About

The role of the Family Committee is to support DEC in promoting authentic engagement of families of children with disabilities and other special needs in all DEC activities and to provide support towards the accomplishment of DEC’s Global Ends. Committee members assist DEC in these efforts by working collaboratively with the Executive Office staff. As such, the charge of the Family Council includes ensuring families are involved in the following activities:  

  • Membership 

    • Engaging families of children with disabilities and other special needs as active members of DEC.

  • Conference and Institutes (including as attendees and presenters)

    • Ensuring options, for example, utilizing family members as co-presenters, recommending family members as co-presenters in the presentation selection criteria.

    • Identifying and assigning peer mentors to family/parent members in attendance.

    • Providing tips and knowledge about opportunities for parents/families to receive support to attend conferences/training, including options for scholarships.

    • Facilitating a follow-up webinar for families who have attended the conference and received a scholarship.

  • Organizational Involvement

    • Supporting family member involvement in all DEC-sponsored national councils, commissions, the production of resources and products, and initiatives.

      • Publications and Products 

        • It is highly recommended that all DEC publications should be inclusive of families as appropriate. Examples include having parent/family members as reviewers, authors, and co-authors. In addition, promote the development and dissemination of  DEC products and activities that support families with young children with disabilities and special health care needs.

      • Position Statements 

        • It is highly recommended that position statement work groups should be inclusive of parent/family members and position statement content should be inclusive of the family perspective and experience whenever appropriate.

      • Committee 

        • Each committee should have the requirement of including a least one family member.

      • Communities of Practice (CoPs)

        • CoPs should, at a minimum, seek family input on activities and seek to include family members.

      • State Subdivisions 

        • Participation on state subdivision boards is highly encouraged. Subdivisions that include parent board members should be given one free conference registration for the parent member.

      • DEC Executive Board 

        • The Nominations of the Executive Board is highly encouraged to seek family members as nominees for open positions.

Meetings & Events

Check back soon for more information!

Co-Chairs ​

Darla Gundler, gundler@live.com

Mark Smith, msmitha@unmc.edu

Board Liaisons 

Diana J. LaRocco, dlarocco@hartford.edu

Ted Burke, beyondthebox.ted@gmail.com

 
 

Family Committee

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