Council-Sponsored Grant Activities: Cultural Outreach Program in the Somali Community
Day 1, October 27, 2017
This first session focused on the history of disabilities, People First language, and the concept and principles of person centered planning and services. Comments and feedback included the following:
“I was happy to learn about person centered support plans. I feel more of a person than my disability. Now I know more resources in the County... and now my disability will not scare me anymore.”
“I didn’t know the history of disability in the U.S. It was similar to that of Somalia when I was very young.”
“The presenter kept repeating important information like civil rights and fair treatment and it was written in our own language. I didn’t know about the history of disabilities in the USA.”
“I learned that I am to be in charge of my life and my meeting with providers an service delivery people. I feel I can now advocate better after I attended this training because now I know what they are supposed to do.”
“I liked the presenters attitude and understanding.
Day 2, October 28, 2017
The second session focused on county services and waivers. Comments and feedback included the following:
“These trainings will transform our community; no one told us this information before.”
“I feel empowered because now I know where to find services in the country.”
”Now I can speak for my children.”
“I think we should build an inter-city Somali Network for People Living with Disabilities for Mankato and St. Peter.”
Day 3, October 29, 2017
The third session focused on special education services, and the IEP and IEP process. Comments and feedback included the following:
“This training opened my eyes to the complex process about inclusive education and the rights of students and their parents.”
“Today I learned the language and the questions I can ask the school concerning my children.”
“This training is good for the immigrant who doesn’t know about the IEP process. Now I know IEP is a programs o that my child reaches her educational goals.”
“This topic is very useful for our immigrant community. We don’t understand much about education and what special needs or special education actually means. Developmental disabilities are new to us.
The time between sessions gives participants the opportunity to review the information they have received to date and receive individual assistance and support with specific problems accessing services, particularly waiver services; arranging meetings with county, schools and agencies to complete applications forms including the MNChoices assessment process; working through an appeal process about PCA services and an increase in hours; meeting with Social Security about an SSI payment (now being made in full); completing a Section 8 review to move to housing in another community; working through the IEP process, and securing necessary and appropriate educational and related services for a child recently diagnosed with a developmental disability.
The three remaining sessions will be held in March and April, and include a visit to the State Capitol and meetings with legislators.