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The National webinar for parents who speak Spanish a great success!

Family Engagement

It is extremely important for parents of children with special needs to be aware of their child’s right to a free and appropriate education. Outreach efforts to minority families are particularly important, as they typically are not as familiar about their eligibility to different programs as well as not being familiar with state and federal laws. For this reason, the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative (NYDBC), California Deaf-Blind Services (CDBS), National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB), and the National Family Association for Deaf-Blind (NFADB, have formed a partnership to conduct a series of webinars to support learning opportunities for Spanish speaking parents who have a child who is deaf-blind.

The first of these webinars, Learning Basic Rights about Special Education, was held on November 8th and was a great success! Over 70 parents participated from AR, CA, CO, PA, ND, NY, TN and Puerto Rico. Several states organized gatherings to enhance opportunities for interaction. In Puerto Rico, the webinar was broadcasted as part of Puerto Rico’s Annual Family Congress. Over 25 families gathered in Long Beach (CA) to watch and participate in a facilitated discussion immediately following the presentation. Similar gatherings were held in three meeting sites in the New York City area.
Participants of this webinar learned the educational rights they are guaranteed under the law, specifically the IEP process, regulations and timelines. Future webinars will focus on early intervention and transition to adult life. Dates for these webinars are: March 14 and June 6, 2015.

Myrna Medina, Family Specialist from CA Deaf-Blind Services and Clara Berg, Family Specialist for the NY Deaf-Blind Collaborative facilitated this presentation and shared their personal and professional experiences. Participants were very responsive and asked many questions. Some of their questions were in reference to signing the IEP, requesting copies in advance, what’s the role of the Intervener, etc.
For those who were unable to attend, the webinar was recorded and can be viewed at
https://nationaldb.org/library/page/2480 under the title of “Conociendo los Derechos Básicos de Educación Especial” or you can request copies of the Power Point presentation contacting Myrna or Clara.

We hope to hear from you!

Clara Berg

Posted Nov 19, 2014 by Clara Berg

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Comments (4)

Thank you all for all your nice comments. I want to thank Kathy McNulty for the opportunity and all her support. Clara you are the best, sincerely this was a good experience, and knowing that parents benefited from it, makes it even better. There is a lot of families in need of accessible (in their native language) and family friendly information and resources that is incredible, and I am happy to contribute.

Myrna Medina

Posted Nov 21, 2014 by Myrna Medina

Clara and Myrna - Congratulations on this great work! I am so happy to hear that this one and the future ones are being recorded to have as a resource for all the families! I have a brand new family as of this week and because I'm not fluent I worry that this relationship will be affected even though we have access to an interpreter. This eases my mind somewhat! Thank you for doing this work!

Toni  Hollingsworth

Posted Nov 21, 2014 by Toni Hollingsworth

Clara, this is such an impressive national effort and it is very exciting to see that groups of people gathered to participate and then share their experiences together. I look forward to seeing the flourishing of this effort. Thanks to you and Myrna for the hard work that makes these needed supports a reality.

Gail Leslie

Posted Nov 19, 2014 by Gail Leslie

Thank you Clara for posting this exciting information. I want to applaud you and Myrna for your willingness to take the lead in organizing these webinars. It is so important to get this information out to the families.

You mention 70 parents participated, which I think is a great start. You also mention that several states hosted small face to face gatherings for the parents. It would be great to hear from others in the Family Engagement group if they have any ideas on how we might do a better job on getting the word out so that we reach more families.

Thank you Clara & Myrna for doing such a great job!

Kathy McNulty

Posted Nov 19, 2014 by Kathy McNulty

NCDB : The Research Institute : Western Oregon University : 345 N. Monmouth Ave. : Monmouth, OR 97361
Contact Us: 800-438-9376 | info@nationaldb.org

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