Denver Metro Community Parent Resource Center

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Denver Metro Community Parent Resource Center
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

To inform and empower low-income, culturally and linguistically diverse families as advocates for their children with disabilities, ages birth-26, to achieve meaningful participation in their schools and communities.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

The Denver Metro Community Parent Resource Center (DMCPRC) objective is to continue supporting children with disabilities and their families in becoming active participants in their communities. Unfortunately, children with disabilities are discriminated against; and if the family is of color, speaks a different language, or comes from a low socio-economic status, the discrimination heightens. This affects not only families who have children with disabilities but the entire community. People with disabilities are often unduly incarcerated and are more likely to become homeless than people without disabilities. Parents lose time from work while tending to their child which sometimes results in job termination.

The DMCPRC provides training sessions to parents and their community regarding disability awareness and their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The center trains parents on ways to obtain better education and resources for their kids. We also provide parent advising through emails, telephone, and person to person contact.

For example, a young mother had a 3 year old son with autism who would not sleep; he cried and hit his parents. They had to remove the carpet because he consistently threw feces on the carpet and walls. They were behind in rent, bills were unpaid and the father was at risk of losing his job because he had to leave work early several times to help his wife. She wanted a divorce. The DMCPRC got in touch with Developmental Pathways and urged them to put the family on top of their waiting list for services because they were a family in crisis. We also contacted an organization in Colorado Springs which provides over-night respite care for parents. By the end of the week, the family was receiving much needed support.

In one of our workshops, a parent with tears in her eyes shared how her child had threatened to kill himself if she continued to make him go to school. He was a student with a disability and was tired of being bullied. The school failed him and the mother felt she failed him too. After completing eight sessions with us, she was able to attend a meeting with the school, articulate her child’s needs and strengths in an informed and calm manner and began holding the school accountable. Her son was proud of how she advocated for him, and their relationship improved.

Microsoft products enable our center to reach more families in a cost effective manner. We are able to create professional looking newsletters, keep track of the families and professionals we serve, and create impressive PowerPoint presentations to educate and inform parents about available resources in their community. In addition, we teach parents how they can affect system change as parent leaders, as well as teach them how to effectively advocate for their children.

By using Microsoft technology, we are able to gather quantitative data to assist us in monitoring the progress of our project. For example, the completed evaluations from parents who have attended our workshops has shown the following:

Ø 100% of participants attending our workshops believed the information they received was useful.

Ø 96% of participants attending our workshops reported that we provided them with information they needed to make informed decisions about their child’s education.

Ø 56% of participants reported to a “great extent” the information they received at the workshop made them more knowledgeable about how to work with their school, and 44% reported to “some extent” they were more knowledgeable about how to work with their schools.

This is only a few ways among many that Microsoft has optimized our mission and has assisted us in expanding and impacting our service to the community. Currently, we are looking into how our organization can utilize Microsoft Office Live in continuing the DMCPRC’s outreach to families.

We see our center as “The Little Engine That Could.” We know we can! We know we can! We know we can make a difference in the lives of children.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery