Ohio’s Parent Mentor Project works with the families of students with disabilities and their schools to support educational success for students with special needs. The Objective of the Parent Mentor Project is to be a partner in creating a system of services and resources within school districts and communities to support families of children with disabilities. Through interaction and communication with families, school staff and the greater community, partnerships and alliances may develop in support of children and youth with disabilities.
What is a Parent Mentor?
Parent Mentors provide free support and resources to families of children with disabilities and school staff members. Parent Mentors typically work within designated school districts or Educational Service Center areas.
Parent Mentors can provide information and resources for:
• Improving student success, especially in literacy;
• Planning transitions from preschool to school and from high school and beyond;
• Understanding the rights and responsibilities of families and students.
Parent Mentors also can:
• Attend individualized education program (IEP) meetings and other meetings at the request of families or staff members;
• Host information sessions for families and staff members;
• Connect families, schools and communities by providing links to local services and organizations that support students with disabilities;
• Provide information about federal, state and local special education laws and policies;
• Share updated information about special education, such as timelines and deadlines, eligibility processes, informed consent, prior written notice and other requirements.
How are Parent Mentors Supported?
The Office for Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education provides ongoing support and oversight of the project to ensure continuity and program development through quarterly and annual reviews. In addition, members of the Office for Exceptional Children participate in statewide Parent Mentor programming, attend selected regional meetings and make site visits to Parent Mentor projects.
The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities supports Parent Mentors with professional development, resources, technology and technical assistance. This helps Parent Mentors as they connect families and school staff to local resources, highlight the importance of literacy and pave the way to success for students with disabilities.
District(s)/Educational Service Centers work in collaboration with the Parent Mentor(s) to meet Project Objectives. Working within the Scope of Work ensures alignment with the missions of the Offices for Exceptional Children and Early Learning and School Readiness.
For more information on the Parent Mentor Program, please visit The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities Parent Mentor webpage: