The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 3, 2013

Meeting set for parents of children with special needs

BY DENNIS BARTLOW
Commercial-News

COVINGTON, Ind. — March is Disabilities Awareness Month, and an informational meeting for parents of special needs children in Fountain County is set for Thursday.

Jill Summerlot, the Fountain County advocate for children with special needs, will share resources and materials about parental rights and information available under Article 7, which deals with the rights and laws concerning special education.

"Many of our parents aren’t aware of the advocacy program, nor do they know where to turn before a case conference concerning their child," said Darla Nine of Veedersburg, Ind., the mother of a special needs child at Southeast Fountain Elementary School. "There is a need to get this information out.”

Nine said much of this is still new, and some school staffs don’t have the latest information.

"Lots of parents don’t know how to reach out for community resources and state laws," said Becky Gremore of Covington, who has a grandchild with special needs at Covington. "Lots of parents don’t have a clue."

Nine and Gremore estimate there are at least 40 students each in the Southeast Fountain and Covington schools who are special needs students.

"We are getting more kids diagnosed," Gremore said. "We want to let parents know they have options."

Summerlot will have handouts for parents and explain websites available for their use.

Coming up

An informational meeting for parents of special needs children in Fountain County will begin at 6 p.m. EST Thursday at the Covington Public Library, 622 Fifth St. Fountain County Advocate Jill Summerlot will speak and share resources and material about parental rights and resources available under the state’s Article 7 concerning rights and laws for special education. Call the library at (765) 793-2572 to register so that enough material will be available.