Lia Pankake

LEND Trainee


Lia is a parent trainee, as she is the mother of a 5-year-old child with a disability. Her mother also acquired a disability as an adult, 12 years ago, and she has helped her navigate the challenges of living a full, meaningful life while having a disability. She has been a Speech and Language Pathologist for 17 years, having earned her graduate degree from the Ohio State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland. She has worked in school, early intervention, and pediatric outpatient therapy settings. She is currently taking Partners in Policymaking, an advocacy and leadership program, which has taught her the importance of creating systemic change. Through personal and professional experiences, she has worked hard to increase her knowledge of children’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and is passionate about educating children in the Least Restrictive Environment. She often finds herself helping other parents understand their children’s rights so that they can better advocate for the educational needs of their children with disabilities. Through the LEND program she hopes to increase her confidence so that can pursue leadership roles in advocacy and work to create inclusive communities that truly value members of all abilities.

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