Training for Parents & Professionals


The following workshops are offered by Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC). Workshops can be presented in English and Spanish. Family and youth organizations, school systems, and professional agencies are welcome to contact CPAC for information about how to schedule a workshop in their area.

Since we typically receive more requests than we are able to grant each year, priority for free training is determined based on the following criteria:

  • Geographic diversity
  • Target audience including families, youth, and professionals
  • Training open to all members of the community
  • Projected attendance of at least 20 people
  • Topic areas targeted in Parent Training and Information Center grant
  • Host group providing space, AV equipment, and publicity
  • Host organization is located in an Alliance School District

For more information or to schedule a workshop, please submit our training request form found here.

The ABC’s of Special Education: Understanding the Process
Parents of children with disabilities will learn how to become more active participants in their children's education. This session will include information on:

  • Evaluations
  • Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
  • Dispute resolution

Tips and Tools for Advocating for Your Child with Special Education Needs
Learn how to effectively communicate with your child's school and advocate for your child's appropriate education. Participants will learn:

  • Tips on preparing for meetings with school staff
  • How to clearly communicate questions and goals
  • How to foster positive relationships with school staff

Getting to Know Your Child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)
This training focuses on how parents can be actively and effectively involved in the development of the IEP. Participants will learn:

  • Key components of an IEP
  • Understanding Connecticut’s IEP form
  • Guidance about developing measurable goals
  • Tips for monitoring a student's progress

Child Find in Connecticut: What to Do When Developmental Concerns Arise
This training is designed to help families and professionals understand Child Find, a process required by the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Law (IDEA). Participants will learn:

  • Requirements to locate children, birth through 22, who may have a disability
  • Referral to special education and timelines in Connecticut
  • Planning and Placement Team (PPT) process and the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Evaluation and eligibility criteria

Steps to Improving Communication with the Special Education Team
Improved communication skills can help families gain confidence whenever they are working with professionals who are helping their children. This training will help families and professionals:

  • Identify the critical components of effective communication
  • Learn the importance of family/professional communication and collaboration
  • Learn practical strategies to facilitate family-school partnerships
  • Offer strategies to help overcome challenges

Transition 101: Preparing Students with Disabilities for Success After High School
This presentation will offer an overview of the secondary transition process for students who receive special education services. Participants will learn:

  • About transition planning including the value of student participation
  • Federal and State legal requirements
  • How transition planning happens in Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Resources and strategies to help families, students, teachers, and adult service providers play an active role in the transition process

Getting and Keeping the First Job
Students with disabilities and their parents will hear straight talk about employment including information on:

  • Accommodations, disclosure, interviewing, and self-employment
  • Information from an employer's perspective
  • Resources available in Connecticut to help students find and keep a job

Self-Advocacy Skills: What Students and Families Need to Know
Attendees will learn why it is important for young adults to advocate for themselves and will learn about the tools available to help students develop self-advocacy skills. Participants will learn:

  • How to self-advocate in school, work, and a variety of other settings
  • Identify the skills necessary for student success
  • Learn strategies to support students on their journey to adult life

Understanding Challenging Behavior
This workshop will help participants change the way they view and react to their children's challenging behavior. Participants will learn:

  • What their children's behavior is communicating
  • How to use positive behavior supports to encourage the development of new communication skills
  • Practical tips for promoting children's success
  • The purpose of functional behavioral assessments and positive behavior interventions

Additional Early Childhood training can be found here.