Parent groups can play important roles for families with children with special needs, providing families with information they need to know to stand up for their children’s educational rights. Sometimes they connect them with specialized nonprofit organizations, as Community Education Council 16 in Brooklyn did when they asked Advocates for Children to provide a parents with on special education and understanding Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). 

To support other parents of children with IEPs and special needs, Brooklyn parent Olga Garcia-Kaplan ran for the designated IEP parent representative seat on her children’s elementary school’s School Leadership Team (SLT). After she was elected, in an attempt to improve communication among the parents she represented, she started an email network that resulted in a collaborative group of informed and supported parents.