See New Possibilities with a Parent Advisor
Families are the best advocates for their children with disabilities and special health care needs. PEAL Parent Advisors assist parents and other caregivers by:
- — Helping them understand their rights
- — Reviewing IEPs and other documents to assist families to provide meaningful input
- — Sharing resources about an issue or concern
- — Connecting families with other agencies or organizations
Our goal is to guide and equip families to be empowered as equal team members with the confidence to advocate for their children.
Who are the PEAL Parent Advisors?
We are parents of children with disabilities who have been through the special education process and have experience accessing health care resources. Parent advisors have a deep knowledge of special education laws, effective educational practices and health care systems for children and youth. In this article, get to know two of our Parent Advisors.
Ana Pacheco is based in our Philadelphia office and works across PA with many families in the Latino community. Ana is an accomplished disability and education rights advocate. She led the movement for including the Latino community in services and resources for individuals who have intellectual disabilities. Ana also coordinated the Latino Project for statewide training and outreach for the PA Partnership Training for People with Disabilities and Family Members. Ana’s strategy is to work with agencies who support Hispanic families with face-to-face access to families, which is appreciated in the Hispanic culture. Ana’s son, Joel, received special education services and graduated from the School District of Philadelphia in 2010. Ana provides bilingual support for families statewide whose first language is Spanish.
Kathleen Haigh works with families in Central Pennsylvania. Kathleen was born and raised in Cumberland County, where her connections and community knowledge are at its best. Kathleen is the mother of twins, a boy and a girl. Her son was diagnosed with autism before the age of three. Kathleen became his advocate and her son was able to attend the same schools and programs as his sister. Both twins graduated from High School last year. Kathleen is on the board of directors of the Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area and is committed to empowering parents to become the best advocates for their children and themselves.
Parent Advisors educate, and inform families through phone conversations and/or email in order to reach families throughout PA. Individual assistance is only one of the services that PEAL provides – check out our website for a calendar of training and events, as well as other resources. To speak with a Parent Advisor, call us toll free at 1-866-950-1040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and our Intake Coordinator will get you connected!
Read the rest of our 2018 Winter/Spring Newsletter here.