PEAL will be hosting and posting webinars below. Please check back onto this page for updates on upcoming webinars and to view the recordings when they are available.

April 26th 2023 Mental Health Consent in PA: Ensuring Parents Understand the Changes That Happen When Their Child Turns 14

Presented with PA Parent and Family Alliance, Christina Paternoster
What does PA say about a child’s ability to consent to their mental health treatment, under what circumstances does that change, and what are parent rights and responsibilities. We cover Act 65 of 202, HIPPA, and more!
This webinar will:
– Identify who can consent to mental health treatment in PA
– Discuss how parents, caregivers and other providers can use the law to improve mental health services that children receive
– Share the most common challenges that arise due to misunderstanding of Act 65 of 2020 and how to address those challenges
This video is also available in Spanish: Mental Health Consent in PA (en español)

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar:

Mental Health Consent Tip Sheet. It’s available in both English and Spanish.

December 6th 2022 Neuropsychological Evaluations: Information for Families

Presented by: Sarah Laughlin, PhD and Rachel Robertson, PhD, BCBA-D

A pediatric neuropsychological evaluation is done with children, teens, and young adults to find out information about how the brain is functioning as they learn and grow – for example, how they process information, make choices and solve problems, how they engage in everyday routines, how they get along with others, and how they are able to regulate their emotions. Results are used to get a picture of a child’s own strength/challenges, individualize treatment plans, and promote success and access to services. These types of evaluations are best done when families, educators, psychologists and doctors are all working together.

This seminar will focus on the uses of pediatric neuropsychological evaluation in schools, explore challenges and successes when systems are coming together to make decisions (school, healthcare, family), and includes the perspective of families.

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar:

October 11th 2022 Accessing Communication in School

Join Jordyn Zimmerman, MEd, full-time autistic Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) user and educator and Tauna Szymanski, JD, MPA, a neurodivergent attorney and Executive Director of CommunicationFIRST, for an hour-long lunchtime discussion about how families can understand and support meaningful access to effective and reliable communication for students with disabilities. In this virtual session, families will learn about the importance of ensuring that students have access to robust AAC tools and supports as early as possible; as well as how to make sure that students have access to communication as they transition to adulthood. The legal challenges that families and transitioning youth may face and possible strategies for advocating for full access to communication in school will also be discussed.

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar:

September 21st 2022 Guardianship: A Last Resort

Robert Lodge, attorney at Disability Rights Pennsylvania, explores alternatives to guardianship and to learn why it should be the last option. The session reviews several other less restrictive options that allow the party to have as much freedom and dignity as possible. Limitations that can be placed on the guardianship and dispelling myths about guardianship will also be covered during the webinar.

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar:

May 25th 2022 ¡Sí! Gane Dinero en Pensilvania con el MAWD

Adolescentes, adultos con impedimentos y sus familias aprenderán sobre el programa de Asistencia Médica para Trabajadores con Impedimentos (MAWD por sus siglas en inglés). Sí, usted puede hacer dinero y continuar recibiendo Asistencia Médica y Servicios de Exención en Pensilvania. Además, pronto saldrá nueva información acerca de un aumento en el dinero que puede ganar. Únase al Centro PEAL, #IWantToWork (Campaña Quiero Trabajar) de United Way, Consultantes de Transición y HUNE para aprender sobre este programa.

May 24th 2022 Yes! Earn Money Using MAWD in Pennsylvania!

Young adults, adults with disabilities and their families will learn about the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program (MAWD). Yes, you can earn money and still receive vital Medical Assistance and waiver services in Pennsylvania. In addition, new information will be coming soon about increasing the amount of money you can earn!

April 21st 2022 Sean Barron: Autism from the Inside Out and the Outside In

Presented by: Sean Barron, Author and Journalist

“Autism from the Inside Out and the Outside In” Sean Barron is the author of two books, “There’s a Boy in Here” co-written with his mother, Judy Barron, and it was initially published in 1992 and “The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships”, co-authored with Dr. Temple Grandin, 2006 Sean is a news reporter and photojournalist for The Youngstown Vindicator and Tribune Chronicle.

Note: Unfortunately the first 10 minutes of this presentation are not available due to a technical issue. 

January 18th 2022 After 22: Family is the Key to Achieving & Thriving

Presented by: Keith Jones, President & CEO SoulTouchin’ Experiences

As an African American community activist and entrepreneur with cerebral palsy and a strong advocate for independent quality living in the community, Mr. Jones has participated actively in various issues that face people with disabilities, including housing, education, and voting access. Mr. Jones has been recognized for his emerging leadership by the state of Massachusetts and President’s Commission for Employment for People with Disabilities. Also, he is the Disability Law Center’s 2011 Individual Leadership Award.

January 18th 2022 After 22: Family is the Key to Achieving & Thriving (en español)

Presentado por: Keith Jones, Presidente y Director Ejecutivo, SoulTouchin’ Experiences

Como activista comunitario afroamericano y emprendedor con parálisis cerebral y firme defensor pro la calidad de vida independiente en la comunidad, el Sr. Jones ha participado activamente en varios problemas que enfrentan las personas con discapacidades, incluyendo vivienda, educación y acceso al voto. El Sr. Jones ha sido reconocido por su liderazgo emergente por el estado de Massachusetts y la Comisión Presidencial de Empleo para Personas con Discapacidades. Además, es el Premio al Liderazgo Individual 2011 del Disability Law Center.

September 28th 2021 Practical Solutions Series: Resolving Special Education Disputes

The Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) provides resources for families and schools to resolve educational disputes in many different ways. A final option is a Due Process Hearing. Due Process differs from other dispute resolution opportunities in that, rather than you deciding on the solution, a Hearing Officer decides. Learn directly from Hearing Officers about early dispute resolution options and their procedures, the services that ODR provides, and how to prepare for Due Process if resolution doesn’t happen.

July 13th 2021 Intersectionality: The Many Parts of You!

Have you ever felt like people only see you as a person with a disability? Sometimes it feels like people define us by only one label, but we know that we are more complex than that. Intersectionality is a big word that you may have heard of, but don’t quite understand.
Watch this webinar to discover how everyone is made up of many different identities, and the unique “you” is at the intersection of them all!
Young people with disabilities & their support network are invited to learn with us as we explore why intersectionality matters for everyone!

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar:

June 2nd 2021 Working Together for Successful Transition to Adult Life

Working Together for Successful Transition to Adult Life: Solutions for Graduates and Graduating Students with IEPs and 504 plans after COVID-19 closures
Presented by:
Carole Clancy, Director, Bureau of Special Education
Shannon Austin, Executive Director, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Kristin Ahrens, Deputy Secretary, Office of Developmental Programs
PEAL is hosting a webinar for families and young adults featuring the leaders from the Pennsylvania Departments of Education, Labor and Industry, and Human Services. They will highlight current and future opportunities for transition age youth, especially those who are graduating or who recently graduated and may have missed in-person support and instruction, employment opportunities, and community engagement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 27th 2021 Los Aspectos Principales de la Telemedicina

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar:

April 20th 2021 Nuts and Bolts of Telemedicine

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar:

March 18th 2021 Practical Solutions Series: Inclusion and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

What are the Challenges?
What are some Solutions?
Where do I find Resources to help?
Hear from Carole Clancy, Director of the Bureau of Special Education, on an overview of the challenges that PA is experiencing around including children with disabilities into the general education classroom, along with her vision of UDL. Then hear from families and school administration about how implementing UDL principles into everyday lessons and classrooms can benefit all students. Learn about incredibly useful resources that are available for teachers and families to make inclusion a reality!

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar.

February 11th 2021 Practical Solutions Series: Secondary Transition From High School to Adult Life

In this webinar you will hear from a panel of school personnel, families, and students about challenges they have overcome when preparing to transition out of high school. Also, hear about the creative solutions they utilized, and some resources to help IEP teams think outside of the box!

Addressing Truancy, What the Law Says

Click on the link above to view “Addressing Truancy, What the Law Says,” a webinar created in partnership with PA Parent and Family Alliance, Families to the MAX, HUNE, and Education Law Center. In this webinar you will learn what the PA Dept of Education says about mandatory school attendance and truancy, presented by Margie Wakelin from the Education Law Center.

Absentismo Escolar durante COVID y mas (Addressing Truancy Webinar – In Spanish)

Find the resources for this webinar on PA Parent and Family Alliance’s website

October 1st 2020 School has Started: What's Next for PA Families?

This webinar will focus on:

  • Guidance from the PA Dept of Education, Bureau of Special Education
  • Topics to be highlighted include:
    • 1:1 Assistance (Paraprofessional)
    • Related Services -COVID Compensatory Services
    • Parent/Caregiver Training

August 11th 2020 Students with IEPs and the 2020-21 School Year: What Families in PA Need to Know

Carole Clancy, Director, Bureau of Special Education, PA Department of Education, provides an overview for families of key components of the guidance being provided to schools.
She will address:
-COVID-19 Compensatory Services
-Instructional Days/Hours
-Use of masks at school
-Evaluation/Reevaluation and Delayed Eligibility Determinations

July 1st 2020 Transitioning Your Child from Preschool Early Intervention to Elementary School

When your child transitions from preschool early intervention into elementary school, it can be a scary time for families, but also a celebratory time, as your child is growing and learning.
Watch here to learn about the:
  • Importance of informed decision making in determining educational placement
  • Options for developing an IEP as a child transitions
  • Impact of adult perspectives on children’s opportunities


Important Timestamps:

  • Inclusion- 5:30
  • Families to the MAX & Presuming Competence- 14:00
  • Framework for Transition to Elementary School- 22:42
  • Options for Teams to Consider- 42:56
  • Family Success Story (Jamie & Nate)- 52:37

June 10th 2020 Work Incentives and Social Security Administration (SSA) Webinar

Presented by: Joy Smith, Area Manager, Certified Work Incentive Coordinator for AHEDD

The SSA operates two income programs for persons with disabilities:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

In this video you will learn:

  • How earned income from employment impacts SSDI or SSI income
  • Benefits of utilizing work incentives associated with SSA disability programs
  • How you can learn about and receive support to use work incentives

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar.

May 28th 2020 Summer Survival Tips Webinar

Hear how you and your family can survive your summer:

  • Planning for ESY and Best Practices
  • Healthcare & Telehealth Reminders
  • Summer Virtual Activities for Youth

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar.

May 14th 2020 "Know Your Rights" Disability Voting Rights Webinar

Information about Voting, the dates are regarding the Primary Election in June 2020, but information is relevant for all elections

  • NEW – Vote by mail
  • Registration and Eligibility
  • Key Deadlines
  • Accessibility
  • Right for assistance

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar.

April 16th 2020 Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) while Learning from Home

There are supports that students use at school that may be needed at home, while families are supporting distance learning to the best of their ability. IEP teams, which include families, should be reviewing the supports and services that are provided at school. Specially Designed Instruction(SDI) is an important part of the IEP. This webinar provides ideas for “virtual” strategies for how to bring SDI into your home and help your child find success while learning virtually.

April 7th 2020 The Big Three Accessibility Features Across Platforms

The purpose of the webinar was to raise awareness about features of the technology that students are using already that could be helpful for learning virtually. We did not intend to provide deep instruction of how to utilize the features during the webinar. Instead, we hope you were able to take away one or two things that might be helpful for the learners you support so that you can explore them further.

If you look at the PowerPoint handout, there are many links that you can click on that will take you to more in-depth information about different topics and step-by-step instructions. You can also access the additional handouts, which have specifics to each different platform (such as Windows, Google Chrome, Mac, iOS, etc.) and how to access the different accessibility features that are already part of the platforms.

If you hear or see something that you think may be helpful, and you are unsure of how to access it on the device that you or your child is using, you can reach out to your IEP team, school, or Intermediate Unit. If you need assistance with this, contact [email protected], and we will be able to help guide you in the right direction. You can also email Scott directly at [email protected] and he can help point you directly to specific information for help.

April 2nd 2020 Updates for Families – Learning at Home

The PEAL Team continues to gather and organize key information for families.

This week’s webinar focused on:

  • Highlighting new guidance from PDE
  • Setting priorities for learning at home
  • What’s working for families and students
  • Parent training needs for virtual learning
  • Questions and Concerns

Below are the resources we shared in the webinar.

March 25th 2020 Webinar-Questions Answered for Families During Time of Uncertainty

We understand that families have fears about regression, skill loss, behavior and other topics. PEAL Center broadcasted a webinar to share more detail about steps families can take during the school closure to monitor their child’s progress, to gather information and questions from families and to share resources.