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Family Engagement for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Welcome to the West Salem Family Engagement Page!

If you are a parent of a child with a disability and your child receives services through our special education department, we hope that this page can provide your family with useful information and resources.

If you ever have any questions about special education or if you ever need to talk to another parent please feel free to contact Tiffany Lisk, Family Engagement Liaison for the West Salem School District. You may call Tiffany during normal school hours at 786-1662, or you may email her at lisk.tiffany@wsalem.k12.wi.us.

On this page you will find links to resources that are intended to provide information on a variety of topics for families and educators. It is not a complete list of all services available in the La Crosse area and is not meant to be an endorsement or recommendation of these particular agencies.


Special Education Resources for Families

Introduction to Special Education: A general overview of special education and the IEP process

SPED in Plain Language: A parent friendly resource that explains education laws, policies, and practices in Wisconsin.

Parents Rights in Special Education (Procedural Safeguards): This document explains the rights parents and students have in regards to special education services.

Resources for Families

CESA 4 Family Engagement Website: Provides links to Family Engagement Newsletters, resources and trainings available to families. http://www.cesa4.k12.wi.us/programs/familyengagement.cfm

Link to WSPEI Live Binder of resources for Families:
http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?present=true&id=1228925

Finding Your Way
This guide is a highly acclaimed resource for families who have children with special health care needs and disabilities. If you have questions about your child’s development or have recently received a diagnosis this guide can help you navigate the many organizations and resources available to families. It provides a brief description of programs, services, support systems, and provides contact information for different agencies. To learn more go to:
www.waisman.wisc.edu/cedd/pdfs/products/community/FYW_e.pdf

Wisconsin First Step An information and referral service to assist Wisconsin families and providers working with children and youth with special needs. Call 1-800-642-7837
http://www.mch-hotlines.org/wisconsin-first-step

Acronyms and Abbreviations for special education list

Transition Information

Opening Doors to Adult Services

Opening Doors to Self-Determination Skills

Opening Door to Employment

Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Provides employment services and counseling to people with disabilities
For more information go to http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr

Local Agencies that Assist Families

Family Engagement Liaison for the West Salem School District
Tiffany Lisk is the Family Engagement Liaison for the West Salem School District. Her role is to assist families as they work through the special education process. The goal is to help families and educators work together to make this process less challenging. You may contact Tiffany at 786-1662 or email her at lisk.tiffany@wsalem.k12.wi.us

Wisconsin Family Ties
A Family Advocate is available in the community free of charge through Wisconsin Family Ties (WFT). Family Advocates team up with individual families and the professionals working with them to help guide them through the steps they may need to take. Whether it’s working with schools, child welfare, mental health services, developmental or physical disabilities or the juvenile justice system, the family advocate can help families clarify their options and access support for their children. Vicky Shanley works with families in La Crosse County. Please feel free to contact Vicky Shanley at (608) 317-0275 to learn more or visit http://www.wifamilyties.org/

WI FACETS
Services provided include:
Free workshops: Choose from in person, over the phone or online. These are for parents and professionals who work with children with disabilities. A list of upcoming workshops is available on their website.
Support groups: Meet with other parents in the community or online support groups
Information and Referral: They can offer referrals to other programs and agencies.
For more information go to www.wifacets.org or Call toll free 1-877-374-0511.

La Crosse County Human Services (includes how to apply for a special needs social worker, Birth to 3 services, etc.) for more information go to http://www.co.la-crosse.wi.us/humanservices/

Family and Children’s Center
Services include: Alternative schools, community based counseling, residential options
For more information go to www.fcconline.org or call 785-0001

The Parenting Place: (formerly Family Resources)
Provides support and education to those who care for children
For more information go to: http://www.theparentingplace.net

Parent to Parent
Connect one-on-one with another parent who has faced similar challenges.
For more information go to http://www.p2pwi.org