Three smiling women posed in front of a sofa.
PEAL Founders: Aurelia Carter, left, Director of Technical Assistance, and Debbie Efkeman, right, Director of Training and Curriculum, join Executive Director, Liz Healey, center, on the staff of the Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership Center. -January 4, 2006 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette​

PEAL Center

Since 2005, the PEAL Center has been committed to serving families and professionals across Pennsylvania. Today PEAL works with families, youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs to help them understand their rights and advocate for themselves. Through our unwavering commitment to inclusion and our guiding values, we empower families and individuals to be included in their home schools and access high quality, coordinated physical and behavioral health care. PEAL’s services are provided at no charge to families as they are funded by private donations and federal, state, and private grants.

The PEAL Center is an organization of parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs who educate and guide:

— Families of children and youth, ages birth to 26, who have disabilities and/or special health care needs

— Professionals and others who work with children and youth who have disabilities and/or special health care needs

— Youth and young adults up to age 26 who have disabilities and/or special health care needs

Mission Statement

Reflecting the Common Bonds of Community

The mission of the PEAL Center is to educate and empower families to ensure that children, youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active lives as full members of their schools and communities.

PEAL Center Statements for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Individual

The PEAL Staff will welcome cultural diversity, different abilities, experiences and varying perspectives. We will always demonstrate that everyone has value and establish respect though action. We will develop critical self-reflection in interactions and conversations.

Organizational

With a commitment to inclusion, the PEAL Center will build respectful relationships (through active listening and learning), consideration, and engagement with people of different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs. We will build an internal culture that continually considers, assesses and learns from current systematic disparities and internal biases.

Community

The PEAL Center will increase capacity to reach underserved/marginalized populations in PA effectively by continuing to carry out the mission of the PEAL Center to educate and empower ALL families of diverse cultural, social, and economic backgrounds to ensure that children, youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active lives as full members of their schools and communities.

History

2005:  The Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership Center (PEAL Center) was established as an non-profit organization of parents of children with disabilities to support and educate other parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs, and professionals who work in these fields.

2005:  The PEAL Center began receiving funds from the U. S. Department of Education as a  Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) serving Western and Central Pennsylvania with a focus on education and community supports.  PEAL had two full-time and two part-time employees.

2007:   The PEAL Center expanded its mission to also serve as Pennsylvania’s first statewide Family to Family Health Information Center (F2F) to assist parents with access to health care, insurance and in-home supports.

2014:   The PEAL Center’s PTI grant from the U.S. Department of Education; Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) expanded to cover the entire state of Pennsylvania.

Today, PEAL employs 17 employees serving families across PA with offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Download PEAL Postcard

Upcoming Events

Thu 10

Youth Virtual Coffee Drop-In

December 10 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm UTC+0
Tue 15

Tools for Person Driven Planning

December 15 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC+0
Thu 17

Youth Virtual Coffee Drop-In

December 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm UTC+0