The Parent Mentor Project (PMP) is Ohio’s system for organizing parent mentors, but many districts have also hired people into a similar role, who are not affiliated with the PMP. The PMP, funded by the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children, originated in 1991 for further information, please visit The Ohio Coalition for Children with Disabilities (OCECD).
Parent Mentors are parents of students with disabilities and who have experience with the special education processes and procedures. Parent Mentors act as navigators for parents new to special education, or those wanting additional support navigating all the procedures. They also can serve as helpful resource guides and trainers to both schools and families. Parent Mentors are usually associated with K-12 services, as they are usually hired by local school districts. Some services they provide include:
- Helping families prepare for individualized education program (IEP) meetings
- Attending IEP meetings with families,
- Educating families on the special education processes.
Ohio Hands & Voices, in affiliation with Hands & Voices is a non-profit, parent-driven organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Ohio Hands & Voices is unbiased about communication methodologies and believe that families can make the best choices for their child if they have access to good information and support.
Ohio Hands & Voices has a program titled, Advocacy Support & Training (ASTra) where trained and certified advocates are available to assist parents and families through their child’s IEP process. Visit the Hands and Voices website for more information.