2015 Annual Event
Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) Celebrates Independent Living!
Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Place: Ramada Bloomington. 2300 American Boulevard East, Bloomington MN 55424
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Remarks by MCIL Executive Director Jesse Bethke Gomez
First Annual Ed Roberts Spirit of Independent Living Award
Keynote Speaker: Paralympic Athelete Chuck Aoki
The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) will host a lively, powerful evening on October 6 at the Ramada Bloomington as members of the disability community, associates, friends and family join to celebrate Independent Living to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the landmark passage of the ADA. The event will feature entertainment by acclaimed musician Thabiso Rowan, opening remarks by MCIL Executive Director Jesse Bethke Gomez, MMA, and a keynote address by Minnesota native and Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Athlete Chuck Aoki. The evening will be capped off with the First Annual Ed Roberts Spirit of Independent Living Awards, honoring an individual and organization that embody and elevate Ed Roberts’ tireless work to improve the lives of persons with disabilities and advance the Independent Living movement. MCIL is grateful to event co-sponsors Access Press and Hotel Furniture Liquidators for their support.
“We are thrilled with plans for the evening,” said Jesse Bethke Gomez, MCIL Executive Director. “As we celebrate what the ADA has brought to our lives, we are ever-mindful of work yet to be done. Our keynote speaker Chuck Aoki is an amazing individual who brings a global perspective on what is possible given determination, access to resources and opportunity. An accomplished athlete, role model and mentor, he exemplifies what it is to be a person with a disability living a rich and independent life. We will also honor the life and legacy of Ed Roberts, a true pioneer and champion of the Independent Living movement, by recognizing an individual and an organization that exemplify Ed’s lifelong work. Our honorees will be acknowledged for their continued dedication to bring advancements and life enhancements to the disability community.” Gomez continued, “Together, MCIL and the ADA affirm values we uphold for all Minnesotans; advancing opportunity and freedom, self-determination, independent living, and increased quality of life, opportunities for economic self-sufficiency, employment, education, choices of living location, and having needed supports systems in place. We look forward to people joining us on October 6 to celebrate the journey that has brought us here, and the empowerment we share to shape our future.”
About our keynote speaker:
Paralympic Athlete and Minnesota native, Chuck Aoki was born with a rare genetic disorder that resulted in not being able to feel below his elbows or knees. After numerous childhood injuries, Aoki and his doctor decided he would need to use a wheelchair full time.
An avid sports enthusiast, he played wheelchair basketball for 11 years before switching to wheelchair rugby. Attracted to the game by its constructive physicality, Aoki found his niche and was named the USA Quad Rugby Association’s Athlete of the Year in 2011. Aoki helped his USA team win a bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and regain the world No. 1 ranking by leading the team to the title at the 2013 Denmark Wheelchair Rugby Challenge.
Aoki has a bachelor's degree in secondary education, with a licensure in 5th-12th Grade Social Studies, is an athlete mentor for Classroom Champions, is a member of the Hartford Paralympic Ambassador program as a sponsored athlete, and is a tireless volunteer for Courage Kenny where his athletic career began.
Ed Roberts (January 23, 1939-March 14,1995) was a pioneering leader of the disability rights and independent living movement. As the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley he was determined to live with a positive personal sense of disability identity. His activism paved the way for generations of students and others to advocate for change. Photo: Loren Worthington
Refreshments: Beverages and hearty appetizers
Requested accommodations provided.
For more information, please call:
Sponsors: Access Press & Hotel Furniture Liquidators, Inc
Click 'Read More' for directions and to RSVP with any disabililty related accomodation requests (please provide by Sept 22nd)...
Independently Speaking Fall 2015 Edition
So many exciting things to tell you about in this edition! Download and enjoy!
Celebrate 25 years of the ADA
Celebrate 25 Years of the ADA
The Disability Community, in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) and MSCOD, proudlypresent Celebrate 25 Years of the ADA, created by tpt journalist, David Gillette. Mr. Gillette creates a short, engaging video to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the passage of the ADA into law. We trust this whiteboard video essay offers a fun way to explore an overview of the ADA’s impact on the everyday lives of people with disabilities and the obstacles they face in the workplace. View the video HERE. (Audio described version coming soon)
For more updates on the ADA 25th celebration, go here:http://adaminnesota.org/300/