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Systems Change

This week the nation seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when on Tuesday a Minnesota jury delivered the verdict declaring Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd. After a year of unrest and a number of other deaths suffered in the Black community, this verdict is a glimmer of hope for reform and needed change within our systems. At PEAK, we work for inclusion, equity, and social justice, not just for those with disabilities,Read more
Each day I look out my office window the grass is a little greener, there are buds on the trees and warm weather has begun to tease its way through early spring. Welcome to April, the month where aside from Earth Day, Child Abuse Prevention Month, International Children’s Book Day, and Tax Day, we have Autism Awareness Month. Autism awareness brings with it some heated dialogue. Most people are already aware of autism. Some have opted to replace the wordRead more
By Anna Marcus & Leann Springer Around the world, children are excluded from schools where they belong because of disability, race, language, religion, gender, and poverty. PEAK’s mission, as you probably already know, is to provide training, information, and technical assistance to equip families with strategies to advocate successfully for their children. As a result of these services children and adults will live rich, active lives participating as full members of their schools and communities. We know that an inclusiveRead more
A few weeks ago, I began to search my social media feed for inspiration as to what PEAK should post for Independence Day. I came upon a quote from the Black Lives Matter movement’s official Facebook page, @BlackLivesMatter. It reads, “Each of our own liberation is tied to one another. We cannot be fully free until every member of our community is free. That is why we must be intentional and steadfast in centering the voices of the most marginalizedRead more

A Time to Reach Out, Build, and Connect

I sit here typing in my home office looking out the large windows to our back yard. It’s a patio that at some point was closed in. I hear my son speak into his school computer to two of his teachers via Zoom meeting. His voice echoes from his bedroom, down the hall, through my bedroom, and finally to me while I ponder all the problems we’re facing and glance out at the ponderosa pines dancing in the breeze. IRead more

Conference on Inclusive Education FAQ

We’ve been busy these last few months creating all things conference. Everyone at PEAK Parent Center is excited and proud to bring you the 34th Annual Conference on Inclusive Education , Discover the Possibilities. Whether you are a veteran attendee or plan to attend for the first time, PEAK’s Annual Conference on Inclusive Education is the premier event to connect you with all things inclusive education. This year’s line-up of keynoters features classic conference names like Jonathan Mooney , who’sRead more

Coming Together for ALL

Members of our PEAK staff recently joined fellow Parent Training and Information (PTI) and Community Parent Resource (CPRC) centers in Tacoma, WA for the Region D Parent Technical Assistance Center annual meeting. PEAK is just one of many PTIs and CPRCs nationwide working to bring resources, information, and training to parents of children with disabilities and young self-advocates. This meeting is an opportunity to come together to network, collaborate, and learn from experts to help us provide the best informationRead more

Belonging: Being Accepted No Matter What

At PEAK we are honored to work with families and youth that call us, come through our doors, or meet at workshops and conferences. PEAK is touched by the success that families who work with us create for themselves after gaining the tools needed to successfully navigate systems and situations. We are driven by the work we do because of the results that families report to us. Read about one family’s experience: “Before Parker was born, I dreamed of theRead more

Negotiation, By Steve Taylor

This article, originally prepared in 1979 and republished in 2000, is still very relevant to the work that families, self-advocates, and systems-change leaders engage in on a daily basis. Enjoy, and please take a moment to learn more about the author at the end of this blog post. Negotiation, By Steven J. Taylor Short-term/Long-term You can use negotiations to work for either short-term or long-term change. Short-term change usually means helping one or a small number of people without radicallyRead more