NEWS: PACER, IBM partner to open model center in India for people with disabilities

Posted on 2 October 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, News, South Asian Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

PACER, IBM partner to open model center in India for people with disabilities

The first comprehensive assistive technology center serving people with disabilities in India opened on Sept. 13, thanks to a partnership between PACER Center, IBM Corporation, and the Spastics Society of Karnataka (SSK) in Bangalore, India.

“This center will be a model for the rest of the country,” said Paula F. Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center, a national parent center in the U.S. “We’re very excited about this tremendous opportunity, and we appreciate the support of corporations in India and the U.S. to make this center a reality.”

More than 350 people attended the Sept. 13 inauguration of the Spastics Society of Karnataka Assistive Technology Centre for Education and Life Skills Training on the campus of the SSK, a nonprofit agency serving children and young adults with disabilities. The new center will give
people with disabilities in India the opportunity to learn, communicate, and participate more fully in many work and life activities.

Through a collaborative effort involving parents, professionals, and consumers, the center will provide numerous services, including technology consultations, workshops on technology-related topics, individual training, and library facilities. The new center was modeled after PACER’s Simon Technology Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

The opening of the center “is a milestone in international cooperation,” said inauguration keynote speaker Paul Ackerman, Ph.D., an international consultant on disability and a noted author. He was formerly with the United States Department of Education, providing assistance to projects aiding children and adults with disabilities in India.

Shanker Annaswamy, Manager Director, IBM India Pvt. Ltd, also spoke at the inauguration. “IBM is committed to enable differently challenged people with technology and expertise. Our volunteers and consultants are engaged in supporting this centre,” he said. “It’s heartening to see how quickly children are adapting and growing when they get access to these types of assistive technologies.”

The inauguration’s guest of honor was Shri. P.M.Narendra Swamy, Honorable Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. The ceremony was also attended by Mrs. Rukmini Krishnaswamy, executive director of SSK, Bridget Ames, coordinator of PACER’s Simon
Technology Center (STC) in the U.S., and others.

PACER Center provided training for the SSK staff and solicited corporate donors and assistive technology vendors to contribute technology, financial gifts, and volunteer time to help build and support the center. IBM donated the hardware and Accessibility Works software. IBM
consultants and volunteers will also help support this center.

About Assistive Technology
Assistive technology (AT) is a device or technology that helps a person with disabilities perform tasks they were unable to accomplish or had great difficulty doing.

About Spastic Society of Karnataka
Spastics Society of Karnataka is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) dedicated to the welfare of persons with neuro-muscular disorders and developmental disabilities.

For more information, visit:

A national organization based in Minnesota, PACER works to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents Learn more at

About IBM
For more information about IBM, visit

I received this press release when it was passed along by Joan Durocher via her email distribution list.

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New Website Links Parents of Disabled Children to Information, Resources

Posted on 14 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Resources, South Asian Region, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

June 27, 2008
Contact: Julie Holmquist 952-838-9000

New PACER Web site offers information, resources for children with disabilities and their parents across the globe

Parents of children with disabilities living in India, Uzbekistan and across the globe can find a new resource on the Internet.

A new PACER Web site ( acts as a link to resources, organizations, program ideas and practices that can improve the lives of children with disabilities.

The site was recently launched by the nonprofit PACER Center, a National Parent Center for families of children with disabilities located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.

The Web site provides information on the history of disability rights in the United States, as well as a list of links to resources and organizations in the U.S.A. and other countries that focus on helping children with disabilities.

The idea for the site developed from PACER’s collaboration with professionals and government officials in India. This special connection with India began in 2005 when PACER Executive Director Paula Goldberg visited families in India, met with government officials and toured programs for children with disabilities.

Since that time, PACER has co-sponsored India’s first National Conference on technology for children and adults with disabilities, along with India’s National Institute for the Mentally andicapped. PACER has also supported the creation of a new center on assistive technology for children and adults, scheduled to open September 13 at the Spastics Society of Karnatka(SSK) in Bangalore, India.

Creating a Web site was a way to exchange even more information, Goldberg says. Because of PACER’s close ties with India, the site has a wealth of information about disability organizations and laws in that country. In the future, Goldberg says PACER hopes to expand the amount of resources on the Web site specific to other countries.

PACER has a global reputation for helping families of children with disabilities. More than 130 guests from 15 foreign countries have visited PACER in recent years, and in 2007, PACER staff made presentations on disability issues during a satellite conference with Uzbekistan disability leaders. The conference was hosted by the U.S. Embassy.

“We’ve hosted many international guests at PACER who are eager to find additional resources for children with disabilities,” said Shauna McDonald, PACER’s director of community resource development. “The Web site is another way to collaborate and work toward the goal of improving the lives of children with disabilities around the world.”

PACER Center is a National Parent Center for families of children and youth with any disability or special health need. PACER is located at 8161 Normandale Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044. For information, call 952-838-9000 (voice); 952-838-0190 (TTY) or 888-248-0822 (toll-free). PACER’s Web site is and its e-mail address is

This announcement was recently circulated on the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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