofit Advocacy Matters: 

Urgent Nonprofit Policy Priorities in Reforms to CARES Act

Thank you to our sponsor Mains'l for their support of our public policy work


Join The Arc’s Disability Policy Networking Group to stay engaged on policy issues by requesting membership here

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The Arc Minnesota

2446 University Ave. W. Suite 110, St. Paul
Minnesota 55114-1740 United States

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