Idaho Parents Unlimited logo
The Parent Network
January 2019
Mission: Idaho Parents Unlimited supports, empowers, educates and advocates to enhance the quality of life for Idahoans with disabilities and their families.
Logos for Family Voices,Ideas that work, and F2F
*Includes non-IPUL community events  
Parent Training and Information Center - IDEA Part D

Accessible Educational Materials

Students receiving special education services may qualify for accommodations that help them access their education through alternate modes of instructional delivery and or materials. IDEA requires that part of the evaluation process thoroughly examine the use of alternative materials in the widest ranges possible in in effort to help students access their education. Accessible Educational Materials are print and technology-based educational materials that make instructional and educational information and opportunity available. Based on the evaluation and the IEP team's collaborative decisions, the student's Individualized Educational Program (IEP) should include what, how, when and where AEM's will be the most beneficial towards helping a student make progress and measure progress, including formal state testing. The following list are examples of AEM's.
  • Large print textbook
  • Digital textbook
  • Speech-to-text
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Braille
  • Audio devices

Read the full article from the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials by clicking the link
Family to Family Health Information Center - Idaho Family Voices

Assistive Technology - Typing with your eyes
When we think of Assistive Technology, we think about any device, software, or equipment that can help people with learning and attention issues work around their challenges facilitating access to their work & education. Assistive Technology continues to make advances more and more sophisticated allowing those with significant disabilities a chance to truly thrive.
Even in a situation where someone whose ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) limits the use of his hands as well as his speech, assistive technology has allowed Otto Knoke, a 60-year-old data analyst who is well-known in Guatemala’s business community to navigate and manipulate computer software using eye-tracking software. In addition to staying productive in his work, this technology also allows him to communicate with his loved ones. Please see link below for the full story.
Exploring the various uses and benefits of the continuing advances of assistive technology can also help students succeed in the educational environment as well. Whether it is advanced computer software or even something as simple as providing pencil grips, the possibilities in helping everyone succeed are endless.
Changes in Representative Payee Accounting Responsibilities
If you are a parent of a child who receives Social Security benefits, you may have recently received a letter indicating a change in Representative Payee Accounting Responsibilities. The letter indicates that because of changes in the law, Social Security is no longer asking for the following representative payees to complete the Representative Payee Report:
Natural or adoptive parents of a minor child beneficiary who reside in the same household as the child;
Legal guardians of a minor child beneficiary who reside in the same household as the child;
Natural or adoptive parents who reside in the same household with an adult child beneficiary who has a disability; and
Spouse of a beneficiary
Although Representative payees who meet one of the categories above no longer need to submit a Representative Payee Report, they still must continue to report to the Social Security Administration (SSA) any changes that may affect the beneficiary's eligibility for benefits and maintain records of how the benefits are spent or saved.
Please visit for more information
Youth Corner

Welcome to the New Year! We at Idaho Parents Unlimited hope the holidays were a great time for you and your family. In a previous newsletter, we provided information about the Tools for Life Conference. Registration is now open and will close this month. Any student that wishes to participate must register and provide all the paperwork no later than January 23 rd . Once again, this is a great event for students that are able to attend. We would encourage you to check out their website for further information and details. 
VSA Idaho - The State Organization on Art and Disability

Music Therapist Matthew Jordan leads a music education residency at Eagle High school for students in special education. Students learn about rhythm, counting, listening and musical origins of various instruments. Students also write and perform their own original compositions in collaboration with Mr. Jordan (pictured below). For more information about our residencies please contact .

Sensory Friendly Concert
Capital High in Boise, Saturday January 19 at 3pm. Everyone is welcome!
Sensory Friendly concerts keep the lights up and the sound down.  The focus is on the comfort and participation of the audience. Performances will feature Music therapist Matthew Jordan, MT-BC and select Capital High band and choir members. TICKETS $15 for 2, or $30 for family of 4+
All  proceeds go to fund Capital high music programs. To preorder tickets email  or There will be an “instrument petting zoo” in the lobby to curious inquirers to touch and listen to a variety of musical instruments.

layout of a stone casting stones finished product

VSA Idaho, The State Organization on Arts and Disability, provides arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increases access to the arts for all. VSA's mission is empowering and engaging people with disabilities in the creative process through opportunities which are fully inclusive, educational, and participatory.

VSA Idaho is member of the VSA Affiliate Network, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. VSA is an international organization founded by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith in 1974. 
To learn more about IPUL's arts programs please contact 

For more about VSA International please visit VSA, The National Organization on Arts and Disability:
Idaho Parents Unlimited Save the Date

Monthly Live Broadcast Workshop and Webinar Series 

February 2019 workshop
Broadcast Live in the Boise office
Broadcast and interactive statewide via webinar platform.

Planning for a healthy transition to adulthood
February 13, 2019
5:30-7:00 pm mst*

Parents and youth will participate in a discussion about the importance of having good self-advocacy skills, strategies for healthy living and self-care, and how to find and access adult services and health care.  

Registration :
Call - 208-342-5884

IPUL Staff
Angela Lindig , Executive Director
Amy Ireland , Parent Education Coordinator
Sarah Tueller , Parent Education Coordinator
Joe Gonzales , Parent Education Coordinator
Casey Gordon , Parent Education Coordinator
Heather Kirk Skinner , Statewide Arts Education Coordinator
Rosario Beagarie , Bilingual Parent Education Coordinator
Candace Garman , Bookkeeper
Bill Nuttycombe , IT Specialist
IPUL Board of Directors:

North :
Lisa Richards Evans
Darci Graves
South Central :
Becky Novak
Southwest :
Dallas Gudgell
East :
Jared White
Alycia Birch 

The contents of this electronic newsletter were developed under a Cooperative Agreement from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education (OSEP) Grant #H328M140020 and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Family to Family Health Information Center Grant # H84MC12896. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the either department, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.     
IPUL's parent education programming is always free to families. Consider making a tax-deductible contribution to assist us in assisting families who are raising exceptional children in Idaho. If making a cash contribution is out of reach right now, you can still help by making Idaho Parents Unlimited your charity of choice when shopping at or Fred Meyer thanks to their fantastic giving programs:

Idaho Parents Unlimited, Inc.
4619 Emerald St. Ste. E
Boise, ID 83706