The 'SpotLight' Online
Association Restructuring Proposal Outline
FALL 2000 CONFERENCE PREVIEW
The MRA Fall Training Conference is only a few
The theme for the Fall Conference in Mankato will be
"Building Bridges Breaking Barriers." This theme was
borrowed from our keynote speaker, Hedy LaMar. Hedy will
discuss cultural diversity and Generation X. She comes
highly recommended from one of our very own members.
Joan Breslin Larson from the Department of Children,
Families and Learning will present on working with
transition students. Topics will include assistive
technology and the coordination of funding sources from the
interdisciplinary team members. Melinda Shamp from Rise
will explore how consumer choice is important to attaining
meaningful employment outcomes. The topic of setting up a
home based office will be discussed by ergonomics expert
Barbara O'Keefe. Home based employment seems to be a hot
The ever challenging topic of Social Security Work
Incentives will be presented again. Joani Werner and a team
of experts from Social Security will discuss PASS (Plan for
Achieving Self Sufficiency) plans. Robin Jones from the
Great Lakes Disability and Business Technical Assistance
Center in Chicago will present on ADA case studies and on
accommodating psychiatric disabilities.
Let's not forget to discuss the changes in store at the
National Rehabilitation Association. Connie Giles and Steve
Larson (Past MRA Presidents) will update us on changes and
the response from the MRA subcommittee working on these
issues. Ethics complaints will be discussed by Ed Adams
from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
With MRA tradition, we will have a variety of MRA Awards
presentations on Thursday evening. President Jodi Lindsay
Prange will emcee the event.
Did I mention entertainment? This year we will be
serenaded by the wonderful Minnesotan Legend Kenny G.
Lundquist and his psychedelic polka band. This year will
feature a Halloween Costume party, so pack your best
costume. Wednesday night festivities take place at Chevy's
Grill right next to the Holiday Inn. Fun activities will be
happening. Here is a hint, tune up your singing voice.
All of this fun will take place at the Holiday Inn in
downtown Mankato. See you in Mankato this October!
MRA 2000 FALL
What would it take...
To look forward to coming to work
To get excited about and look forward to the events of
To stimulate an exciting, high energy, work atmosphere?
Interested? Consider FISH Camp!
Fish Camp is a nationally recognized training experience
designed to help stimulate a high performing, playful
culture at work. You will learn ways to add a little spice
to your work life, strategies to foster fun interaction with
co-workers, and information describing how increased moral
pays off in enhanced service to our consumers. Bring a
To sign up for camp, look for joint MRCA/rCAM
pre-conference registration materials inside the Spotlight.
Rehabilitation professionals and area employers are
invited to attend this exciting workshop. Come and learn
about the FISH! Philosophy, which is sweeping the nation and
being incorporated into many local/national organizations in
Rekindle spirit, increase morale and creative
Manage stress and maintain perspective
Attract and retain customers/clients to increase customer
satisfaction and expand business
Attract and retain talent to become an employer of choice
What is the FISH! Philosophy?
1. Play &endash; Be fun, creative and spontaneous at
work (yet retaining professionalism.)
2. Make Their Day &endash; Do something special for
customers and staff
3. Be There &endash; Focus on the moment and the
persons/tasks you're presently engaged with
4. Choose Your Attitude &endash; Be fully aware of
our attitudes and make positive choices
Presented by Bob Doyle, MA, Senior Consultant with Abbott
Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, MN. Bob specializes in
organizational development and has over 20 years of
experience in both line and staff management roles. He is a
trained FISH! Facilitator and gifted in presentation
By Jodi Lindsay Prange, MRA President
Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers is such a fitting
theme for our Fall Conference. A bridge has been recently
built and our colleagues with MRCA will be crossing over and
attending the first ever joint rCAM/MRCA pre-conference.
What an excellent opportunity to engage in true partnership
and at the same time attend "Fish Camp". Although no
fishing experience is required, you must come prepared to
learn and have fun! After this session, MRA will be hosting
a "welcome back from camp party", even if you were not able
to attend camp, please join us for appetizers and
I would like to thank each and every one of you that took
the time to complete and return the NRA/MRA Survey. The
response was great! This information was not only used to
determine how the Minnesota delegates would vote on the
restructuring, but will be used in building and cultivating
a stronger association in Minnesota. Below are the survey
If you were a delegate from Minnesota, how would you vote
on the NRA Restructuring?
Yes (22%) No (57%) Undecided (21%)
How satisfied are you with the membership benefits you
receive from NRA?
1(unsatisfied) -10 (very satisfied)
Average Response: 3.7
How satisfied are you with the membership benefits you
receive from MRA?
Average Response: 7.7
Please list the top 3 reasons you belong to NRA:
Professional Liability Insurance
Journal of Rehabilitation
Have to be a member of MRA
Please list the top 3 reason to belong to MRA:
Do you believe MRA needs NRA to accomplish what you would
like your membership to accomplish?
Yes (28%) No (65%) Undecided (6%)
Minnesota was granted five votes on the NRA
reorganization. To ensure that the membership was allowed
the opportunity to be heard, we placed four (4) votes
against the restructuring and one (1) for it. The decision
to vote this way was based off response to question one on
the survey. To learn about the outcome of the NRA
restructuring vote and also to discuss the future of MRA,
please attend the Friday Luncheon session at the Conference.
You might want to remember that Fabulous door prizes will be
given away…and you must be present to win.
See you in Mankato!
MRA Fall Conference will be held
the Holiday Inn, Mankato, October
MRA Fall Conference
Halloween Costume Dance,
Thurs, Oct. 26
GRAND prizes to be awarded for hotel/resort stays!
Come in costume or pay the consequences?!
Need some help finding a costume?
Call Costumes Galore in Mankato
Introduction to Job Placement Essentials
Time: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
Registration: 8:00 am
Location: Employers Association, Inc., 9805 45th Avenue
North, Plymouth, MN 55442
A Panel Presentation of Placement Professionals
From A Diverse Group of Community Placement
The most important thing a new placement professional
needs to know
Sales Techniques used in job placement
What to know when working with individuals with
Important personal factors for a successful placement
How to develop relationships with employers, participants,
What to do when a participant has 'unrealistic' job goals or
Your name, address and/or place of employment? Be sure to
let us know so you can continue to receive valuable
information from MRA, NRA and the Spotlight!
Contact Mark Mertens, Membership Chair with any changes.
He can be reached at 320-231-5175 or by e-mail: [email protected]
Or you can let us, your editors, know and we'll pass on
the information to Mark.
JOB PLACEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
By Rochelle Betsch
The Job Placement and Development Division of MRA has
been busy this summer. On June 9th, we held an all-day
training on the ADA and Workplace Accommodations. We had
two employment attorneys speak in the morning, and an
afternoon of panel speakers, including three accommodation
specialists from prominent Minnesota employers,
Rehabilitation Engineer, Diane Goodwin, and JPD's own Wally
Waranka. Surveys from our participants indicated attendees
were very pleased with the training. All JPD members who
worked on the training were also happy with the outcome.
After wrapping up details from the June training we began
work on our next training, an Introduction to Job Placement
Essentials to be held November 17th at the Plymouth location
of the Employers Association, Inc. This half day training
will be a panel presentation for professionals new to the
job placement field. JPD is also very excited to continue
to work with Rehab Engineer, Diane Goodwin, in providing
information and assistance to her as she is working on a
grant proposal to develop a CD-ROM database of rehab
JPD is looking forward to a strong Happenings Book sale
this fall. Be sure to contact your favorite JPD member to
reserve a copy of the Happenings Book, the cost will again
be $25/book. We look forward to seeing everyone at the fall
conference. If you or anyone you know is interested in
learning more about JPD, our November 17th training, or the
purchase of a Happenings book please feel free to call
Rochelle at: 651-457-2248, extension 12.
MRA SCHOLARSHIPS FOR
rCAM, the Rehabilitation Counselor's Association of
Minnesota, a division of the Minnesota Rehabilitation
Association, is again excited to announce the availability
of two Scholarships targeted for a student pursuing a
Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling! One
scholarship will be funded through rCAM and the second will
be funded through MRA.
A scholarship in the amount of $500.00 will be awarded to
the two students who are ranked the highest as measured by
the following criteria:
- A resident of Minnesota
- Enrolled in a Minnesota graduate program in
Rehabilitation Counseling as of September 15, 2000
- Maintaining a 3.0 GPA
- Intends to practice Rehabilitation Counseling in
Minnesota upon graduation
Interested applicants are asked to do the following:
1. Submit a brief (1-2 page) written request
- Confirms the above criteria,
- describes how and why a scholarship would reduce the
financial burden in completing your studies,
- your interest in Rehabilitation Counseling as a
- include full address and phone number with
2. Submit at least one letter of reference from a
faculty member with your application. Only submissions that
meet the stated criteria will be considered. rCAM would
like the recipient to attend the "Awards Banquet" during the
October MRA Conference and will contribute up to an
additional $75.00 to offset actual costs of attending the
Awards Banquet if he or she is able to attend.
For more information or to apply for the scholarship feel
free to contact:
14551 County Road 11, Suite 140
Burnsville, MN 55337
rCAM is designated to award this scholarship based on a
review of all applicants. The final deadline for submitting
applications must be received or postmarked before or on
September 15, 2000. The scholarship award will be announced
at the MRA Fall Conference in Mankato which will be held
October 25 through 27, 2000. Award recipients will be
notified prior to the conference as soon as the selection
has been made.
rCAM COUNSELOR OF THE YEAR
Rich Wagner, President, rCAM
This is a request for nominees for the Rehabilitation
Counselor's Association of Minnesota (rCAM) Counselor of the
Year Award for the year 2000. This award was established in
1965 to promote "recognition of the pursuit and attainment
of excellence in counseling persons with disabilities."
rCAM requests nominees for this award on an annual basis and
the nominee chosen is announced at the MRA fall conference.
The deadline for nominations is September 30,2000.
Why should you bother with a nomination? We all know of
counselors that work hard and do a great job, but by the
nature of our business rarely receive recognition from those
of us who understand and can appreciate the effort that goes
into how they approach their jobs. This award is just a
small way to publically let them know that we recognize
them for the excellence of their work and appreciate the
time and effort that goes into consistently performing at a
high level to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
You know who they are. Please consider making a
Note that a rehabilitation counselor does not have to be
a NRA member or a certified rehabilitation counselor to be
nominated for the Minnesota award, but must meet the
following criteria to advance to regional and national
1. Nominee must be employed as a full-time counselor
working with a caseload of persons with disabilities.
2. Nominee's efforts should far exceed standard
3. Nominee's accomplishments should be recognized by
co-workers, supervisors, and community.
4. Nominee should exemplify individual achievement in the
field of rehabilitation counseling as well as community
1. Nomination packets can be requested from Rich Wagner.
E-mail me at [email protected] or call me at
(952) 431-9414 and leave a complete message where the packet
should be forwarded to.
2. Deadline for completed nomination packets is
September 30, 2000 and should be sent to Rich Wagner, RSB,
14551 County Road 11, Suite 140, Burnsville, MN. 55337.
The packet does take some time to complete, however, if you
begin to process the nomination materials as soon as you
receive them you should be able to complete them well within
3. Please type all information except where signatures
4. Judging will be done by the awards committee based on
completeness and content of the nomination.
Feel free to call or e-mail if you have questions.
2000 MRA DIVISION
(For more information or nomination forms, please contact
the representative listed. Please also note that each
division has their own awards committee.)
MINNESOTA ASSOCIATION OF REHABILITATION SUPPORT STAFF
Doreen Hoffman, [email protected]
Support Staff Person of the Year
Presented to any support person, who has exhibited a
dedication to the field of rehabilitation through
outstanding performance on the job and/or related outside
VOCATIONAL EVALUATION WORK ADJUSTMENT ASSOCIATION (VEWAA)
Susan Luce, [email protected]
Professional of the Year
Presented to an individual who has made a positive impact
on the lives of individuals with disabilities, and is an
exceptional vocational evaluator or work adjustment
REHABILITATION COUNSELOR'S ASSOCIATION OF MINNESOTA
Rich Wagner, [email protected]
Rehabilitation Counselor of the Year
Presented to a rehabilitation counselor for doing
exceptional work in the field of vocational
JOB PLACEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (JPD)
Mary Jo Nohava,
Small Metro and Small Non Metro Employer
Presented to employers with less than 100 employees which
actively recruits, demonstrates a willingness of make
necessary accommodations and seeks out assistance for their
employee with a disability.
Large Metro and Large Non Metro Employer
Presented to employers with over 100 employees which
actively recruits, demonstrates a willingness of make
necessary accommodations and seeks out assistance for their
employee with a disability.
JPD Placement Person of the Year and Non JPD Placement
Person of the Year
Presented to individuals who demonstrate outstanding
leadership and abilities in the areas of job placement, job
development and follow up. They have exemplary achievements
placing persons with disabilities. For member category,
also demonstrates active participation in JPD.
A variety of MRA Awards are available each year for
nomination. The awards will be presented at the Fall MRA
conference. Persons receiving the awards will be selected
by the Awards Committee from nominations submitted by MRA
members. The Awards Committee=s decision on all nominees is
final. The committee also reserves the right to withhold an
award based on lack of nominees. We hope to have a number
of nominations in each category.
The deadline for award nominations is October 2, 2000.
Nomination letters describing how the nominee meets the
award criteria should be sent to:
State Services for the Blind
2200 University Avenue West #240
St. Paul, MN 55114
Categories are as follows:
Mary Carlson Award
Presented to a person with a disability who has been
successfully employed for a period in excess of one year.
Particular attention will be paid to individuals whose
accomplishments serve as examples of determination and
application of special skills to overcome a vocational
impediment. Stability of work, severity of disability and
uniqueness of the placement will be factors used in
Meritorious Service Award
Presented to individuals who have demonstrated faithful
service to the association through their contributions to
their profession as well as to the community. This is an
MRA internal award. Consideration will be given both to
quantitative and qualitative aspects of the leadership and
This award is presented to a public sector individual or
organization of State prominence who/which has made
significant contributions toward enrichment of the lives of
people with disabilities. The award may apply to
professionals delivering service, volunteers, or any other
individual who has championed the cause of people with
The President's Award
Given to an individual or organization in the private
sector who/which has demonstrated outstanding achievement on
behalf of people with disabilities. The recipient of this
award must have been involved in activity over the preceding
years which has resulted in major and significant
contributions to the rehabilitation of persons with
disabilities on a statewide basis.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Distinguished Service Award
This award is presented to an outstanding political
figure who has demonstrated leadership in improving the
service system for people with disabilities in the State of
Minnesota. Consideration will be given to persons with
long-standing commitment to rehabilitation. Special
attention will be given to individuals who have dealt
creatively with problems in the tradition of Hubert H.
Pinky Swear: The Gift of a
Dawn M. Chicilo is a rehabilitation counselor, wife,
mother and newly published author of Pinky Swear: The Gift
of a Lifetime.
Pinky Swear is the true story of one woman's quest to
fulfill a deathbed promise while seeking to heal the wounds
of her own loss. From a sleepy town in rural Minnesota, to
the inspirational red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, to the
island refuge of Key West, Florida, you journey with her as
she searches for answers &endash; answers that can only come
As she travels through this inner landscape of grief, you
meet a cast of real-life characters whose love, hope and
faith are tested to the limit as they conquer fear, pain,
anger and even guilt. Experience all the highs and lows, as
she courageously learns and shows you how to live, laugh and
On a solo charter in the Gulf of Mexico, she reaches the
crossroads of her journey. She understands that she must
let go of the past to fulfill the promise. At last, she is
free to go home where all the pieces begin to slip into
place and she learns the simple truth &endash; her dying
sister gave her the gift of a lifetime.
Since loss is universal, all of us at one time have
experienced &endash; or will experience the death of someone
we love. As Christine Clifford, best selling author of Not
Now . . . I'm Having a No Hair Day!, wrote in the foreword,
"Pinky Swear will take the reader on a journey of his or her
own &endash; one that will ultimately leave you laughing and
crying for this gift that we call life." Pinky Swear is a
farewell gift to us all.
Chicilo lives with her husband David, and their children,
Scott, Christian and Alex, in Shoreview, Minnesota. She has
a master's degree in counseling and a bachelor's degree in
psychology, with an emphasis on death and dying, from St.
Cloud State University. She is a nationally certified
rehabilitation counselor, licensed qualified rehabilitation
consultant, licensed professional counselor for the state of
Wisconsin, and rehabilitation review panel member for the
state of Minnesota. She is a professional speaker and the
owner of Chicilo & Associates, Inc., a private
vocational rehabilitation consulting firm in North Oaks,
Minnesota. This is her true story.
To order copies of Pinky Swear: The Gift of a Lifetime
(ISBN 0-9678920-0-7, hardcover, $16.95) contact TreeHouse
Ink Publishing Company at 1-800-720-5531.
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