BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), funds a Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network with resources for all stakeholders with an interest in special education and early intervention, including parents, self-advocates, educators, early interventionists, school districts, state Departments of Education, other service providers, researchers, policymakers, and legislators.
WHICH TYPES OF RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE?
There are many different kinds of resources available to families and professionals. These include written, video, and webinar resources on:
• Early childhood
• College and Career Readiness Standards
• Toolkits on various topics including Universal Design for Learning
• Topics such as disproportionality, English language learners, and family engagement
• Interventions such as addressing challenging behaviors
• New Resources Library started in 2016 and updated on an ongoing basis
Some key centers of interest are highlighted below.
The starting point for families is the National Center for Parent Information and Resources.
CENTER FOR PARENT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) “serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), so that they can focus their efforts on serving families of children with disabilities.” On the Parent Center Hub www.parentcenterhub.org/resources, parents can use the search function to find information on various special education topics, disabilities, transition, etc. including many resources in Spanish. Parents can also connect with the CPIR on social media@parentcenterhub for postings of the latest resources and events.
PARENT TRAINING AND INFORMATION CENTERS/COMMUNITY PARENT RESOURCE CENTERS
Parent Training and Information Centers are located in every state and also Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the U.S. territories in the Pacific Islands. Some states also have local Community Parent Resource Centers that help hard-to-reach families in underserved communities. These Parent Centers help families navigate the special education and early intervention systems. They offer individual assistance and support and also a host of workshops and webinars on disability, special education and early intervention services, etc. Parents can find the closest parent center on the CPIR’s Parent Center Hub at www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/ and contact their Center by phone, e-mail, or on social media.
NATIONAL RESOURCES FOR ACCESS, INDEPENDENCE, SELFADVOCACY AND EMPLOYMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER (NATIONAL RAISE PARENT TRANSITION TA CENTER)
The RAISE Center “provides information and resources and coordinates collaboration for the Parent Training and Information Centers that are supported by the Rehabilitation Services Administration and that are serving individuals with disabilities (up to 26 years old) and their families.” There are resources available for youth and families on transition to adult life, advocacy, and supported decision making, among other topics.
POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS
The purpose of the Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is to “define, develop, implement, and evaluate a multi-tiered approach to Technical Assistance that improves the capacity of states, districts and schools to establish, scale-up and sustain the PBIS framework. Emphasis is given to the impact of implementing PBIS on the social, emotional and academic outcomes for students with disabilities.” This means putting in place positive supports proactively, rather than being reactive or punitive.
NATIONAL CENTER ON DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN SPECIAL EDUCATION
The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) “works to increase the nation’s capacity to effectively resolve special education disputes, reducing the use of expensive adversarial processes. CADRE works with state and local education and early intervention systems, parent centers, families and educators to improve programs and results for children with disabilities.” Here parents can find information on conflict resolution, effective communication, IEP tips, and partnering with professionals.
OTHER TA&D CENTERS
Parents and professionals can find other OSEP-funded technical assistance and dissemination centers on the IDEAS that Work website (https://www.osepideasthatwork.org) designed to “provide easy access to information from research to practice initiatives funded by OSEP that address the provisions of IDEA and ESSA” (Every Student Succeeds Act). The website includes resources, links, and other important information relevant to parents and professionals.
• Special thanks to Diana Autin and Debra Jennings, Co-Executive Directors of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lauren Agoratus, M.A. is the parent of a child with multiple disabilities who serves as the Coordinator for Family Voices-NJ and as the central/southern coordinator in her state’s Family-to-Family Health Information Center, both housed at the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) at www.spanadvocacy.org
PARENT TRAINING AND INFORMATION CENTERES LISTED ON CPIR
US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FEDERAL RESOURCES FOR STAKEHOLDERS
Can also put Spanish in search box
CENTER FOR APPROPRIATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN SPECIAL EDUCATION
Information for families www.directionservice.org/cadre/forfamilymembers.cfm
Or Spanish www.directionservice.org/cadre/index_espanol.cfm
THE RESOURCES FOR ACCESS, INDEPENDENCE, SELF-ADVOCACY AND EMPLOYMENT CENTER
US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION (New Website)