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PEATC, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center
Assisting families of children with special needs since 1978
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Training and Workshops through PEATC

The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) is happy to provide FREE workshops to the community. Our workshops are made possible through Federal funding from the US Department of Education/Office of Special Education Programs and from private donations. PEATC can also exhibit or send materials for conferences and fairs. Most of our workshops are also available in Spanish.

Our Federal grant designates PEATC as the Statewide Parent Training and Information Center, therefore we serve all regions of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In order for PEATC to continue to offer our services free of charge, we must ensure that at least 10-15 people are registered to participate in each workshops to ensure that our program activities and resources are well managed so that Virginia's families and professionals can continue to benefit from PEATC's trainings.

While PEATC will advertise all of our events, we ask that the requesting organization participate in advertising and registration for the event as well in order to ensure sufficient participation in the training. We ask that you stay in contact with PEATC as the registration changes so that we can properly plan. Alternately, PEATC can manage registration for your event at no cost.

To request a PEATC Trainer please email this form to

PEATC Trainings and Workshops

Parent Training Information (for families of children with disabilities)

For videos on our workshops, please visit our YouTube page at

Special Education

  • Understanding Special Education This workshop will help you identify your child’s learning strengths and challenges as well as organize your important information about your child so it will be helpful in educational planning. Come and learn the seven phases of the special education process and identify the specific actions you may take during the special education process. You will become familiar with due process rights and learn ways to work as partners with teacher and other school personnel. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • Measurable IEP Goals This workshop brings families and educators together using a common language to build measurable goals to all students. What is a measurable goal? How do you understand and write a measurable goal? These questions and much more will be answered in this workshop.
  • NEW: Understanding Section 504 Civil Rights Law This workshop is designed to give parents and professionals a working knowledge of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504. The law is designed to eliminate discrimination on the bases of disability in any program or activity receiving federal funds. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of Section 504 and how it might ensure a student that attends a public school receives a free and appropriate public education.
  • NEW: How to Conduct Friendly and Productive IEP Meetings This workshop was designed with input from parents, parent groups, advocacy organizations, teacher’s, mediators, facilitators and district representatives. Participants will discuss how to make IEP meetings more productive and friendly and is divided into four key areas: People, Process: Preparation and Meeting, Outcome and Follow-through. Comments by parents and school personnel are included on the slides. The workshop will focus on practical skill development for IEP team members and specific strategies for increasing communication and conflict prevention will be discussed in each of the four areas.
  • NEW: VTSS Workshops PEATC is a partner in the DOE’s Virginia Tiered Systems of Support effort. PEATC’s role is to develop and disseminate information to parents as it relates to the schools VTSS work. It is our mission to promote understanding and support of the school’s efforts to implement evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. PEATC is looking forward to the opportunity to customize a workshop that details the VTSS efforts in parent friendly-easy to understand language. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish

Adulthood & Transition

  • Transition: Families Pave the Way Your child's future and adulthood. It may seem far off, but it's not too early to start planning. Forget about the magic transition planning age of 14 ... today is the first day of the rest of your child's life! This workshop will teach you five powerful strategies for steering your child's life toward high expectations and happiness. Whether you are new to transition or an experienced veteran, these five practical tactics will clarify the vital leadership role that ONLY parents can bring to meaningful transition planning.
  • Successful Transition Planning and the IEP: All You Need to Know For parents of children aged 14 and older, this workshop will prepare parents and students to be active participants in developing a meaningful and useful transition plan to help them as they prepare for life as an adult, when they finish school. It will tell you what needs to be in the transition plan, and what the law (IDEA) says about transition services. The transition plan is part of the IEP for students who are 16 and over. It can be frightening to contemplate life after school has finished, but PEATC is here to help take the mystery out of it and to give you the information you need to ensure that a successful transition is within the reach of your child.
  • The Journey to Adulthood: Puberty and Sexuality A candid and practical discussion that offers parental strategies for assisting young adults with disabilities to (1) successfully navigate puberty, and (2) meet the emerging expectations of adult life. This research-based curriculum was developed in response to interviews with 1200 families from a variety of cultural perspectives. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish

Behavior & Communication

  • The ABC’s of Behavior As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to look at how behavior influences our lives and understanding how it is addressed in IDEA 2004. You will become familiar with the ABC’s (Antecedent, Behavior & Consequence) of all behavior supports and behavior management. Functional Behavioral Assessments will be covered and you will have an opportunity to practice using a FBA tool to assess behavior. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • How to Talk So Schools Will Listen (and Listen So Schools Will Talk) Why are partnerships so difficult? What can be done to improve understanding between parents and professionals as they seek to find mutual agreement on IEPs and other issues related to education for students with disabilities? This workshop will help participants discover communication techniques, learn how to recognize and prevent barriers to communication and build agreements around difficult problems. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • NEW: Understanding Conflict What are some causes and triggers to conflict specifically for IEP meetings? Lack of knowledge about the topic, preprogrammed opposition, misunderstanding of the message of the other, pressure to have the conclusion before the meeting, personal trauma or history… we could go on and on. This workshop will review overlooked and promising practices identified in recent research about parent-school conflict in education. Participants will walk away with knowledge about the research and steps for implementation to address conflict.

Community & Family Engagement

  • NEW: The Power of Engaging Families Creating a synergy between parents and schools around authentic family engagement initiatives can lead to better outcomes for students. During this interactive workshop, parents and professionals will explore their personal definition of family engagement and examine how their individual participation contributes to the partnership of shared responsibility for the success of all children. Participants will consider strategies that move from random and isolated family engagement efforts to more systemic, integrated, responsive and sustainable approaches to Family Engagement. Local and state level examples of these strategies will be shared.
  • NEW: Bridges Out of Poverty This workshop is designed as an overview to help schools, employers, community organizations, healthcare providers, social service agencies, law enforcement, and individuals by bringing all sectors and economic classes together to build resources that improve outcomes. Bridges Out of Poverty provides a framework for understanding the challenges and strengths of those in poverty. Three additional trainings are available upon request. Those include viewing poverty from the individual, community, or organizational lens.
  • NEW: Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World If you’ve spent part of your life or most of your life struggling to get by in the world, the idea of actually getting ahead might seem out of reach. 'Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World' is a 16 week series of small group sessions which take attendees step by step through a discovery of yourself. As a team we investigate realities of the conditions in your community and how they impact residents. These sessions are designed to provide solutions in a cohort environment.
  • NEW: DADS Organized & Engaged (DOE) This series of workshops are designed to weave fathers more tightly into the academic and social fabric of the school community through tactile training, leadership development, peer mentoring, and engagement that promotes effective advocacy skills. The workshops promote appropriate communication skills with their child’s mother, school professionals, and other stakeholders as fathers are equipped to be a more visible and valuable asset to any educational school team as well as their child’s over all well being.
  • NEW: Understanding Diversity Diversity exists in places we don’t always think to look. A community itself is a grouping of pieces which delightfully interlock to create a unique landscape. In this workshop, through activities and discussion, we will address the concept that a community has more representations than we realize. Diversity can materialize in a new student, in the class, a child placed in your home, your child’s new friend or the neighborhood where you have just moved. Welcoming people of diverse backgrounds into our lives helps develop a population that will not only share mutual respect, but indeed allows us to find joy in the different threads which make each of us unique.
  • NEW: Reversing the School to Prison Pipeline This workshop is designed to promote disability awareness for School Resource Officers and Law Enforcement that serve in public school environments. It emphasizes rights of students with disabilities while encouraging policies and protocols that support capacity building in educational settings. Attendees of this workshop should leave with more information that can help them avoid unnecessary over representation of students with disabilities in the juvenile justice system.
  • Friendship Building Strategies Participants will explore the diversity and nature of their own friendships and build a vision of possibilities for children to develop positive relationships and friendships with each other. The importance of creating a climate of acceptance, belonging, and community in schools will be stressed by infusing opportunities for creating this climate across all areas of the curriculum and throughout the school day. Lastly, attendees will identify specific strategies that parents, general educators, and special educators can use to facilitate friendships for students. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • Is Your Child a Target of Bullying? This workshop offers intervention strategies for parents of children with disabilities who may be the target of bullying at school. Participants will learn how to: identify types of bullying, develop strategies to prevent bullying, identify responses to bullying, talk to their child about bullying, obtain help from professionals and find out about disability harassment laws. This workshop is offered in both English and Spanish
  • Bullying Prevention for Administrators and Teachers This workshop is designed to help safeguard schools against bullying. The objective of the workshop is to arm attendees with research based information on best practices in bullying prevention. Attendees will leave with the ability to distinguish accurately between bullying and other forms of aggression. Attendees will also leave with strategies that will help foster a school culture that averts the development and reduces the occurrence of bullying.

Early Childhood

  • NEW: It Takes A Village: Your Role in Early Childhood This workshop gives a general overview of what early childhood education and intervention is. We will concentrate on what the roles are of the parents and professionals. There is a special focus on how the collaboration between the two helps to ensure healthy child development. We offer methods on effective communication between the two, how to bridge that communication gap and how to avoid or recover from possible communication barriers.
  • Who, What, and When of Early Intervention This workshop covers the early intervention process and the family’s role in developing an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Participants will come away from the workshop understanding how the information families have about their children is critical to developing a plan for the baby and the baby’s family. Families in who may be in the midst of chaos, grief, fear, and the unknown will learn how to be their child’s and their family’s best and most effective advocate.
  • The Big Step: Transitioning Into Preschool This workshop is to give insight on the importance of successful transitions from Early Intervention services to preschool. It touches on the importance of the roles of the parents, service coordinators, and educators. Participants will learn the positive and negative effects of transitions. We will also focus on what to look for in a preschool program.

8003 Forbes Place, Suite 310
Springfield, VA 22151
703-923-0010 (phone)
800-869-6782 (toll free)

Copyright © 2016 PEATC - Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center. All rights reserved.

Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.

PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to

Celebrating 30 Years of Building Better Futures for Virginia's Children

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