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January 2016

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

TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR IDINA MENZEL LIVE AT THE PACER BENEFIT

Tony Award-winning icon Idina Menzel, whose career traverses stage, film, television, and music, will bring her amazing talents to Minneapolis on Saturday, April 30 where she will be the headline performer at PACER’s 34th Annual Benefit. Menzel, the voice behind Elsa in Disney’s global box office smash Frozen, and powering the multiplatinum Oscar-winning hit “Let it Go,” will perform live at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Tony Award-winning star has appeared on Broadway in Wicked, Rent, and If/Then, and on the TV show Glee. Reserve your tickets now at PACER.org or call (952) 838-9000.

NEW TIKES WEBSITE OFFERS TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES AND PROFESSIONALS WHO SUPPORT YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

Technology can be a great tool to help young children with disabilities be successful, and PACER’s TIKES Project (Technology to Improve Kids’ Educational Success) has excellent resources for parents and professionals. The new TIKES website offers training videos, tip sheets, and other helpful information for families, teachers, and administrators who work with young children with disabilities or developmental delays. Learn more about this project and explore resources at PACER.org/stc/tikes, or e-mail [email protected] for more information.

REGISTER NOW FOR PACER’S CREATIVE KIDS CONTEST FEB. 27

Children with disabilities (ages 4 to 17) are invited to participate in a morning of imagination, creativity, and fun with art at PACER’s 11th annual Creative Kids Contest. It is a wonderful family event, and the winner will have his or her design made into the 2016 PACER greeting card, which will be sold online and at PACER’s Annual Benefit. This year’s contest theme is “Unity: Friendship, Inclusion, and Kindness.” The Creative Kids Contest is on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon at PACER Center. To register or donate art supplies, e-mail [email protected] or call (952) 838-9000. Space is limited.

POST-SECONDARY PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES ARE HELPING YOUNG ADULTS IN TRANSITION

A growing number of colleges offer transition programs for students with intellectual disabilities, and a report indicates that these opportunities are helping more individuals achieve their goals for higher education and paid employment. Compiled by the Think College National Coordinating Center – a PACER partner – the report indicates that more than 75 percent of students in the fourth year of a postsecondary program are working a paid job or internship, or participating in other career development activities. PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment offers extensive transition resources for students with disabilities. Learn more at PACER.org/transition

APPLY BY FEB. 13 TO PARTICIPATE THIS SPRING IN PACER’S PROJECT KITE

PACER’s Project KITE – Kids Included through Technology are Enriched – is a free assistive technology (AT) training and coaching program for Minnesota parents and educators that is designed to increase the independence and inclusion of young learners with disabilities. PACER is now accepting applications for the Spring 2016 session of Project KITE from teams of Minnesota parents, educators, and support professionals of students ages 3 to 8 with special needs. The application deadline is Feb. 13, and the spring session will begin in March. Visit PACER.org/stc/kite/ to submit an application or learn more about this unique opportunity. For more information, contact Terri Rosen ([email protected]) or call (952) 838-9000.

JOIN TOGETHER AGAINST BULLYING, DONATE, AND TAG IT FORWARD!

TAG, now you’re it! Together Against Bullying™ is a new campaign for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, inspired by the performer Carrot Top. Visit the website togetheragainst.org to donate, receive both virtual and paper stickers to TAG your friends, and share on social media. Your support means one less student being bullied, one more person speaking out, or one more child knowing that he or she is not alone. Donate today!

BE A PART OF PACER DAY AT THE MINNESOTA STATE CAPITOL MARCH 16

Parents of children with disabilities will have their voices heard in St. Paul, Minn., on ‘Be a Champion for Children with Disabilities Day’ at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Participants will attend a dynamic workshop led by advocacy and education leaders and legislators to hear about potential legislation affecting special education, education funding, school discipline reform, mental health, and more. Parents will learn how to effectively share their stories before meeting with their state legislators. Space is limited for this important event. Register online or call (952) 838-9000.

PACER’S SIMON TECHNOLOGY CENTER IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR EX.I.T.E CAMP FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES

Middle-school girls with disabilities won’t want to miss the 14th annual Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering (EX.I.T.E) Camp in August 2016 at PACER, where students will discover the magic of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Enrollment is limited for this popular learning opportunity. Visit PACER.org/stc for more information and application forms, or call PACER’s Simon Technology Center at (952) 838-9000.

BOOK NOW TO BRING THE PACER PUPPETS TO YOUR SCHOOL IN 2016

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 [email protected], or call (952) 838-9000.

WEBINAR

Living independently with a cognitive disability: How technology can help
Technology offers a world of opportunity for individuals with cognitive disabilities who want to live independently. This webinar will help parents and professionals learn about the many ways assistive technology (AT) can support the skills needed for independent living. This webinar is presented by the Center on Technology and Disability (ctdinstitute.org), a PACER partner that helps make learning about AT online easier for educators and parents of children with disabilities. There is no cost to participate but advance registration is required. Register online.

  • Thursday, Feb. 11, at 3 to 4 p.m. (Central time) live via the Internet.

PACER RESOURCES

New! Don’t miss the latest edition of “Pacesetter”
“Pacesetter” is a free newsletter published by PACER three times a year for parents and professionals. Don’t miss the Winter 2016 edition, which includes articles on an inspiring teen with high expectations, PACER resources for public and private schools, PACER’s innovative bullying prevention resources, and a preview of the 34th Annual PACER Benefit coming up on April 30. Call (952) 838-9000 to be added to the mailing list, and visit PACER.org/newsletters to learn about other helpful PACER publications.

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES

Support PACER by joining Survey Monkey Contribute
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 national 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 [email protected] or call (952) 838-9000. Learn more

CONNECT WITH PACER ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM

Stay up-to-date with all of the latest PACER news and events through social media. ‘Like’ PACER on Facebook and, ‘follow’ us on Twitter (@PACERCenter) and Instagram to receive ongoing updates.

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