June 2020 Meeting Agenda


Topic: Local Task Force Zoom Meeting Link
Time: This is a recurring meeting that occurs on the first Wednesday of each month
Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: https://paiu.zoom.us/j/199666919
Or join by phone:
+1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 199 666 919
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/alogmfj2

Or join from a H.323/SIP room system:
Meeting ID: 199 666 919

We appreciate all members attendance to be available to answer questions from attending families. This information is vitally important during this time of crisis.


Coming This Tuesday, May 19th: Together@Home

Together @ Home

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 5:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Together at Home: Resources for Youth and Families is a virtual conference designed specifically for families and students to finish the school year strong. Presenters will offer twenty-minute sessions to assist with learning in a virtual environment. Several sessions have been specially designed just for students.


The Keynote for this conference is Ms. Carole Clancy, the Director of the PA Bureau of Special Education, who will kick off the Together at Home conference by highlighting the importance of strong family and student commitment during this difficult time when schooling and home life have never been more interwoven.

PEAL Team members are presenting at several sessions listed below: 

Youth Sessions

Youth Supporting Youth Through Social Connection

Erin Weirerbach will share Transition Quality Empowerment Project (TQEP) events and activities planned by young people around the state such as “TQEP Tuesdays” with dance classes, online gaming, healthy tips and getting to know each other as well as “First Friday Flicks” with Netflix Watch Parties! Join this session to find out how you can get involved and stay connected.

Time: 6:15 PM - 6:35 PM

Youth Virtual Coffee Shop

Come hear Katie Smith and Claire Senita talk about how The PEAL Center is engaging youth and young adults weekly through 30-minute virtual meetings on hot topics to support successful transition. Each meeting begins with 15 minutes of presentation, followed by 15 minutes of discussion and sharing from participants.

Time: 6:45 PM - 7:05 PM

Family Sessions

Family/Caregiver Drop-in Sessions

FAMILIES TO THE MAX: Pennsylvania Statewide Family Networking is welcoming families to drop by virtually! Join Tammi Morton and Sharon Janosik to hear about the casual conversations families in Pennsylvania are having to share how they are coping with rapid changes in these challenging times. We will share information about support, networking, and humor.

Time: 6:45 PM - 7:05 PM

Simple Steps to Collecting Data and Supporting Learning at Home

Families are adjusting to facilitating learning at home while educators are adjusting to providing education virtually to students with disabilities. Families are concerned about their students regressing or losing skills. Join Parent Advisors Cindy Duch and Kathleen Haigh to learn strategies families can use to monitor their students’ progress while schools are closed. The presenters will also share some ideas about how specially designed instruction might be delivered at home.

Time: 7:15 PM - 7:35 PM

Parent to Parent: How Are You Coping With This?

Join Jacqui DiDomenico and Lorie Brew in this session where parents are encouraged to share strategies they are using to deal with the multiple demands of everyday life. Let’s put our heads together and support one another.

Time: 7:45 PM - 8:05 PM

Click Here to View All Sessions

U.S. Department of Education Releases New Title IX Regulations on Sexual Harassment for Schools

U.S. Department of Education Releases New Title IX Regulations on Sexual Harassment for Schools

May 2020

This past week, the U.S. Department of Education released the Department's much anticipated Title IX regulations.
The new Title IX regulation codifies prohibitions against sexual harassment in schools. The regulation carries the full force of law.

Key provisions of the Department of Education's new Title IX regulation:

  • Defines sexual harassment to include sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex
  • Protects K-12 students by requiring elementary and secondary schools to respond promptly when ANY school employee, including teachers, has notice of alleged sexual misconduct
  • Holds colleges responsible for off-campus sexual harassment at houses owned or under the control of school-sanctioned fraternities and sororities
  • Upholds all students' right to written notice of allegations, the right to an advisor, and the right to submit, cross-examine, and challenge evidence at a live hearing
  • Requires schools to select one of two standards of evidence, the preponderance of the evidence standard or the clear and convincing evidence standard – and to apply the selected standard evenly to proceedings for all students and employees, including faculty
  • Requires schools to offer an equal right of appeal for both parties to a Title IX proceeding
  • Gives schools flexibility to use technology to conduct Title IX investigations and hearings remotely.

The Office for Civil Rights released a video reviewing the key changes, available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdfT5R8ibm4&feature=youtu.be

The demands of Title IX require that K-12 schools, colleges, and universities aggressively investigate and adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct by students.
The investigations and disciplinary hearings that result from allegations of misconduct can be complex and intimidating for faculty and students alike, regardless of whether they are the accused or an accuser.
These Title IX regulations expressly require academic institutions to permit attorneys to participate on behalf of both victims and the accused in all investigations and adjudications of sexual misconduct.

McAndrews Law Offices
We are a nationally recognized firm that provides families of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Area, and New Jersey with exceptional legal representation in Special Education, Estate Planning, Abuse of Vulnerable Citizens, and the representation of individuals involved in higher education allegations of misconduct.

Main Office: 30 Cassatt Avenue, Berwyn, PA 19312


McAndrews Law Offices | 30 Cassatt Avenue, Berwyn, PA 19312

FAMILIES TO THE MAX: Pennsylvania Statewide Family Network is welcoming families to drop by virtually!

Join us for our upcoming casual conversations among families in Pennsylvania coping with rapid changes in this challenging time. We are sharing experiences to provide information, support, networking, and humor.

  • Explore strategies for coping
  • What’s working? Virtual learning strategies
  • Build meaningful relationships

Bring your favorite beverage, take a breath, and drop by using the link below.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020  11:00AM
Thursday, May 21, 2020 7:00PM
Tuesday, May 26, 2020  11:00AM

Everyone is Welcome!

Joining Instructions: 
FAMILIES TO THE MAX: Pennsylvania Statewide Family Network Virtual Drop In
Time: May 7, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 815 2935 9225

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RMU Trees Network webinar: Learn about Teletherapy

RMU (Robert Morris University)  Trees Network “has been established to create a system of interconnections for families of children or young adults with intellectual disabilities.” Learn more at https://www.rmu.edu/academics/provost/trees

They have shared their first newsletter and their first event is planned for May. Monday, May 18 practitioners from DePaul School for Hearing & Speech, 3 Rivers Music Therapy, and Heart of Gold, Pittsburgh Therapy Project will share their insights on teletherapy. Find details and registration information below.

Access the entire newsletter here April 2020

Join Us to Learn About Teletherapy

Have you ever wondered whether teletherapy might be right for your child? Are you a professional who wants to learn more about on-line service delivery?

Join us Monday, May 18 at 6 p.m. for a virtual presentation on teletherapy.  Practitioners from DePaul School for Hearing & Speech, 3 Rivers Music Therapy, and Heart of Gold, Pittsburgh Therapy Project will share their insights.

DePaul's Michelle Parfitt, Director of Early Intervention, and Mary Lofreso, SLP, will share their experiences with speech and language teletherapy. 

We will also hear from Allison Broaddrick, board certified music therapist and CEO of 3 Rivers Music Therapy and Incadence, a virtual music therapy firm. 

And, we will be joined by Elizabeth Sherman, owner of Heart of Gold, Pittsburgh Therapy Project LLC. Sherman is a trauma-sensitive occupational therapist who specializes in a strengths-based approach to therapy informed by Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga, the D.I.R./Floortime model and Sensory Integration.

For additional information or to register, email Karen Oosterhous at Oosterhous@rmu.edu

OVR: Order of Selection Update

Dear Stakeholders,

As you know all too well, the COVID-19 mitigation efforts have resulted in disruption to our daily lives. However, OVR’s core mission remains the same, and OVR staff are dedicated to partnering with our vendor community and working through the challenges to serve as many individuals as possible. Despite all the uncertainty in the world, the staff at OVR are working tirelessly to provide services virtually to the people that depend on us the most and create employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

OVR is pleased to inform you of positive news regarding customers who are on OVR’s Order of Selection (OOS) wait list. On May 1, 2020, we will begin processing an estimated 4,500 customers off the wait list with priority given to eligible customers who have been on the wait list the longest. We will continuously reevaluate opportunities to move additional cases off the wait list into the future. For additional information, please refer to OVR’s Order of Selection web page.


Shannon Austin
Executive Director, OVR


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