Author: Megan Kuneli

Newtrax Wins 2020 VHEDC Community Partnership Award

Published November 5, 2020

We’re so proud of our non-profit partner Newtrax on receiving the 2020 Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation Community Partnership Award. Way to go, Mike Greenbaum, Scott Olson, and the rest of the Newtrax team!

Check out the article “A Different Sort of Meals on Wheels” written by the White Bear Press to learn more about the amazing things happening at NewTrax.

Bark’s Bytes #40 | Fishing on Lake Covidtogoma

Published August 12, 2020

John Wayne Barker with fish at lake

“Fishing for an answer” is not an uncommon phrase here in Minnesota and is certainly one way to describe what the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) has been doing since mid-March, with the support of 67 Senators and a few Representatives, in getting Covid-19 guidance from the Commissioner of DHS and emergency funding from the Governor. I recently went on a fishing trip with two-day program colleagues that gave me the opportunity to put the last 5 months into some perspective.

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Blog of Merrick, Inc., Executive Director John Wayne Barker (JWB)

Bark’s Bytes #39 | Smoke & Fire

Published January 7, 2020

In late 2019, it came to my attention that Arc Minnesota was actively building a coalition of stakeholders to develop a 2020 legislative plan to phase out the commensurate wage regulation, known as 14(c), which permits a special minimum wage. After hearing strong opposition from many stakeholders this plan has been shelved for the time being. Still, there are several efforts at the federal level to eliminate the 14(c) regulation, and the Minnesota Disability Services Division (DSD) is moving forward with its plan to redesign Day Training & Habilitation (DT&H) services and impose a 36-month limit on prevocational services (with a possible 12-month extension) for anyone enrolled after 12/31/20.

It is my view that this DSD plan will eliminate the center-based work option for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) even if the 14(c) regulation is retained. To explain my reasoning I wrote a document entitled “Smoke & Fire” that is formatted in the style of a 2015 document entitled “Myths & Realities” written by the RTC on Community Living at the University of Minnesota. My hope is that a reader will better understand the issue if explained in a similar format and structure.

Both documents are attached as a pdf to this editorial and I suggest that the reader print both and read the same section of each before moving onto the next section. In this manner, the contrasting views may be clearer to the reader by the time they finish reading the documents.

At Merrick we have more than 200 clients that earned more than $750,000 last year through our 14(c) center-based work option who either can’t or don’t want to work in a competitive integrated work environment. It is my hope that others will strive to convince DHS to reconsider its DT&H redesign plan and proposed limit on prevocational services so that people with I/DD can make meaningful decisions about how to live, work, and interact with the community as promised in the Olmstead Plan.

2019 VHEDC Award Video – Merrick, Inc.

Published November 11, 2019

Merrick, Inc. was honored to be the recipient of the 2019 VHEDC Community Partnership Award, and looks forward to continuing to grow its partnerships across the Northeastern Twin Cities.

Self-Advocacy Video

Published November 8, 2019

Merrick, Inc. is licensed in the state of Minnesota to provide day programs and work options for 375 adults with disabilities. We choose to do more.

SGIA Video Award Winner

Published August 19, 2019

Merrick, Inc., is proud to be a part of Ambassadors for Respect, an award-winning anti-bullying program for fourth graders, that was first started in 2013 at Merrick. We are thrilled PeaceMaker Minnesota has taken over management of the program with the goal of taking it statewide. It is a joy to continue to make a difference in our community with the support of PeaceMaker Minnesota and the MN Council on Developmental Disabilities.