IDEA Parent, Community, and Educator Collaboration
The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) staff will provide support services to parents and families of children with a disability. OCECD staff will respond to inquiries from school districts, the general public and specifically to families of children with a disability to provide information, support, and assistance regarding special education programs and services. Staff will respond to telephone inquiries, meet one on one with families as necessary, and provide guidance in understanding IDEA and the Ohio Operating Standards and the provision of services available in the local school district.
Additionally, OCECD Staff will collaborate with the 16 State Support Teams to coordinate efforts to establish a consistent level and means of services, communication between parents, schools and the SST Family Consultants. The regional OCECD staff and the SST Family Consultants will provide information and guidance to parents and school staff to address their needs and provide assistance as necessary.
OCECD staff will provide support services to families of student with a disability through one-on-one counseling, communication with school district staff, attendance at school team meetings as necessary if invited by the parent or school staff, and dissemination of information related to both Parent Mentor services and special education programs.
Participate in web conferences with PACER Center and 2 other Partners. Share training resources determining service gaps in the locales. Participate in on-line space for sharing information and resources. Provide individual assistance to contacts including families, families from diverse communities, professionals, and youth regarding transition and/or related. Present one workshop to individuals in the State of Ohio on transition or employment. Develop and present one “workshop without walls” presentation to culturally and linguistically diverse individuals in Ohio. Assist in the development of a common evaluation instrument for data collection.
Parent Training and Information Center for Ohio
The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) has set forth as its mission to endorse and promote efforts to provide appropriate quality education for children and youth with disabilities. OCECD does so in the belief that all children have the right to a meaningful and relevant education. The Ohio Coalition is dedicated to ensuring that every child with disabilities is provided a free, appropriate public education. OCECD continually strives to improve the quality of services for all children and youth with disabilities in Ohio. The Ohio Coalition’s vision is to ensure that all students with disabilities are ready for kindergarten, actively engaged in learning, and graduate ready for college and careers.
OCECD is committed to providing the best training and information to a variety of audiences, including underserved parents, low-income parents, parents with limited English proficiency, parents of incarcerated youth with disabilities, and parents with disabilities. Ohio schools are in a period of major redesign of curricular and instructional processes. Students with disabilities are central to the success of such efforts. The ultimate goal of this project was to encourage system redesigns and productivity improvements by an extensive review of evidenced-based practices, to identify the most current findings of successful school districts and to initiate state-level implementation. Leadership at the district, school, and classroom levels emerged as the most powerful driver of significant changes to improve student outcomes, especially for minority and underserved populations. The Ohio Coalition will intensify its outreach services to these school and parent leaders during the course of the next grant period.
Students (consumers) need to be involved in their IEPs, especially transition age youth who are 14 or older and preparing for real jobs and careers. The monitoring visit from OSEP in 2009 found Ohio lacking in transition planning for youth. Action taken to correct this deficit has produced positive results. Complementing what Ohio’s SST’s are doing for school personnel, the Ohio Coalition is providing comparable services to both students and parents of children with disabilities who are 14 and older. OCECD’s Self Advocacy Training, It’s My Turn, is a critically acclaimed transition training that trains teens to be aware of their rights and what they need in their transition plans in order to transition to their post-secondary life. Post-Secondary training is geared toward parents so that they understand what their child’s transition rights are and that they start at age 14.
Another issue that the Ohio Coalition is investigating is evidence-based education practices for transition aged youth with low literacy. To meet the identified needs of low-literacy youth, OCECD established the Mentoring 4 Reading Achievement Program aka M4RA. This 1:1 reading mentoring program uses an evidence based, online guided reading series to improve reading for children and youth reading below a 6th grade reading level.
The connection between juvenile justice and special education in Ohio is both sobering and substantial. There are over three times as many special education students in DYS facilities as there are in the general school population.
In addition to the low-literacy rates of Ohio’s youth, the Ohio’s College-and Career-Ready Commitment reports [www.achieve.org/Ohio] that far too many students drop out or graduate from high school unprepared for post-secondary success, closing doors and limiting their options and opportunities—in particular minority and low-income students. The Ohio Coalition adds the additional focus of students with disabilities.
Study after study have shown positive outcomes when Parent Centers partner with State and local agencies, other nonprofits, Independent Living Centers in order to provide postsecondary education options, employment training and supports. Independent Living Centers participate with OCECD staff in working with schools and students on transition plans.
The ultimate goal of the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities is to assist all parents, especially those traditionally under-represented groups, so that their children will: (a) Meet developmental and functional goals and the challenging academic achievement standards that have been established for all children. (b) Be prepared to lead productive, independent adult lives to the maximum extent possible.
State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG)
SPDG is to reform and improve the state’s system of personnel development to better support all Ohio districts and their schools in significantly improving the quality and consistency of instruction and services provided to students receiving special education services, and other struggling learners at risk of being identified as disabled, as part of district‐wide continuous improvement. Ohio’s PTI, will ensure that the perspectives and insights of parents are brought to bear on the planning, implementation, and evaluation of project activities within the Parent-Teacher Partnership Model.