Skip to main content

Project Launch

Project Launch works in partnership with parent centers in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

About Our Partners

In October of 2020, PACER Center received the Project Launch grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration to develop and implement rural and urban parent and youth trainings in an 8-state area (Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, West Virginia). Project Launch partners with Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), Centers of Independent Living, Workforce centers, employers, and other Parent Training and Information (PTI) centers to provide information and training in support of the RSA’s goal of meaningful employment, independent living, and full community inclusion outcomes.

Project Launch’s mission is to serve transition age youth and their family members in an 8-state area. Our priority is underserved and underrepresented families, including those who are culturally and racially diverse.

Learn more about our parent center partners’ activities below.

The Illinois’ Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center is a Project Launch Center of Expertise on serving rural youth and their families and will develop resources on this topic. The mission of the Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center is to build upon families' strengths, empower parents and professionals to achieve the strongest possible outcomes for students with disabilities, and to enhance the quality of life for children and young adults with disabilities.

Deb Einhorn
[email protected]
(217) 717-8016
Family Matters
1901 S. 4th Street, Suite 209
Effingham, IL 62401

The Illinois Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD) is a Project Launch Center of Expertise on serving undocumented immigrants and refugees with disabilities and will develop resources on this topic. FRCD helps promote the growth of informal parent/professional/consumer coalitions and provides education tailored to refuge and immigrant communities. FRCD will develop materials on transition basics addressing specific barriers that these communities face and create a mentoring checklist for parents and partner organizations on serving parents of youth with disabilities from refugee and immigrant communities.  

Michelle Phillips
[email protected]
Lynn Betts
[email protected]  
(312) 939-3513
11 E. Adams St. Suite 615
Chicago, IL 60603

The Indiana IN*SOURCE Parent Training and Information Center is a Project Launch Center of Expertise on vocational rehabilitation agency Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and will develop resources on this topic. These resources will help explain the support and services provided under Pre-ETS and how to access service. IN*SOURCE exists to help parents of children with disabilities navigate the complicated special education process in the state of Indiana. . IN*SOURCE helps bridge the gap between schools and parents and strives to connect the dots that become the individual path to success for children with disabilities.

Jennifer Diaz [email protected]
Dawn McGrath [email protected]
1703 S. Ironwood Drive
South Bend IN 46613

The Kentucky KY-SPIN Parent Training and Information Center is a Project Launch Center of Expertise on Self-Determination Tools for Youth and Families and will develop related resources on this topic. KY-SPIN believes youth voice in their own future is critical to their success.  Families also play a critical role in supported decision making for youth.  With the right tools and support, bright futures lie ahead for our youth.  KY-SPIN will be developing short videos, infographics and webinars related to self-determination to assist youth and their families. 

Rhonda Logsdon
[email protected]
10301-B Deering Rd. #B
Louisville, KY 40272

The Michigan Alliance for Families Parent Training and Information Centeris a Project Launch Center of Expertise on serving Foster Youth and will develop resources on this topic. MAF provides individual assistance, workshops, and resources to youth in foster care and their families. MAF will develop workshops, videos, tip sheets, and toolkits to support foster youth with disabilities in the areas of post-secondary education, independent living skills, and employment. These resources may also be used by Parent Center staff, educators, and service providers to assist foster youth and families.

Kanika Littleton
[email protected]
Office: 248.557.5070 ext. 115
Michigan Alliance for Families
1325 S. Washington Avenue
Lansing, MI 48910

The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) Parent Training and Information Center is a Project Launch Center of Expertise on Youth Engagement and will develop resources on this topic. OCECD has developed a virtual transition training (a virtual training to complement their in-person transition training offerings for youth) to empower all transition age youth to become self-advocates including youth who are:  incarcerated, aging-out of foster care, hospitalized for mental health concerns, or at risk. Through collaborations with other Ohio agencies serving these at-risk youth, the OCECD is identifying ways to provide their transition training for these youth. OCECD will be developing infographics to help inform about youth empowerment, self-determination, self-advocacy and more. Lastly, the OCECD is connecting with Ohio agencies/organizations that provide specialized transition services to youth in order to create a clearinghouse of resources for empowering youth.

Lisa Hickman
[email protected]
Amy Freeman, Statewide Transition Programs Coordinator,
[email protected]
(740) 382-5452
165 W Center St # 302
Marion, OH 43302

The Wisconsin FACETS Parent Training and Information Centeris a Project Launch Center of Expertise on the Transition IEP and will develop non-state-specific resources on this topic that parent centers may use. In Year 1, we will be creating a Transition Checklist to assist parents and students with preparing for their Transition IEP meeting. The final publication will be translated in Spanish. WI FACETS also has expertise in devising youth leadership development opportunities and can assist with ideas on youth leadership training topics and protocols, particularly how to partner with other nonprofit agencies such as Independent Living Centers to bring training to various communities.

Courtney Salzer
 [email protected]
Nelsinia Ramos
[email protected]
Wisconsin FACETS
600 W. Virginia Street, Suite 501
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204

The West Virginia Parent Training and Information Centeris a Project Launch Center of Expertise on Building Self-Advocacy skills and will develop resources for families on this topic. WV PTIC is committed to providing parents and families the tools to ensure that children, youth, and young adults with special needs lead enriched lives as full members of their schools and communities.

Brenda Lamkin
[email protected]
West Virginia Parent Training and Information
99 Edmiston Way, Suite 101
Buckhannon, WV 26201