It’s back-to-school time and this posting provides information on federally funded Parent Centers that provide training and assistance to families of children with disabilities. My thanks to my long time friend Barbara Buswell, the Director of Colorado’s PEAK Parent Center, for providing this information regarding services provided by Parent Centers in general and the PEAK Parent Center specifically. Among the many valuable services that the PEAK Parent Center provides is its Annual Conference for Inclusive Education.
The U. S. Department of Education provides federally funded Parent Centers in each state to provide training and assistance to families of children with disabilities in their states. Every state has at least one Parent Center, and states with large populations may have more.
Parent Centers serve families of children ages birth to age 26 with all disability labels – physical, learning, cognitive, behavioral, language, emotional etc. Parent Centers provide a variety of services including workshops, one-on-one support and assistance, websites, and publications. The majority of Parent Center staff and Boards are themselves parents of children with disabilities so in addition to their knowledge, they are able to bring personal experience when assisting families. Parent Centers help families obtain appropriate education and services for their children with special needs and work to improve education results for all children. They connect families with community resources, train on a variety of topics (including special education, access to general education curriculum, communication with professionals, accommodations and modifactions, etc.), and help families work to resolve problems with schools and other agencies. Parent Centers link families with resources and best practice information in special and general education. To find the Parent Center in your state go to the Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers’ website.
PEAK Parent Center is Colorado’s Parent Training and Information Center (PTI). PEAK is a statewide organization for and by parents of children with disabilities reaching out to assist families and professionals.
PEAK PTI Services
* Information about the special education process and parents’ rights
* Up-to-date disability information
* SPEAKout newsletter
* Parent Advisors who are available to provide information and resources in English and Spanish, assist families with problem-solving strategies, and direct callers to other community resources by telephone, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person by appointment
* Inclusion resources that show how students can be successfully included in general education classrooms
* Referral to medical, educational, community services, and support groups
* Annual statewide conference on Inclusive Education to be held February 11-13, 2010
* Bookstore with current publications to assist families and schools like our “IEP Toolkit”
In conclusion, Parent Training Centers are a valuable resource for families of children with disabilities. Again, to find the Parent Center in your state go to Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers’ website.
Filed under: children with disabilities, early intervention and part C, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, least restrictive environment, Section 504, Special Education Law | Leave a comment »