The PEAL Center offers the following trainings and workshops on education issues across the state of Pennsylvania. We can accommodate the training needs of specific parent groups and other organizations. Contact the PEAL Center for more information.

Mini-Series on Developing Strong IEP’s and Working with School Teams Beginning with the End in Mind

Part 1: Developing a Strong IEP
This session will explore the parent’s role in the IEP process. Parents, you will learn the basics of your child’s right to special education services, how the process of developing special education plans works, and your role in developing an IEP that is responsive to your goals for your child. Participants will have the opportunity to begin to translate your dreams for your child into concrete elements that can be incorporated into your child’s IEP.

Part 2: Working Effectively with Your School Team
How can I work with my school district to develop education services for my child that are based on high expectations to prepare my child for a productive life? How can we build a school team committed to classrooms where all students participate in learning? Participants will discover strategies for parents and educators to build collaborative and constructive school teams committed to classrooms that welcome and support high expectations for all learners.

Part 3: Parental Rights
This session will address parental rights in the special education process. Particular emphasis will be given to the Procedural Safeguards Notice received annually by all parents. This presentation will also include a brief overview of the differences between IEP’s and 504 plans.

Extended School Year (ESY): The timeline is ticking! (1.5 hours)

Extended School Year (ESY) discussion should be part of every IEP meeting. Find out what you need to know about ESY and how it applies in your situation. We need to talk now because the timeline is already ticking on this important service! You will hear how eligibility is determined and the dates you need to remember.

Transition to Adult Life (1.5 hours)

How can you ensure the best possible life outcomes for your son or daughter with disabilities? This is a question that parents begin to consider soon after their children receive a diagnosis. In Pennsylvania, the IEP team begins to discuss transition when a child reaches age 14. However, parents aren’t always aware of how a well-written Transition Plan can benefit children with disabilities. Learn about the power of the IEP Transition Plan.

The Power of Parent-Professional Partnerships (1.5-2 hours)

Research confirms the positive benefits of parent-professional collaboration on the education of children with disabilities. In fact, good parent-professional partnerships benefit everyone involved: Parents and professionals have a more positive view of each other; parents become more involved in their children’s education; and children with disabilities have more confidence and perform at higher levels. Because parents and professionals bring different strengths to the collaboration, there are different ways for each to make the relationship positive and productive.

Skills for Effective Parent Advocacy (1.5-2 hours)

Every parent wants to see their child be happy, healthy, and part of their community. Oftentimes, however, parents need to advocate to get the services they believe their child needs. This training explores what it means to be an advocate and introduces six specific skills that are needed to be effective an advocate.

Parental Rights and Dispute Resolution (2 hours)

Parents of children and youth with disabilities have certain protections and rights under IDEA. This session will give an overview of the rights of parents that are found in the Procedural Safeguards Notice. Discussion will also focus on the various avenues of Dispute Resolution available to families if disagreements persist after local efforts at communication and collaboration fail to resolve the issues.

Positive Behavior Support Plans (1.5 to 2 hours)

Come and learn about Functional Behavior Assessments, Positive Behavior Support Plans and Manifestation Determination. Hear about who gets a behavior support plan and how it is developed and revised. The laws regarding suspensions and expulsions will also be discussed.


The staff offers the following trainings and workshops on health care issues statewide: Medical Assistance, Waivers, and Affordable Care Act: Using Public Insurance to Get Services & Supports You Need

David Gates, Esq., Managing Attorney-Harrisburg, PA Health Law Project
Medical Assistance and Waivers are the most common funding sources for non-educational services and supports for children and adolescents with special health care needs and disabilities. Learn who can qualify, what’s covered, and what to do if coverage is denied.

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