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July 2014

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

REGISTER NOW FOR PACER’S NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM AUG. 7 IN MINNEAPOLIS

It is less than two weeks until the 2014 PACER National Symposium About Children & Young Adults with Mental Health & Learning Disabilities on Thursday, Aug. 7 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The symposium is designed to enhance awareness and identify strategies for responding to mental health and learning disabilities in children and young adults from the perspective of teachers and parents. A few seats remain for the event, which features outstanding national keynote speakers and practical workshops on a variety of related topics. The registration fee is $25, and lunch is provided. Register now

PACER PARTNERS WITH THE MAKERS OF EPIDUO GEL AND HIT RECORDING ARTISTS TO HELP BANISH BULLYING

Music is a powerful force, and this summer teens and young adults across the country have a unique opportunity to turn their personal experience into a musical rallying cry against bullying. PACER is partnering with Galderma Laboratories, L.P., the makers of Epiduo® Gel, for the “Band Together to Banish Bullying” campaign, which encourages individuals who have been affected by bullying, or who want to speak out against it, to share artwork, photos, videos, or brief stories about their bullying experiences. This inspirational content will be used for an original song that will serve as the bullying prevention anthem, to be written, produced and performed by renowned producer Clinton Sparks and hit recording artists The Mowgli’s and Kylie Morgan. Learn more about how to participate.

PACER PARENT LEADERSHIP SUMMIT ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH AND EMOTIONAL OR BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS IS AUG. 22

It’s not easy to change the way care is delivered for children and youth with mental health and emotional or behavioral disorders, but individuals and families can have an impact on the system if they become involved. Families need a voice to ensure that multiple systems of care are efficient, family friendly, and culturally competent. PACER will host a Parent Leadership Summit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22 at PACER Center for parents who would like to participate. For more information, please e-mail Renelle Nelson at rnelson@pacer.org or call (952) 838-9000. Space is limited and applications are due Aug. 1.

DON’T MISS pacer’s RUN, WALK, ROLL AGAINST BULLYING Sept. 20

Register today for the Friends of PACER’s Annual Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying on Saturday, Sept. 20, presented by American Dairy Queen. This fun, family event will take place at Mt. Normandale Lake Park in Bloomington, Minn., and features a four-mile run and two-mile walk/roll followed by live entertainment, prize presentations, and other fun activities. If you can’t be there in person, be sure to sponsor a participant and let your friends know about the event on Facebook and other social media (hashtag #runwalkroll). The Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying kicks off PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month (October) which encourages everyone to take action to prevent bullying at school, in the community, and online.

EARLY INTERVENTION IS IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

How a child plays, learns, speaks, moves and behaves all offer important clues about his or her development, and developmental screenings help to identify potential challenges an individual child may face. The importance of early intervention is the subject of a thought-provoking blog post by Michael Yudin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education. Yudin writes about the importance of early intervention for all children with an emphasis on children in low-income, racially diverse urban populations. PACER provides a variety of early childhood resources at PACER.org/ec, including the newest edition of PACER’s Early Childhood Connection newsletter.

PACER LAUNCHES UPDATED VERSION OF “WE WILL GENERATION”™ STUDENT-TO-STUDENT BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM

Research shows that peer support is an effective way to address bullying. PACER recently launched the WE WILL Generation™ version 2.0, a nationwide campaign and online peer curricula that provides students with the inspiration and education to take action against bullying in schools, the community, and online. The new version features a streamlined curriculum, a new mobile-friendly web design, more opportunities for teens to share videos and stories, and more creative activities for students to do with their peers. The program is focused on providing practical, concrete strategies for students to intervene. Learn more

AND THE SURVEY SAYS... 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 interesting 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

National Parks OFFER FREE PASSES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

It’s not too late to visit national parks this summer. U.S. residents with disabilities can get a free “Access Pass” that offers lifetime admission for the passholder and three other adults. To receive the pass, individuals with disabilities are asked to present official documentation of disability status to the National Parks Service, either in person or by mail. A physician’s statement or a document issued by a state or federal agency (e.g. Veteran’s Administration, Social Security Disability Income, Supplemental Security Income) is acceptable. Learn more about the Access Pass program and locate recreation sites at nps.gov.

PACER’s Simon Technology Center TO HOST Family Fun Day And Tech Expo Oct. 11

Make plans to attend the free Family Fun Day and Tech Expo on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at PACER’s Simon Technology Center (STC). Discover the latest in assistive technology (AT), and take part in fun hands-on activities. Individuals will be able to touch, see, and try a variety of assistive technology, with an emphasis on devices that support play, learning, working, and more. The age-appropriate activities allow families to explore the exciting possibilities of AT while having fun at the same time. Register online or by calling (952) 838-9000.

PACER RESOURCES

Special Education Record Keeping Folders
Accurate record keeping is important for everyone involved in special education. Parents should save important records in an organized way to use for special education planning, and to keep track of their child’s educational progress. PACER offers a helpful Information Sheet about keeping good records along with practical Special Education Record Keeping Folders. These help parents keep important papers organized and offer helpful tips on working with the child’s school. Folders are $10 each (discounts for larger quantities), and are available in English, Somali, Hmong, and Spanish. Call (952) 838-9000 or (800) 537-2237 and order item PHP-a5. Many school districts order the folders in large quantities for use by parents and teachers.

“AT in Action” Video Series: Real-world examples of assistive technology in use
Assistive Technology (AT) devices can be highly effective tools to help individuals with disabilities participate fully in school, at home, and in the community. This video series offers real-world examples of how innovative AT is making a difference in the lives of children and young adults with disabilities. Viewers will meet Brody – a middle school student who uses word prediction software to help him write, and a smart pen to take notes and save thoughts – and Jean, a teen who uses an iPad to do school work and access modified curriculum, as well as other AT users. The fully captioned video series was funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Watch the videos

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PACER Center is a Minnesota nonprofit organization that provides services to families of children and young adults with any disability. More

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

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