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Parent Leadership in Special Education

Outcomes for children with disabilities are better when parents of children with disabilities are involved in the decisions that shape policy and drive changes in how services and resources are provided to families.  There are many opportunities to build on your experiences as a parent by joining in the work of serving the needs of all children with disabilities in Minnesota.

Local/Regional Level

Regional Interagency Early Intervention Committee (IEIC)

Provides information and resources that help parents, professionals, and community members identify infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who may be experiencing delays in their development and connect them to free early intervention services. Supports the work of Help Me Grow Minnesota in the implementation of Child Find activities required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). There are currently 12 regional IEICs in Minnesota. Contact the office of the Special Education Director for your school district to get connected to your regional IEIC.

Community Transition Interagency Committee (CTIC)

Identifies current local services, programs, and funding sources within the community for transition-age youth and their families. Contact the office of the Special Education Director for your school district to get connected to your area CTIC.

Children’s Mental Health and Family Services Collaboratives

Envisioned and created as an approach to address the needs of children and youth faced with complex problems, maximize results and resources by enhancing coordination and reducing duplication among systems, and involve communities, particularly families, in system redesign and implementation so their needs are effectively met.  There are currently 90 Children’s Mental Health and Family Services Collaboratives in Minnesota. 

State Level

Governor's Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC)

Advises and assists the Minnesota Department of Education in the planning, coordination and delivery of a coordinated statewide, interagency system of services to children birth to five with special needs and their families. The Council is responsible for fulfilling the duties required in federal law which are further defined in Minnesota Statute 125A.28 . The Council consists of 17-25 members appointed by the Governor.  Members must include parents of children with disabilities, public and private service providers and advocates, including representatives from state and local education, health and human services, higher education and the state Legislature.

Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP)

Provides policy guidance for the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) with respect to special education and related services for children and youth with disabilities in Minnesota. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establishes SEAP and outlines its duties. Members are appointed by the Governor’s office through the commissioner of education. Advisory panel members include parents, individuals with disabilities, educators, teacher trainers, advocates, special education administrators, and staff from MDE and other state agencies, bringing diverse perspectives together to make recommendations on special education issues.

State Advisory Council on Mental Health and Subcommittee on Children’s Mental Health

Makes recommendations to the governor, Legislature and state departments on mental health policies, programs and services. The State Advisory Council on Mental Health was established in 1987 under the Minnesota Statute 245.697 within the Comprehensive Mental Health Act. The governor appoints the State Advisory Council members.

Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD)

Provides information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self-determination, integration and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families.