The goal of PACER’s parent leadership training program is to build the capacity of parents to advocate for educational systems change and give parents the tools they need to lead systems change at the local and state levels.
The goal of PACER’s parent leadership training program is to build the capacity of parents to advocate for educational systems change and give parents the tools they need to lead systems change at the local and state levels. One of the basic tenets of the program is understanding the power of the personal story. Parents learn to how to tell their stories in ways that touch hearts and change minds, and to hone their message to impact specific audiences. Along with strengthening their leadership skills and developing their story, parents also learn about public policy and the legislative process from expert speakers, and develop a leadership action plan, which is based on their individual strengths and goals.
Program Access and Delivery
This free, 2-day virtual training is available to parents who:
- have a child or young adult with a disability who is 5 to 20 years old and currently receiving special education services on an IEP in the state of Minnesota;
- have confidence advocating on behalf of their own child and are ready to move their advocacy to the next level;
- are seeking opportunities to advocate for positive change in the lives of all children and young adults with disabilities and their families; and
- can commit 2 days of their time and energy to actively participating in this interactive, virtual training with other parents across the state of Minnesota who also want to make a difference.
Standards of Practice
- speak and write to others in their community about the needs of children with disabilities and their families;
- join advisory committees at the local or state level and share their parent experience to influence decision-making on issues related to special education;
- use their voice to engage with policymakers and advocate for legislation that enhances the quality of life and expands opportunities for children, youth, and young adults with disabilities; and
- dedicate their unique gifts and strengths to work collaboratively for positive change so that every person with a disability can reach their highest potential.
Training & Professional Development
Parents selected for this interactive, virtual training will:
- Learn about the influence of parent leadership in the history of special education
- Build capacity to advocate for improved supports and services for children with disabilities and their families with the power of personal experience
- Learn about parent leadership opportunities in Minnesota from the school district to the state level
- Set personal goals and develop a Parent Leadership Action Plan
- Network with other Minnesota parents of children with disabilities