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June 2015

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

REGISTER NOW! SEATS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR PACER’S NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM AUGUST 4

Renowned educator, speaker, and writer on children’s mental health and learning disabilities Brad Cohen will be among the highly acclaimed presenters on hand Tuesday, Aug. 4 at the 10th Annual National PACER Symposium on Children’s Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. Author of the book, “Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had,” Cohen will be joined by technology pioneer Steven Koppel and ADHD expert Jodi Sleeper-Triplett as keynote speakers. The Symposium is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Tickets are $30 each, including lunch, and six hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for educators. Register online at PACER.org/symposium or call (952) 838-9000.

PACER’S 2015 UNITY AWARD WINNERS RECOGNIZED FOR GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND TO PREVENT BULLYING

PACER’s Unity Awards were created to honor and celebrate individuals who are leaders in helping to make communities, schools, and the Internet kinder, more accepting places. The 2015 winners were selected by the Faces of Change, the Youth Advisory Board of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, and were recognized in a special ceremony June 9.

High school students Leah Fuda, Halle West, and Alexis Zara of York, S.C., received the United Against Bullying Award. Middle school student Abby Belcher of Rowlett, Texas, won the United for Kindness Award. The United for Acceptance Award was given to community member Mindy Murtley of Barnum, Minn. Girl Scout Troop 4073 of Duluth, Minn., was honored with the United for Inclusion Award. Learn more about the honorees and their efforts at PACER.org/bullying.

TRANSITION AND EMPLOYMENT: NEW SURVEY FINDS THAT MOST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES WANT TO WORK

A new national survey finds that the majority of people with disabilities want to be employed, but they often encounter barriers to work including transportation, education or training opportunities, and assumptions by potential employers about their ability to perform the job. The survey, conducted by the University of New Hampshire, indicates that nearly 69 percent of individuals with disabilities who were surveyed are “striving to work.” PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment provides information and resources to support families, youth, educators, and employers as they help teens and young adults with disabilities reach their employment goals. Learn more at PACER.org/transition.

MAKE PLANS TO RUN, WALK, ROLL AGAINST BULLYING OCTOBER 3

Supporters of bullying prevention in Minnesota will join together on Saturday, Oct. 3 at Normandale Lake Park in Bloomington, Minn., for PACER’s Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying, presented by the Friends of PACER. Register now and gather pledges for this fun 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.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: TRY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT AT SIMON TECHNOLOGY CENTER’S LENDING LIBRARY

Finding the right assistive technology (AT) is important for children and young adults with disabilities, and it can be helpful to ‘test drive’ AT before deciding to buy. PACER’s Simon Technology Center Lending Library has more than 2,300 items available for short-term loan, including adapted toys and software for reading, writing, math, science, independent living skills, and keyboarding. The library is open Tuesdays from noon to 7 p.m., select Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. Learn more at PACER.org/stc, call (952) 838-9000, or e-mail tina.hanson@PACER.org.

NEW REPORT SAYS HOUSING IS UNAFFORDABLE NATIONWIDE FOR MOST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

Housing is unaffordable for most people living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in nearly every place across the country according to a new report. Nationally, the average rent for a person with a disability totaled 104 percent of the individual’s monthly SSI payment. The federal government standard recommends that housing costs not exceed 30 percent of a person’s monthly income. PACER’s Housing Project provides resources for families of teens and young adults with disabilities to explore options for independent living and housing as early as possible. Learn more about these helpful resources at PACER.org/housing.

AND THE SURVEY SAYS... SUPPORT PACER BY DOING SIMPLE SURVEYS

Showing your support for PACER is as easy as taking the occasional survey. More than 27,000 people have enrolled with SurveyMonkey Contribute in support of PACER and more than $54,000 has been raised. 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

WORKSHOPS

Responding to Challenging Behaviors at School, Home and in the Community
Children with challenging behaviors are often misunderstood, but they can be successful with the right supports. This workshop will help parents identify and respond to behaviors that may indicate mental health concerns; navigate school and community supports and services; and learn effective parent advocacy skills. It is on Wednesday, July 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at PACER Center. Register online at PACER.org/workshops or call (952) 838-9000. This workshop is presented by PACER’s Children’s Mental Health and Emotional or Behavioral Disorders Project, which provides resources and support for parents, youth, professionals, and the community at PACER.org/cmh.

PACER RESOURCES

PACER’s Interactive School Discipline Guide
Whether your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 Plan, or if you suspect that your child has a disability that affects his or her behavior at school, this interactive guide helps parents understand the disciplinary process for Minnesota public school children with disabilities. This free online tool is designed to help you find answers to questions about your child’s school discipline situation. View the guide.

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES

 “Go Leah Go” is a heartwarming video of one family’s PACER story
Three-year-old Leah has a radiant smile, sparkly eyes, and an energetic personality to match. Now, thanks to PACER’s Simon Technology Center (STC), she also has mobility. Watch Leah and her tractor in this heartwarming three-minute video about how PACER helps children like Leah go where they want to go. Watch the video.

Pacesetter: Summer 2015 edition of PACER’s news magazine is now available
Don’t miss the Summer 2015 issue of “Pacesetter,” PACER’s informative news magazine for parents of children and young adults with disabilities. This issue features stories about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment, a Miss Utah contestant’s work with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, and a young child with disabilities whose life has been enriched by assistive technology. Read the Pacesetter now and subscribe online to receive the print edition three times a 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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