Future Reflections                                                                                      Summer/Fall, 2002

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What Is the Family & Advocates Partnership in Education? (FAPE)

Editorís Note: The National Organization of Parents of Blind Children is one of the FAPE community partners. NOPBC distributes a free IEP Information packet which includes literature developed by the FAPE project. To get this free packet, send your request to:

NOPBC, IEP Information Packet,
1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
Fax: (410) 685-5653;
E-mail: Bcheadle@nfb.org

FAPEís goal is to inform and educate families and advocates about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA). IDEA supports the achievement of high standards for the 5.8 million children eligible for special education in the United States, but to achieve positive education 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:

1. Inform and support families and advocates through a partnership among families and disability organizations.

2. Promote research-based best practices that improve 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 childrenís educational programs.

3. 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.

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 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 Americanís 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). For more information on FAPE and their many services, please visit their Web site at www.fape.org.

The core partners representing general and special education interests are: the Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Center (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 childrenís 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.

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