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Simon Technology Center

COVID-19 Operations Statement

The PACER office building is currently closed to visitors, however, we are still offering library services remotely (by email [email protected].org, voice mail 952-838-1400, or MyTurn). Borrowing options:  

  • “Pickup (Schedule Appointment)” – We have curbside pick-up and drop-off available by appointment on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 11am-4pm.  To schedule your appointment for pickup, select a time slot in MyTurn. For a drop-off appointment, contact us at [email protected].
  • “iOS Apps (iPad…) …” – You may borrow iOS apps to download onto your own Apple mobile device via electronic delivery.  Please follow the instructions provided with this choice in MyTurn.
    • *Note: We are not able to loan out iOS apps to a STAR membership.
  • “Shipping” – We can mail items to you at no cost, and then you have a choice for returning:
    • Mailing back to us via United States Postal Service (USPS), with tracking. You are responsible for paying costs to return by mail.
    • Scheduling curbside drop-off at Pacer by emailing [email protected].   
  • *Note: You must place your reservation 3 days or more in advance. If you attempt to schedule the start of your reservation before then, you will receive this message: “items not available”.
    • *Note: Please keep in mind that some reservation requests will require one-week or more to prepare (such as iPads, communication devices, items to be shipped, and others). We will contact you regarding these circumstances as needed.

If you would like to renew your library items, please email us your request with the explanation (reason) at [email protected]. We can renew items based on availability, current loan duration, and other circumstances.  

For virtual tours, information, and how-to videos of our lending library, we invite you to visit our “STC Library” playlist on our “Simon Pacer” YouTube channel.

Simon Technology Center Lending Library

Assistive technology (AT) is any device or service that helps children with disabilities participate more independently in life.  Ranging from simple adaptations to highly sophisticated technology, AT helps people communicate, learn, live independently, be included, and succeed at home, school and work.  Which technology is right for you or your child?  Find out at the Simon Technology Center Lending Library!

With more than 1,700 items, the lending Library lets you try out and borrow some of the newest educational and disability-specific software and devices on the market including:

  • Text-to-speech software for reading accessibility
  • Speech-to-text software for improved written communication
  • Universally designed toys for playtime accessibility and inclusion
  • Communication devices for communication freedom
  • Computer access adaptations for independence
  • Talking calculators for improved independence with math

The Simon Technology Center Lending Library allows you to try assistive technology before making a purchase decision and is open to Minnesota residents.  Families, educators, and consumers who become library members benefit from personalized assistance, convenient hours and services.  As a member, you can:

  • Receive personal assistance in selecting and checking out materials.
  • Try out devices and software.
  • Reserve, check-out, or renew items by phone, email or in person.
  • Schedule quick pick-up during regular business hours or library open hours.
  • Have items mailed to you for free if you live in Greater Minnesota.

Stop in during open hours to browse and explore the Simon Technology Center's array of assistive technology!

For more than 30 years, PACER’s Simon Technology Center has provided services through its lending library to parents, professionals, educators, schools and organizations throughout Minnesota. In April 2017 we opened our lending library memberships to patrons from other states, which improves our ability to help patrons from bordering states identify and access the right technology in a timely way.

Becoming a Lending Library Member

STC Lending Library membership options for residents of Minnesota

Specialty Memberships only available to MN residents

STC Lending Library membership options for out of state members

*Note: Out-of-state memberships are not able to borrow items that are provided by the MN STAR Program. The MN STAR inventory is a smaller subset of the STC inventory available to the library members living in Minnesota. The MN STAR items are indicated with an asterisk in front of the item name and also can be found by clicking on the "MN STAR" tab under the “Status” section of the search filter options.

Collections and New Items

Paul Adelman Assistive Technology Collection

Thanks to several grants from the Paul Adelman Children with Disabilities Endowment Fund, PACER was able to purchase two VGo Robots, the UbiDuo Wireless Face to Face Communicator, the Tobii Eye Mobile, the Nova Chat 8, the Accent 800, the Accent 1000, the Blaze ET, the E-Bot Pro, the VoiceMe ECU, the Pilot One, and the Relax IR Learning Remote. In 2017 PACER received additional funds to purchase a mobile technology toolkit. Purchased included apps for communication, literacy and visual support as well as a variety of tablets, accessories, and apps.

Each of these exciting technologies has the ability to greatly improve the quality of life for individuals with a broad range of disabilities. You can view all of the technology received through the Paul Adelman Children with Disabilities Endowment Fund by visiting our Lending Library’s online catalog. Simply search for “Adelman” to see the entire collection.

See the Collection about the Paul Adelman Assistive Technology Collection

New Library Items

Blue2 Bluetooth Switch
This Bluetooth switch provides access to compatible iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch applications via Bluetooth. Simply sync with your iOS device and activate the application’s switch scanning mode. Blue2 supports both single and dual switch access.

The Liftware Level Spoon
This utensil uses a leveling technology designed to support limited hand and arm mobility. With this device individuals can eat more independently.

The Livescribe Smartpen
The Livescribe Smartpen records audio and links it to what you write in your Livescribe notebook. Tap on your notes or drawings with the tip of your Smartpen to hear what was said at that point in your notes. Notes and their recorded audio files can be uploaded to your computer.

The Beamz
The Beamz is an accessible music system that uses laser beams to create music. It helps individuals work on a variety of skills such as cause and effect, memory, fine motor and gross motor skills, and more.

The Sparkup Magical Reader by Sparkup Ltd.
The Sparkup Magical Book Reader clips  on to any book and allows you to record yourself reading a book.  The Magical Book Reader reads the book out loud to your child in using your voice. The small camera takes a picture of the book's front cover and each page allowing the device to recognize what book the child wants to read and follows along as the child turns the pages even if they're out of order.  Pre-recordings of books can also be downloaded to the device.  The Magical Book Reader can store up to 250 minutes of audio or about 50 storybooks.

The J-Pad Switch by Pretorian Technologies LTD
The J-Pad is a joystick switch for the iPad that connects via Bluetooth.  The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 30 hours.  It also includes two switch jacks to connect external switches.

The Vidget by Viggie Kids, Corp.
Kids like to move around and sometimes have difficulty sitting still.  The Vidget allows kids to fidget in a side-to-side motion while seated.  The lightweight chair can help improve focus and attention as well as provide sensory stimulation for children ages three to six.  Its modular cube design allows for the Vidget to also become a desk or stool by turning it on its side.

Wear Locket by W-ear
The Wear Locket is a small assisted listening device that can amplify noise within a 6-foot range.  It uses standard headphones and charges through a USB cable.  Fully charged, the Wear Locket will function for about 27 hours.

PylePro Multimedia iPad Floor Stand by Pyle Audio, Inc.
The PylePro Multimedia iPad Floor Stand allows easy access to your iPad whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair or laying down.  It also allows the iPad to be used in landscape or portrait mode.