Parent Leadership and Advocacy Training Program

mother and child
Through our LEND program, staff and family faculty are providing leadership training for parents and parent groups in Connecticut. The goal of the training is to increase leadership and advocacy skills for parents of children with disabilities.

The training is made up of six modules for a total of thirty-six hours, taking place over six sessions. Each module is focused on a specific topic and has learning objectives, PowerPoint presentations and handouts. Parent groups may elect to receive the full 36 hour training or they may select content from the six modules, which can be customized to meet the specific needs of the group. Training is provided in local communities of the sponsoring parent group at no cost.

Since December 2010, more than 255 parents have participated in the training and all have rated it highly in an anonymous survey. Training is provided throughout the state. Groups have included participants from North Star Parent Group, Bristol SEPTO, American School for the Deaf, Abilis and Together We Shine Parent Group, which represent participants from Fairfield, New Haven, Hartford, and Middlesex Counties.

The following list shows the content of the Modules in greater detail:

Module One

  • History of the disability and parent movements
  • Overview of policies affecting people with disabilities

Module Two

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP)/Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

Module Three

  • Transition
  • Adult services and independent living
  • Guardianship

Module Four

  • The legislative process
  • Effective strategies to work with policy makers

Module Five

  • Health care financing
  • Medical home
  • Effective strategies to access care

Module Six

  • Effective communication strategies
  • Parents as advisors
  • Skills to run a meeting
  • Effective advocacy strategies
  • Ethics
  • Life experience and college credit

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