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Simon Technology Center Overview

Assistive technology can be a device or service that helps children with disabilities participate more independently within their environment at home or school.

The Simon Technology Center (STC) is dedicated to making the benefits of technology more accessible to children and adults with disabilities. Through a collaborated effort involving parents, professionals, and consumers, the STC can provide numerous services for your family, as well as resources and informative answers to your questions. Since 1987, the Simon Technology Center has helped many children and adults, with a variety of disabilities, use assistive technology to enhance learning, work and independence.


Services

The Simon Technology Center provides a variety of core services to help children, families, and professionals including:

Projects

The Simon Technology Center also operates several projects with specific focuses such as:

New in the STC LibraryVGo Robot

PACER’s Simon Technology Center is thrilled to add some new, cutting edge technology.

  • VGo Robot
  • UbiDuo Wireless Face to Face Communicato
  • Tobii Eye Mobile.

Check Them Out!

Featured Services and Projects

  • The STC Lending Library has launched a new modern online catalog of items!

    With more than 1,900 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 online, 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.

    Become a member today.

Upcoming Webinars / Events / Conferences

  • Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) Workshop

    Date: Friday, January 11, 2019
    Location: PACER Center
    Fee: $119
    Time: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm CT

    LAMP is an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) approach designed to help communication users express themselves using a communication device. This course will cover the components of LAMP which include readiness to learn, engaging the learner, and learning language through a unique and consistent motor plan paired with an auditory signal and a natural consequence. Discussion will include how this approach addresses the core language deficits of autism, device features that are beneficial to teaching language, and how to use those features to implement LAMP components. Videos will be used to illustrate the treatment components.

Upcoming STC Workshops & Events

  • Tech for Girls Club : Lego Robotics

    Date: Saturday, June 02, 2018 — 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Building with Lego is a lot of fun, but have you ever tried to make a motorized machine using the colorful blocks? Don’t miss this exciting hands-on workshop for middle school girls with disabilities focusing on building techniques, basic programming, and simple machines using Lego. Led by the Green Girls, a team of middle school students from Eagan Robotics, this workshop will give participants the opportunity to design and build something cool that moves on its own.

  • Live Stream Event available

    APPY Hour : Apps for Independent Living – Managing Money, Budgets, and Shopping

    Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 — 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    This “APPy Hour” will be a fast-paced overview of mobile apps that can help youth with disabilities live on their own. The focus will be on the essential independent living skills of creating a budget, managing money, and shopping for groceries. A variety of apps will be discussed for both smart phone and tablet devices (including Apple’s iOS and Android). The presentation will include demonstrations of as many apps as time allows. Apps will include money calculators, tracking of money spent, managing a budget, and creating a shopping list.
  • Tech for Teens Club : Programming Robots

    Date: Saturday, June 09, 2018 — 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    In this workshop, teens with disabilities will learn some of the fundamentals of robotics by programming a Finch robot to interact and respond to its environment. Students will use Snap!, an online tool, to program a Finch robot’s lights, movement and reaction to obstacles. 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.
  • Big Imaginations: Encouraging Early Literacy with UDL Tools

    Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 — 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
    Developing literacy skills at an early age is crucial to becoming a motivated learner and good adult reader. But when a disability creates a barrier to early literacy, sometimes simply because of a lack of access, it can be hard to develop the necessary skills. Join us to explore Universal Design for Learning (UDL), how it relates to early literacy and practical strategies to make your classroom more inclusive for all children. Participants will adapt a board book using UDL principles and create a Do-It-Yourself phonics phone to support the diverse learning styles of their students.
  • Tech for Teens Club : Building Websites

    Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018 — 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    This workshop will introduce teens with disabilities to the basics of coding for the internet with HTML and CSS. Students will create their own unique website and publish it on the Internet using Mozilla Thimble. Students will be able to experiment with code and see the results online in real time. 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.
  • Tech for Teens Club : A Star Wars 3D Printed Universe

    Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018 — 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    A guest speaker from a galaxy far far away will present the basics behind 3D printing. Teens with disabilities are invited to watch a 3D print from start to finish and to experiment with the 3D design software called SketchUp. Students of all abilities are encouraged to attend. Curiosity is the only requirement.

  • Live Stream Event available

    Too Many Apps for That? How to Find, Choose, and Evaluate Mobile Apps to Meet Your Needs

    Date: Thursday, July 19, 2018 — 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    With so many apps available for our mobile devices, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones will best meet our needs. This workshop will explore ways to find and choose mobile apps to meet a wide range of needs. We will begin with a look at evaluating a user’s needs, and then explore places to search for apps to meet those needs. We will discuss criteria to consider such as ease of use, visual appeal, customization, and cost. The focus will be on helpful features to look for in an app, with information that will be relevant to many ages and disabilities. Other topics addressed will include accessibility, app evaluation rubrics, and privacy concerns.
  • Tech for Girls Club : Creatures of the Ocean

    Date: Saturday, July 21, 2018 — 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Roll up your sleeves and get your hands wet while learning about the ocean! Middle school girls with disabilities will learn about the differences between fresh water and salt water, ocean zones, and what creatures can be found in each zone. They will take a virtual field trip to explore the ocean and make their own ocean in a bottle.
  • Tech for Teens Club : Building a Robot

    Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018 — 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    In this workshop, teens with disabilities will assemble a robot and program it to respond to the environment. Students will learn about the entire process of building a robot, from assembly to executing code. 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.

The Simon Technology and its projects are generously sponsored by private donations and the following foundations: 3M, Best Buy, Boston Scientific, Donaldson Foundation, Ecolab, Fred C. & Katherine B. Andersen Foundation, Grotto  Foundation, IBM, Medtronic, Minneapolis Rotary Community Service Foundation, The Minneapolis Foundation, Schulze Family Foundation, Verizon, and  Xcel Energy. In kind support provided by Accenture and Target.

 

Visit PACER's other sites: Teens Against Bullying | Kids Against Bullying | FAST Family Support | FAPE | MN SEACs

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