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William Penn Foundation Supports Families of Children with Disabilities

The Arc of Philadelphia is pleased to announce that the William Penn Foundation will be the lead supporter of our 2021-2022 Parent IEP Training program.

The Parent IEP Training program supports families in navigating the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for their child with an intellectual and/or developmental disability.

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legally binding contract to describe the educational plan for a child with disabilities. It is a contract between the student, family, school district, and people important to the child’s education and development.

The development of the IEP can be daunting for the family involved, as it is a complex document, usually numbering 50 to 100 pages in length, including legal and specialized terms. Often, parents are not aware of their rights and responsibilities as they relate to the development and implementation of the IEP. Yet, it is a crucial process that sets the course for a child’s educational outcomes.

There are approximately 20,000 students with an IEP enrolled in the Philadelphia School District, and support for parents in IEP advocacy is a great need. The Arc of Philadelphia’s goal through this program is to help parents become active, informed advocates for their child, and support parents to help bring about an optimal IEP that will fulfill their child’s potential across all aspects of their life.

The support of the William Penn Foundation will allow The Arc of Philadelphia to deliver the program to cohorts of parents. These cohorts of parents will be able to learn from our Child Advocacy Director and The Arc of Philadelphia leadership, while also learning from expert guest speakers and each other.

As one parent said of the Parent IEP Training program, “I cannot thank The Arc enough for the services they provide, which has allowed me to be an ‘active citizen’ in my children’s education; as well as contributing to my strength to work through challenging times and revealing the rights that my children have to full inclusion in their educational settings.”

For more information about the Parent IEP Training program, please contact Lisa Johnson at The Arc of Philadelphia, via ljohnson@arcphiladelphia or 215-299-4550 ext. 130.

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. In 2021, the Foundation will grant more than $117 million to support vital efforts in the region.

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