Parent Information Sessions and Training Workshops

Workshops and trainings can be requested by organizations, groups, and schools based on the needs of parents.  See our Events Calendar for information on those that have been scheduled in your area. We also provide sessions in Spanish.

Topics include but are not limited to:

The Transition from Preschool to School Age Special Education Services

This session will offer parents preparing for their child’s transition from preschool to kindergarten and school-age special education services. Topics covered include: legal entitlements to appropriate services and supports in the least restrictive environment, comparison of Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and Committee on Special Education (CSE) services and programs, CSE members’ roles and responsibilities, disability classifications and IEP development, and services available through special education during elementary school years and beyond.

First Steps in the Special Education Process

This presentation will assist parents in understanding the process which is used to address concerns about a child’s progress in school and determine if the student requires special education services.  This includes how a referral can be made, how an evaluation is conducted and how eligibility for special education services is determined.

Understanding Special Education: An Orientation for Parents

This full-day workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of the Special Education process.  It is geared to parents of students with IEPs who were recently classified, or those looking to gain greater understanding of this complex process.

CPSE/CSE Parent Member Training

This full-day workshop will provide an overview and best practices approach to the CPSE/CSE process to educate parents and Parent Members and assist them to develop techniques and strategies to become effective members of the IEP team in their respective roles.

Understanding Your Child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)

This presentation will provide a review of the language and type of information that goes in each section of an Individualized Education Program (IEP); who contributes information; how progress is monitored and how a student’s needs of concern to a parent, are considered throughout the process. A tool that can be used to include the student’s voice during the development of the IEP is also highlighted.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) – Exploring How Educational Placement is Determined

This presentation will support parents in understanding the educational placement determination of the CSE, and how they can effectively participate in that process.  Participants will be introduced to the New York State regulations and policies concerning least restrictive environment (LRE) for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Understanding Services Provided through a Section 504 Plan

This presentation will provide parents with a better understanding of the laws that affect students with disabilities and how services and supports can be provided to ensure students are participating fully in the programs and services offered in the general education curriculum. Differences between a Section 504 Accommodation Plan and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be reviewed.

Parents as Partners: Effective Communication within Special Education

This presentation will offer parents a review of basic communication skills that can be useful during meetings and other discussions about their child’s education program. Building confidence in the ability to communicate clearly and effectively will assist parents in becoming meaningful partners within the special education process.

Preparing for an Annual Review Meeting

This presentation will provide parents with a broad understanding of what is typically discussed during a child’s annual review meeting with the Committee on Special Education (CSE), which reviews the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and its effectiveness, resulting in recommendations for the upcoming school year. Specific tips on how to be better prepared to effectively participate in this discussion will be provided. Problem-solving strategies to address concerns will also be suggested to help parents work with their school team to achieve positive outcomes.

Talking To Our Children About Their Learning Differences:  Promoting Self-Awareness & Self-Determination

This presentation will allow participants to engage in discussions with your child about their disability or learning differences, with a positive eye toward self-awareness and self-determination. The workshop will explore tools to support students in expressing themselves as a member of their CSE, so as to develop a quality IEP that respects and accommodates unique individual needs.

Exploring Behavior Challenges and Supporting Students – Understanding Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans

This presentation will provide parents with the information they need to know to effectively participate with their Committee on Special Education in exploring behavior supports.  Discussion will include the CSE’s consideration of the need for a functional behavior assessments (FBA) and/or a behavior intervention plan (BIP).

First Steps in the Career Planning Process

This presentation will review the career assessment process which schools are required to provide to students beginning at age 12 in order  to determine career-related skills, talents and interests. Parents will learn how to provide information about their child’s strengths and abilities and engage their child in the decision-making process as future planning goals are developed in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Transition Planning for Life after High School

This presentation will give parents an overview of how planning for their child’s transition to adulthood is incorporated into the IEP at age 15. Parents will learn how future goals will be identified and how needed transition activities to reach those goals can be provided to the student. The importance of parent involvement and the student’s participation in the transition planning process will be discussed.

Assistive Technology Considerations in Special Education

This presentation will offer parents an overview explaining how a student’s need for Assistive Technology (AT) must be considered during the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Included will be a general review of the assistive technology evaluation, types of devices and services, and  considerations as older students prepare to transition from school to a community environment including employment and post secondary education settings such as college.

Preparing for the Transition to College

This presentation is designed to assist parents of young adults with an IEP or 504 Plan in understanding the differences that can be expected as students move from high school to a college setting. Topics include: laws which govern services at the college level; the process to access academic accommodations; disability documentation requirements; the changing role of parents; and tips on what students can do now to gain the necessary skills needed for a successful college experience.

Pathways to GraduationUnderstanding Diploma Requirements, Options, Scoring and Commencement Credentials 

(Generally for parents of youth in 8th grade or higher)

This presentation will offer parents information about the requirements that need to be met in order for any student to graduate with a Regents or local diploma. The available pathway options to meet these requirements includes the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential, which  can motivate students to stay in school and develop the skills necessary to succeed in a variety of career paths. Attendees will also be informed of the appeals process to determine if a student may graduate with a diploma using a lower score.  Additional scoring options for students with disabilities will be explained, along with the criteria to request a review for graduation-level proficiency of those students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) who cannot meet the graduation standards through the existing options.

Understanding the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential

(Generally for parents of students in 8th grade or higher, who are not participating in the NYS Alternate Assessment)

This presentation will inform parents of the requirements for an optional certificate of work-readiness that students can earn to increase knowledge and experience needed for entry-level employment opportunities. This credential can be used to meet the requirements for one social studies Regents exam, and other safety net options, to graduate with a diploma.

Understanding the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential

(Generally for parents of children with disabilities who participate in the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) program rather than standardized state testing)

This presentation will offer a brief overview on the requirements that need to be met in order for a student to earn a diploma but will mostly focus on understanding the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential which is only awarded to students participating in the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) program, upon exit from school. Parents will learn how this credential documents and identifies a student’s level of achievement and independence utilizing skills that improve the ability of a student to function in work settings and in the community.

Transitioning from Special Education to Adult Services

This presentation will give an overview of the different adult service systems which must be accessed by families in order to receive continued support services or programming for young adults as they prepare to exit from high school seeking employment opportunities, independence in their community and continued learning. Suggestions will be provided for parents to consider as they prepare for the many changes that can be expected as their child transitions from special education to adulthood.