Center helps parents advocate on behalf of disabled children

June 20, 2013 (CHICAGO)

For over 40 years, the Family Resource Center on Disabilities has been giving parents tools so they can understand how to advocate on behalf of their disabled child.

"It's a series of six trainings. They've been learning a variety of things starting with just understanding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Today they're just going over data how to really understand data throughout the IEP process," said Michelle Phillips, executive director.

They provide a wide range of special educational training in English and Spanish.

"We have a couple trainings a week. . . We'll go out into the community and provide training for free," said Phillips.

She identified the three most important issues for parents as understanding your child, communicating on behalf of your child and identifying what is appropriate for your child.

Trainer Consuelo Puente is also an attorney. He advises parents to speak up if they need to.

"The best thing you can do ask a question. You don't have to know all the law you don't have to know all the terms you can ask what does that mean," said Puente.

"It's very important because of one the things when you have a child with a disability is your child may have an IEP and it's important that families understand that and navigate that," said Phillips.

The Family Resource Center on Disabilities has a number of training sessions available throughout the summer. They are all free. For more information, visit

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