Parent Education Network

2107 Industrial Highway, York, PA 17402
(717) 600-0100 V/TTY,
(800) 522-5827 V/TTY (Toll-Free, PA Only)
or (800) 441-5028 (Español)
Fax: (717) 600-8101

"Respecting the Right of Parents to Make Educational Decisions for Their Children."

"PEN recognizes, supports and enhances the opportunities for children and youth with disabilities and their families to maximize their potential. PEN promotes mutual respect and collaboration between parents and professionals for the knowledge, skills and abilities each contributes to the education and development of children and youth with disabilities."

image image image image


Follow Us:

  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on YouTube
  • Follow us on Yahoo Groups

PEN's Quarterly Newsletter

Did you know PENews is available by e-mail?
If you would like to receive our newsletter by e-mail
& help us go green,

PEN Workshops, Webinars,  Educational & Advocacy  E-mail Alerts

If you are interested in receiving this information via e-mail,

Welcome to PEN - Parent Education Network!

PEN brochures

For more information on available workshops and publications, download PEN's Workshop and Publications Brochure (Brochure en Español).


NewProject MAX Tools and Video

Project Max: Maximizing Access and Learning title slideProject MAX: Maximizing Access and Learning has released several tools and a video.

According to the Project MAX article on the PaTTAN website, the Project MAX SPDG grant focuses on building capacity of LEAs and IUs to provide students with complex instructional needs with access to and learning of grade level academic standards, including the Pennsylvania Core Standards. In the course of its work, the project is developing several tools and documents, which are offered for download in the later half of PaTTAN's Project MAX article.

The project has also released a video titled Project Max - Maximizing Access and Learning: A Staircase to Success for Student with Disabilities. Visit PaTTAN's website to view the Project MAX video.


NewSpring 2014 Events - McAndrews Law Offices

McAndrews Law Offices websiteThis spring, McAndrews Law Offices will be partnering with other organizations in Pennsylvania to hold seminars on education topics.

The following seminars will be held:

  • Education Clinic (April 27, 2014 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM)
  • Special Education and Bullying: The Responsibility of School Districts, and
    Lessons to be Learned from the Jerry Sandusky Trial: Preventing Abuse and Understanding its Repercussions
    (May 15, 2014 from 2:00 to 6:00 PM)
    • This seminar will cover children's educational rights, including the school district's obligation to address bullying in a child's IEP. In addition, Joseph McGettigan, Esq., the successful prosecutor in the Jerry Sandusky trial and an attorney at McAndrews Law Offices, will discuss the prosecution and the importance of awareness surrounding abuse. Finally, attendees who want to meet with an attorney should bring their child's IEP and other relevant documents.
    • Location: Wilkes University - Second Floor Ballroom at 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
    • May 15 Seminar Flyer (PDF), May 15 Seminar Flyer (Word document)

For more information about these upcoming events, contact McAndrews Law Offices at 570-969-1817 or view the previous flyers.


New2014 Art Contest for People with Disabilities

ART: The Universal Language's rounded logoPennsylvania's First Lady Susan Corbett has announced an art contest for Pennsylvania residents with disabilities. This art contest is sponsored by the Arc of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Interested Pennsylvania residents with disabilities will have until Monday, August 25, 2014 to submit an image of their artwork created in one of the following categories: Pen/Pencil, Watercolor, Acrylic, Oil, Sculpture, Jewelry, Photography, Textile, and Mixed Media/Other. In addition, first, second and third place winners will be selected for three age groups: 12 and younger, 13 through 17, and 18 and older. Some of those winning artists will have their works displayed in Harrisburg, and the Governor and First Lady will be part of the judging for the "best in show" category.

To learn more about the contest or how to submit artwork, visit the ART: The Universal Language contest page. You can also contact Enable JavaScript to show e-mails. , Devon Grant ( Enable JavaScript to show e-mails. or 717-783-4287) or Pam Klipa ( Enable JavaScript to show e-mails. or 717-234-2621).


Parent Education Network EventSpecial Needs Trusts and IEP Clinic in Scranton

Flyer for Scranton eventOn Thursday, April 24, 2014, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, McAndrews Law Offices, P.C. and Parent Education Network are offering a free training opportunity in Scranton, PA. The event is titled Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) & Special Needs Trusts.

The event will cover the topics of Understanding Your Child's Educational Rights and IEP, and Special Needs Trusts: Planning for Children with Special Needs. After the presentations, attendees will have a chance to meet with an attorney from McAndrews Law Offices to discuss individual circumstances and any relevant paperwork.

These presentations and clinic are free and open to the public. They will be held at Lackawanna College Lyceum at the Corner of Jefferson & Vine, in Scranton, PA. Heather M. Hulse, J.D., M.S., M.A. and Crystal L. Welton, J.D., LL.M. of McAndrews Law Offices will be presenting.

To read the information in another format, download the flyer about the Scranton event (image). For any questions about the presentations and clinic, call 570-969-1817. In addition, you can visit or


New2014 Bullying Prevention Webinar Series

Center for Safe Schools websiteIn 2014, the Center for Safe Schools is holding a free webinar series on bullying prevention. Each webinar will be held on the third Thursday of the month from 3:00 to 4:15 PM EDT.

According to the Center for Safe Schools website, this series is for educators, parents and youth-serving professionals. Supported with funding from the Highmark Foundation, each session will provide information on the most current research or relevant topics to the field of bullying prevention.

As of March 6, 2014, the following parts of the series have been listed on the website:

  • Using Age Appropriate Literature to Support Bullying Prevention — March 20, 2014 (3:00 to 4:15 PM EDT)
  • Best Practices in Bullying Prevention: Components of Effective Practice at the School Level — April 17, 2014 (3:00 to 4:15 PM EDT)
  • What Administrators Need to Know About Bullying Prevention — May 15, 2014

For the most recent information or to sign up for a webinar, visit the Center for Safe Schools Professional Development page. Recordings of past webinars are also available on that page.


Parent Education Network EventVideo on National Reading Media Assessment

National Reading Media Assessment websiteThe Videos page features a new video called The National Reading Media Assessment (NRMA) for Blind or Visually Impaired Children.

During this webinar, Casey Robertson guides the audience step-by-step through an online assessment for the blind and visually impaired. This assessment, the National Reading Media Assessment (NRMA), can be used to help determine if a student with a visual impairment should be reading large print, braille or both.


NewScreenings in 2014 of Bully Film

Center for Safe Schools websiteThe Highmark Foundation, Center for Safe Schools and Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention are providing free community screenings of an edited version of the 45-minute documentary titled Bully.

According to the event description, the film Bully follows two youth and their families over the course of a school year. Bullying is a widespread problem that includes and affects all; whether victims, perpetrators or silent bystanders. [Bully] aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers and society as a whole. A facilitated session conducted by Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Trainers/Consultants will be held after the viewing with professionals who can offer additional insights and solutions to this nationwide problem.

As of February 18, 2014, the dates for the following viewing locations have been announced:

  • JPL, Harrisburg, PA — February 19, 2014 (6:00 to 7:30 PM)
  • Holy Cross Church, Reading, PA — March 25, 2014 (6:00 to 7:30 PM)
  • Goodwill of Southwestern PA, Pittsburgh, PA — March 26, 2014 (6:00 to 7:30 PM)
  • Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Milton, PA — April 30, 2014 (6:00 to 7:30 PM)
  • Carnegie Elementary School/Carlynton School District, Carnegie, PA — May 5, 2014 (4:30 to 6:00 PM)
  • MEP Statewide Conference Eisenhower Hotel & Conference Center, Gettysburg, PA — May 17, 2014 (6:00 to 7:30 PM)
  • Allentown Library, Allentown, PA — June 11, 2014 (6:00 - 7:30 PM)

For the latest screening locations, registration instructions and contact information, visit the page about the Bully screenings.


Parent Education Network EventVideo on Athletic and Nonacademic Activities

Nonacademic, Athletic and Extracurricular Activities title slideThe Videos page features a new video called Athletic Extracurricular Activities and Students with Disabilities, District's Obligations under the IDEA and Section 504.

During this webinar, Charlie covers how the rights to access and participate in nonacademic, athletic and extracurricular activities can be covered by two federal discrimination laws. Those laws are Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, Charlie explains how another law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), also applies. Later, he discusses example legal cases related to the subject.


Parent Education Network EventWinter 2014 PENews Released

PENews Newsletter heading with faded textParent Education Network (PEN) has released the winter edition of PENews, PEN's quarterly newsletter. This edition introduces a helpful resource called the Annotated IEP Form and provides excerpts of popular sections from the resource.

For more information, check out the Winter 2014 edition of PENews (PDF). You can visit PaTTAN's website to download the English School-Age Annotated IEP Form (PDF), or download the Spanish (Español) translation of the School-Age Annotated IEP Form (PDF) provided by Parent Education Network.


NewThe Rights of People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

DRN websiteThe Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN), supported by a grant from PADDC, has released information on the rights, in various settings, of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The information, titled Rights of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, is broken into several topics by situation or place. The topics cover a person's rights and tips for effective communication from:

  • Courts and Lawyers
  • Entertainment
  • Intellectual Disability Services
  • Medical Settings (Doctors and Hospitals)
  • People at Work
  • Police and Jails

To learn more, visit DRN's website for the page discussing the rights of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The page includes English and Spanish PDF copies of the information, as well as American Sign Language (ASL) and captioned video versions. For more information, DRN can be contacted by telephone at 800-692-7443 (extension 400).


NewDisability Experience Survey - Your Voice Matters

LVCIL websiteLehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL), with funding from PADDC, has organized a survey for people with disabilities, their caregivers and disability service providers.

According to the PDF copy of the Disability Experience Survey, LVCIL "is looking to develop a Commonwealth-centered plan for service delivery," and the survey responses will help the program target "areas that are important to all people with disabilities. Later, "town hall" meetings for discussions based on the results of the survey are planned for Spring 2014.

To participate in the survey, visit the online Disability Experience Survey. The survey is also available in other formats, including a PDF copy of the Disability Experience Survey (Disability Experience Survey PDF en Español). Groups supporting people with disabilities will also have an opportunity to provide their opinions by hosting a session titled A Conversation About the Future (PDF). Interested groups or individuals with questions about the survey can contact Paul Fogle at 610-770-9781 (extension 141), or Enable JavaScript to show e-mails. .

For information about the Your Voice Matters program, check out the Your Voice Matters PDF (Your Voice Matters PDF en Español). Information about LVCIL's efforts is also available on the LVCIL website.


English and Spanish Resources on Recent Healthcare Law

Kaiser Family Foundation websiteDisability Rights Network (DRN) and the Kaiser Family Foundation ("Kaiser") have created English and Spanish resources about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as "Obamacare."

A few of the resources include the following links:


A Thank You to NICHCY

NICHCY websiteThe National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, NICHCY, is closing its doors after more than twenty years of being a "go-to" resource for the latest on disabilities research, and resources for infants, children and youth with disabilities and the special education laws.

Parents, families and professionals have benefitted greatly by the consistent excellent resources and programming. NICHCY will be greatly missed.

The NICHCY website will remain available until September 30, 2014. We encourage you to take the time to visit their website. We thank NICHCY for their wonderful resources that they provided over the past two decades.


Parent Engagement Speaker Series in 2013 to 2014

MCIU website advertising Speaker SymposiumThe Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU) is offering parent engagement workshops in 2013 and 2014, as part of their Top 5 Parent Engagement Speaker Series.

According to the MCIU flyer for the series (PDF), these workshops are "designed to provide families with information, answers, and resources to maximize the student educational experience." The school districts of Springfield Township, Wissahickon and Spring-Ford Area are hosting the workshops, which are scheduled for the following sessions:

Check out the prior registration links to learn more about a particular session.


PA Youth Leadership Network and Youth Statewide Initiative Webinars

PYLN websiteIn 2013 and 2014, the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) and Youth Statewide Initiative (YSI) are holding several webinars.

This group of webinars will include the following sessions:

  • History of Centers for Independent Livings – How can they support you? (October 16, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
  • What is Secondary Transition? (November 13, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
  • Taking control of your healthcare transition (December 11, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
  • What can OVR do for you? (January 8, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
  • Work Incentive: You can work. What questions do you need to ask? (February 12, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
  • Assistive Technology & Accommodations (March 12, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
  • Healthy Relationships (April 9, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
  • Face to Face with PYLN: What do you want to know from PYLN? (May 14, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM)

For questions regarding the webinars, contact Lavinia G. Ritter by e-mail at Enable JavaScript to show e-mails. . To visit the registration pages for the webinars, check out the PYLN and YSI webinar schedule (PDF).


Effective Practices for Secondary Transition Webinars 2013

Effective Practices brochureThe Pennsylvania Community on Transition and PaTTAN are collaborating to offer a webinar series titled Effective Practices for Secondary Transition: 2013-2014 Community of Practice (COP).

According to the Effective Practices brochure (PDF), this series of webinars will "examine current effective practices in Secondary Transition for students with disabilities." The webinars include:

  • An Overview of School and Community-Based Effective Practices in Pennsylvania (October 16, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
  • Effective Practices: Financial Education (November 20, 2013 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM)
  • Effective Practices: Successful Health Transitions (December 11, 2013 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM)
  • Effective Practices: Labor Laws (January 8, 2014 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM)
  • Effective Practices: Transition for Youth who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (January 22, 2014 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM)
  • Effective Practices: Instructional Accessible Materials (March 5, 2014 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM)
  • Effective Practices: Secondary Transition and Inclusive Practices (March 19, 2014)
  • Effective Practices: Employment Options (April 30, 2014)

For registration information and details on each of the webinars, download the Effective Practices brochure (PDF).


PaTTAN 2013 Family Engagement Webinar Series

Family Engagement Series flyer

In September 2013, November 2013, January 2014 and April 2014, PaTTAN is holding a series of webinars titled Family Engagement: LEA to LEA Webinar Series.

According to the family engagement series flyer (PDF), "members of Local Education Agencies (LEAs) throughout Pennsylvania along with PaTTAN educational consultants will share current practices and strategies for other LEAs to consider as a means to enhance their interactions with family members." Four webinars are planned for the series:

For more information, or to register for webinars in this series, visit the previous registration pages, and check out the family engagement series flyer (PDF).


Surveys for Exiting Students with IEPs

Are you, or someone you know, a student with an IEP who is graduating or has exited high school 1 year ago? If so, you may be receiving a survey in the future from your school district. School districts in Pennsylvania are required to survey all student leavers (graduates, drop-outs and students who age out) who have an IEP.

These surveys give students the chance to provide feedback about their schooling experience and their activities after high school. This feedback is kept confidential and is used to help improve the education of students with disabilities. As PACER suggests: Be a Superstar—Take the Survey (video), or Sé una Super-Estrella—Toma la Encuesta (video en Español).

Read the document about the student surveys (PDF) for more information.


About Us

PEN is part of a national system of Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs), serving South Central, Northeast, Southeast and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We are a non-profit funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 2009 marked our 25 year anniversary of service to parents of children with disabilities. PEN is a coalition of professionals and parents of children representing a range of disabilities and ages. We are committed to serving parents of all special needs children birth to adulthood; including parents of children in general education classes, educational/residential placement, adult systems and those children not yet identified as needing service.

PEN provides technical assistance, information, skill development trainings, workshops and referral services to parents to help children reach their full potential in educational, vocational and community settings. Much of the information included in this site is designed to support Pennsylvania parents of children with special needs, but information and links are included on Federal Special Education, National Disability Issues and Resources and Special Education Legal links that will also pertain to parents and individuals with disabilities in other states. We hope you find the following information helpful.

Since our primary objective is to support parents, please feel free to call us for further information or assistance. Parents within Pennsylvania may reach us at our toll free number, 1-800-522-5827 or 1-800-441-5028 (Español). Thank you for visiting.

image image image image image
PEN can help families understand special education laws.
PEN can help families understand their rights and responsibilities.
PEN can help families better understand their child's disability and educational needs.
PEN can help families communicate more effectively with school and related service professionals.
PEN can help families connect with other community resources.

The publications, videos and information on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education and are not intended as legal advice.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M100013. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, David Emenheiser.

El contenido de este sitio de web fue desarrollado con una subvención del Departamento de Educación de los Estado Unidos, #H328M100013. Aunque el Departamento de Educación fundo este projecto, el contenido no representa necesariamente las pólizas del Departamento de Educación y usted no debe asumir su aprobación por el gobierno federal. Oficial de Proyecto, David Emenheiser.

To help make our website more accessible to people with disabilities, PEN's goal is to follow Level A of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG). If you find an accessibility problem or have difficulty accessing a part of our website, please contact us.