How We Connect and Grow: Stories from the Statewide Family Network

Speaker: Jacqui Di Domenico and Lorie Brew

This session will describe our system for helping families engage with each other and with the school community. This system provides the foundation for parents sharing their stories, concerns, and beliefs and isan advocacy tool that parents can use to support their child’s educational achievement. Through these engagement strategies, families find encouragement, learn new strategies, and continue their journey to secure positive outcomes for their children. We will discuss how these family engagement strategies build networks of friends, families and professionals. Parent, family and community involvement and engagement is the desired outcome.

Credits: Act 48, PSYCH

Audience: Special Education Teachers, Teachers who work with students who are blind or visually impaired, Teachers who work with students with hearing loss, Teachers who work with students who are Deaf-Blind, Teachers/other professionals who work with students who have sustained traumatic brain injury, Speech therapists, General Education Teachers, Supervisors/Administrators, Assistive Technology specialists, Occupational Therapists and/or Physical Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, School Counselors and/or School Psychologists, Parents, Guardians, Family Members, Paraprofessionals

Speakers’Bios: Jacqui Di Domenico is a parent consultant with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN). She has a background in early childhood education and brings the experience of parenting three children, including her middle child who has Down Syndrome. In addition to working on Family Engagement and Procedural Safeguards, she is actively involved in supporting the FAMILIES TO THE MAX Pennsylvania Statewide Family Network.
Lorie Brew works for the PEAL Center as the Grant Coordinator for the Eastern area of the state. Much of Lorie's knowledge about disability-related issues comes from individuals with disabilities themselves, families who support someone with a disability as well as her own personal experience of raising a child with autism. Lorie has played an integral role in developing and supporting the Statewide Family Network.