Mission: The mission of the peal center is to ensure that children, youth, and adults with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active lives and participate as full members of their schools and communities by providing training, information, and technical assistance based on best practices to individuals, families and all people who support them.
Programs: The parent training and information center (pti) assists parents of children with disabilities to understand their child's disability, to navigate the special education system, familiar with instructional strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective, and effective communication skills to advocate for their children. In the past year we helped about 5,000 parents and 120 educators through one-on-one assistance via phone, email, and by attending iep meetings. We provided training for 961 people through a variety of training sessions. 92% of parents reported that the information they received from one-on-one assistance was very useful, and 100% of parents attending trainings reported the information they received was very useful. We presented our 8th annual inclusion conference.
family to family health information center (f2f) assists parents of children with special health care needs to access health care, trouble shoot health insurance problems, and access services at home and in the community. The f2f seeks to increase parents participation in decision-making at all levels, increase the ease of accessing needed services, and assist with transition to adult life including health care providers, employment and independent living. The f2f assisted 2,900 families and professionals through one-on-one assistance and 49 trainings on medical assistance around the state. 90% of families reported that the f2f services increased their ability to partner with professionals in decision-making.
state personnel development grant (spdg) worked with pattan, hune, and pen to lay the groundwork to develop a statewide parent network that would advocate for high expectations for students with complex instructional needs. This network will support parents to be effective team members with school personnel in planning for students to receive instruction in the general education curriculum. This initiative promotes presuming competence and viewing every student as a capable learner when provided the needed support. This year has been spent developing awareness materials for broad distribution including videos, webinars, and print materials with a goal of launching the network in 2014-2015 school year.
congregate care "imagine different" project completed three toolkit books to be used by parents, facilitators and systems to plan for the transition from institutional facilities to family life for children with disabilities. We have begun work to develop a statewide coalition of committed individuals to work to remove systemic barriers that would make this transition more difficult.
Professional with expertise in this field
As a juvenile probation officer, the trainings offered through our local PEAL representative was extremely helpful. The juvenile probation officers in my department and I feel better prepared to handle the educational aspects in our clients' lives.
I was selected to participate in the PEACE project - one of the many training opportunities the PEAL Center offers. Because of what I have learned, I now feel like a respected partner when I sit at the table for IEP meetings. I am aware of my rights. I know what I can ask for so my children can get the services they need.
I am now able to help the families I come into contact with as a home health nurse. I look forward to sharing what I have learned with other families.
I supported this organization since its inception. They also serve the disability community well across the State of Pennsylvania. i have expierenced first had how they work with communities and school districts. I have proudly and honorably since 2008. I commend the staff on their hard work in the past and in the future.
Through PEAL I have learned the skills needed to become a strong parental advocate in my childens' education. I am so thankful that I was one of the fortunate parents to be selected for the PEACE program. Through the education I received in the program and working with Christine, I have been able to achieve the FAPE that my children are entitled to.
Professional with expertise in this field
As a Speech and Language Specialist with the Pittsburgh Public Schools, I've found the services of the Peal Center to be extremely valuable. I've attended a number of their conferences as well as workshops provided by them. I've received excellent referrals for my students and their parents and have referred a number of friends, whose children have special needs, to the Peal Center. I look forward to continuing my relationship with them.
Prior to becoming a board member, I have attended PEAL conferences for the last several years as a client because they provide a wealth of relevant, credible information. I have also received information and support directly from PEAL staff relative to inclusion and my daughter's educational experience, and have found the staff to be friendly and helpful in addition to being extremely knowledgeable about education issues and inclusion.
I am very proud to be on the Board of Directors for the PEAL Center. The information and trainings that the staff at PEAL provide to the residents in the state of Pennsylvania are a valuable asset. I hear many positive comments from parents, school district personnel and agency employees who attend trainings, conferences and call for information. PEAL advocates have been very helpful in my Intermediate Unit and have attended IEP meetings in our area. They also have provided trainings in our IU. I am happy to be associated with such a wonderful organization.