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June 2014

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

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SEATS STILL AVAILABLE FOR PACER’S NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM AUG. 7

This year’s PACER National Symposium About Children & Young Adults with Mental Health & Learning Disabilities is on Thursday, Aug. 7 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and seats are available. The outstanding national keynote speakers will include Larry Wexler of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP); child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Susan Jenkins; and Jo Mascorro, a national leader on behavior intervention, communication strategies, and programming for students with disabilities. The cost for parents and educators is $25, and includes lunch. Register now!

’APPY HOUR AT THE LENDING LIBRARY IS COMING TO PACER’S SIMON TECHNOLOGY CENTER JULY 26

Now that you have an iPad or other mobile device, how do you know what apps are right for your child or young adult with a disability? Parents and educators who come to ‘Appy Hour at PACER’s Simon Technology Center Lending Library will discover how to identify the best assistive technology (AT) apps available. The Lending Library has more than 2,700 AT options that members can ‘test drive’ for up to four weeks. Learn more at ‘Appy Hour on Saturday, July 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at PACER Center. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, e-mail tina.hanson@pacer.org or call (952) 838-9000.

NEW SPANISH-LANGUAGE MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES NOW AVAILABLE

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released new mental health resources for Spanish-language speakers, and for professionals who work with the Latino community. Developed by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), the “Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health” (“Diálogos comunitarios acerca de la salud mental”) was developed to support communities across the country that are working together to address mental health issues. It includes a discussion guide, a planning guide, and other helpful resources. Learn more.

MAKE PLANS TO RUN, WALK, ROLL AGAINST BULLYING SEPT. 20

Supporters of bullying prevention in Minnesota will join together on Saturday, Sept. 20 at  Normandale Lake Park in Bloomington, Minn., for PACER’s Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying, presented by American Dairy Queen and the Friends of PACER. Register now and gather pledges for this exciting family event, which raises awareness and funds for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. It includes a four-mile run and a two-mile fun walk/roll followed by presentations, speakers, and live music. PACER also offers a free toolkit for organizations around the country to plan local Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying events.

SUPPORT PACER BY SIGNING UP FOR 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

NEW RESOURCES HELP PARENTS, PROFESSIONALS SUPPORT COMMUNICATION FOR YOUTH WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

The Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (CSESA) has developed new Autism at-a-Glance resources to support high school staff and family members in understanding and improving the communication skills of youth on the autism spectrum. These resources include separate guides for students with conversational speech and those with more significant communication needs. Learn more about these tools and other helpful CSESA resources.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ISSUES GUIDANCE TO SUPPORT THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS IN FOSTER CARE

When a child is placed in foster care, the impact on his or her education can be dramatic, and privacy laws often hinder efforts to help these students succeed. Thanks to new guidance and resources issued by the U.S. Department of Education, authorized agencies within the foster care system can now have access to the child’s educational records, including those covered by provisions within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The goal of this change is to better meet the early intervention and educational needs of the student. Learn more.

WORKSHOPS

Screening and discussion of the documentary film “Including Samuel”
Produced by award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib, the one-hour documentary is designed to help schools, families, community groups, and others work toward educational and social inclusion in an informed and innovative way. The film features Habib’s son Samuel, his family, and four other families, plus interviews with teachers, parents, and disability rights experts. The showing will be on Monday, July 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at PACER Center. A question and answer session with a PACER parent advocate will follow the film. Register now

PUBLICATIONS

Pacesetter: Summer edition of PACER’s news magazine is now available
Don’t miss the Summer 2014 issue of “Pacesetter,” PACER’s informative news magazine for parents of children and young adults with disabilities. This issue features stories about PACER’s new initiatives in transition and employment, and children’s mental health and emotional or behavioral disorders, plus articles on PACER’s puppet programs and the Simon Technology Center’s new VGo robots. Learn more about PACER’s free newsletters and sign up to receive “Pacesetter” three times each year.


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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