Opportunities – April 2024

Conferences  DSAMn Conference  The annual Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota conference and retreat is Sat, April 6th at the Minneapolis […]

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DSAMn Conference 

The annual Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota conference and retreat is Sat, April 6th at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park. This conference is targeted toward individuals with Down syndrome and their families/caregivers. The self-advocate retreat is for individuals with Down syndrome in high school or older.

Conference keynote speakers are Brian Chicoine, MD & Kareem Neal. FFI: Statewide Learning Conference and Self-Advocate Retreat 2024

Spinal cord injury information 

Attend a spinal cord injury workshop April 10 followed by the MN Neuromodulation Symposium April 11-12 at the University of Minnesota. The annual symposium is being held in conjunction with the Neuromodulation for Spinal Cord Injury Conference. The symposium will bring together basic scientists, engineers, clinicians, industrial practitioners, entrepreneurs and SCI community members to discuss challenges and opportunities in neuromodulation. There is a discount for community members and a caregiver, bringing the cost down to $50 per event. FFI: [email protected] 

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, at Greater Minnesota locations and also offered online. Other workshops are 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. Access Press only lists a sampling of the workshops offered. 

Effective Communication With the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team is 4:30-6 p.m. Wed, April 3. Online. The webinar focuses on 10 communication strategies that will help parents advocate effectively for their child at IEP team meetings. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A segment. 

Resolving Disputes Through the Special Education Process is 4:30-6 p.m. Wed, April 10. Online. The webinar is a detailed review of options Minnesota parents have in the special education process to resolve disagreements with the school district. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A segment. 

Getting Help for Children and Youth With Mental Health Needs in noon-1 p.m. Wed, April 24. Online. Navigating home, school and community support and services for children and youth with mental health needs can be a challenge. Learn more about the support and services available, where to begin and what to do during the wait to access care. 

Wrapping Up the Year is 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wed, April 24. Online. As the end of the year approaches, questions can arise. Learn about Extended School Year eligibility, IEP students in summer school, support in camp programs, and how to set children up for success in the fall. 

Tech for Teens Club : Ocean Spill Scenario is 10-11 a.m. Sat, April 13 at PACER Center. Ocean oil spills can have lasting impacts. In this workshop, learn about oil spills and the variety of ways to clean a spill, then test cleaning methods in an oil spill scenario. 
FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, PACER Center   

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. 

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 All Currently Scheduled Classes.

  • Work with your care provider to stay healthy. Protect yourself. Vaccines are your best protection against being sick.
  • Wash your hands! Hands that look can still have icky germs!

You are not alone. Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.