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Ohio Coalition for the Education
of Children with Disabilities

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FUNDS PARENT MENTOR PROJECTS SINCE 1991

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On January 12, 1991, in Columbus, Ohio, the idea for Parent Mentor Projects was born.  About 160 parents from across the state gathered to decide how to implement Goal #7 of the Ohio Department of Education’s Special Education Action Plan.  Goal #7 was the Parent Involvement in Education part of this innovative plan to restructure education for children with disabilities.  As a Parent Training and Information Center for the state, The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities convened this meeting of the Statewide Parent Task Force to ask parent leaders what they believed would help to involve more parents in their child’s educational program.  The OCECD had been given the task of shaping the activities which would implement Ohio’s Action Plan around Goal #7.  These goals had been developed by the State Superintendents Special Education Advisory Council, as required by P.L. 94-142 (the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975).  Additionally, over 400 parents met in regional focus groups to review parents’ needs and to shape the future of parent mentors in Ohio’s schools.  Through the diligent efforts of the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children staff and the OCECD director and co-director, by December 1, 1991, ten (10) projects had been chosen to be funded by ODE.  OCECD staff were reviewers for the 37 proposals, representing 70 districts.  Funds for these pilots came from federal IDEA dollars.

During the state budget development for fiscal years 1994-95, the Coalition successfully persuaded Governor Voinovich to add $500,000. to the state budget for additional parent mentor projects.  Again the ODE, OEC staff and OCECD directors selected 20 new projects which began in January 1994.  ODE and the Coalition has continued to support additional funding each year in a similar fashion.  Presently, 74 projects are funded through state and federal funds.

Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children and Lee Ann Derugen, Co-Director of OCECD continues to provide support and technical assistance for the Parent Mentors.  This support includes individual site visits to several Parent Mentor offices each year, attending and giving input at the Parent Mentor Council meetings, attending the Skills & Knowledge program committee meetings to plan the state conferences; grant, budget and report consultation, and having assigned OCECD staff attend PMO regional meetings at least quarterly across the state.  OCECD does this through the Meaningful Parent Engagement contract with Department of Administrative Services/ODE, OEC.  This technical assistance can be shaped to meet the needs of individual projects.   

Are you a school district or Educational Service Center interested in having a parent mentor position? If you fund a person they will be eligible to participate in training and conferences through the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities. When there is additional money in the state budget to fund more Parent Mentor Projects at $25,000 each, a Request for Proposal is sent out to all the Superintendents in all the school districts in Ohio. Mark Lynskey, Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children is in charge of this state project and reviews the proposals. For more information, email Mark Lynskey at Mark.Lynskey@education.ohio.gov



Download the PMO Council List by Regions 2013-14

Parent Mentors of Ohio Council Meeting Dates
September 30, 2014 meeting Cols
January 20, 2015 conf call
May 5, 2015 conf call


Council Minutes 1-15-13
Council Minutes 6-4-13
Council Minutes 1-23-14

Archive Comm Minutes 10-10-13

Public Relations Comm Minutes 3-22-13
Public Relations Comm Minutes 9-9-13
Public Relations Comm Minutes 10-22-13



PMO New Brochure

Download the PMO Committee List 2013-14



Download the PMO Professional Development Plan 2013-14

Download the PMO PDP Instructions 2013-14



Download the PMO Guidelines - revised 1-23-2014

Download the PMO Action Plan 2012-2017

Download the PMO History



Download the PMO Yearly Reporting Instructions

Download the PMO Projects Yearly Data Report 2012-2013


Council Representatives

Region Name
Northwest
Northwest
Wendy Smenner
Niki Herold
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North Central
North Central
Patty Hart
Sally Stigall
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Northeast
Northeast
Ann Blair
Lisa Lutz
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Miideast
Mideast
Sandie Cooper
Cathy Rundo
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East Central
East Central
Cheri McCullough
Laryssa Beatty
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Southeast
Southeast
Karen Smith
Tammy Hanger
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Central
Chair
Central
Elaine Hamilton
Jacqueline Howley
Nancy Banks
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Southwest
Southwest
Co-Chair
Tina Brophy
Cathy Staton
Nancy Holt
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OEC Mark Lynskey Email Me
OCECD
OCECD
OCECD
Lee Ann Derugen
Jane Seaton
Carolynn Head
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Want to Learn More

If you are interested in being a Parent Mentor we recommend you contact the Director of Special Education at the school where you live. You may want to ask the Director of Special Education if they have a parent mentor already or if they have thought about putting one in place. If they are already a district funded through the state parent mentor projects you will have to determine when the district has a parent mentor job opening to apply. If not, and the district would like to fund a position through district funds you can communicate with the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities to ensure your name and contact information is obtained for training sessions, conferences and list-serve information. Email Lee Ann Derugen Co-Director, OCECD at leeannd@ocecd.org