‘Tis the Season for Self Advocacy

November has been a busy month here at CIP’s Employment Services, and there’s a lot to be hopeful about in regards to the state of employment. Not only have we reached our highest employment rate thus far for our program, (74%) but nationwide there has been an increase  in employment for those identifying as having a disability according to the Department of Labor’s monthly numbers. There’s lots of other news on the advocacy front, on both the state and national level, so please take a moment to find out how you can get involved and help promote a climate of inclusion in your community:

State Advisory Council Seeking Members:

The State Advisory Council on Mental Health and the Children’s Mental Health Subcommittee are seeking new members:
  • The State Advisory Council has two openings for adults with a mental illness who are receiving or have received mental health services (consumers).
  • The Children’s Subcommittee has a vacancy for a parent of a child with emotional disturbance.

The State Advisory Council and Children’s Subcommittee were established by the Minnesota Legislature in the Comprehensive Adult and Children’s Mental Health Acts of 1987 and 1989. The Council provides advice and recommendations to the Governor, Legislature and state agencies on policies affecting people with mental illnesses and the Children’s Subcommittee makes recommendations to the Council relating to children’s mental health. Each group has 30 members from throughout the state.

The Council and the Children’s Subcommittee meet on the first Thursday of each month (except July and possibly one month in the winter) at the Department of Human Services Andersen Building in St. Paul. Members receive reimbursement for expenses and a stipend of $55 per meeting day (if not otherwise compensated).

Applications are available online at the Secretary of State’s website . The application deadline is December 26, though applications will continue to be accepted until appointments are made.

Inclusive School Week 2012:

The first week in December marks the 11th annual Inclusive Schools Week. This year’s theme is Social Inclusion: More than just a Seat in the Class, which aims to address “a significant and continuing challenge in creating and sustaining inclusive schools:  building authentic friendships for students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers.” Head to their website to learn about the ways you can take part in the festivities and promote inclusion as an integral focus in the education system.

Since its inception in 2001, Inclusive Schools Week has celebrated the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors. The Week also provides an important opportunity for educators, students and parents to discuss what else needs to be done in order to ensure that their schools continue to improve their ability to successfully educate all children.

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