deb presents workshops

FALL WORKSHOP SERIES: At RIPIN's Annual Meeting Deb Belanger, Training and Professional Development Manager, discusses RIPIN's Workshop Series.

workshop descriptions


Click HERE for a downloadable Workshop Description document


Basic Rights in Special Education (Children and Youth Ages 3-21)
This workshop focuses on how to access special education and related services for children with disabilities. Participants will learn the laws that affect special education in Rhode Island and will receive an overview of parents’ rights and responsibilities. Also available in Spanish. (2 hours)

Bullying and Harrassment of Students with Disabilities (What Parents & Professionals Need to Know)
Students with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than the general population. The focus of this workshop will be on the school’s responsibility to keep students safe and how parents can work with schools in preventing bullying. We will also discuss what happens when bullying limits a student’s ability to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Also available in Spanish(2 hours)

Individualized Education Program (IEP): A Blueprint for Student Success (for Children and Youth Ages 3-21)
Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an IEP designed to meet his/her unique needs. The foundation of this program is the IEP which is developed by a team of individuals which includes the parent(s). This workshop provides an overview of the major components of the IEP as well as a step by step walkthrough of RI’s IEP form. Two different workshops are offered: Pre-school / Elementary or Secondary Transition. Secondary transition level workshop also covers the Secondary Transition IEP for students 14 years or older and includes post-school goals in areas of employment, education and training and where appropriate, independent living skills. (2 hours) Prerequisite: Basic Rights in Special Education

Section 504 - A Parent’s Guide
A basic overview of Section 504 will be discussed along with basic changes to the law. Participants will learn how this pertains to children with disabilities and includes an exploration of how some students may now qualify for additional supports and accommodations in public schools. (2 hours) 

Section 504 after High School: College & Career
There are no IEP’s after high school! Whether students receive services through a 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP), parents of youth (and youth themselves) will receive information about the legal background of disability laws. In addition, participants will learn the process for securing needed accommodations and services under Section 504/ADAAA. Parents are encouraged to attend this valuable training with their high school student (2 hours)

Skills for Effective Parent Advocacy
Every parent wants to see their child happy, healthy, and part of their community. The goal of this presentation is to empower parents so they can become effective advocates for their children and receive the services their child needs. The intended audience for this training is parents of children with disabilities.(2 hours)


Basic Homework & Study Skills
This workshop will give parents tips on how they can help their child be successful in school and reduce the stress of homework. This workshop is appropriate for parents of students in grades 3 through 6. (1.5 hours)

The Right Question
Learning how to ask effective questions is an important skill needed to help parents support, monitor and advocate for their child’s education. This workshop offers an opportunity to learn the Question Formulation Technique. Participants will practice their question formulation skills and apply them to a specific topic. (Also available in Spanish) (1.5 hours)

The Successful Preschool IEP Meeting
The objectives of this workshop are to provide ideas on how to prepare for your child’s Early Childhood IEP meeting, define the family’s role and discuss practical ways to advocate for your child. Questions will be answered on what to bring to the IEP meeting and how to organize and present information that represents your child’s best interests. The content of this workshop focuses on meeting skills and does not provide a walkthrough of the IEP form. This curriculum was developed in collaboration with the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities. (2 hours)

Transition from Early Intervention (Children Birth to Age 3)
Participants will learn about the support services necessary to design and implement a successful transition from Early Intervention. The transition plan and differences in systems will be explored. (2 hours)

5...4...3 What's New For Me?
Tips for helping your child transition from ages 3 to 5. This is an exciting time in your child’s life! Whether they are going off to school, daycare or staying at home. The objective of this workshop is to give parents the tools to help their child develop and learn while keeping it fun. (2 hours)


Beginner's Guide to Public Policy
This training provides families with the tools necessary to navigate the political arena and advocate for their children. Participants will learn the fundamentals of government, how to compose letters to elected officials and provide testimony, thus enhancing their advocacy skills. (2 hours)

Options for Medical Assistance
This workshop covers the who, what, where, when, and why of Rhode Island Medical Assistance, Katie Beckett, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), RIte Care, and Comprehensive Evaluation Diagnosis Assessment Referral Re-evaluation (CEDARR) will be explored. (2 hours)


SEAC (Special Education Advisory Committee) Strategies for Success

RIPIN is offering an exciting training opportunity for Special Education Directors and the districts/schools they serve. Rhode Island has always valued home/school collaboration at the local level and shows its commitment to parent involvement by mandating Local Advisory Committees on Special Education through state statute. Rhode Island’s legal requirement gives all districts the responsibility and authority to ensure parents have the opportunity to be involved.

Topics include: Background & Basics, Recruiting & Retaining Members, Developing a Mission Statement, Strategies for Disseminating Information, Collaborative Leadership and Partnership, By-Laws, Running a Meeting, and Prioritizing Needs and Setting Goals.

The target audience for this comprehensive 15 hour training includes current parent leaders within local advisory committees, identified future parent leaders within a school district and district teams (2-4 parent leaders) developing a local advisory committee.

Support Group Facilitator Training
This training provides individuals with the tools necessary to start a support group. Participants will learn the basics of how to organize and maintain a support group while enhancing leadership skills. Participants and trainers will maintain contact as needed for technical assistance as new groups form until they become self-sustainable. (5 ½ hours)

MegaSkills® Training Series

       MegaSkills ®
         This five session workshop series is designed to help parents support their child’s learning in school and beyond. Participants
         will learn fun, easy at home activities to encourage learning in the areas of Confidence, Motivation, Responsibility, Effort,
         Caring, Teamwork, Initiative, Perseverance, Common Sense, Problem Solving and Focus.
Also available in Spanish.
         (Each workshop is 1.5 hours for a series total of 7.5 hours).

       MegaSkills ® Leader Training
         Participants in this full day training will learn how to facilitate the five basic MegaSkills ® sessions. Participants also must
         purchase leader kit which contains all handouts and activities for the series.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (for schools, parents and professionals)

RIPIN staff will provide Technical Assistance to schools on the following topics:

• Parent Leadership Training
• Developing Parent/Professional Partnerships: Collaboration Strategies
• Special Education Parent Panels

For more information on Technical Assistance or Educator Training, please see Workshop & Technical Assistance Fee List or contact Deb Belanger at or 401-270-0101, ext. 109