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SPAN Awarded Two Parent Center Technical Assistance Center Cooperative Agreements

The SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) is pleased to announce their successful renewal of two cooperative agreements from the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP): (1) The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) and (2) Navigating Excellence — Parent Center Assistance and Collaboration Team (NE-PACT).

Both grants support the Parent Center Network — Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) — throughout the country.  These dedicated Parent Centers provide information, training, and support for families of children with disabilities as they navigate the early intervention and education systems, and as they grow and age out of public education into employment, independent living, and higher education opportunities.

The CPIR has been under the SPAN roof since 2013.  It supports the almost 100 Parent Centers throughout the US and its territories with high quality resources and professional development for Parent Center staff.  Its website (parentcenterhub.org) houses around 1,200 resources developed by a cooperative group of advisors and partners with expertise in disability advocacy and in the laws and practices related to early intervention, education, and transition to adulthood.

The CPIR is coordinated by a talented team with decades of personal and professional experience who bring a wide range of abilities to their roles as leaders and advisors to the Parent Center Network.  Led by SPAN Co-Director Debra Jennings, the CPIR represents a collaboration between SPAN, Parent to Parent of Georgia (one of the four Regional Parent TA Centers), and a network of other Parent TA Centers and partners.

NE-PACT has been housed at SPAN since 2003.  In the past, it served as one of six Regional Parent Technical Assistance Centers (RPTACs) providing support to Parent Centers throughout the US and its territories.  As the former Region 1 PTAC, NE-PACT covered the northeastern states of CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, and VT.  With this new award, it is one of four RPTACs and will serve 26 Parent Centers in the nine former states plus DC, DE, MD, and the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Co-led by SPAN Co-Director Diana Autin and Director of Family and Professional Development Carolyn Hayer, NE-PACT represents a collaboration between all of the Parent Centers in Region A and funded partners EPICS (the former Native American TA Center) and PAVE (the former Military Parent TA Center) as well as the Long Island Advocacy Center, Parent Network of Western New York, and four national self-advocacy organizations: the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Eye to Eye, Kids As Self-Advocates, and Youth MOVE.

SPAN is pleased to be able to continue providing high quality, relevant, and useful support to Parent Centers for another five years and facilitating a “Community of Practice” among them.  For more information about the CPIR, NE-PACT, and SPAN’s other national and regional projects, go to spanadvocacy.org/content/regional-national-projects.