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

About PEAL

Board of Directors

Nicole Turman

Nicole Turman, Vice President
Nicole received a degree in Social Work from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland where she continued to live for five years working as a program specialist for a national model psychosocial rehabilitation program serving adults with serious mental illness. She returned to her hometown of Windber, Pennsylvania where she continues to live with her 17 year old son, Harper. She worked for the local intermediate unit as mental health services coordinator for several years until Harper was diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome at age 2 1/2 years. She remained active in "special education issues" by joining with other mothers in her area to form a local, grassroots parent education and advocacy group, PUMPT (Parents United for Making Progress Together). Recently, Nicole accepted a position as a Regional Coordinator with the Include Me from the Start Initiative. Include Me is an initiative funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education which is being implemented by the Arc of Pennsylvania. The Include Me program is designed to work with schools and families of children entering kindergarten and first grade to develop capacity to include them as they are entering their school careers. Nicole is also a member of the Early Childhood and Education subcommittee of Systems Advocacy and Governmental Affairs committee of the Arc of Pennsylvania. She has also started a local Arc Chapter in Somerset County. Nicole served as the Chair of the LRE Practices Committee of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, Bureau Director\'s Advisory Panel for Least Restrictive Environment Practices, which was formed as part of the Department of Education\'s implementation of the Gaskin v. Commonwealth Settlement Agreement. Locally, she serves on the Advisory Board of Behavioral Health Services of Bedford-Somerset Counties and on the Health Choices Stakeholders Steering Committee. Nicole continues as Pennsylvania Awareness Coordinator for the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) Foundation, which serves families of individuals with CdLS across the United States and worldwide.