START-Engaging Parents of Students with Disabilities

Offering programs and services that support the engagement of families to improve outcomes for students.



START-Engaging Parent of Students with Disabilities (EPSD) offers programs and services that support the engagement of families to improve outcomes for students, including developing and supporting Special Education Parent Advisory Groups (SEPAGs) in communities and school districts.

Through workshops, regional meetings, and parent leadership development activities, we help parents and parent leaders:

  • Become informed and active participants in their child’s education
  • Partner with educators in improving educational programs for students with disabilities, particularly in the area of Inclusion
  • Start or strengthen parent advisory groups or parent support groups in their areas


What People Are Saying

A strong parent advisory group can help foster ongoing communication between the parents and school to better serve our children.

Our group started with two parents and a supportive District Supervisor. What’s important is to get up and running and see where it takes you.

The advice that parents need to continually talk with school district personnel and develop meaningful inclusion programs and then continually evaluate their children’s progress based on data was on the mark.


For more information, resources, and materials about a topic, 
select from the one of the START-EPSD focuses below.

Parent Groups

Supporting the engagement  of families in schools to improve student outcomes


Increasing the capacity of schools and parent leaders to engage families in promoting literacy achievement


Providing families with information in order to increase the numbers of students benefiting from greater access to inclusive education


Sharing information useful for families and school and district leaders to engage families in the NJ Tiered Systems of Support Framework

SPAN Parent Leadership E-News

Access the START-EPSD Newsletter Archive

2019, May 25 |  Leaders translate vision into reality

2019, Feb 27  |  Leadership is a choice, not a position

2018, Nov 10  |  Parent leaders aren’t born. They’re made!



Engaging Parents of Students with Disabilities is a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (NJOSEP), and SPAN Parent Advocacy Network. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the Department of Education. No official endorsement by NJOSEP of any product, commodity, service, or enterprise mentioned on this website is intended or should be inferred
SPAN’s START-EPSD Project is funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special Education Professional Development.