Quick Five! 5 Questions with PEAL’s Intake Coordinator, Kelley Hollis

Quick Five is a new series from PEAL where we ask a staff member five questions about their work at PEAL. Today we stopped by the desk of PEAL’s Intake Coordinator, Kelley Hollis. Here’s what she said:

What’s your main role as the PEAL Center’s Intake Coordinator? 

I am the first point of contact for anyone who is calling the PEAL Center for the first time. In order to get someone the information and resources they need as quickly as possible I ask a few questions like name, contact information, student’s name, school and district, if there is an IEP or 504 plan, and primary diagnosis, if there is one. Sometimes I will ask for a brief description of the issue in order to give the Parent Advisors

What’s the best thing about working at the PEAL Center? 

I’m learning so much about special education and heath care from a parent’s perspective, as well as the laws that are in place.

As the first point of contact for so many people, what is one of the most common questions you are asked?

The most common question that I get is “How do I get my child’s school to follow what is written in my child’s IEP?”

What is one thing that you want parents to know when they call the PEAL Center?

PEAL is a wonderful place to gain access to information and resources. Our role is to empower families so that they can be the best advocates for themselves and for their children. So when parents call the PEAL Center they must be willing to educate themselves.

What’s something that you’ve learned from working at the PEAL Center?

I’ve learned that all children, youth, and young adults have a right to be fully included in their schools and communities, despite his or her disability. I’ve always known that they should be included, but to learn about the rights and laws is really inspiring. One of my favorite resources from PEAL is the Friendship Toolkit that helps families, educators, and service providers, as well as peers, siblings, and communities to facilitate friendship development for children with disabilities.

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