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Being an Active Participant in Your Child’s Transition from Early Childhood Special Education to Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a big step in any child’s life. This workshop will help parents of young children with disabilities plan for this transition and learn strategies to help their child be successful.

Special Education and the Important Role You Play for Your Child

Parents play an important role in the special education process. Participants in this workshop will learn how parents can use their rights and abilities to advocate for their child and work effectively with the school. This workshop will also provide valuable information for surrogate parents, foster parents and the professions who work with them on behalf of children.

ABLE to Save — ABLE Accounts, a New Savings Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities

Join national speaker Miranda Kennedy from the ABLE National Resource Center here at PACER Center to learn how new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts allow families to save up to $15,000 per year for their child with a disability without affecting their eligibility for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) or Medicaid. Kennedy and Colin Stemper from Minnesota's ABLE Plan will discuss how ABLE accounts can make a difference in your child's future. Eligibility requirements, qualified expenses, annual and lifetime savings limits, and the relationship of ABLE Accounts to special needs trusts will be covered. Join us to get the answers you need. Suitable for parents of children of all ages, birth through adulthood.


The ABC’s of AAC: Augmentative Communication Basics for Parents

Join us to explore augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology and learn about the process from trying available communication technologies to purchasing a piece of technology. Parents will learn about available technology, what questions to ask your provider, resources to support the process, and more. This session will be presented by Elizabeth Barry, Assistive Technology Specialist at PACER Center, and Meghan Kunz, Augmentative Communication Consultant with Prentke Romich Company.

Apps for Time Management – Alarms, Timers, and Reminders

This ‘APPy Hour’ will showcase a variety of tools to support time management. Apps demonstrated will include clocks, alarms, timers, and reminders for both iOS and Android devices. These apps will benefit people with ADHD, executive function disorder, and blind or low vision.

Paths to Employment: How Families Can Help

Parents will learn about career planning options for in-school and out-of-school youth with disabilities, and where they can find help to launch their youth on the path to employment.

Being an Active Participant in your Child’s Transition Before Age Three

Families will learn to understand and take an active role in the transition process from Part C Early Intervention services to Part B preschool services or other services in the community.

Tech Tools for Students: Researching and Organizing for School Projects

This workshop will explore a range of technology to help with school projects for students in middle school, high school, and beyond. We will look at apps, software, and web resources that can help with the completion of school projects. Demonstrations will include tools for online searching, mind mapping, visual organizing, assignment calculators, and creating a bibliography. We will discuss the steps of a project from defining your topic, researching, and organizing information, to creating an outline or plan, citing sources, and managing project completion. Content will be relevant for a range of school projects, such as research papers, posters, presentations, or models.

2 months ago

Switch it Up!

Switches can help individuals with disabilities control a variety of devices such as a computer, tablet or communication device. But with so many different types of switch options available, it’s hard to know which one is right for your child or student. This workshop will cover different types of switches, switch interfaces and positioning options.

Morning Session- Assistive Technology (AT) in the Schools: Consideration, IEPs and More

Research supports the use of Assistive Technology with students with any disability. In a short amount of time AT can make a big difference. We will discuss the process for including AT in the IEP, legally called the process of consideration, and about Minnesota Department of Education’s newly updated AT Manual. There are two times to choose from for this very important topic.

Anxiety at School: Making a Plan that Works for Students with Vision Loss

The most common emotional difficulty experienced by youth in school is anxiety. For students with vision loss who may also face challenges with non-verbal communication, managing a school setting can be even more difficult. At this livestream event for parents and others, the following topics will be addressed: Understanding behavior as communication, learning about behaviors that may reflect anxiety, discovering alternatives to consequences and punishment, exploring effective interventions for support at school.

Too Many Apps for That? How to Find, Choose, and Evaluate Mobile Apps to Meet Your Needs

With so many apps available for our mobile devices, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones will best meet our needs. This workshop will explore ways to find and choose mobile apps to meet a wide range of needs. We will begin with a look at evaluating a user’s needs, and then explore places to search for apps to meet those needs. We will discuss criteria to consider such as ease of use, visual appeal, customization, and cost. The focus will be on helpful features to look for in an app, with information that will be relevant to many ages and disabilities. Other topics addressed will include accessibility, app evaluation rubrics, and privacy concerns.

Becoming an Active Partner in Your Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

This workshop, for parents of children birth to age 3 with developmental delays or disabilities, describes early intervention services, the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), how families can be involved in writing child and family outcomes and become active participants in the IFSP process.

Apps for Independent Living – Managing Money, Budgets, and Shopping

This “APPy Hour” will be a fast-paced overview of mobile apps that can help youth with disabilities live on their own. The focus will be on the essential independent living skills of creating a budget, managing money, and shopping for groceries. A variety of apps will be discussed for both smart phone and tablet devices (including Apple’s iOS and Android). The presentation will include demonstrations of as many apps as time allows. Apps will include money calculators, tracking of money spent, managing a budget, and creating a shopping list.

Mental Health and Transition-age Youth: Preparing for the Future

This presentation for workforce development professionals will highlight strategies that can be used to work effectively with transition-age youth (age 14-24) with mental health challenges. Renelle Nelson and Jennifer Thomas, from PACER’s Inspiring Opportunities, Children’s Mental Health and Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Project, will discuss how to identify youth transition needs and help youth progress towards their personal employment, post-secondary education, and community living goals.

Working with Culturally or Linguistically Diverse Families in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE)

Cultural liaisons and foreign language interpreters will build their capacity in order to enhance communication and families’ understanding at IFSP and IEP meetings for children ages birth to five.

Getting and Keeping the First Job

Competitive employment is the cornerstone of a successful transition to adult living for youth with disabilities. In this workshop, co-presented by Transition Specialists from PACER and Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), youth and parents will learn about preparing for and keeping a job.

Assistive Technology that Supports Independent Living for Young Adults with Disabilities

There is a wide range of assistive technology (AT) that can be used to support young adults with disabilities who want to gain independence and live on their own. These include devices to manage medication or practice healthy habits, as well as apps for a smartphone or tablet that help to manage tasks, keep track of money, or find transportation. Join us to learn about the many kinds of AT that can help teens and young adults to develop the skills needed to live more independently.

Assistive Technology: What is it and How to Use it

Students with disabilities can benefit from assistive technology (AT). In this workshop, we’ll cover what AT is, the legal consideration process and some tools that are available for students of all ages.

Making the Move from Early Childhood Special Education to Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a big step in any child’s life. Parents of young children with disabilities will learn how to plan for the transition and learn strategies to help their child be successful.

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