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 LifePages Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Life Pages?
Life Pages is a comprehensive web site designed to enhance the quality and quantity of recreation and leisure opportunities. The idea is to provide an ever-growing, ever-changing database of activities and resources that are available in the greater Twin Cities area. We seek to broaden people's choices, facilitate and support friendship development, and to improve quality of life for people of all abilities. By providing complete information about each activity or resource - schedules, contacts, costs, parking tips, etc. - Life Pages eliminates the need for time-consuming research. Everything you need to know (and more) is right in front of you. In a nutshell, Life Pages is a springboard into a more diversified life. We also have a number of features designed with individuals with disabilities in mind.

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Who can use Life Pages?
Life Pages was developed with people with disabilities in mind, but the site is truly useful for everyone. Life Pages is a great way to keep track of activities around town that you might not otherwise know about. Anyone can create a profile, which allows you to save favorite activities and sign up to receive e-mail alerts when new activities are added. The site has one feature, invitations, which is available only to Partners In Community Supports (PICS) member agencies. What is PICS? Click here to find out. You can learn more about the Invitations feature by clicking here.

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How is the site organized? What's the difference between each section?
Life Pages has four sections:
1) Recreation/Leisure, 2) Community, 3) Services, and 4) Resources.
  • The Rec/Leisure section lists fun and interesting things to do with your free time. There are a lot of hidden treasures in the Twin Cities and you can find out about them here! You'll find everything from festivals and museums to restaurants and water parks. You're certain to find unique activities and events that you didn't know about.
  • The Community section lists a variety of ways to get involved where you live. This is where you'll find civic web sites, places of worship, volunteer opportunities, farmer's markets, and anything else related to community involvement.
  • The Services section is a listing of private and public organizations that offer specific or broad services to the disability community, such as advocacy groups, specialty clothing suppliers, and adaptive recreation organizations.
  • The Resources section is divided into three categories: resources for consumers, resources for professionals, and resources for guardians. All three groups can find an abundance of resources suited for them, such as workshops, support groups, conferences, specialized legal help, and informative online magazines.

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What are the featured events and activities?
These are the events listed when you first click on each of the tabs - Rec/Leisure, Community, Services, and Resources. These are activities and resources that we think are particularly interesting or useful, and we change them frequently so you'll learn about things you might not think to search for.

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How can I search Life Pages? What is the advanced search?
There are many ways to search Life Pages. If you're not sure what you're looking for you can browse the site by the categories listed on the left side of each page. Or hit the "free activities" button to see all the free stuff going on.

No matter where you are on Life Pages, the search bar is always located at the top of the screen. Simply type a keyword that describes what you're looking for and hit "Go." This will search one section of the site, so the tab you search from (rec/leisure, community, services, or resources) is the area Life Pages will search. If the search doesn't return any results, Life Pages will offer to try your search in another tab. Just click on the links provided to complete the same search in another section.

On each page you'll also see a link to "Advanced Search," just below the keyword search bar. By using the advanced search you can find activities that meet specific criteria. Advance search lets you search by the standards that are most important to you - such as city, zip code, age, type of activity, or free events. You can also search for activities that are designed specifically for individuals with disabilities, activities that provide supervision, or activities within a certain number of miles from your location. Advanced search is a great way to narrow your search based on very specific criteria that best meet your needs.

Another great way to search Life Pages is by date. Each section (rec/leisure, community, services, and resources) has a link on the left side of the page that says "Rec/Leisure Calendar," "Community Calendar," etc. Just click on that link and a large calendar will appear. Then you can click on any date and Life Pages will display all activities in that section that are happening on that date. You can search the entire week or month as well.

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Can I search for activities in a certain area of town?
Yes. At the top of each page you'll see a link to the "Advanced Search." On the Advanced Search page you can set your own criteria and find activities in a number of different ways. You can search for activities in a certain area of town by using the "geographic area" search. All you do is enter the number of miles you're willing to travel from the zip code you type in. It looks like this:

Search within miles of this zip code:

This search will give me any activity or event that is happening in the zip code 55403 as well as any events that are happening within 5 miles of that zip code.

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How can I make a suggestion for a new activity or resource?
If you know about an activity, resource or service that isn't on the site, let us know. Simply look for the "suggest a new activity" link on the left side of any page. Enter the information you'd like us to know about and click "submit."

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What is My Life Pages and why should I create a profile?
My Life Pages is a great way to get the most out of this web site. Once you have a profile, you'll want to sign in with your username and password each time you visit. Then you'll have the ability to save events you're interested in so you can jump right to them easily. Learn more about favorites. You can also register for e-mail alerts and register for invitations. Find out more about e-mail alerts and invitations.

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How do I create a profile on My Life Pages?
Creating a profile is easy and takes only a few minutes. You'll be a member of Life Pages in no time at all. Click on the "My Life Pages" tab and then click on the link that says "Create a New My Life Pages Profile." Now choose a username for yourself, type in your email address, and choose a password for your profile. Be sure to click the box at the bottom of the screen stating you agree to our terms of use; you can read the terms by clicking "terms of use." Finally, hit the "submit" button. Your profile has been created but you still need to activate it. Life Pages will instantly send you an email confirming your new profile, but as a security measure you'll need to follow a link in that e-mail to activate your profile. Now you can sign in to access e-mail alerts and favorites.

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How do "Favorites" work?
Favorites are a way to save the activities and resources that interest you most. You must be signed in with your username and password to save and view your favorites. The "favorites" feature allows you to save information that is important to you and view it quickly any time you're signed in.

Whenever you click on an activity to see more about it, an "Options" menu will appear on the left side of the screen - that menu includes an "Add to Favorites" link. Click on that link and the activity you are viewing will be stored in your favorites folder. It's that easy. You can view your favorites by clicking the link that says "View My Favorites." Anytime you're signed in you'll see this link below your "Hello" greeting on the left side of the page.

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What are "e-mail alerts" and how do they work?
E-mail alerts can help you be sure you don't miss anything. All you do is let us know what types of activities you're interested in, and you'll receive an email every time something that fits your interests is added to the site. Just sign in and go to the My Life Pages tab. You'll see a link there to "register for e-mail alerts." Just click that link and let us know what kind of activities you'd like us to send alerts for. These emails are sent out daily, so when something that interests you is put on the site, you know about it right away.

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What is Partners in Community Supports (PICS)?
Partners In Community Supports (PICS) is a collaboration of six long-established and well-respected non-profit agencies with proven track records of successfully serving Minnesotans with developmental disabilities. Member agencies provide residential, vocational, crisis, respite, life planning, and other related services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

PICS is a non-profit organization that works to create more responsive and innovative services for individuals and families. We work to identify unmet needs, develop new services and programs, improve service delivery, reduce duplication of services, and increase the quality of services. Life Pages is just one of the projects PICS is working on. To learn more about our unique organization, visit our web site at www.PICSweb.org. PICS also offers FSE (Fiscal Support Entity) services.

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Who are the six PICS member agencies?
You can click on any of our agency's names below to see their web site.

Dakota Communities      (http://www.dakotacommunities.org/)
Fraser                           (http://www.fraser.org/)
Hammer Residences      (http://www.hammer.org/)
Lutheran Social Service  (http://www.lssmn.org/)
Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres  (http://www.mtolivet.org/ministries/rolling.html)
Opportunity Partners      (http://www.opportunities.org/)

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Why was this web site created?
Life Pages was created to help everyone get better connected with their community. Sometimes it's hard to know what's happening around town because there are so many different places to find information - Life Pages lists it all in one place.

Most of us want to get out and do more fun things, but this can be especially true for people with disabilities. Far too many individuals with disabilities experience limited recreation and leisure options. In a recent service evaluation, the University of Minnesota's Research and Training Center on Community Living found that only 39% of about 400 interviewees said they were able to select their own leisure activities. This web site helps all people find activities that fit their interests. It's also a great tool for the people who support individuals with disabilities - an easy and fun way to get their clients involved in choosing their recreation and leisure activities.

But information isn't the only barrier to people with disabilities getting more involved in their communities. A lack of staffing and transportation resources limits the number of things people can do. The Life Pages project also helps people implement the activities they have chosen. We're working with our member agencies to develop strategies to share transportation and staffing resources between agencies. This way, if two individuals both like the same activities, but live in different homes, they won't need two vehicles and two staff to getting together.

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Who is involved in this project and how is it funded?
In addition to the member agencies of PICS, the University of Minnesota's Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC) is working with us. RTC provides consultation to, and evaluation of, the project. RTC is nationally known for its work in the area of community integration. They also execute the site's technological design and development. Life Pages is funded in part by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities' Projects of National Significance program, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. We received a three-year grant from ADD to help us develop this project.

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Is Life Pages accessible to everyone? What about people with visual impairments?
Life Pages is in full compliance with Section 508 law, as well as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) put forth by W3C. These are general standards for the accessibility of web sites. However, many people require the use of special tools in order to make computers and the Internet accessible to them. The following link is a great place to learn about specialized accessibility tools: http://www.okstate.edu/ucs/stdis/at/atlinks.htm

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What is the Message Board? How do I use it?
The Message Board in an interactive feature that allows you to share information with other users directly on the site. The way it works is simple: you can create a new topic and write a message about it, or you can reply to a message that someone else has already written. Your posts are available for other users to see and reply to. Like Invitations, the Message Board feature is limited to Life Pages member agencies. This keeps the feature safe and effective. For a list of Life Pages member agencies, click here. To inquire about becoming a Life Pages member agency, contact us. What kind of information? Let's say you want to start a social group, or sell a used Assistive Technology device, or just discuss issues that are important to you. The Message Board is a perfect place to do this! You can use the Message Board for any purpose, provided you are respectful and not offensive.

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What if I find an offensive message on the Message Board?
If you see a message that contains something offensive to you, open the message and look for the link that says "Request removal of this posting." If you'd like, you can enter a short reason why the message should be removed. Whether or not you enter a reason, be sure to click "Submit." Your request will reach us immediately, and we will remove anything that is offensive.

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