Education Family Empowerment seriesThe Family Empowerment Series (formerly known as Lay Advocacy) is a multi-session training series offered several times each year in various locations by Starbridge in the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions. Our Core Community Partners also offer this training in other regions of New York State.

Family Empowerment prepares parents of and caregivers for children with disabilities to better advocate within the educational system for their children, and to be resources for other families of students with disabilities in their communities.

Topics typically covered in each series include –

  • Classification, evaluation, and placement options
  • Fostering positive interaction between schools and families
  • Successful methods to approach CSE/CPSE meetings
  • RTI, IEP and 504 plans
  • Accessing and interpreting school records
  • Transition – when to begin planning and tools to assist in the process

Priority is given to those whose children have developmental disabilities. However, if there are openings available, we will endeavor to register families with children who have other disabilities.

Families who complete this training may be asked to assist other families or volunteer with special education issues in the year following the training.

To locate the next session, please check our website calendar or contact us –

Finger Lakes Region - Counties of Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Wyoming
Please contact Laura Arrington by phone at 585-224-7332 or email

Western New York Region - Counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Genesee, and Orleans
Please contact Laura Arrington by phone at 585-224-7332 or email