Families and Advocates Partnership for Education
The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) joined with the PACER Center to create a new partnership. The partnership aims to inform and educate families and advocates about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA 97). The new law supports the achievement of high standards for the 5.8 million children eligible for special education in the U.S, but for this shift to actually result in positive educational outcomes, families and advocates need to understand IDEA and their roles in improving results. The partnership helps to ensure that the changes made in IDEA are understood by families and advocates and are put into practice at local and state levels.
The partnership has three goals designed to contribute to the implementation of IDEA, including Part C:
- Inform and support families and advocates through a partnership among families and disability organizations
- Promote research-based best practices that positively impact results for children with disabilities in accessing challenging curricula, meeting high expectations, realizing success through ongoing assessment of progress and increasing the involvement of parents and disability advocates in children's educational programs
- Maintain effective and efficient networking, marketing and outreach activities to ensure broad-based understanding of the 1997 IDEA changes and promote appropriate implementation at state and local levels
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Training
Through presentations and workshops, NICWA is training parents and advocates around the country on the newly reauthorized IDEA 97. NICWA has a standardized packet of information to send to anyone who calls and asks for information on IDEA. NICWA is cultivating success stories for the weekly newsline of the PACER Center. NICWA is conducting needs assessments and interviews with families who have children with disabilities.
Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE)
PACER Center and 11 core partners, more than 20 community partners and a number of expert consultants, have come together to form the Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE) to deliver consistent, accurate, and timely information on IDEA to families, self-advocates, and advocates nationwide. In addition to the core partners who with PACER will actively implement the goals of the project, community partners and expert consultants have been recruited to assist in disseminating promising practices and research findings, and will provide additional assistance in implementing the goals of the partnership.
The partnership organizations represent America's grassroots in its truest sense. PACER Center and the 11 core partners and their respective coalitions of more than 500 grassroots family and advocacy groups reach racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse families of children with and without disabilities in all areas of the U.S., including urban, suburban and rural areas, and American Indian Nations (reservations and trust lands). The core partners, representing general and special education interests are: the Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers (Alliance) (a Project under the PACER Center), the Academy for Educational Development (AED), Center for Law and Education (CLE), Family Voices, Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Association for Parents of the Visually Impaired, National Centers for Independent Living, National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE), National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), and Fiesta Educativa.
National Council on Disability’s report of the federal data: enforcement and compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA) that was released on January 25, 2000.