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Parents as Presenters


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Did you know when college students hear directly from families, they become better teachers, social workers and health professionals?

This is a 2-day workshop. During the two days, you will learn about and practice skills to effectively share your story with college students and community professionals. There is not a cost to you for attending the workshop. Individuals or couples receive a stipend to assist with costs for attending such as childcare, hotel and travel expenses. At the end of the workshop, participants will:

  1. Understand the multiple purposes of being able to tell their family story to an audience in a positive way;
  2. Understand presentation strategies and will formulate creative ideas for their personal presentation;
  3. Demonstrate and receive feedback from other participants as they present a sample "Telling Their Story" presentation;
  4. Develop a network among them to support "Telling Your Story" around the state.

Legal Requirements and Reports

There are no legal requirements or reports for Parents as Presenters. A directory is collected each year and the names of parents who are willing to present at college level are sent to staff at the teacher preparation institutions in the state.


The following individuals make up the workgroup that plans, designs and conducts to Parents as Presenters training:

Deb Samson

Shelley Ackermann

Susan Selby

Mailing Address
Department of Education
Bureau of Learning Strategies & Supports
Grimes State Office Building
400 E 14th St
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146

ASK Family Resource Center Workgroup Members

Mailing address:

ASK Family Resource Center
5665 Greendale Road, Suite D
Johnston, IA  50131
515-243-1713 or 800-450-8667
FAX: 515-243-1902

Funding Sources

Parents as Presenters is funded through the Iowa Department of Education with IDEA 2004 Part B dollars that comes into the state from the federal government. The Iowa State Department of Education chooses to spend money on this project for parents because of their belief in the power and effectiveness of parents telling their experiential stories in improving the systems that work with children with disabilities and their families.

Guiding Practices

Your Story is Important

The purpose of telling your story is:

To promote sensitivity and awareness:

  1. Your story is a way to let current and future service providers know how they can be sensitive to families;
  2. Most service providers have little or no opportunity to interact with families of children with disabilities before they begin working in the field. Your story will contribute to their education and preparation to work with families and to include children with disabilities with other children.

To educate about family-centered services:

  1. Children with disabilities are a part of family. As you speak about your family, they will see that you focus on other family members, as well as your child with disabilities.
  2. Service providers will understand that their own expertise is enhanced when they consider the family as a valuable resource.

To show your audience that KIDS are KIDS:

  1. Children with disabilities are kids first, and have the same hopes and dreams as other children.
  2. Children with disabilities need opportunities to be with other children in natural community settings.


The Participant Manual
This manual is intended to help college and university faculty and others throughout Iowa identify family members of children with disabilities who are willing to share their stories. Families can be influential in shaping college students' attitudes and practices when family participation is integrated throughout college courses and experiences.

The Faculty Workshop Manual
This manual is used in facilitating "Parents as Presenters" workshops. These 2-day workshops provide training to families of children with disabilities who are interested in sharing their experiences with college classes and other audiences. Iowa SCRIPT (Supporting Change and Reform in Interpersonal Preservice Training) and Early ACCESS (Iowa's early intervention system) sponsor the workshops because we believe that partnerships between families and providers are vital for a quality, family-centered system of support.

The Reimbursement Form
These forms are used to request a $35 stipend for presenting a "Family Story" in a pre- or in-service class.  This form has the information for the parent presenter to fill out for the stipend, an instructor form to be filled out by a classroom teacher and a W-9 for the individuals who have not applied to receive the stipend ever or within the past two years or if there has been an address change.

2015-2016 Family Guest Speaker Form for Instructors with Family Claim Form and W-9

Calendar of Events

The workshop dates for 2015: September 25 & 26, 2015 at the Drury Inn

Workshop Brochure and application

2015 Parents as Presenters Brochure

2015 Parents as Presenters Manual

Julie Carmer

PEC Coordinators at AEAs

ASK Resource Center


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 31, 2016 at 8:38pm.