PEAL Center Receives Two Grants

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PEAL Center Receives Two Grants from the PA Developmental Disabilities Council

The PEAL Center receives two grants from the PA Developmental Disabilities Council totaling to $150,000.00 per year. The PEAL Center is an organization of parents of children with disabilities reaching out to assist other parents located in Pittsburgh.

The “Parent Leaders for Inclusive Education Beyond Public School” grant will connect parents of children with disabilities who have selected non-traditional public and private school settings for their children. Through PEAL trainings parents will gain the knowledge they need about inclusion and their rights and responsibilities in the special education process. This project will support collaboration between parents and professionals that may lead to policy change.

“We’re excited to bring this training opportunity to the growing number of parents who choose non-traditional educational settings for their children with disabilities” said grant facilitator Ceil Belasco, Director of Training at the PEAL Center.

The Congregate Care “Imagine Different” grant will create pathways for children with disabilities in Pennsylvania who are living in institutions to instead grow up and thrive in families. The PEAL Center, working closely with EveryChild, Inc. of Texas and the project Advisory Committee, will develop a toolkit that will be used to train parents, system representatives, and policy makers. This project will foster a common knowledge base of the value of permanent family life and effective strategies towards moving children with disabilities into stable family settings. Data will be collected for policymakers with the overarching goal of eventual system change.

“We know that all children benefit from growing up in families, and this is even more true for children who have disabilities” said grant facilitator Elisabeth Healey, founding Executive Director of the PEAL Center. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with systems to lay the groundwork for concrete plans toward making this a reality for children currently growing up in congregate settings.”

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