History
Mission

Our Commitment
Current Projects
Benefits of NPND Membership
Membership Information
Board of Directors
Staff


History

The National Parents Network on Disabilities was formally established in December 1988, but traces its origins to a much earlier time, to the dreams and aspirations of pioneer parent leaders in this country. These parents understood and voiced the need for a strong, structured national voice and presence representing the interests and needs of all parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs.

In 1976, the dream moved toward reality when five parent center coalitions, each with a membership consisting of representatives of various disability-specific organizations, were established with federal funding. The mandate of each coalition was to provide information, training and support to parents of children with disabilities. The initial parent center coalitions proved to be enormously effective. By 1983, the federal government had expanded the program under which the coalitions were funded with the objective of establishing one in every state. As of 1995, there were 76 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) located in all states and jurisdictions, serving over 750,000 parents and their families.

Concomitant with the growth in federally-supported initiatives such as the parent center coalitions, there were numerous other developments. Parent groups providing services for all different types of disabilities emerged. Groups representing common problems like mental retardation or cerebral palsy grew in number and area served. Almost every name syndrome, condition, or special health care need now has its own group to provide a collective capacity to be more effective. All across the 50 states and the territories, parents are emerging as their children's best advocates, and the persons who "stay" while teachers and service providers "move on."

In 1989, the NPND established its first office in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with Ms. Patricia McGill Smith as the Executive Director. She came to NPND with more than 20 years of experience at the local, state, national and international levels as a parent leader in the field of disability. She is an acknowledged authority on governmental relations, policy, research and programs in the areas of special education, vocational rehabilitation, and respite care.


Mission

The mission of the National Parent Network on Disabilities (NPND) is to provide a presence and national voice for ALL families of children youth and adults with disabilities.


Our Commitment

NPND is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering parents. Located in Washington, DC, NPND has the unique capability to provide it's members with the most up-to-date information on the activities of all three branches of government that impact individuals with disabilities and their families. NPND's primary activities include advocating for and supporting the development and implementation of legislation that will improve the lives and protect the rights of children, youth and adults with disabilities.

NPND's Membership includes individuals and family members, as well as national, state and local organizations which represent the interests of individuals with disabilities.

The governing boards of member organizations must be comprised of a majority of parents or family members of persons with disabilities.

NPND is committed to ensuring that parents and families of children, youth and adults with a disability have a voice in policy decisions at the national level.

NPND serves, supports and advocates for parents and families of individuals with disabilities in a manner that is responsive to the cultural values of ALL families.

NPND in partnership with national, state and local organizations, will identify needs and policy issues that impact parents and families of individuals with disabilities.

NPND will support and develop programs and policies that enable parents, families and individuals with disabilities to have choices throughout their lives.

NPND supports the fundamental rights of parents, families or individuals with disabilities to be the primary decision-makers regarding their services and other issues effecting their lives.

NPND is committed to training and education in areas related to the roles, rights and responsiblities of parents and families of individuals with disabilities.

NPND is committed to advocating for the inclusion of individuals with disabilities and their families in all aspects of society.


Current Projects

Parents Engaged in Education Reform (PEER) is a federally funded project of the Federation for Children with Special Needs in Boston that seeks to increase the participation by parents of children with special needs in school reform efforts. NPND has a subcontract to arrange tele-conferences and fact sheets appropriate to the project.

The National Parent Consortium on Maternal and Child Health is a diverse group brought together by means of a grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This group serves as a link between families and MCHB. The Consortium is working with Family Voices and the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health to develop Bright Futures for Families, holistic health supervision guidelines. We are also part of the Partnership for Information and Communication

NPND has a subcontract with Syracuse University Center on Human Policy for a collaborative project entitled Research and Training Center on Community Integration for Persons with Mental Retardation.

NPND is working with the University of Minnesota on Parent Case Management for People of Color Program. NPND is helping with information dissemination, enhancement of community collaborations, and resource identification.

NPND will be working on a mediation project with the University of Iowa Law School.


Benefits of NPND Membership include:

NPND's Board of Directors is committed to advocating for ALL parents and families of children, youth and adults with disabilities and is comprised of a majority of parents and family members.

NPND will only accept federal funding for the purposes of training, technical assistance and research.


Membership Information

The NPND is the first national level umbrella organization designed to unite individual parents, family members, grassroots parents' groups, statewide parent centers, and coalitions from across the nation. NPND's membership includes individuals and family members, as well as national, state and local organizations which represent the interests of individuals with disabilities.

Please e-mail NPND staff at for information on joining the Network. or click to MembershipForm that you can fill out and submit.


Board of Directors

NPND's Board of Directors is committed to advocating for ALL parents and families of children, youth and adults with disabilities and is comprised of a majority of parents and family members. Under the leadership of the President, Jan LaBelle ,Clearwater, Florida this culturally diverse, geographically dispersed group is and will continue to be representative of those that they have been elected to serve.

Executive Committee
President Jan LaBelle FL
Vice President    
Secretary Marta Anchondo CA
Treasurer    
Immediate Past President Mary LaCorte NC
Board Members
Nancy Diehl TN
Diana Autin NJ
Vince Hutchins VA
Janet Lonsdale PA
Denise Neal GA
Sylvia Piper IA
Madeleine Will MD

Staff

Patricia McGill Smith, Executive Director

Linda Shepard, New Executive Director, September 1, 2000

Jackie Golden, Program/Project Director

Laura Farah, MCHB/Friday Fax Staff

Anne M. Lauritzen, Website Editor


Home, Friday Fax, IDEA, National Parent Consortium, Kids Issues, Parent Ties, Need To Know, Resources, Sources, Federal Legislation, About NPND