Federal and PA Partners
PEN receives funding as a Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) from the US Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education-PA State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG). Parents and professionals will find their websites offer a variety of helpful information related to special education information, services and resources.
- US Department of Education: The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.
- US Department of Education: Parent and Family Engagement
The US Department of Education has created a section of their website with a stated mission of providing ways to "assist in building capacity for parents, families, and communities to fulfill the vision of the Secretary that every parent be a partner in learning and share in the responsibility of their child's education." This resource was mentioned by the ALLIANCE National PTAC.
- Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)
serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), so that they can focus their efforts on serving families of children with disabilities.
- Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) - Healthy Coping Skills for Families
The Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE)'s mission is to "improve the lives of our nation’s service members, families and veterans by advancing excellence in psychological health and traumatic brain injury prevention and care." For families with one or more deployed members, DCoE's "Healthy Coping Skills for Families" provides some tips for coping with the situation. This article was featured in the May 25, 2012 edition of Nevada PEP's "E-Communiqué" newsletter.
Managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, Disability.gov provides links to a broad range of resources on disability programs and services.
- Head Start - Dual Language Learners Section
Head Start, a federal program that promotes efforts to enable low-income children (up to age five) to become ready for schooling, has dedicated a section of their website to dual language learners. This section provides resources on topics related to dual language learners, including disabilities, early childhood development, family and community partnerships, health, professional development, and program design and management.
- Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)
According to the MCHB website, the MCHB's mission is "to provide leadership, in partnership with key stakeholders, to improve the physical and mental health, safety and well-being of the maternal and child health (MCH) population which includes all of the nation’s women, infants, children, adolescents, and their families, Including fathers and children with special health care needs.."
- Military Kids Connect
This initiative was created by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2), a Department of Defense agency. The website includes resources for military children, teachers, caregivers and parents, such as a discussion forum for children and advice on coping.
- MilitaryHOMEFRONT - Exceptional Family Member Program
The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) helps military families who have members with disabilities. Some of the EFMP services include "information and referral for military and community services, relocation assistance, financial management, local school and early intervention services information [and] case management." The EFMP also releases a newsletter titled The Exceptional Advocate.
- Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) Center
The mission of PACER Center is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents. PACER offers a wide range of special education information, publications and resources.
- STOMP Specialized Training of Military Parents
STOMP is the only National Parent Training and Information Center for military families providing support and advice to military parents without regard of the type of medical condition their child has.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education
The official website of the PA Department of Education (PDE), whose mission is to lead and serve the educational community.
- Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) - An office overseen by both the PA Department of Education and the PA Department of Public Welfare, OCDEL provides educational opportunities for young children through "a framework of supports and systems that help ensure that children and their families have access to high quality services."
- PA Bureau of Special Education Homepage- The Bureau's mission is to set high standards for all exceptional students in the Commonwealth receiving special education services and programs. The website includes a variety of information, links and resources for parents and educational professionals.
- PA Private Schools Directory (APS Directory)- Directory of Pennsylvania private schools and their services.
- Special Education in Pennsylvania- ConsultLine- provides assistance to families and advocates of children with special needs about: Special Education Regulations, School Related Concerns and Procedural Safeguards.
- Pennsylvania Department of Health The department's mission is to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent injury and disease, and to assure the safe delivery of quality health care for all Commonwealth citizens. The agency also works collaboratively with public and private partners in our communities to facilitate the development of an effective public health system. Special links to schools, community partners, maternal and child health services are available on the site.
- Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare - The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's website "features information to help families and individuals find the resources they need to live healthier, happier lives; as well as offering providers valuable information to help them in their day to day activities providing care and services for Pennsylvanians."
- Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) -The DRN has a mission "to advance, protect, and advocate for the human, civil, and legal rights of Pennsylvanians with disabilities." The organization's services include, but are not limited to, advocacy for people with a range of disabilities (including people who want to vote or need assistive technology) and services for Social Security beneficiaries interested in working.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness of Pennsylvania (NAMI) - NAMI is "the largest statewide non-profit organization dedicated to helping mental health consumers and their families rebuild their lives and conquer the challenges posed by severe and persistent mental illness."
- Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) Website - ODR provides the resources for parents and educational agencies to resolve disputes concerning the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities, students who are gifted and children with disabilities served by the early intervention system.
- Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) - The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation provides services for people with disabilities to help them become or stay employed. Available services include diagnostic services, vocational evaluation, vocational counseling, training, restoration services, placement assistance, assistive technology and other support services. To find the local office for a particular county, see the OVR Office Directory.
- PA Core Standards / SAS
The website of the Standards Aligned System (SAS), part of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, features downloads of the documents that make up the PA Core Standards. These standards were developed by a group of educators from Pennsylvania to
mirror the content and rigor of Common Core, but reflect the organization and design of the PA Academic Standards. In November 2013, the Standards were approved by Pennsylvania's Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), and in March 2014, the regulations came into effect.
- PA Parent Teacher Association (PTA) - PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States. A not-for-profit association of parents, educators, students, and other citizens active in their schools and communities, PTA is a leader in reminding our nation of its obligations to children. Visit their website for additional helpful resources.
- Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania - The Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania organization matches parents of children with disabilities with mentor parents who have been through similar experiences.
- Pennsylvania Parent Information and Resource Center (PA PIRC) - provides training and consultation to urban, rural and suburban communities throughout PA. Their priority is to deliver services to schools and communities that have families who live in poverty, minority families, families for whom English is a second language and families whose children have learning delays or disabilities.
- Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) - PSAYDN "promotes sustainable, high-quality out-of-school time youth development programs through advocacy and capacity building to enhance the welfare of Pennsylvania's children, youth and families."
- Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)- An initiative of the PA Department of Education working in partnership with families and local education agencies to support education programs and services. The website offers resources, information and links to special education information and programs.
- Pennsylvania's Promise for Children - PA's Promise for Children
is a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of providing Pennsylvania’s young children with access to quality early learning opportunities. They have created a tool called the Early Learning GPS (Guiding Parents Smoothly) to help family members of young children learn about early education.
- Project MAX: Maximizing Access and Learning - According to the Project MAX article on the PaTTAN website, the
Project MAX SPDG grant focuses on building capacity of LEAs and intermediate units (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.
- Governor’s Cabinet and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities (Governor’s Office for People with Disabilities)
According to the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor website, “the Governor’s Cabinet for People with Disabilities was established to make recommendations to the Governor on policies, procedure, regulations and legislation that assist people with disabilities in Pennsylvania. This Cabinet serves as a liaison to this specific population, and serve as a resource to entities under the Governor’s jurisdiction, ensuring equality for people with disabilities in all facets of state government within the commonwealth.”
As of August 16, 2011, the Cabinet can be contacted by the following means.
- The Cabinet can be contacted by mail at
P.O. Box 2675
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675
- The Cabinet can be reached by telephone at
- Toll Free: 866-229-9337
- TTY: 717-265-7427
- TTY Toll Free: 866-388-1114
- The Cabinet can be contacted by fax at 717-265-7698
- Additional Resources for Families: