About the Webinar: Parent centers play a critical role in the prevention and resolution of special education conflicts. From stakeholder involvement to collaborating with mediation programs to designing and implementing IEP facilitation services, many centers are at the forefront of this important activity. Several parent center leaders highlight the innovative work of their centers and the impact it has on their states.
Presenters: The webinar was moderated by CADRE's Associate Director, Philip Moses. The panel consisted of national parent center leaders Jan Serak, Timothy Riveria, Ana Espada, and Jody Manning.
Jan Serak is the CEO/Founder of WI FACETS, a nonprofit agency providing training, information and support for parents of children with disabilities related to special education. She is Co-Director of the OSEP Region 4 Parent TA Center and of WI's Parent Training and Information Center. She is a 19-year partner in the WI Special Education Mediation System and serves on the CADRE Advisory Board.
Ana Espada has over 26 years of experience training parents and professionals on children’s educational entitlements. Ana is also a specialist in disciplinary issues and has successfully helped hundreds of students by representing them at their school suspension meetings, disciplinary hearings, and appeals. Ana has been with Advocates for Children of New York, Inc for 23 years and holds the position of Program Co-Director of the agency’s federally funded Parent Training and Information Project and is the Chairperson of the United We Stand (CPRC) Board of Directors.
Jody Manning has been with PACER Center for 10 years where she currently serves as the Parent Training and Information Center Co-director. She presents workshops to parents and professionals on a variety of topics, coordinates a number of projects including dropout prevention, and works individually with parents of children with special needs to help them understand how to advocate on behalf of their children
Timothy Riveria is a staff attorney for Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc. He primarily represents families and students facing suspension and expulsion from DC public schools. Many of the students he represents have one or more disabilities, and he works to help them receive an appropriate education and avoid discriminatory school exclusion. He also routinely trains parents, social workers, and attorneys on school discipline law and special education rights.