Access North heading

Access North Offers many other services to people with disabilities,
the people who care about us, and the communities in which we live.

Access North provides five core services that all 400+ CILs offer nation wide; independent living skills training, information and referral, advocacy and peer counseling.

Independent Living Skills Training
Access North offers an Independent Living Skills Training program where staff provide independent living skills training in any life area in which a consumer has a goal to become more independent. We have a variety of independent living skills assessments to utilize which can help you to determine goal areas if you like. Training is provided within the home and community where you live. Goal areas include budgeting skills, cooking, accessing community services, communication, and all areas of independent living.

Information and Referral
Access North provides individuals with disabilities, family members, other service providers, and the community at large with information on options and resources which enable people with disabilities to live more independently in the community of their choice.

Self advocacy skills and assertiveness training is provided in all areas of life. In addition, Access North advocates for systems change at the local, state, and national levels.
For example:
(1) Individual consumer advocacy, which involves Center staff working with you to understand your rights and obtain the support services you need to live independently.
(2) Community advocacy, which involves Center staff, Board members, and volunteers initiating activities to make changes in the community that make it easier for all persons with disabilities to live more independently.

Peer Mentoring/Group Support
Access North's Peer Mentoring program links trained mentors with consumers for support, goal setting, and socialization. The objective is to learn, explore options and brainstorm problems that sometimes occur for people with disabilities, for example, making adjustments to a newly acquired disability or learning to use community services more effectively.  In addition, a variety of support groups are offered within our service area. Check out our list here.

Transition to Community
Assists people with disabilities to transition from nursing facilities and other institutions into community settings, preventing institutionalization, as well as supporting youth to prepare for adult life in all areas of independent living including accessing transportation, housing, and employment in the community.

In addition to the five core services Access North provides,
we provide many more based upon the needs or our local community.

Ramp Project
Access North offers the ramp project to provide home access ramps to people with disabilities who need them. The ramps are paid for by the consumer on a sliding fee scale. Many times there are MN DHS programs that can pay for the ramps also.

PCA Choice
PCA Choice is a Personal Assistance program where the consumer is the employer with all corresponding rights and responsibilities. Access North is the employer of record and conducts payroll activities and provides supports. The program allows Consumers to have the highest degree of control in regard to what gets done, how it is done and who does it. For more information go to our website

Homemaking Services
This service is available to people who quality for a County Waiver. Homemaking services assist individuals in managing household activities and may include: Cleaning, laundry, meal preparation, routine household care, shopping.

Respite Services
This service provides short-term care and support for the consumer when the primary caregiver or family members needs to be absent from the home. Services may often be provided by caregivers of your choice.

Relocation Service Coordination
Assistance is provided to individuals through the process of relocating from nursing facilities or other institutions to community settings; including applying for housing options, accessing home care and community service options, preparing for move, and accessing transitional services funds when eligible.

Support Planner Services
A DHS certified support planner provides assistance with development of Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) plan, which is an option of the MA waiver programs, allowing individuals to direct their own care and services.

Waivered Services
Access North provides Independent Living Skills Training, Independent Living Skills maintenance, and more through the MN DHS waivered service system.
Offers people the capability of doing their own Internet disability information and referral. Access North provides information and links to even more disability information. We provide links to all of our staff which will enable visitors to ask questions via e-mail.
We are also your accessibility resource for community businesses, local and county government and more on ADA and accessibility. Providing building access surveys, site planning and analysis.

Assistive Technology
Access North offers Assistive Technology Assessments and can often help people to obtain the assistive technology they need. Services include assistive technology (AT) assessment, demonstration lab/lending library, as well as training on AT devices and education on AT resources and funding. Assistive Technology is any customized item, piece of equipment or product system that is used to improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Home Accessibility
Access North provides home assessment, evaluation and installation (grab bars, railings, accessible levers and handles, etc.) to enhance the accessibility of your home according to your individualized needs.

Computer Classes
Access North offers basic to intermediate computer classes teaching basic computer use as well as internet usage in a variety of locations. Please contact our staff to find out when the next class in your area is.

Computer Labs in All Office Locations
Access North has computer labs in all of our offices which are available for consumer use or to do your PCA testing.

Independent Living/Vocational Rehabilition Collaboration
n collaboration with Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Access North assists individuals to address employment barriers and developing skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment.

Drivers License Written Test Assistance
Access North offers classes designed to assist people to pass the written portion of their drivers license test. Access North staff will also assist in obtaining reasonable accommodations necessary to take the drivers license tests. Contact one of our IL Specialists to work with you on this goal.

Public Education
Your community resource on disability related training topics including independent living philosophy, disability awareness, accessibility, accommodations, etc. for individuals, businesses, and the community.

Transition from School to Community Living
Access North offers a program which assists youth with disabilities to transition from school to independent living. The purpose of the program is to ensure that youth are aware of available resources and learn appropriate skills so they may achieve maximum independence in the community.

If you are in need of a service and cannot find it - ask us. We'll refer you if there is a service that you didn't know about - or try to assist you if there is no service to meet your needs.

The Communities We Serve

To Contact Our Staff Click Here