Carmen joined the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in 2006 after gaining 10 years of experience supporting families of individuals with disabilities in Fairfax County, Virginia. Prior to joining OSEP, she was the Family Resource Coordinator at the Fairfax Infant-Toddler Connection, connecting families to resources and each other, as well as helping them develop their advocacy and leadership skills. She also worked as Management Specialist for Disability Services Planning and Development in Fairfax County, responsible for connecting people with disabilities across the lifespan, and their families, to resources, as well as staffing the local Disability Services Board, supporting their mission to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities in the county. As an Education Program Specialist in OSEP, Carmen serves as the lead for the parent program, which is comprised of parent training and information centers, community parent resources centers, and parent technical assistance centers throughout the country. In addition, Carmen has served as the project officer for projects designed to improve technology and technology use in special education.
Carmen is also the proud parent of a young adult with a disability and has used a variety of informal and formal strategies for resolving disputes during her child’s time in early intervention and special education.