The PEAL Center
Helping Families of Children with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs
412-281-4404 (Pittsburgh)
215-567-6143 (Philadelphia)
866-950-1040 Toll Free
412-281-4409 TTY

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Your Child, Your Choice

To view all parts of the "From Vision To Action: Inclusive Practices for All Children" training click here

Prior to 1975, when Congress first enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, many children with disabilities were denied the right to a public education. Over thirty-five years later, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA, children with disabilities who attend public schools are guaranteed a free education, in the least restrictive environment, and an individualized education plan (IEP). Children with disabilities who attend public schools are also afforded procedural safeguards under IDEA to assure that school districts follow the intent of the law.

However, not all parents choose to have their children with disabilities attend public schools. Today, more than ever, parents have a variety of schooling options from which to choose for their children with disabilities, including charter schools, cyber schools, parochial schools, and home schooling. Although these schooling options may meet the specific needs of the children and the families, children with disabilities who attend non-traditional schools are not afforded the same procedural safeguards under IDEA as are children with disabilities who attend public schools.

As a result, parents may lack the information necessary to support best practices for inclusive education in those settings. In addition, these parents may need support to connect with other parents whose children have disabilities that attend non-traditional school settings. Your Child, Your Choice, is a new training opportunity being developed at the PEAL Center for parents who have selected non-traditional schools for their children with disabilities. Through information packets, webinars, and face-to-face meetings, parents who have chosen non-traditional schools for their children with disabilities will be provided with the knowledge they need to increase their awareness about best practices for inclusion, support their collaboration with professionals, and provide networking opportunities with other parents who have made similar schooling decisions. Informed and connected parents may have the opportunity to effect changes in the system that will support all children with disabilities who attend non-traditional schools.

Click the links below for more information on the following:

In May of 2014 the PEAL Center hosted a webinar with Cheryl M. Jorgensen PhD., entitled Least Dangerous Assumptions. This webinar was the first part of the ongoing training series "From Vision To Action: Inclusive Practices for All Children." The webinar can be viewed here.