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April 2015

PACER e-news: Resources and information for children with disabilities and their families

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE: DON’T MISS CROSBY, STILLS & NASH LIVE AT THE PACER BENEFIT MAY 2

Time is running out! Purchase tickets now for PACER’s Annual Benefit this Saturday, May 2 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, presented by Whitebox Mutual Funds. More than four decades since Crosby, Stills & Nash first harmonized together in Southern California, its members continue a creative partnership that is one of the most influential and enduring in music. Tickets start at $70 and include silent and live auctions. Proceeds support programs for children with disabilities and children who are bullied. Call (952) 838-9000 to reserve your seats today.

INNOVATIVE NEW PACER WEBSITE OFFERS IMPORTANT RESOURCES ON TRANSITION AND EMPLOYMENT FOR YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES AND THEIR PARENTS

PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment has launched its innovative new website to provide important information and resources to support families, youth, educators, and employers as they help teens and young adults with disabilities reach their goals in adulthood. This state-of-the art website offers interactive learning opportunities, an extensive resource library, compelling videos, and inspirational success stories, all presented in a parent-friendly way. Learn more at PACER.org/transition.

PACER’S UNITY AWARDS: NOMINATE A DESERVING INDIVIDUAL WHO IS GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND TO PREVENT BULLYING

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond to prevent bullying? Nominate a deserving individual for the Unity Awards which were created to honor and celebrate students and others who are leaders in helping to make communities, schools, and the Internet kinder, more accepting places. The Unity Awards will be presented by the Faces of Change, the Youth Advisory Board of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, on Tuesday, June 9 in Bloomington, Minn. The nomination deadline is April 30. Learn more at PACER.org/bullying.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES CAN ACCESS FREE ON-DEMAND CHILDREN’S TV PROGRAMMING

The potential of television as an educational tool has been widely recognized since the launch of “Sesame Street” in 1969, but popular programs are not always accessible to children with disabilities. Students with visual or hearing disabilities can now access free video-on-demand children’s programs such as “Magic School Bus,” “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” and “Ocean Mysteries.” The service is part of the Described and Captioned Media Program (dcmp.org) funded by the U.S. Department of Education, which includes content from major U.S. networks as well as PBS Kids, Sesame Workshop, Cartoon Network, and others. Learn more.

READ PACER’S BLOG ABOUT CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH AND BEHAVIOR ISSUES ON HUFFINGTON POST AND BABBLE.COM

PACER is now a regular contributor to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Huffington Post, the most-viewed news website in the United States. The posts also appear each month on Babble.com, the highly acclaimed online magazine and blog network published by the Walt Disney Company for parents. Babble is partnering with PACER to help parents better understand and navigate the needs of children with mental health and behavior issues. Read PACER’s posts on Babble.com or Huffington Post.

APPLY BY MAY 1 FOR EX.I.T.E CAMP FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS

Register now for the 13th Annual Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering (EX.I.T.E) Camp for middle school girls with disabilities. Participants do experiments, make new friends, and discover the excitement of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The free five-day camp in August enables girls to learn hands-on in a supportive environment, and boost their skills and confidence by working with industry professionals. The registration deadline is May 1 and space is limited. Visit PACER.org/stc for more information and application forms. You can also apply online or call PACER’s Simon Technology Center at (952) 838-9000.

ONLINE WORKSHOP WILL HELP PARENTS USE THE INTERNET TO BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK FOR THEIR CHILD WITH A DISABILITY

For parents of children with disabilities, finding other parents who share a similar journey can be very helpful, and parents can now create a network of support, guidance, and wisdom by using social media. An online workshop – “Parenting a Child with Special Needs: How Internet technology can help build your network of support and knowledge” – will teach parents how to do that. The webinar is on Monday, May 18 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. (CDT) and is presented by the Center on Technology and Disability (ctdinstitute.org). There is no cost to participate but advance registration is required. Learn more or register online.

REGISTRATION BEGINS IN MAY FOR THE 10TH ANNUAL PACER SYMPOSIUM

Teachers, parents, and administrators are invited to this year’s 10th Annual National PACER Symposium About Children & Young Adults with Mental Health and Learning Disabilities on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The symposium brings together 1,100 teachers, administrators, and parents for a day-long event, and features outstanding national keynote speakers and breakout workshop presenters. Registration opens May 13. The cost is $30 and includes lunch. Learn more

WORKSHOPS

Transition planning is a crucial step in preparing students with disabilities for life after high school, and it is important to begin planning early. PACER is offering two more workshops in April to help parents prepare their youth for future success at school, at work, and in the community. These workshops are made possible through funding from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. Register or learn more at PACER.org/workshops.

Taking the Next Steps: Planning for Success in Postsecondary Education
An increasing number of youth with disabilities are continuing their education after high school. This workshop for parents and youth will provide information on how to prepare for success in college, understand the value of post-secondary education, and access needed supports.
Wednesday, April 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at PACER Center. (Also available via Livestream on a computer or tablet.)

Show What You Know Your Way: New Ways to Complete Assignments with Technology
Computers, tablets, and smartphones can make organizing and expressing ideas easier and more enjoyable than traditional note-taking and writing. Participants will learn about apps and programs to help students show what they know in exciting new ways.
Thursday, April 30 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at PACER Center. (Also available via Livestream.)

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES

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Showing your support for PACER is as easy as taking the occasional survey. More than 27,000 people have signed up with SurveyMonkey Contribute in support of PACER. Participants receive periodic e-mail surveys on a variety of subjects. The web-based questionnaires are quick, easy, and confidential, and SurveyMonkey makes a donation to PACER for each survey completed. Thank you for participating! Sign up today

CONTACT PACER FOR ASSISTANCE AND INFORMATION

PACER Center is a Minnesota nonprofit organization that provides services to families of children and young adults with any disability, as well as resources to prevent bullying through PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. For assistance and information, please contact us via e-mail at PACER@PACER.org or call (952) 838-9000. Learn more

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