FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2006
Schumer Announces Over $530,000 In Federal Funds For Advocacy Center In Rochester
Grant Will Be Used For Families With Disabled Children to Educate and Train Parents in Advocacy
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that a $532,867 grant was awarded to the Advocacy Center in Rochester. Funding was awarded under the Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities Program, part of the U.S. Department of Education. The federal dollars will be used to educate, train, and support parents as advocates for their children with disabilities.
"This is great use of federal dollars for families in the Rochester area," Schumer said. "It is essential that our children, especially those with disabilities, have a voice in the community. This program will provide parents with the tools, training and resources to become that voice. This will benefit their own children and the community as a whole.”
“The Advocacy Center is thrilled to be able to continue our work with our community partners across New York State and we are grateful for Senator Schumer’s support in obtaining this award,” said Paul Shew, Executive Director of the Advocacy Center. “Parents of children who have disabilities want to be active and full participants in their child’s education. This grant allows us to continue to educate and support parents so that they in turn can help their children learn and unleash their true potential.” The goal of the program is to provide training on the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), information, referral, technical assistance, and educational advocacy services to parents and families of children with disabilities. The project will also collaborate with a variety of local agencies to sustain and enhance awareness and access to IDEA information for parents across the state. Other aspects of the program include helping parents to gain a greater knowledge of their children’s disabilities, learning skills for communication with teachers and other care providers and building stronger partnerships with schools.
The program design consists of five agreements with local Core Community Partners to provide training, support, advocacy and outreach to families of children with disabilities. The project aims to improve upon nontraditional strategies to increase the impact of its current services and improve outreach and training to underserved and un-served families, especially in urban and rural areas. The Advocacy Center expects to serve 10,000 families per year over the next 5 years through the Training and Information program.
Schumer has long been a supporter of IDEA, and earlier this year cosponsored an amendment to the budget resolution which would have fully funded IDEA.