This workshop is designed for parents of children in special education or that might need special education. Come and gain a working knowledge of special education laws, including your role in the development of an appropriate education program (IEP) and how to be an effective partner with the school team in the process.

Este taller es para padres que tiene hijos en educación especial, o pueden calificar para educación especial. Venga y gane conocimientos sobre las leyes de educación especial, incluyendo su participación en el desarrollo del plan individualizado de educación (IEP) y como ser un efectivo participante con el equipo de la escuela de su hijo.

The Next STEP: IEP Planning and Instructionally Appropriate IEP’s Workshop. This workshop is designed to enable participants to understand and fully participate in the IEP Team process. Participants will learn:

  • The types of needs and services that can be provided through “special education” services.
  • The information on the Individual Education Program (IEP) document and where it goes.
  • How to express parent concerns and ensure they are addressed by the IEP team.
  • Understand the process to set and write Measurable Annual Goals.
  • Strategies to prepare for effective participation in IEP meetings for their children and youth with disabilities.

If you have a child with a disability and would like to know more about your child’s right to be educated with students who do not have disabilities and you have questions on how to make inclusion work…this workshop is for you. You will learn about: How placement decisions are made. What is meant by “continuum of placement options” being available. How to demonstrate the need for additional supports in the general education classroom. What are the benefits of inclusion? The requirements for students pre-school through high school will be discussed.

Would you like to learn how to better communicate what your child needs? Does your child have an educational plan that is not being carried out and you want to know what steps to take? If you answered yes, then this workshop is designed for you! Come and learn about your part in your child’s special education, including the skills you need to work with the schools in the development of an appropriate education program (IEP) for your child and the process to follow if you are having difficulties making the special education system work.

For parents of children in special education and parents of children who may need special education, it is important to make sense of evaluations and assessments. Come and learn about your part in your child’s special education, including understanding and using evaluations in the development of an appropriate education program.

This is an educational and skill-building workshop for families of infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities. Parents will receive the following information:

  • Basic Rights information regarding services and protections available for children under IDEA–Birth to three (Early Intervention — Part C) & Age 3 and up: Special Education (Part B)
  • What to expect when a child is transitioning from services at age 3 to services in the school system
  • Information on other transitions such as from pre-school to Kindergarten
  • Details about an appropriate IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan); IEP (Individualized Education Program)

Come and learn about your part in your child’s education at this important stage of early childhood!

This workshop is designed for individuals with disabilities and their families who are in the process of preparing for transition and professionals involved in the transition planning process. Participants will learn about issues such as the following: Your rights & role in transitioning from High School; How to develop an appropriate Transition Plan; Employment; Independent Living; Keys to navigating the adult service delivery system including Social Security, Vocational Rehab., Medicaid Waiver, and many others.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects children with disabilities from acts of discrimination and exclusion because of their disability.

Are you wondering if this workshop would benefit you? If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may want to attend this FREE training. Has your child ever been excluded from a field trip or school function because of “behavior”? Does your child have a disability but does not meet the criteria for IDEA Special Education? Are there accommodations needed at school that relate to your child’s medical/health condition? Is your child currently receiving Special Education? The workshop will cover the special supports a child with a disability is entitled to so that they can be successful in school. It will also cover the protections available to children to protect them from acts of discrimination and exclusion.

Parents, family members, advocates, and professionals from disability organizations will learn…an in depth overview of Tennessee’s RTI² framework and how this problem solving model will be used to identify need for special education intervention. In addition, an overview of Instructionally Appropriate IEPs will be delivered with discussion around identified area(s) of deficit, establishing need, present levels of performance, measurable annual goals and progress monitoring.

Transition Academy are generally held two times per year. The locations vary from year to year. If you are interested in helping to bring a Transition Academy to your area, contact your TNSTEP Coordinator.

What happens when the school bus stops coming? This is an important question for a student or individuals with disabilities and their families. Don’t wait until the bus stops coming to plan for how a student will spend their day and the rest of their life. In Tennessee, transition planning should start when a student is 14 and should continue until plans and outcomes that result in the individual continuing to live, learn, play, and contribute to their community in a way that they are happy, supported, or protected when needed. The Transition Institute is for students and individuals with disabilities and their families, teachers, Voc. Rehab. staff, members of their circle of friends, and other professionals who care for and about them and wish to learn more about how to support them as they become adults. Presenters, including students and individuals with disabilities, will share information that will assist those attending as they think about answering such questions as What services and supports now provided by the school will no longer be available? What changes at age 18? Where and how does someone get adult services? Why is it important to make plans early? What role do the family, school, and other providers play in planning? What are the timelines and rules of the adult service delivery system, including Social Security, Vocational Rehab., and Medicaid Waiver?

Children with disabilities can benefit from working on reading and writing skills! We are pleased to be partnering with State Improvement Grant partners to present a workshop focusing on literacy strategies to assist families and teachers in weaving literacy into the Individualized Plans for students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities. Reading research, response to intervention and hands on strategies will be part of this event. This workshop is an opportunity for parents and teachers to increase knowledge and skills in this area.

These Conferences are designed for parents and caregivers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who have children with special needs, including those whose first language is not English. The purpose of the conference is to provide information, strategies, and tools that empower families on issues related to special education and parent engagement.

Conferencia Multicultural de Liderazgo para padres de Tennessee.

Estas conferencias están diseñadas para padres y guardianes de orígenes cuturales y linguísticos diversos que tienen niños con necesidades especiales, esto incluye a todo aquel que su primera lengua no es el Ingles. El propósito de esta conferencia es para proporcionar información, estrategias y herramientas que empoderen familias sobre temas relacionados con la educación especial y la participación de los padres.

Kodak Moments from TNSTEP Conferences, Institutes, and Fund Raising Events

Groups of parents are coming together across TN who want to make their schools and communities a better place for students with disabilities. TNSTEP will support these grassroots efforts by providing Leadership Training to small groups of parents who would like to be “agents of change” in their community. Our staff will assist the group in team building activities, identifying their core mission, and leadership assessments. Our goal is to assist parents and family members to begin thinking of themselves as leaders, and about the contributions and roles they and other parents can make in leadership, advocacy, and policy-making. Parent leaders are needed to fill positions on local, state, and national boards and parents of children with disabilities can have a great impact on outcomes for students with disabilities. Sessions will focus on starting parents on the journey to systems change activities or building on existing structures. Another emerging area that families can have a great impact is through collaborating on parental involvement activities at their local school.

Each PALS session will be uniquely designed to meet the needs and focus of the families, which will vary from region to region and group to group. We particularly interested in offering facilitated planning sessions to parents in rural areas where it is often difficult to access this type of leadership training. Groups will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the Coordinator for your area of the state if you are interested in learning more!

  • The definition of inclusion and least restrictive environment, including continuum of services
  • Increase understanding of “core instruction”
  • How classrooms can be universally designed to create a learning environment that is inclusive of ALL students
  • Strategies to engage all students through different approaches to learning
  • Considering the needs of the child, family, and curriculum
  • How to use the information to effectively communicate a child’s strengths, needs, and learning style
  • Inclusive Education Story


TNSTEP relies on members of local communities to help us bring the workshops we offer to every county! We believe in supporting local communities by increasing opportunities for parents, caregivers, and community agencies to become actively involved. Sponsoring a workshop is a great way to increase access to accurate, reliable information for those in your community.