WHO WE ARE
Parents Exchange is an information, referral, and advocacy service for parents and caregivers of children with disabilities and professionals who work with our families. Founded in 1986 by a group of parents of children with disabilities, our main goal was and is to help parents avoid the need to 'recreate the wheel' every time they encountered an issue. Through support and training families gain the knowledge, skill, and determination to advocate for their children and make the best choices for their families. The Internet is the latest avenue for information gathering we have used. Our funding has come primarily through grants from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and private donations.
We are a small group dependent upon the ever widening number of parents for whom we offer assistance to share the knowledge and experience they gain from us with others in their own community. It is only in this way that the greater good of families with children with disabilities can be served and their lives improved. Visit our resource pages that follow and learn what we have found. Please join our cause by sharing what you have learned and know with others who may desperately need such information. We all have a great deal to share with others.
WHAT WE DO
In the twenty-six years we have been in existence, we have handled over 20,000 telephone calls covering a variety of issues including school placements, legal rights, recreation programs, medical services and insurance, financial supports and benefits, transportation, and general support. We have also provided pre-service and in-service training to professionals in a variety of allied disability fields and presented to a large number of parent groups. We have also presented at local, statewide, national and international conferences including the Association for the Care of Children's Health and Zero to Three.
Through our networking and collaboration with other groups we can successfully 'find' answers for nearly any question or request that comes our way. We receive referrals from service providers, medical providers, schools and community groups. We have assisted families moving to the Southeast region of Pennsylvania as well as families moving from this region to other parts of the country.
We have been involved in coalitions affecting the design of health care for children with disabilities as well as party to a number of workgroups focused upon regulations and standards for special education services and legislation concerning educational issues as well. We are active participants in a number of local coalitions and advisory groups concerned with particular issues (or age groups) affecting our population.
We strongly believe that INFORMATION IS POWER and work fervently to assure parents have the information they need to make the best decisions for their child and family. Please take some time and visit our other pages listed below. Please feel free to send comments as well as suggestions for additions or improvement. Inclusion of links to sites on any of our pages does not signify an endorsement.