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PACER helps families of children with all disabilities, birth through 21.


PACER Center is a parent training and information center for families of children and youth with all disabilities from birth to young adults. Located in Minneapolis, it serves families across the nation, as well as those in Minnesota. Parents can find publications, workshops, and other resources to help make decisions about education, vocational training, employment, and other services for their children with disabilities. PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center provides resources designed to benefit all students, including those with disabilities.

MOST of PACER's staff and its Board are parents of children and youth with disabilities.

Highlights from PACER programs:

  • PACER provides information, support, workshops, and referrals to both families and professionals.
  • PACER provides puppet programs on disability awareness, abuse prevention, and bullying prevention.
  • PACER's Simon Technology Center provides software, adaptive devices and training to help children and young adults with disabilities learn to communicate through technology.
  • PACER provides programs for Native American, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Somali and Southeast Asian communities. Many of our publications have been translated into Hmong, Somali and Spanish.
  • PACER's Family-to-Family Health Information Center provides a single source of information, including resources and support, for families whose children have disabilities and complex health care needs.
  • Other programs focus on employment, grandparents, housing and bullying prevention.

What is PACER's mission?

PACER Center enhances the quality of life and expands opportunities for children, youth, and young adults with all disabilities and their families so each person can reach his or her highest potential. PACER operates on the principles of parents helping parents, supporting families, promoting a safe environment for all children, and working in collaboration with others.

Is PACER a 501(c)(3) organization?

Yes, PACER Center is a nonprofit organization serving children and youth with disabilities throughout the state of Minnesota and the nation. You can find a report on the organization at the Minnesota Charities Review Council. Gifts to PACER Center are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

How is PACER connected to the community?

PACER Center is unique in that it serves children with all disabilities; learning, physical, emotional, mental and health. No other organization in Minnesota offers this broad range of service to families. PACER also works in coalition with 18 disability organizations.

Many of PACER's board members are parent representatives from the coalition organizations.

PACER's vision is to build a healthy, integrated community in which people learn to respect each other for what they have in common, and to celebrate their differences.

How will my contribution help PACER Center?

Currently there are more than 200,000 children with special needs in Minnesota and 6.7 million throughout the nation. Each year, PACER receives more requests for services that help children with all disabilities. Yet PACER is not a United Way agency, and does not charge workshop fees to parents of children with disabilities because PACER knows those parents are already facing high costs as they strive the meet the needs of their son or daughter with a disability. Your support will therefore help PACER staff respond to the ever-increasing number of families and professionals who contact PACER for assistance.

PACER Center Highlights

From October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019, PACER Center conducted more than 30 projects to improve outcomes for the nation’s seven million children with disabilities and one in five students who are bullied.

41,673 Requests for individual assistance, information, and support were responded to by PACER staff.
37,042 Individuals attended PACER's workshops, presentations, and other events.
96% of PACER training participants reported they would use the information they learned at the workshop to help improve educational outcomes for their children or students.
137,356 Pacesetter newsletters were mailed to parents and professionals around the country.
9,497 Children and school staff were educated through PACER’s COUNT ME IN and KIDS AGAINST BULLYING puppet shows.
7,826 Contacts were made by the Simon Technology Center through presentations, library visits, consultations, and information and referral.
13,000 Unity Day posters were distributed to schools across the country as part of PACER's National Bullying Prevention Month in October.
2.4 million Visits were made to PACER's innovative websites.
75,337 People followed PACER on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
1.4 billion Potential viewers learned about PACER through online media coverage on Disney, HuffPost, and other national outlets.
70 Full and part-time staff worked at PACER.
85% of PACER’s funds went directly to programs. As stated by auditors, PACER’s management and fundraising expenses are only 15%, well below the industry standards.