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PACER Center
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Champions for Children with Disabilities

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All workshop times are listed in the central time zone (CST) unless otherwise noted.

In the event of inclement weather, PACER Center may cancel workshops. If you are registered for a workshop, we will contact you about cancellations. Also, please check this site the day of the workshop for a possible cancellation due to weather problems.

Select workshops may include:

Live:Web Streaming available

Workshops with this notice means that this workshop offers an off-site attendance option: a video-streaming service will broadcast the workshop live over the Internet so people who can’t attend the workshop in person can view the presentation live on their computer or tablet. The link to the Livestream channel is in the workshop confirmation you receive after you register. All events are free. You do not need a Livestream account to view our live and recorded events. You can sign up for a free account if you would like to receive notifications when we go live or when we post new events.

Links to the handouts will be posted on the event page. Certificates of attendance are available for attending the live event stream and can be accessed by completing a workshop evaluation after the event.

PACER Center offers free workshops throughout Minnesota to parents of children with disabilities and the professionals working with families.

Workshop topics include areas of interest in special education, including information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) program, early childhood, the area of transition for students 14-21 (housing, post secondary, employment, and community), assistive technology, and many more!

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Workshops Ordered by: Order Workshops by Date | Name | Order Workshops by Location | Order Workshops by Online Streaming Available



  • Live Stream Event available

    'Appy Hour': Apps for Pre-Academic Skills

    Date: Monday, April 17, 2017
    Time: 11:00am-12:00pm
    Staff from the Simon Technology Center explore the latest apps that support the development of fine motor skills, literacy, math skills, and more for young children. Tell us about your favorite app at stc@pacer.org and we’ll demonstrate it during the event.
  • “Who Cares About Kelsey?”

    Date: Monday, April 24, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Dan Habib’s film “Who Cares about Kelsey?” tells the story of a near-dropout teen with emotional and behavioral disabilities. She learns how to become an empowered teen. Includes Q & A with a PACER advocate.
  • 10 Topics to Help Your Child Succeed in Special Education

    Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm
    Parents who participate in this interactive workshop will learn 10 important areas in the special education process that will help their child be successful. Parents will also be provided with four useful tools to help in the process.
  • ABCs of the IEP for Transition-age Students and Their Parents

    Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to invite youth with disabilities to attend the IEP meeting for transition planning. This workshop will help students with IEPs in eighth grade and higher and their parents understand how to use the IEP to assist with the transition to adulthood.
  • ABCs of the IEP for Transition-age Students and Their Parents

    Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
    This workshop helps students with IEPs in eighth grade and higher and their parents understand how to use the IEP to assist with the transition to adulthood.
    Location: Mankato

  • Live Stream Event available

    Assistive Technology for STEAM in Early Childhood

    Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm
    This workshop provides background information about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) in early childhood settings, and information about how assistive technology can play a role in designing inclusive learning activities.
  • Bullying Prevention for Students with Disabilities

    Date: Monday, March 13, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Bullying can be an isolating experience, not just for the kids involved, but for their parents, too. This workshop will offer a comprehensive overview for parents to learn what they can do to address and prevent bullying.

  • Live Stream Event available

    Challenging Behaviors and the Transition IEP: Making a Plan for High School and Beyond

    Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop provides information for parents of youth with challenging behaviors on creating a successful plan for graduation and beyond.
  • Early Childhood Parent Leadership Training

    Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
    Time: 8:30am-3:30pm
    The Family Leadership Summit is an interactive training for parents of young children up to age seven with developmental delays or disabilities. Parents learn how to make their voices heard and enhance their knowledge of the early childhood special education process. Email jswett@pacer.org for additional information.

  • Live Stream Event available

    Everything You Need to Learn Before Your Child Turns Three

    Date: Thursday, April 06, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop helps families understand the transition process from Part C Early Intervention Services to Part B Preschool Services. Topics include transition requirements, Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), inclusion, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and objectives. Parents will also learn how to actively participate in the transition process.

  • Live Stream Event available

    Finding and Funding Assistive Technology for Young Children

    Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm
    Assistive technology (AT) can be a powerful tool for young children with disabilities. This workshop discusses a variety of ways to acquire, fund, and reuse AT.
  • From Disability to Possibilities: The Power of Parents’ High Expectations in IEP Transition Planning

    Date: Tuesday, April 04, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Parent expectations have a powerful influence on future outcomes. This workshop helps parents create high expectations and communicate them to their student and the IEP team.

  • Live Stream Event available

    Get a Seat at the Table: Learn How to Participate in the Decision-Making Process

    Date: Saturday, April 01, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    This workshop helps prepare parents of young children up to age five to participate as stakeholders at multiple levels. Participants will learn about opportunities for involvement, review the skills needed to participate, and discuss the data used to make decisions.
  • Hot Tips on the Individualized Education Program: Is Your Child’s IEP Individualized and Appropriate?

    Date: Saturday, March 04, 2017
    Time: 9:30am-11:30am
    Parents will learn to use their child’s special education evaluation report to determine how well the Individualized Education Program (IEP) addresses their child’s needs. Parents must bring the child’s most current school evaluation and IEP.
  • Housing: Starting the Journey, a three-part workshop series. Step 3 — What are the options?

    Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017
    Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm
    This interactive workshop provides a more detailed explanation of individualized housing and services options so that parents and young adults can consider what may work for them. A panel of parents, young adults, and housing providers will share their journey through the housing process. Please note that this workshop is on a Tuesday. Registration recommended for all three workshops in this series (Monday 2/13, Monday 2/27, Tuesday 3/14).
  • IDEA: Understanding the Special Education Process

    Date: Tuesday, April 04, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-8:30pm
    This workshop outlines the basic principles of special education and provides materials to help parents organize special education records.
    Location: Marshall
  • Life Planning for People with Disabilities: Guardianship

    Date: Monday, May 01, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Participants will learn about guardianship-conservatorship laws, power of attorney, trust, and other life planning issues. Each session (5/1 and 5/15) covers different information.
  • Life Planning for People with Disabilities: Trusts

    Date: Monday, May 15, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Participants will learn about guardianship-conservatorship laws, power of attorney, trust, and other life planning issues. Each session (5/1 and 5/15) covers different information.
  • Making the Move from Early Childhood Special Education to Kindergarten

    Date: Saturday, March 18, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-11:00am
    For a child with disabilities, kindergarten readiness often requires special preparation. This workshop helps parents plan for this transition and learn how to help their child succeed in elementary school. Parents will learn how to become active participants in the transition process.
  • PACER Day at the Minnesota State Capitol

    Date: Wednesday, March 08, 2017
    Time: 9:30a.m.-1:00p.m.
    Parents of children with disabilities have important stories to share that can impact systems change and improve outcomes for students. Participants will attend a dynamic workshop led by advocacy leaders and legislators to hear about potential legislation affecting special education, education funding, school discipline, and assistive technology. Private funds used for this workshop.
  • PACER’s 13th Annual Housing Resource and Information Fair

    Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    Families can meet with service providers, state and county representatives, along with representatives from referral organizations to discuss housing options, services, supports, and related issues for children and young adults with disabilities.
  • Responding to Challenging Behaviors at Home, at School, and in the Community

    Date: Monday, May 08, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop covers tips and strategies on creating a home plan that supports positive behaviors, understanding the role of Section 504 and special education at school, and partnering with service providers when challenging behaviors persist.
    Location: Bemidji
  • SciGirls STEM Training hosted by the Green Girls STEM Foundation and PACER Center

    Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
    Educators are invited to participate in a hands-on, minds-on professional development training hosted by PACER Center. SciGirls is an Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS television series and website dedicated to changing the way millions of girls think about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Participants attending this workshop will experience hands-on STEM activities, leave with curriculum that puts a creative twist on teaching STEM, learn how to modify activities to engage kids in STEM using the “SciGirls Seven”, discover additional online resources that enhance teaching and learning experiences for all kids. This free event includes lunch.
  • Social Media & Bullying: Using Technology to Keep Kids Safe

    Date: Monday, March 06, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm
    PACER’s Simon Technology Center (STC) and National Bullying Prevention Center (NBPC) will discuss the technology young people use, and the technology parents can use to keep them safe and raise responsible young digital citizens.
  • Special Education and Challenging Behaviors

    Date: Thursday, March 16, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop offers information about how parents of children and youth with mental health, emotional or behavioral challenges can effectively communicate through the school’s special education process.
  • Special Education and the Important Role You Play for Your Child

    Date: Monday, March 13, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    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 answer questions such as: Definition of “parent” and who needs to and can be appointed as a surrogate parent. Why is it important that parents be involved? How can parents effectively work with the school? What do I need to know about the special education process, and how do special education and regular education work together?
  • Special Education and the Important Role You Play for Your Child

    Date: Tuesday, April 04, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Participants will learn how to use their rights and abilities to advocate for their child and work effectively with the school.
    Location: Cottage Grove
  • Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop: Building a Robot (Robots 2)

    Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    In this three-hour hands-on workshop, teens (boys and girls) of all abilities will assemble a robot and program it to respond to the environment. Using the EZ-Robot kits, students will expand on their knowledge from the Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop Robots 1 in order to build a robot that can distinguish between different objects and interact with its surroundings. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop: Introduction to Coding

    Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    This three-hour hands-on workshop will introduce teens (boys and girls) of all abilities to the fundamentals of coding through the use of MIT’s Scratch online software. Teens will create interactive games and stories while developing the skills for programming events, loops, if statements, user interfaces, and more. This workshop is designed for students with basic computer skills, but no previous coding knowledge is required. Students of all abilities are encouraged to attend. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop: Programming Robots (Robots 1)

    Date: Saturday, June 24, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    In this three-hour hand-on workshop, teens (boys and girls) of all abilities will learn some of the fundamentals of robotics by programming a Finch robot to interact and respond to its environment. Students will expand upon the topics from Intro to Coding as they use Scratch, an online software tool, to program a Finch robot to move and react to obstacles. As a final challenge, students will work as a team to program a robot to see which one can navigate through a maze the fastest. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code Workshop: Web Coding

    Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    This three-hour hands-on workshop will introduce teens (boys and girls) of all abilities to the basics of coding for the internet with HTML and CSS. Students will create a website and publish it on the Internet as a way to learn about HTML tags, style sheets, and the basics of web hosting. Using Mozilla Thimble, students will get to experiment with code and see the results in real time. Students will then learn about web hosting by publishing their sites online. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
    Students are invited to practice the coding skills they developed in the Tech for Teens Intro to Coding workshop on March 25. They can expand new levels of their games, write sequels to their interactive stories, or code something completely new.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
    Students are invited to practice the coding skills they developed in the Tech for Teens workshop series (Introduction to Coding and Web Coding). They can expand new levels of their games, write sequels to their interactive stories, continue to develop a website, or code something completely new.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
    Students are invited to practice the coding skills they developed in the Tech for Teens workshop series (Introduction to Coding and Web Coding). They can expand new levels of their games, write sequels to their interactive stories, continue to develop a website, or code something completely new.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Thursday, June 29, 2017
    Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
    Students are invited to practice the coding skills they developed in the Tech for Teens workshop series (Introduction to Coding, Web Coding, and Robotics). They can expand new levels of their games, write sequels to their interactive stories, continue to develop a website, practice coding Finch Robots, or code something completely new.
  • Tech for Teens Club Code: Open Lab

    Date: Saturday, August 05, 2017
    Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
    Students are invited to practice their coding and robot building skills from any of the previously attended workshops. Work with instructors to practice coding games, websites, Finch Robots, or build another EZ-robot from scratch. Snacks will be provided.
  • Tech for Teens: Science or Science Fiction? A Star Wars 3D Printed Universe

    Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017
    Time: 10:00am-11:30am
    Teens with disabilities learn from a professional – in full Star Wars costume – the science behind science fiction. Teens learn about 3D printing technology and walk through the engineering and design process in a hands-on simulated activity.
  • Technology for Girls: A Digital Game of Simon Says

    Date: Saturday, April 08, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-10:30am
    Middle school girls with disabilities are invited to join mentors from the University of Minnesota’s MnDrive program to see how fun programming can be. Learn how to program lights, buzzers, and more following instructions based on code you write! No experience necessary.
  • Technology for Girls: Become an Inventor

    Date: Saturday, March 11, 2017
    Time: 9:00am-10:30am
    Middle school girls with disabilities will become inventors in this Tech for Girls workshop! Eagan’s Green Girls Robotics team will teach participants about engineering and circuits. Participants will use a Little Bits kit to invent a motorized art machine. Join us for this workshop and see what’s possible with a “little bit” of engineering!
  • The ABCs of the IEP: A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for Minnesota Parents

    Date: Monday, April 03, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop helps parents understand how to use the IEP to benefit their child. Parents learn how each required part of the IEP can be developed to meet the child’s needs.
    Location: New Ulm
  • The ABCs of the IEP: A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for Minnesota Parents

    Date: Thursday, April 06, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop helps parents understand how to use the IEP to benefit their child. Parents learn how each required part of the IEP can be developed to meet the child’s needs.
    Location: Willmar
  • The ABCs of the IEP: A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for Minnesota Parents

    Date: Thursday, April 06, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop helps parents understand how to use the IEP to benefit their child. Parents learn how each required part of the IEP can be developed to meet the child’s needs.
    Location: Mahtomedi
  • The ABCs of the IEP: A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for Minnesota Parents

    Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop helps parents understand how to use the IEP to benefit their child. Parents learn how each required part of the IEP can be developed to meet the child’s needs.
    Location: Duluth
  • The ABCs of the IEP: Making the Individualized Education Program Work for Your Child

    Date: Thursday, March 02, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop will help parents understand how to use the IEP to benefit their child. Parents will learn how each required part of the IEP can be developed to meet the child’s needs.
  • The Bridge to Work: Supplemental Security Income and Employment Planning

    Date: Wednesday, March 01, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop provides information on how parents of youth with disabilities can apply for Supplemental Security Income and Vocational Rehabilitation Service benefits for young adults at age 18.
  • The Bridge to Work: Supplemental Security Income and Employment Planning

    Date: Wednesday, April 05, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm
    This workshop provides information on how parents of youth with disabilities can apply for Supplemental Security Income and Vocational Rehabilitation Service benefits for young adults at age 18.
    Location: St. Paul
  • Tips and Tools for Talking with School Staff

    Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    This workshop provides parents of special education students practical tips and interactive problem-solving experiences to build the skills necessary to communicate effectively with school staff and resolve differences.
  • Understanding Depression and How to Develop Skills Needed to Help Your Child

    Date: Tuesday, May 02, 2017
    Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
    Parenting a child with mental health challenges can be incredibly difficult at times, but there are skills parents can learn to help their child heal, recover, and prevent recurrences of depression. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Read Sulik, who speaks nationally about children’s mental health, will lead this interactive workshop for parents and professionals.
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