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Family Engagement

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, WSPEI Family Engagement Coordinator at (608)-786-4828 or tlisk@cesa4.org

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.

DPI Dyslexia Guidebook

Resources for Families

Link to WSPEI Live Binder of resources for Families:

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:

Well Badger
An information and referral service to assist Wisconsin families and providers working with children and youth with special needs.
Call (608) 360-9328

Frequently Used Education Acronyms/Terms in Special Education

Communication Options for Families Form
This form. provides options families have available to them if they have questions or disagree with a decision of the school.  

Student Snapshot
This form can be filled out by the family to provide a "snapshot" of the child to share with the IEP team. 

My Snapshot
This form can be filled out by the student independently or with assistance to provide a "snapshot" of what the student wants the IEP team to know about them. 

Transition Information
Before Age 18

If you are a teen with a disability or a family member or someone close to a teen with a disability, this website can help you explore and prepare for the future. It shares action steps for teens and also for families based on the age of the child. 

Wisconsin Transition Resource Guide 
This guide provides tips and resources to help plan for adulthood and life after high school. 

Supported Decision Making Toolkit
There are alternatives to guardianship. Supported decision-making empowers individuals with disabilities to make informed decisions about their life that protect their rights and ensure their safety and privacy. It involves family and friends working together to help them make complex decisions. 

Opening Doors to Adult Services
Opening Doors to Self-Determination Skills
Opening Doors to Employment
Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training
Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) - Provides employment services and counseling to people with disabilities.

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  (608)-786-4828 or email her at tlisk@cesa4.org

CESA 4 Community Resources Livebinder

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/

Services provided include:
WI FACETS Family Engagement Newsletter-December 2021
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  (608)-785-0001

The Parenting Place
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

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin

The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin exists to provide a community for individuals affected by autism, their families, and the professionals who serve them. 
For more information go to https://www.autismgreaterwi.org


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