Families & the Community Video

Parent Changemaker: Helping Meet the Needs of Students with Disabilities

January 25, 2018 3:29

When Talibah Moore’s son was two years old, the pediatrician told her he had language delays. She began early-intervention services, which changed over to an IEP, an individualized education program, when her son started school. Under federal law, schools are required to set up an IEP for a student with disabilities. It is essentially an educational blueprint that lays out services and accommodations for the student, and sets annual educational goals. Moore was happy with her son’s IEP and the services he was receiving, so she was surprised to learn that other parents felt otherwise. “After hearing so much pain these parents have and are continuing to go through to make sure their children with disabilities have a good education, I was pleased to offer some help,” said Moore. She and a handful of other parents went door to door to survey parents about their children’s needs, and took an intensive class to understand all they could about IEPs. They now offer their time to walk parents through the process, or accompany them to school IEP conferences. They’ve also worked to increase early intervention screening on Chicago’s Southside. “It’s just been a great experience,” Moore said. “We are now able to help both the little children and the older children.”

Coverage of how parents work with educators, community leaders and policymakers to make informed decisions about their children’s education is supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, at waltonk12.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.

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