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. 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.
Effective Communication with the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team is noon-1:30 p.m. Mon, Dec. 5 online. Parents who are familiar with the special education process will learn communication strategies to help them advocate for their child at IEP team meetings.
Assistive Technology for Students with Dyslexia: A Two-Part Series, Part 2 is 2-3 p.m. Wed, Dec. 7 online. Part 2 includes a review of a range of tools to support students with dyslexia throughout their school years. Tools demonstrated will cover text-to-speech for various formats, audiobooks, and writing support.
Tech for Teens Club: A) Intro to Coding Virtual Reality is 10-11 a.m. Sat, Dec. 10 online or at PACER Center. Learn about virtual reality, how to create virtual reality experiences and then go exploring.
Tech for Teens Club: B) Coding Virtual Reality – The Next Level is 11 a.m.-noon, Sat. Dec. 10 online or at PACER Center. Take virtual reality coding to the next level and create a virtual reality experience.
Resolving Disputes Through the Special Education Process is 6-8 p.m. Mon, Dec. 12 online. The webinar with a Q&A will help parents increase awareness of your dispute resolution options in the special education process.
Assistive Technology Supports for Writing is 2-3 p.m. Tue, Dec. 13 online. Get help for students who struggle with writing. Learn about the most up-to-date devices and tools to help improve writing skills. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org
Attend open house
An open house, Youth Advocacy and Leadership on Mental Health, is 6:30-8 p.m. Mon, Dec.5 at PACER Center. Attend virtually or in-person. Pre-registration required. Young people ages 14-18 and their parents and guardians are invited to learn how to be self-advocates and build leadership skills. Learn how small intentional acts, words, and stories can lead to big changes. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org
Info & Assistance
Help with insulin
Minnesota’s Insulin Safety Net Program provides a pathway to access the life-saving drug. Don’t ration insulin, reduce doses or delay purchases to save money. MNsure and the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy remind Minnesotans that the program provides fast, reliable help for those who need insulin and may be struggling to afford this life-saving drug. The program can help eligible Minnesotans who have less than a seven-day insulin supply, with an immediate 30-day supply. Pay no more than a $35 co-pay, one time per year.
Or, longer-term help to pay for insulin can be provided.
In 2021, over 1,100 Minnesotans received discounts on their insulin through the program, totaling nearly $6.9 million, but many more are likely eligible for assistance. In 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health estimated that 8.8 percent of adults in Minnesota (about 390,000) had been diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, with more than 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year. FFI: https://www.mninsulin.org/
Learn EECO history
The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities has posted an interview with Laurie Vasichek, retired senior litigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), discussing her work at the EEOC. Vasichek’s last case was EEOC v Walmart. The court case was appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. One conclusion of the case is that a job coach is considered to be a reasonable accommodation. FFI: https://mn.gov/mnddc/
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.
The classes 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/.
Join community summit committee
The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) Autistic Community Summit Committee is a group of community members who volunteer their time for the Autistic Community Summit. Apply online to be part of the committee. An informational meeting will be held in January 2023 to share information about committee membership and duties. This event is by and for autistics/he committee serves as the connection between AuSM staff and them autistic community. AuSM staff support the committee to create an accessible and enjoyable experience. Deadline to apply is Dec. 31. FFI: www.ausm.org
Be a delivery driver
Support the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Minnesota’s annual gift drive and be a delivery driver. Drivers will pick up gifts from the NAMI Offices on Sat, Dec. 17 and deliver them to partner locations across the Twin Cities metro area. Drivers will need to be vaccinated. and wear masks during their volunteer shift. They are able to choose which location is most convenient for them. FFI: https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/5369935042729420100/false#/invitation