Pennsylvania's Parent Centers
Parent Centers are comprised of our Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs). They are funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center
The Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center was established in October 2005 as an organization of parents of children with disabilities reaching out to assist other parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs, and professionals. The PEAL Center offers a variety of supports and resources from Assistive Technology to healthcare information for families and professionals. They have a number of ongoing trainings and events, print publications, and even a lending library.
HUNE is a not for profit organization established in 1998. They provide free bilingual English and Spanish training, technical assistance and individual assistance to parents of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and to professionals who work with children.
HUNE es una organización sin fines de lucro establecido en el 1998. HUNE provee asesoramiento, asistencia técnica y asistencia individual gratis para los padres de infantes, niños, y jóvenes con impedimentos y a los profesionales que trabajan con los niños.
Mission Empower has been helping families in Erie County who have children with disabilities get the supports and services they need to be successful at school and in life since 2007. Mission Empower provides advocacy services, parent training and community education services. Advocates work with parents to solve problems, design creative solutions and collaborate effectively with their child’s school.
Additional Family-Focused Organizations
Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania
For over 36 years, Parent to Parent programs across the country have been providing emotional and informational support to families of children who have special needs, most notably by matching parents seeking support with an experienced, trained “support parent.”
The Arc of Pennsylvania promotes the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
Pennsylvania State Task Force
The primary purpose of the state task force and the twenty-nine (29) local task forces (one in each intermediate unit) is to ensure that the intent and spirit of the Right to Education Consent Agreement is carried out throughout the Commonwealth or Pennsylvania.
The Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) provides the resources for parents and educational agencies to resolve disputes concerning the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities, students who are gifted, and children with disabilities served by the early intervention system. ODR also provides help for your special education questions and concerns through ConsultLine. ConsultLine advisors are available to answer questions and provide information about special education programs and the laws governing these programs for parents of, and advocates for, children with disabilities, or those who are thought to have a disability. You can reach ConsultLine at 1-800-879-2301 (Toll Free in Pennsylvania) or 717-901-2146 (Outside Pennsylvania). Simply leave a message with your question or concern, and the appropriate advisor will return your call within three business days.
Vision for Equality’s mission is to assist and empower people with disabilities and their families to seek quality and satisfaction in their lives, as well as equal access to supports and services. They believe that all people have a right to live a happy and meaningful life—a vision grounded in community.
PA Family Network is a program of Vision for Equality that supports the efforts of the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the major elements of the national Community of Practice goals. The Network serves two critical roles: Supporting families’ needs using the ‘Charting the LifeCourse Tools’ and Providing networking opportunities and the ability to connect with other families, which is vital though all of life’s transitions and stages.
PA Parent and Family Alliance
PA Parent & Family Alliance provides support and resources for parents and caregivers of children (up to age 26) that may be experiencing a variety of challenges ranging from social and emotional to behavioral and mental health struggles, inclusive of substance use disorders. Some resources are provided in Spanish.
The PA Care Partnership is a statewide System of Care cooperative agreement working to improve behavioral health outcomes for children and youth (birth-21) with serious emotional disturbances and their families.
IDEAs That Work: Parents and Families
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21. OSEP, directly and through its partners and grantees, develops a wide range of research-based products, publications, and resources to assist states, local district personnel, and families to improve results for students with disabilities.
The IDEAs That Work website is designed to provide easy access to information from research to practice initiatives funded by OSEP that address the provisions of IDEA and ESSA. This website will include resources, links, and other important information relevant to OSEP’s research to practice efforts. Please continue to check the website for new information that will be posted as it becomes available.
PACER Center enhances the quality of life and expands opportunities for children, youth, and young adults with all disabilities and their families so each person can reach his or her highest potential. PACER operates on the principles of parents helping parents, supporting families, promoting a safe environment for all children, and working in collaboration with others.
TIES Center is the national technical assistance center on inclusive practices and policies. Its purpose is to create sustainable changes in kindergarten-grade 8 school and district educational systems so that students with significant cognitive disabilities can fully engage in the same instructional and non-instructional activities as their general education peers while being instructed in a way that meets individual learning needs.