Opportunities – April 2023

Conference  Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota annual conference, retreat  The Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota (DSAMN) hosts its annual statewide […]

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Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota annual conference, retreat 

The Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota (DSAMN) hosts its annual statewide learning conference and self-advocate retreat Sat, April 22 at the Mpls Northwester Marriott in Brooklyn Park. Preregister for either the self-advocate retreat or the caregiver conference. Costs vary. FFI: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E11535&id=135 

Children and families 

PACER workshops sampling 

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Some in-person workshops are offered at PACER Center and also offered online. Other workshops are wholly online and livestreamed at this time. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs. 

Housing – Starting the Journey: Step One – How Do We Start? is 6:30-9 p.m. Mon, April 10. Parents will gain information to help their young adults develop their vision for community living, housing and services. An overview of housing and service options will be provided. Registration recommended for all three workshops in this series. Register for each session separately. 

A Review of Apple Accessibility Features is noon-1 p.m. Wed, April 19. Participants will review of Apple accessibility features, both established and newly added iOS 16 and macOS Ventura features. 

Keys to Job Success: Tools to Support Executive Function at Work is 1-2:15 p.m. Wed, April 5 at PACER Center or virtually. The workshop will explore technology to support executive function skills at work, including managing time, staying organized, completing tasks, and maintaining focus using devices and mobile apps. 

Tech for Teens Club: Wind Energy Part 1 is 10-11 a.m. Sat, April 22 at PACER Center or virtually. Participants will learn about the science behind this renewable energy source, and then get hands-on with building different types of wind turbines. The workshop is a great opportunity to learn about the potential of wind power. 

Tech for Teens Club: Wind Energy Part 2 is 11 a.m.-noon Sat, April 22 at PACER Center or virtually. Participants in Part 2 will learn how to harness the wind to generate electricity. During the workshop, they will select a wind turbine design, and then build a model that will generate electricity.  FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org  

Info & Assistance

Many classes available 

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has set up a wide variety of free and in-person online mental health classes. Choices include Hope for Recovery, Transitions, Ending the Silence, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, In Our Own Voice, Family to Family, Positive Psychology, Creating Caring Communities, smoking cessation, a suicide prevention class called QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities and many more. 

Be aware that on Feb. 1, NAMI Minnesota’s Online Support Groups moved to a new and improved platform, HeyPeers. HeyPeers provides a safe, easy to access environment exclusively designed for online support group meetings. 

The classes and online support groups are designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Classes” or go straight to https://namimn.org/education-public-awareness/classes/scheduled/


Be a speaker 

The Spina Bifida Resource Network (SBRN) seeks speakers with lived disability experience for its Empowered Conversations virtual speaker series. The weekly, interactive event by and for adults with disabilities features disabled speakers, movement artists and other discussion leaders. The program has been offered free to participants nationwide since March 2020. 

Speaking engagements are held Wednesday 7-8 p.m. ET via Zoom with auto captioning. This includes a 5-min intro, 45-min session and 5-10-min Q&A. FFI: amandak76w@gmail.com 

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