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Frequently Asked Questions about Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP) Conferences
- Any eligible Colorado parent* who has a child(ren) with a disability(ies) ages birth to 21.
- An eligible parent includes single parents, legal guardians, adoptive, and foster parents who have not attended a Colorado PEP conference within the last five years.
- A parent attending alone may be accompanied by an adult support person who also attends.
- An adult support person may include a grandparent, or other adult relative, who supports the parent raising a child with a disability and/or who is caretaker to the child with a disability in the family, ages birth to 21.
- Colorado school administrators, principals, teachers, medical or other service providers who are interested in the family-professional partnership, and who have not attended a PEP conference within the last five years.
The PEP conferences are free. Funded by both a federal grant and a state grant, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Exceptional Student Services Unit is able to offer the PEP conferences free-of-charge to Colorado parents* of children with disabilities and to Colorado professionals who work with children and youth with disabilities, and their families. *Colorado parents include couples, single parents, legal guardians, adoptive, and foster parents who have a child(ren) with a disability(ies) ages birth to 21.
- The CDE will provide for your lodging during the conference if your commute is more than 35 miles from the hotel venue. For PEP guests staying at the hotel, the front desk will require a personal credit card for any incidentals; the lodging costs will be charged to the CDE master bill.
- The CDE will provide Thursday night's meal, Friday's breakfast and lunch, and Saturday's breakfast and lunch. Friday evening's optional networking meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and is scheduled as free time for participants.
- Participants are responsible for their own transportation.
You can bring your child(ren) to the hotel where PEP is being held. They can share your room, be on the hotel grounds and enjoy the amenities.
However, there is no childcare provided, and at no time will children/babies be permitted to enter the PEP conference sessions, the dining area or small group conference rooms.
If you are confirmed to participate in a conference, and you must bring your child(ren), you can also bring a responsible family member or adult caregiver to watch your child(ren), and they may stay in your room as well. Some hotels may charge for extra people staying in a room. If that is the case, then the participant would be responsible for making arrangements and paying for any extra charges.
No meals will be provided to children or anyone who is not a registered participant at the conference.
- Each PEP conference is intentionally designed to be of greater value to parents and professionals who attend the entire conference, and all topics of discussion at PEP flow together from the opening session to the closing.
- It is expected that participants will attend a conference in its entirety. No one will be registered for the conference after 6:00 p.m. on Thursday.
- Registration at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday
- Conference in session:
- Thursday from 6:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m.
- Friday from 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m.
- Saturday from 7:30 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.
- In the case of an emergency, where a participant must leave the conference, please call the number given in your confirmation and reminder letters. Because emergencies are unexpected and unavoidable, we will gladly give participants the opportunity to attend a future conference.
- If an emergency occurs before a conference, where you would be late if you tried to attend, or if you will not be able to attend, please email PEP Registration so your name can be moved to the wait list to attend a future conference. You will not be admitted late.
- In the case of a natural event that prevents a participant from attending, or attending on time, you are still responsible for notifying us by calling the number given in your confirmation and reminder letters. You will have an opportunity to attend a future PEP conference.
- In the case of a road closure that prevents a participant from attending, you are still responsible for notifying us by calling the number given in your confirmation and reminder letters. You will have an opportunity to attend a future PEP conference.
- If you are confirmed to attend, and you must cancel, please call the number given in your confirmation letter and your reminder letters. You will have an opportunity to attend a future PEP conference.
- If you are confirmed to attend and neither come to the hotel to register nor cancel with us, you will be considered a "NO SHOW" and will not be eligible to attend a future PEP conference.
In addition, there are other considerations.
- During each conference parents and professionals have been moved to the waitlist because a conference is full to capacity.
- If you are unable to commit to the entire conference, you will be referred to a future conference and placed on a waitlist to allow another person to attend.
- Beginning on Thursday night participants attend their first small group. Trust and rapport are built and the group continues through to Saturday. If a participant arrives a day later it disrupts the group, changes the dynamic and has an impact on the other participants' PEP experience.
- All participants are required to read these rules and have also been sent this information with their confirmation letter.
Yes, you can attend alone. However, PEP is an intensive, informational conference and could be overwhelming for a person attending alone. Therefore, we strongly encourage both parents to attend and single parents to attend and bring an adult support person who will also participate in the conference. Parents include couples, single parents, legal guardians, adoptive, and foster parents. An adult support person may include a grandparent or other adult relative who supports the parent raising a child with a disability and/or who is caretaker to a child with a disability in the family.
No. If you live more than 35 miles from the hotel venue and
- If you are the only person listed on your PEP application, you will be reserved alone in a room, unless you indicate on your application that you are willing to share a room with another participant.
- If you and a second person are listed on your PEP application, you will be reserved in a room with that person. If you do not want to share a room with the second application on your application, please submit separate applications.
Dress is casual! Be comfortable! Remember that conference rooms could be stuffy or too chilly for some, due to air conditioning. Bring a tote or bag to carry handouts and resources.
No. PEP conferences regularly cover the same or similar topics. If you attended a conference two years ago, you will encounter similar information this year. Therefore, if you register, you will be sent a letter that explains you will be eligible to attend five years from the date you first attended a PEP Conference. This will give an opportunity to another parent or professional who has never attended.
No. PEP is a highly sought-after conference and slots fill quickly, especially for professionals. Submitting an application does not guarantee a spot at the next PEP conference. However, once placed on the waitlist, you will be informed of the next year's conferences and given the opportunity to apply before the conference information is sent to the general public throughout Colorado.
NOTE: If you are on a waitlist, you must still apply for the conference you'd like to attend. PEP conference slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To increase your chances of acceptance to your PEP conference of choice, please complete your application as soon as possible.
No. However, upon request, any participant who attends a PEP conference in its entirety will be sent a certificate of completion of 18 hours. No partial hours will be given on a certificate.
For more information about Parents Encouraging Parents contact:
Or, if you would like to be added to the PEP mailing list, request to be added to the mailing list here. When the e-mail opens, go to the subject line and type in "Add me to the PEP mailing list," then send.
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