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January 2015

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

TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR CROSBY, STILLS & NASH LIVE AT THE PACER BENEFIT

More than four decades since Crosby, Stills & Nash first harmonized in Southern California, and played their first-ever concert as a trio at the legendary Woodstock festival, its members continue a creative partnership that is one of the most influential and enduring in music. Don’t miss David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash performing live at PACER’s 33rd Annual Benefit on Saturday, May 2 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Visit PACER.org or call (952) 838-9000 to reserve tickets, donate to the silent auction, or learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities.

ABLE ACT WILL ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES TO CREATE TAX-FREE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS UP TO $100,000

President Barack Obama recently signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, legislation that will allow people who acquired a disability before age 26 to create tax-free savings accounts of up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government benefits. Medicaid coverage will not be affected, and funds deposited in ABLE accounts can be used to pay for education, health care, and other expenses. Learn more

REGISTER NOW FOR PACER’S CREATIVE KIDS CONTEST FEB. 28

Children with disabilities (ages 4 to 17) are invited to participate in a morning of imagination, creativity, and fun with art at PACER’s 10th annual Creative Kids Contest. It is a wonderful family event, and the winner will have his or her design made into the 2015 PACER greeting card, which will be sold online and at PACER’s Annual Benefit. The Creative Kids Contest is on Saturday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. to noon at PACER Center. To register or donate art supplies, e-mail danna.mirviss@pacer.org or call (952) 838-9000. Space is limited.

PACER PARTNERS WITH BABBLE.COM TO PROVIDE INFORMATION FOR PARENTS ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH AND BEHAVIOR ISSUES

PACER is a monthly contributor to 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.

BOOK NOW TO BRING THE PACER PUPPETS TO YOUR SCHOOL IN 2015

Capturing the attention of young children isn’t easy, but PACER’s endearing, life-size puppets leave a lasting impression with elementary students. PACER is now booking shows in the Twin Cities for the innovative, interactive COUNT ME IN® (disability awareness) and KIDS AGAINST BULLYING (bullying prevention) puppet programs. To learn more about the program and how to become a volunteer puppeteer, visit PACER.org/puppets, e-mail puppets@PACER.org, or call (952) 838-9000.

NEW LENDING PROGRAM LETS FAMILIES TEST DRIVE A VGO ROBOT

Children who can’t attend school because of a serious health problem or disability can now receive instruction at home and socialize with peers using a VGo robot from PACER’s Simon Technology Center. PACER has created a lending program that enables families and professionals to borrow a VGo for up to four weeks to experience this breakthrough technology first-hand. For more information, e-mail tina.hanson@pacer.org or call (952) 838-9000. Watch a brief video about the VGo.

GOING GOOGLE: LEARN HOW GOOGLE CHROME CAN BE USED AS AN ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY DEVICE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

PACER is a partner with The Center on Technology and Disability (CTD), which is offering a free collaborative E-learning series using Google Apps for Education. The first of three sessions is on Feb. 3, 2015 from 1 to 2 p.m. (Central). Participants in this online event will experience first-hand how the Chromebook computer and the Chrome web browser can be used as free or low-cost assistive technology tools for students with disabilities. Learn more about this and other CTD events and resources.

DISCOVER THE MAGIC OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AT EX.I.T.E CAMP FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS

Attention middle-school girls with disabilities! Did you know that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be really fun? See for yourself at the 13th Annual Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering (EX.I.T.E) Camp at PACER Center this August. Conduct amazing experiments alongside industry professionals, make new friends, and do some really cool stuff! Visit PACER.org to apply, or call (952) 838-9000. Applications are due May 1.

WORKSHOPS

Three-part Housing Workshop Series
Will you be ready when the time comes for your son or daughter to move to a place of their own? Most parents aren’t sure how to begin planning for the transition, but this three-part housing workshop series will help you get started. These free workshops will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 9, Feb. 23, and March 2 at PACER Center. Topics will include first steps to independent living, housing eligibility and funding, and individualized housing services and options. Parents are encouraged to attend all three workshops, and advance registration is required. Register online or learn about other workshops at PACER.org.

PACER RESOURCES

Updated! Special Education Record Keeping Folders
These folders make it easy for parents to keep important papers related to their child’s education organized, and provide numerous helpful tips on working with the child’s school. Folders are available in English, Somali, Hmong, and Spanish. Printed copies are $10 each for 1 to 10 copies; $8 each for 11-100 copies; and $7 each for 101 to 500 copies. Call (952) 838-9000 or (800) 537-2237 and order item PHP-a5.

Updated! A Guide for Minnesota Parents to the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
This practical guide helps parents work with schools to address each child's special needs through understanding the required components of the IEP. It includes examples from the Minnesota state recommended form. 2014. Printed copies are $3 each or $2 each for orders of 10 or more. Minnesota parents can order one copy free of charge. Call PACER at (952) 838-9000 or (800) 537-2237 and order item PHP-a12.

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES

Support PACER by joining Survey Monkey Contribute
Showing your support for PACER is as easy as taking the occasional survey. More than 26,000 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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PACER Center, Inc. 8161 Normandale Boulevard Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044
952.838.9000 (voice) 800.53.PACER (toll-free) 952.838.0199 (fax)
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Visit PACER's other sites: Teens Against Bullying | Kids Against Bullying | FAST Family Support | FAPE | MN SEACs

Translated content: Hmoob/Hmong | Español | Soomaaliga/Somali

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