Surrogate Parent for a Child with a Disability

February 17, 2022 | 4:00pm

Explore best practices, key concepts, and resources to increase knowledge, understanding, and skills to serve as or support a surrogate parent in Ohio. Each student with a disability is granted the right to be represented by a parent regarding special education matters by federal and state special education laws. Some students do not have a “parent” to represent them in matters relating to identification, evaluation, and educational placement. Therefore, these students need a surrogate parent, someone acting as the parent on their behalf. A surrogate parent steps in and becomes a part of a team of educators and other professionals to ensure the student’s voice is heard, educational needs are met, and to support their success. The surrogate parent ensures the student has the same protections as all students eligible for special education services. A surrogate parent and representatives from the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children, Ohio’s State Support Teams, and OCALI have collaborated to create this webinar on the role of the surrogate parent, the requirements for serving as a surrogate parent, the statewide systems in place or resources needed to build the capacity for the surrogate parent’s role, and the recently launched online training, which was designed to equip surrogate parents in their roles.

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Presented by: Jenny Keesee, Surrogate Parent; Karen Johnson, Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children; Chrissy Cline, Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children; Jackie Jacoby, State Support Team Representative; Terri McIntee, State Support Team Representative; (Hosted by) Jen Bavry, OCALI

If you are interested in obtaining a professional development certificate, please complete an evaluation. Once you have watched the video, then completed and submitted the evaluation form, you will be given access to a Professional Development Certificate for this training. If you have any questions, please email

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