The IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA) promotes mutual assistance, cooperation, and exchange of information and ideas in the administration of Part C and provides support to state and territory Part C coordinators in the administration of effective early intervention services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities and their families.
The IDEA Infant and Toddler Association (ITCA) National and Regional Parent Leadership Awards are given annually to acknowledge outstanding state / regional, and/or national parent leadership on behalf of the Part C program for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities and their families. Parents may be nominated on the basis of significant contributions, in either a volunteer or paid capacity, during a specific period of time, or for exceptional efforts over a period of several years. These efforts may range from family support efforts, recruiting and/or training families, serving on committees, working on legislative initiatives etc.
The ITCA will make Parent Leadership Awards in each of the Regional Resource Center (RRC) regions. Additionally, the National Parent leadership award will be chosen from individuals nominated for leadership efforts at the national level.
Past ITCA Parent Leadership National Award Winners Include:
2003 Margaret Sampson, NY
2004 Denise Arland, IN and Cassie Johnston, WA
2005 Carren Knehr, NV and Rachel Porcher, NM
2007 Darla Gundler, MA
2008 Maureen Casey, AZ
The ITCA Parent Leadership Awards are presented during the Part C Coordinator’s Meeting, which is hosted by the IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association and the Early Intervention Family Alliance during the annual OSEP National Early Childhood Conference in Washington, DC. The 2009 conference will be held December 7-9, 2009. Notice of the award recipients will also be announced in the ITCA Newsletter and on the ITCA website.
Nominees can be biological/adoptive parents, foster parents or grandparents of children with special needs who have participated in a Part C program. Nominees can represent a variety of different leadership roles that contribute to the Part C program, including:
1. Parent volunteers or parents not affiliated with any formal organization.
2. Parents serving in appointed positions on state or local ICC’s.
3. Parents in salaried positions, or who are compensated for their time.
4. Parents of young children with disabilities currently in the Part C Program, or parents whose children have transitioned, or whose children are older, but have remained actively involved in the Part C program.
5. Parents associated with a PTI, advocacy or other formal organization.
In selecting the recipients, consideration will be given to parents whose contributions include any of the following activities:
Actively engaging the involvement of other parents in local, state or national Part C policy/program activities, and sustaining that involvement through ongoing mentorship.
Promoting best practices in early intervention through participation in personnel preparation or collaborative training activities at the local, state or national level that enable families and providers to: understand and implement Part C family rights; understand and encourage children’s development; build family-centered support; or actively and successfully participate in their communities.
Advocacy at the local, state or national level that includes, but is not limited to activities that result in: changes to public policy that strengthened the Part C program; increased or preserved levels of funding; enhanced service delivery, including creating opportunities for services in natural environments; better public awareness; or implementation of family-centered supports and services.
The ITCA will appoint an Awards Committee of at least three (3) individuals, one of whom is the ITCA Past President and another shall be an individual who previously received an ITCA Parent Leadership Award to determine the award recipients.
The ITCA reserves the right to not make an award in a particular year.
Requests for nominations are distributed broadly to numerous organizations and entities.
To nominate an individual for the Parent Leadership Award, prepare a nomination packet that contains:
1. The nomination form
2. A short biography and/or a copy of the parent nominee’s vita
3. A brief description of the parent’s major achievements, which address at a minimum:
a. What was outstanding about the nominee's contribution(s)? Include information that highlights the scope of the nominee's achievements.
b. What was accomplished? How are these accomplishments relevant to the Part C program? What was the impact of the activities on the Part C system at the local, state or national level? Are the activities consistent with the mission and goals of the Part C program and the philosophy of family-centered early intervention?
c. Who benefited? Did the nominee’s contributions make a difference for Infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families? Parents serving in leadership roles? Professionals involved in the Part C program?
4. Letter(s) of support.
a. One letter, preferably from a parent (e.g., ICC Parent, parent mentee or parent advocate)
b. One from the state Part C Coordinator, if the person is being nominated for the Regional Parent Leadership Award
Submit Nomination Packet Electronically by October 1, 2009 to: firstname.lastname@example.org