Hope for parents of children with disabilities is just a phone call away

The Area Education Agency 267 (AEA 267) Family and Educator Connection (FEC) program is part of a statewide network of families and educators working together to serve children and young adults with special needs. The program provides parents and educators with opportunities to work together in positive ways to improve educational programs in addition to offering other forms of support.

Transition planning is one such area. The FEC may assist families with developing a vision for their student’s future including life skills, future occupations, and living arrangements. Other supports include providing workshops on transition related topics, sharing information about community resources, and collaborating with other agencies on family support.

Another source of support provided by the FEC program is the resource library. Parents are encouraged to visit the AEA 267 webpage at www.aea267.k12.ia.us under the “Parent” section where there is a link for resources and the online catalog. From this page, families and educators can check out materials such as books, DVDs, articles and other material that cover a wide range of topics. Some of the topics include information on various disabilities, parenting, behavior, and educational issues. There are also materials for children.

Direct support is another service provided by the FEC. This may include answering questions by phone, e-mail, or in person, referring to other resources, and assisting with the communication process between families and schools. This is also done by providing support with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP).

FEC staff support families so they can more effectively participate in the educational process. This may include explaining the IEP or IFSP process, reviewing parent rights, helping parents organize their thoughts in preparation for a meeting, following up after a meeting to help with any further questions or concerns, and in some cases, attending the meetings if invited by the parent, other AEA 267 staff, or local school officials.

The FEC also posts a blog on the AEA 267 website providing topics of interest to parents and educators.  This includes a calendar of upcoming workshops, events, and support group activities. In addition, program staff can arrange for workshops on specific topics of interest. Workshops may include topics such as specific disabilities, transition, resources in the community, and home/school communication.

Could you use support from the FEC program? Area Education Agency 267 staff members are here for you! Contact us at any of our three major locations including Marshalltown at 1-800-735-1539, Clear Lake at 1-800-392-6640 or Cedar Falls at 1-800-542-8375.  Hope is just a phone call away!

April Wooldridge, AEA 267 Parent Educator Coordinator

April Wooldridge, AEA 267 Parent Educator Coordinator

April Wooldridge is one of three Parent Educator Coordinators with Area Education Agency 267 (AEA 267). She is based out of Marshalltown and can be reached at (641)-844-2469. AEA 267 serves over 60,000 students. In addition, over 5,000 educators rely on AEA 267 for services in special education, school technology, media and instructional/curriculum support. The agency’s service area reaches 18 counties and nearly 9,000 square miles.

 

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