Sunday, March 28, 2021

Virginia Family Special Education Connection

The Virginia Family Special Education website provides a one-stop-shop for parents, families, caregivers of children with special needs.


Parents and families can and do make a different in their child’s education.


Check out this website:


News from VDOE for Families

Nine Recommendations for Inclusive Learning Recovery for Students with Disabilities

The following organizations focused on supporting students with disabilities, along with families and educators, have developed these 9 Recommendations for Inclusive Learning Recovery for Students with Disabilities.  

  • The Advocacy Institute
  • The Center for Learner Equity
  • The Council for Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
  • The Council for Exceptional Children
  • The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
  • The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
  • The National Disability Rights Network
  • The National Down Syndrome Congress

These recommendations have been identified as necessary to maximize the impact for students with disabilities and to ensure equitable access to strategies for learning recovery.


Critical Decision Points Arrow

Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities Videos

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of several scheduled Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities in-person training events. While the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is eager to get these rescheduled, we recognize that it could be some time before that happens. In the meantime, the VDOE's Coordinator of Family Engagement, Tracy Lee, has recorded five video modules for families to access at home.  They are currently housed on the VDOE's YouTube Channel.

Critical Decision Points Session 1

Critical Decision Points Session 2

Critical Decision Points Session 3

Critical Decision Points Session 4

Critical Decision Points Session 5

The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) Upcoming Events

PEATC, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)presents the following two virtual events:

The 2021 Behavior Summit will provide valuable information and a live Q&A with experts from the Old Dominion University (ODU) and the VDOE. For more information about dates and registration, please refer to the 2021 Behavior Summit flyer.

 The Capacity Building for IEP Teams and the Capacity Building for IEP Teams 2.0 virtual events are designed to help IEP Teams build capacity around participating in IEP meetings and collaboration.  Capacity Building for IEP Teams 2.0 is an advanced workshop for IEP Team members who have completed the first workshop. For more information about dates and registration, please refer to the Capacity Building for IEP Teams and Capacity Building for IEP Teams 2.0 flyer.


I'm Determined Move Summit

 Empowering African American Males with Disabilities to Overcome Barriers, Become Self-Determined, and to Graduate High School College & Career Ready.

Each July, the Virginia Department of Education welcomes African-American males with disabilities from across the Commonwealth to participate in a three-day summit. The 2021 MOVE Summit will be a virtual event July 18-20.

Through utilizing state leadership and mentors, young men ages 13-21 engage in activity-based learning. Participants unlock their potential to overcome barriers, become self-determined, and graduate high school to be college and career ready.

Concurrent parent workshops offer resources and tools to promote self-determination in their sons and increase parent engagement in the education process.

The MOVE Summit is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education. All costs associated with lodging and meals are covered, as well as reimbursement for mileage to and from the event.

To submit an application, go to

Virtual Exercise Class!

The disAbility Resource Center holds a virtual exercise class each week.

Keep the Beat with Tennie! Register for this live, virtual exercise class, to get the body moving and the hear pumping!  Classes will be held every Wednesday from 10:30 to 11am EST.    To register, to go:


Sunday, March 21, 2021

News from PEATC


  • Anatomy of an IEP | March 25 at 7:00 PM. This presentation will dissect the IEP, examine the parts individually, learn the functions of each section, and how the parts come together to create a whole document. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn constructive and practical tips to help create an IEP that supports the student accessing a free and appropriate public education.
  • Introduction to Autism and ABA | April 21st at 2:00 PM. This workshop will provide attendees with a basic understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). From the characteristics of autism to the functions of behavior, this presentation will allow participants to learn about autism and take away some practical tools to use in supporting children on the spectrum.
  • Ins and Outs of IEPs (MILITARY ONLY) | April 29th at 11:30 AM. This presentation will help prepare parents for what to expect in the IEP meeting, and how to have a productive student-focused meeting. From preplanning before the meeting to working together afterwards, this presentation will build relationships and advocacy skills of the parents while focusing on the needs of the student.
  • Turning 18 in VA: What Individuals with Disabilities Need to Consider | May 6th at 7:00 PM. Turning 18 is a big deal for all individuals. An 18-year-old is legally considered an adult in Virginia. Therefore, when your child turns 18, they are the person that makes legal, financial, medical, and educational decisions in their life. For some individuals with disabilities, this will not be an issue. Others may need support. This workshop will share basic information about things that need to be considered as your loved one turns 18.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Financial Aid Information or After High School

 FAFSA Assistance Available for High School Seniors

FAFSA completion rates are down in Virginia almost 10% from this time last year, with more drastic decreases at Title I-eligible schools and at schools that serve a population over 40% Black and Hispanic.  To address this urgent need for students and families in Virginia, Virginia College Access Network (VirginiaCAN) and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) are partnering on a statewide effort. Four college access organizations have banded together to offer one-on-one FAFSA assistance. 

Starting March 15th, students and families can go to

Schedule a meeting, and you will be connected with an access provider from Access College Foundation, ECMC’s The College Places, GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program (GRASP), the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), or the Virginia College Advising Corps (VCAC).

Though the service is open to all, we appreciate your help in promoting this to low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation students in particular.  This is a first-time collaboration of these organizations meant to address disproportionate effects of the pandemic.

Questions?  Contact Joy Pugh at 

Fredericksburg Area Council on Transition; Guardianship Webinar


Register for this event here:

Partners in Policymaking; A Wonderful Opportunity


The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 Partners in Policymaking program is nearly here! Get your application in now. There's no time to lose!

Partners in Policymaking

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on March 19, 2021. To download your application form, Click here

Center on Family Involvement; Supported Decision Making Webinar

 Supported Decision Making presented by guardianship guru Jonathan Martinis. The second is our series, “Introduction to Supported Decision Making in Special Education,” will occur on Thursday, April 1st at 4:00 pm EST.

In this session, we will discuss ways to use Supported Decision-Making to ensure that people with disabilities receive appropriate and effective supports in Special Education. We’ll give you practical, research-based strategies to help people receive Individualized Education Programs and Transition Services that will empower them to lead their best lives.
This free webinar is open to staff, families, and Parent to Parent supporters nationwide and will be recorded. There is a max of 100 spots for this webinar and registration is required:

Center on Transition Innovations

 March's monthly theme: Student-centered planning.


When it comes to student-centered transition planning, postsecondary goals are designed with students’ active involvement in the process of planning, communicating, and evaluating the progress toward these goals.


Content we’ll be sharing this month:

·      Discovering ME: Using a Youth-focused Discovery Process to Build Customized Work-based Learning Experiences (webcast)

·      Implementing the Discovery Process (Fast Fact and training)

·      Discovering ME! Meetings (webinar series) 

·      Discovering ME! Replication Guide (PDF) 

To learn more about Student-Centered Planning and other Transition Topics, check out their website at:

Virginia Family Special Education Connection

The Virginia Family Special Education website provides a one-stop-shop for parents, families, caregivers of children with special needs.   P...