Disability Resource Library Newsletter

September 2022 - Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal special education law that ensures students with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Every child receiving special education services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to outline the child’s academic goals and the child’s needs to meet those goals. Navigating IEPs and the education system and ensuring a child’s rights are honored under IDEA often falls onto the shoulders of the child’s caregiver, thus knowing where to go for information and resources is essential and accessible in our Disability Resource Library.

  • a photo of two brothers hugging, one has down syndrome
  • a photo of a young boy with cerebral palsy smiling at a table full of toys

Featured Resources

All featured resources are available to borrow from the DRL

Browse more resources.

Special Education Law

Special Educaton law book cover

Peter and Pamela Wright teach you to use the law as your sword and shield. Learn what the law says about: Child’s Right to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), Individualized Education Programs (IEP), IEP Teams, transition and progress evaluation, reevaluations, consent and independent educational evaluations, eligibility & placement decisions, and many more issues. Borrow Special Education Law from our resource library.

Check out the Wrightslaw website for additional resources, information, and training opportunities.

All About IEPs - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about IEPs

Peter and Pamela Wright continue their saga of helpful and comprehensive IEP resources with co-author, Sandra Webb. In this comprehensive and easy-to-read book, you will find clear, concise answers to frequently asked questions about IEPs. Learn what the law says about:

  • Teams and IEP Meetings
  • Parental rights and consent
  • Steps in developing the IEP
  • Placement, transition, assistive technology
  • Strategies to resolve disagreements

Borrow All About IEPs from our resource library.

Cover of My Child Has Special Needs, Now What with an ominous picture of a single red balloon floating up into an empty sky. My Child is Special Needs... Now What?

A no-nonsense guide for parents fed up with their child’s lack of progress or confused about the road ahead.

Are you sick of reading article after article online with tidbits of guidance but still feel just as confused as when you began? Have you been trying to get your child an IEP and support services but are at war with your public school district? Is your child getting services but you do not see any progress? Do you think your child has special needs but do not know where to start?

My Child Is Special Needs... Now What? is the new bible for parents of all children with special needs, including but not limited to autism, auditory processing, ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, OCD, Down syndrome, and more! You’ll learn the exact steps you need to take to get your child the support they need, no matter where you are in the process

  • How to get an accurate diagnosis
  • What to look for in a pediatric neurologist
  • Why the IEP is only the beginning
  • When you really need an advocate or lawyer

Showing up to an IEP meeting is only the first rung of the advocacy ladder.

This book will give caregivers the tools they need to effectively advocate for their child in the classroom! Borrow My Child is Special Needs...Now What?.

Featured Technology

Browse more technologies.

Transition Trek

An innovative and engaging board game that helps youth and young adults plan for life after high school. Players draw cards with questions related to careers, independent living, and self-determination.

Game board, cards, one die, and six game pieces included.

Borrow Transition Trek.

transition trek board game


Support Services Offered

  • Parent Engagement and Empowerment (Leadership Training)
  • Training and Support on a variety of special education topics statewide
  • Information, Dissemination, and Referral Services (fact sheets and materials)
  • Community Outreach (Bringing everyone together)
  • One-on-One Consultation (record review, attendance at meetings and WVPTI Meeting Attendance Protocol, goals and planning, etc.)
  • GoTo Webinar and phone trainings to support parents/families that can be done from their homes at various scheduled times.
  • Annual parent conference focusing on special education topics

The West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc. (WVPTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit parent organization committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children through a special emphasis on children and youth with all disabilities and special healthcare needs. We serve parents and families of a child or youth from birth to age twenty-six with special needs. We are committed to providing parents and families the tools to ensure that children, youth, and young adults with special needs lead enriched lives as full members of their schools and communities.

WV PTI IS A FIRST STOP For West Virginia Parents & Families.

WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities

  • Paths for Parents at the CED - Get support navigating the education system from parents who have already done it!
  • WVATS at the CED – Try out a communication device, adaptive writing tool, or other technology for success in school through the WVATS loan library!
  • WVU Country Roads Program – On-campus non-degree certificate program to enhance independence by providing academic courses, social engagement, and applied work experiences. Country Roads could be the post-high school graduation plan!
a photo of a dad and his two boys

A Child's Champion – Brandi L. Davis, MSW, LCSW

a photo of Brandi Davis

Brandi L Davis is a Child’s Champion because she has dedicated her career to serving children and their families in West Virginia. As a social worker in the WVU Medicine Children’s Heart Center, Brandi works with children and families who are impacted by congenital heart disease and other cardiac issues. “I think social workers in general have a HUGE positive impact on society”. She plans to continue her work with WVUM Children’s Heart Center for many years to come and to continue to assist patients and families with resources, support, and advocacy.

Prior to her work at the Children’s Heart Center, Brandi served children and youth in foster care. “Through foster care and adoption programs, social workers have the opportunity to strengthen families, connect children to safe and loving adults, and improve the child's quality of life”. Her professional successes include growing foster care and adoption programs in the Morgantown and Buckhannon areas that now serve over 50 children and youth, helping hundreds of children achieve permanency through reunification and adoption, and being recognized for her efforts as a Hometown Hero at a WV Black Bears baseball game. Her personal accomplishments include raising two lovely sons. Brandi has impacted the lives of hundreds of children by ensuring their safety and wellbeing at multiple capacities. Brandi continues to make the world a better place, one child at a time. Thank you for all you do, Brandi! You are an inspiration and true champion. “I hope that I have been able to help kids feel safe, help parents feel successful and see their potential in keeping their families strong, and I hope that I have been able to encourage others to work with kids, because a child cannot have too many people in their corner” - Brandi L. Davis.

Do you know someone you'd like to nominate to be featured as a Child's Champion in our monthly newsletter? Please let us know! Contact Courtney Ringstaff, Paths for Parents Program Manager at the Center for Excellence in Disabilities, via email at courtney.ringstaff@hsc.wvu.edu or by phone at 304-293-4692.