Parent Coordination SHOUT OUT!

January 2019

Parent Coordination Network

The Parent Coordination Network is committed to ensuring that parents of students with disabilities receive accurate and timely information to assist in making informed choices in their children's education.

86th Legislative Session Preview

The 86th Texas Legislative Session is now underway until May, and special education will likely be a hot topic this session. For a preview of special education issues likely to be considered, how those interested can track topics, and which Texas lawmakers will be in key leadership roles concerning public education, take an hour of your time to watch this this pre-recorded webinar from Partners Resource Network featuring Disability Rights Texas' Policy Specialist, Steven Aleman.

Click here to view the recorded webinar via Facebook.

Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.

For more information and resources, explore these websites:

Texas Legislature Online
State website on details of bills filed, schedule of hearings, key legislative dates

Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
State agency that advocates on behalf of people with developmental disabilities

Texas Tribune
Public interest news source on legislative issues, players, developments

Upcoming PRN & TEA Webinar Series

Partners Resource Network is doing a series of collaborative webinars with the Texas Education Agency. The first webinar on January 29 covers the Special Education Statewide Leadership Networks. It will be conducted in English at 12:15 p.m. CST and in Spanish @ 1:15 p.m. CST. To register, click here.

During these webinars, TEA will do a Q&A section based on questions submitted prior to each collaborative webinar. Please submit your questions even if they are not directly related to the pre-determined topics of the currently planned webinars. Submit your questions by clicking here. After each webinar, the resulting Q&A will be provided in a document form in both English and Spanish.

The full listing of dates and topics for the collaborative webinar series are included in the printable flyer attached below.

If you have questions about the statewide or collaborative webinar series, please contact Meagan Sanders at

State Board of Education Hosts Free Conference

Are you looking for ways to involve more parents on your campus? Do you want students to take more ownership of their own education? How do you make sure that students have equal access to courses and technology across your district?

A free one-day conference hosted by the State Board of Education will examine these issues, which are topics covered in the board’s recently adopted Long-Range Plan for Public Education, inclusive of all families being actively involved in their students' education at all levels.

The Learning Roundtable: Building a Stronger Texas is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. January 30 at the Austin Convention Center.

Conference panels will provide examples of schools or organizations that successfully address the topics of family engagement and empowerment, student engagement and empowerment and access and equity. The full conference program is attached in the file below.

Register here for the conference.

Introducing STAAR Stuff!

Have you seen ESC Region 13's new video series to aid test administrators as they plan for student success? Don't miss these clips for your spring preparation!

STAAR Stuff Dictionary Policy

STAAR Stuff Supplemental Aids for Science Tests

STAAR Stuff Supplemental Aids for Social Studies

STAAR Stuff Typing Assistance for 4th Grade Writing

STAAR Stuff Supplemental Aids for Math

STAAR Stuff Supplemental Aids for Writing

STAAR Stuff Supplemental Aids Overview

STAAR Stuff Accessibility Features

Learn more about STAAR accommodations and tips at Accommodation Central from Region 13 Education Service Center.

Need a Brush Up on Accommodations?

as published by

Accommodations are changes, usually in the classroom, that give a student equal access to learning. Accommodations don't change what a child learns. Instead, they make it possible for a child to work around challenges and learn the same material as the other kids. Check out these online resources if you're wondering how accommodations work, what types of accommodations are available, and more!

Accommodations: What They Are and How They Work

At a Glance: Types of Accommodations for Standardized Tests

How to Apply for SAT and ACT Accommodations

State Academic Standards: What You Need to Know

Procedural Safeguards & ARD Guide Available in Multiple Languages

Are you in need of the Procedural Safeguards and ARD Guide translated into a language other than English or Spanish? How about Vietnamese, French, German, or Arabic? SpedTex, the Special Education Information Center, has these resources easy accessible by clicking here.

Teaching Parents of Children with ASD to Implement Evidence-Based Interventions Using Videoconferencing Technology

Baylor University is recruiting children and their parents for a new study evaluating parent coaching in evidence-based practices using videoconferencing technology (similar to Skype or FaceTime). If needed, access to videoconferencing technology during the study will be provided. Typically, two visits will be conducted per week for approximately 6 to 8 weeks with additional meetings before and after to measure your child’s progress.

If you live in Texas, have a child who is 17 years or younger and diagnosed with autism or any other autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and would like to learn more about the study, please

contact Stephanie Gerow, Ph.D., BCBA-D and the Baylor University research team at or 254-447-8463.

There is no cost to participate in this study.

Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It?

an OpEd written by Daniel Willingham and published by The New York Times and featured by Reading Rockets

“Is it cheating if I listen to an audiobook for my book club?” Audiobook sales have doubled in the last five years while print and e-book sales are flat. These trends might lead us to fear that audiobooks will do to reading what keyboarding has done to handwriting — rendered it a skill that seems quaint and whose value is open to debate. But examining how we read and how we listen shows that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior.

In fact, they overlap considerably. Consider why audiobooks are a good workaround for people with dyslexia: They allow listeners to get the meaning while skirting the work of decoding, that is, the translation of print on the page to words in the mind. Although decoding is serious work for beginning readers, it’s automatic by high school, and no more effortful or error prone than listening. Once you’ve identified the words (whether by listening or reading), the same mental process comprehends the sentences and paragraphs they form.

Click here to read the full text.

Partners Resource Network

Partners Resource Network is a non-profit agency that operates the federally funded Texas Parent Training and Information Centers - PATH, PEN & TEAM. All of the projects share the common purpose of empowering parents of children and youth with disabilities in their roles as parents, decision makers, and advocates for their children.

ENGAGE at the Texas Transition Conference: Upcoming on February 20-22 in San Antonio

The Texas Transition Conference is a two-day event with a pre-conference session on the 20th, focused on providing evidence-based practices that result in a smooth transition from school to adult life for youth with disabilities. Participants will receive intensive training in five focus areas: Student-focused planning, Family involvement, Interagency collaboration, Student development, and Program structure. Conference attendees come from all over the state of Texas and include educators, transition specialists, vocational coordinators, service agency representatives, and youth with disabilities and their families.

For more information:

Website Feature: National Parent Center on Transition and Employment

The National Parent Center on Transition and Employment is a product of Minnesota's PACER Center: Champions of Children with Disabilities. This website contains quality and easily usable information for parents, youth, and professionals. You will find helpful information on independent living, post-secondary education, and employment and other associated topics embedded in a resource library. Personalized stories and videos will inspire and encourage learning about what is possible for youth transitioning into adulthood.

A specific highlight is the online feature: Paving the Way - Parent Tips for Supporting Success in High School and Beyond. This includes a wealth of practical tips and resources on communication and teamwork, study habits and course selection, celebration and support, and preparing for the future.

Financial Planning for Special Needs

as published by Exceptional Parent magazine

The cost of raising any child is steep, but for a child with special needs, it's far more substantial. It can cost more than $250,000 to raise a child (not including college), but the cost can be more than twice that for a child with disabilities—and much more if lifetime care is needed. Insurance doesn't come close to covering all of the expenses, but you are entitled to benefits and programs that can help. EP’s Annual Financial Planning Issue features several informative articles about creating security for your family’s future. Read the full issue here.

Into the Archives

For previous editions of the ShoutOut!, click here.

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