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Starbridge is pleased to announce that its application to continue serving as a Parent Training and Information Center (PTIC) for all of New York State except the five boroughs and Long Island was successful. The five-year grant totals $2.3 million and provides funding to serve families and students with disabilities and suspected disabilities who are looking for information, seeking support in addressing educational needs, and working to build positive family-school relationships.

 

Starbridge was formed by the merger of The Advocacy Center and LDA Life and Learning Services as of June 1st of this year. The Advocacy Center had served as a PTIC for seventeen years. More than 70 organizations wrote letters in support of our reapplication for this grant, and we are both appreciative of and humbled by such widespread support.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter sent a letter in support of Starbridge’s application to the United States Department of Education. In her announcement of the award, Rep. Slaughter said, “Families of children with disabilities or learning challenges have been able to rely on Starbridge for decades to be their partner for advice, advocacy, and access to early intervention services, special education, college coaching and much more. We must ensure equal access to quality education for all students and I am proud to support funding for organizations like Starbridge. At a time when we are commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this news is especially meaningful.”

Starbridge President/CEO Colin Garwood said, “We are pleased to learn from Congresswoman Slaughter that we will be able to continue offering support to parents, professionals, and youth with disabilities. For decades, we have been a valued resource for people whose children receive special education services, are struggling with learning and school settings, or need advice and guidance on their rights. We appreciate Congresswoman Slaughter’s support to continue this work.”

Our PTIC serves all of New York State, except the five boroughs of New York City and Long Island. We contract with Community Partners across the state to provide services in other regions.

Jenny Hutkowski, Director of Parent Training & Information, shares, “We are excited to continue our work helping parents to navigate the special education system and partner with their child's schools. We know that when families are more involved in school decisions, outcomes for students improve. Further, we will also now be working directly with youth transitioning to adult life by empowering them to be better self-advocates.”

At Starbridge, our mission is to partner with people with disabilities, their families, and others who support them, to realize fulfilling possibilities in education, employment, health, and community living; and to transform communities to include everyone.

For more information about Starbridge's PTIC, contact Jenny Hutkowski, Director of Parent Training & Information, at 585-546-1700 or jhutkowski@starbridgeinc.org.