PEAL Center Names New Executive Director

Child on a bike

The PEAL Center, the Pennsylvania Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) and Family-­‐to-­‐Family Health Information Center (F2F), is pleased to announce Jeannine H. Brinkley as its new executive director. Jeannine brings to PEAL more than three decades of expertise in inclusive practices, special education, and supporting school teams to transform service delivery. Brinkley will begin her new position at the PEAL Center on January 1, 2017; she is the second person to lead the organization.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the PEAL Center, I am delighted to welcome Jeannine H. Brinkley as the new executive director,” said Board President Dr. Linda Rhen. “Her wealth of experience and demonstrated leadership in helping to create new possibilities for children and youth with disabilities will help the PEAL Center move forward in its mission to ensure that all children, youth, young adults, and adults with disabilities or special health care needs lead rich active lives and participate as full members of their schools and communities.”

As executive director of the PEAL Center, Brinkley will oversee PEAL’s statewide organization of parent advocates who help parents and guardians before and after IEP meetings with strategies and plans to ensure appropriate education for their children with disabilities, as well as assist families with health-­‐ related issues through support, information, and resources. The PEAL Center supports families across  the state of Pennsylvania and advocates at the state and federal levels for public policies that prepare children and youth with disabilities to lead active lives in the community.  Jeannine was instrumental in the implementation of professional development in Inclusive Practices for schools. She also led the development and implementation of a Supplementary Aids and Services Toolkit for student-­‐focused teams to support inclusion of students with disabilities in general education, as well as co-­‐authoring and managing grants, publications, and training materials for statewide distribution.

In June, Liz Healey, founder of the PEAL Center and current executive director, announced her   retirement after eleven years of dedicated service. Healey has guided the PEAL Center since its inception with an annual budget of $242,000 and has grown it to a statewide organization that serves more than 20,000 families. Healey has led PEAL in taking on new projects while remaining true to its original   mission of inclusion for all children; PEAL now operates with an annual budget that is more than $1M. Healey will support the organization for a short period during the transition to Brinkley.

The PEAL Center is an organization of parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs reaching out to assist families of children with disabilities and special health care needs, professionals who assist them, and children, youth, and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs (ages 0-­‐26). The mission of the PEAL Center is to ensure that children, youth, and adults with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active live and participate as full members of their schools and communities by providing training, information, parent leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance based on best practices to individuals and families and all the people who support them.

For more information about PEAL and parent advocacy contact PEAL at 1-866-950-­1040 or email  [email protected].

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