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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

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.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 2

Didn't know my area of the state. Couldn't answer my question or offer suggestion besides file a complaint.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The most impressive thing to me about the PEAL Center is besides it's outstanding help to all families and school districts, their community education workshops are invaluable.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Only supports parents if the child wants inclusion. Otherwise, they don't support you at all. They also will not attend IEP meetings.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a parent-to-parent supporter, especially in the area of special education, I frequently refer families to PEAL because I know PEAL gives top-notch information and guidance. I also encourage parents to attend the annual PEAL Conference on inclusion. It is THE place in Western PA for parents to learn how to obtain the best possible education for children with disabilities.



Review from Guidestar

Kathy C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I hope PEAL wins the contest. I have attended the PEAL Center's conference, know some of the excellent staff, and utilize their information in connection with my own children and in serving others who have different abilities. The focus on inclusion is such a wonderful initiative which serves so many people. The support and encouragement provided to parents is excellent. Blessings!

Review from Guidestar

Bucks T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There are so many reasons why I believe the Peal Center should be selected he Guidestar $5,000 non-profit sweepstakes. I loved the Peal Center Parent Leadership Class which gave me the confidence and knowledge to become the Cochair Parent of the Bucks County Right to Educate Local Task Force. They teach you how to be effective advocate for your child as well as the importance of improving the system (i.e. education, healthcare, work force) for the next child. Peal host a conference every year that focus on the rights of children with disabilities. The conference is filled with wonderful speakers and an excellent resource fair as well a time to relax and socialize with other parents who “get it.” Most importantly, when ever you need words of encouragement you can always call for support!

Review from Guidestar

Carrie S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

PEAL has made me such a force for my childs education! I felt so powerful after our first meeting that I signed up to volunteer. This organization has given me sooooo much information that I have started to speard the word, rapidly. These people know more about my sons disability and how to talk to trhe school district about it than anyone else on earth. I am so thankful to have able to be guided by there information!!!!!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

The PEAL center has worked extensively with the parents, as well as professionals, within our public school system. I have always appreciated the best-practice strategies offered by PEAL.

Review from Guidestar

Gerald T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

PEAL makes a real impact on families and it is immediate. They help parents network, streamline services, navigate bureaucratic challenges, and so much more. The first meeting we attended resulted in our son getting a wider range of services and coordination with services and the medical task force he is a part of -- PEAL helps your family financially (learning what s out there) and gives you so many avenues of support that your family is never alone. PEAL has made a huge difference in our family's life, they can help any family that is working with special needs children.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I attended the training program regarding inclusion and IEP conducted by PEAL. It has tremendously helped me in being more informed about the rules/laws and helped to be a better advocate for my son.

The PEAL staff has been very helpful in answering my questions when I was having issues with the school district.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

PEAL is the place I go for the most up-to-date information on disability issues and advocacy support.

John V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

PEAL is A+ they help people

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

2 years ago, my autistic son was having the most challenging time in his life, which automatically made his entire household go through pure misery. Obviously he did horribly in school and I knew him staying in his educational placement wouldn't benefit anybody.
I had a chance to talk to one of PEAL center staff. She listened to me patiently and comforted me. She had one other PEAL person contact me shortly after that to offered me to help as I had to meet with his school administrators.
Fortunately, my son's condition improved greatly over a year and he's been manageable at home and at his new placement. However, what PEAL center staffs did when I was in the lowest point of my life is unforgettable. As other parents agree that they never stop empathizing no matter how many thousand times they consult with parents of disabled children. My own parents and extended families may be willing to understand what my husband and I go through, but I know they can't, simply because they can't fathom how it is to raise an autistic child. How comforting it is, sometimes, to be able to create 'ugly' pictures in someone else's head! Just by doing that, my original picture somewhat shrinks less vivid in color and I feel better!
Emotional support of parents is not just what they specializes. They are extraordinarily resourceful. The amount of information they can offer to whoever seek them does show their belief in 'knowledge as power' and 'playing by rule'. This center is definitely a great resource for anyone who shares the same belief.

Review from Guidestar