Updated August 2023

The data collection form that Parent Centers use to report on their work was revised in January 2021 and has remained virtually unchanged since. This page provides definitions of key terms, so that PTIs and CPRCs will have a common understanding of the data they need to record and report for this program year (October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023). For your convenience, we’ve created this online list of the definitions of terms used in the data collection form.

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Terms Used in Sections I, II, and IV

Due process hearings attended (used in Section IV.A3)
Includes attendance to support parents and students at the hearing that is conducted by a due process hearing officer.

Emails/Texts and other electronic modes (used in Sections I.B1c, I.B2c, I.B3c)
Count number of contacts using email or other electronic modes (e.g., text messages, Facebook messages, etc.) specifically for one-to-one individual assistance. Do not include mass e-mails that are for disseminating resources or for outreach activities.

Facilitated IEP meetings attended  (used in Section IV.A2)
Only include IEP meetings that are facilitated by a neutral third party. Do not include IEP meetings that do not meet this description.

IFSP/IEP/504 meetings attended (used in Section IV.A1)
Meetings to support parents and/or students when meeting with school or early intervention personnel to develop, review, or revise an individual’s IFSP, IEP, or 504 Plan. Include: initial, review/revision, annual, and 3-year re-evaluation meetings. Does not include Facilitated IEP meetings. Facilitated IEP meetings are reported in IV.A2.

Individual assistance meetings (used in Sections I.B1d, I.B2d, I.B3d)
= when a parent center representative meets with individuals in-person or virtually for the purpose of providing individual assistance related to a specific child or family. Meeting locations may be: the parent center office, the parent’s home (includes “homeless” location or other “home” location), school site, church, coffee shop, restaurant, other community setting, and via virtual apps such as Zoom, WhatsApp, etc.

In-person trainings  (used in Sections I.A1, I.A3, I.A5)
Count # of people attending trainings presented face to face by the parent center rep (e.g., trainings, workshops, conferences, institutes, forums, etc. that are funded, in whole or in part, by the parent center project). Count attendees based on a visual count, sign-in sheets, registration lists, etc.

Attendees should be counted once for each training attended.

For multi-session events (e.g., conferences or institutes) count attendees in each session that parent center presented.

When presenting multiple sessions at a conference, institute, forum, etc., count individuals who attended each separate session presented.

Count is duplicative (i.e., the same individual may have attended multiple parent center in-person trainings).

Individual assistance (used in Section I.B)
Count # of contacts in one-to-one or small-group settings focused on providing help for a specific infant, toddler, child, youth, or family. Individual assistance includes contacts when the purpose is to provide information, provide referrals to resources, review records, and help individuals prepare for child-specific meetings. It also includes supporting individuals at child-specific meetings.

Count each time an individual assistance contact is made.

Number is duplicative (i.e., the same individual may have had multiple contacts with the parent center).

Letters (used in Sections I.B1b, I.B2b, I.B3b)
Written correspondence regarding provision of individual assistance sent or received by parent center via hand delivery (e.g., delivered by hand or by U.S.P.S or other mail carrier).

Local/community-level systems (used in Section IV.1)
Meetings where the focus is on improving systems serving children with disabilities (education, health, DD, etc.) within a community, county, school district, municipality, or other governmental unit that is smaller than statewide.

Manifestation determination meetings (used in Section IV.A4)
Includes attendance to support parents and students at each manifestation determination meeting.

Mediations attended (used in Section IV.A5) 
Count attendance to support parents and students at a Mediation session conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator to resolve a disagreement between a parent and a public agency.

Meetings attended (used in Sections IV.A, IV.B)
Count every individual meeting attended where the parent center representative’s participation is funded, in whole or in part, by the parent center project. Example 1: It may take 4 meetings to complete an IEP, staff attended all 4 meetings, count as 4 meetings. Example 2: A State Special Education Advisory Council meets monthly, count each of the 12 meetings.

National/federal level systems (used in Section IV.B3) 
Meetings where the focus is on improving systems serving children with disabilities (education, health, DD, etc.) and are national in scope.

Parent/Family (used in Sections I.A1, I.A2, I.B, II, III.D, IV.A and Part 2)
Biological or adoptive parent of a child; foster parent; guardian; individual acting in the place of a guardian or adoptive parent (grandparent, stepparent, or other relative with whom the child lives); surrogate parent; other family members (such as sibling, other relative), parent advocates (who are unpaid IEP partners, parent mentors, etc.).

If someone is both a parent of a child with a disability & a professional/other, count them as a parent.

Phone call (used in Sections I.B1a, I.B2a, I.B3a)
Each individual telephone call to an individual or received from an individual related to providing individual assistance. Do not count text messages here; count text messages under “Emails/Texts and other electronic modes.”

Professionals/others (used in Sections I.A3, I.A4, I.B2)
Includes anyone who is not the “parent” or “student” such as: special education and general education school staff, principals, administrators, related services personnel, board members, providers, disability agencies and organizations, medical personnel, other types of providers, attorneys and other professional advocates (paid), etc.

If someone is both a parent of a child with a disability and a professional/other, count them as a parent.

Resolution meetings (used in Section IV.A6)
Includes attendance to support parents and students in resolution meetings that are required to be held when a parent has requested a due process hearing.

State level systems (used in Section IV.B2)
Meetings where the focus is on improving systems serving children with disabilities (education, health, DD, etc.) through a state or territory.

Student (used in Sections I.A5, I.A6, I.B3)
Count children, youth, and young adults with disabilities who have not aged out of Part B education services.

Student-led IEP meeting (used in section IV. A)

Student-led IEPs reflect practices that support active student participation in IEP development and processes in which   students take a leadership role in making decisions about their future. There is no single correct way to prepare for and conduct student-led IEPs. Each school, family, and student will develop different processes and practices in response to the structure of the school and the needs of the individual students.

Suspension/expulsion hearings attended (used in Section IV.A7)
Includes hearings attended by parent center representatives to support parents and students in suspension and expulsion hearings.

Transition IEP meetings (used in Section IV.A2)

It refers to any IEP meeting where transition to adult life was discussed. Transition age is defined by the state.

Unduplicated number of parents served (used in Section II)
Count only the actual number of individual parents served during the reporting period for whom you have contact information (e.g., phone number, address). The same parent may have participated in a number of workshops and received individual assistance multiple times; but for this data point, count each parent only one time. Example: If Jane Smith attended 5 trainings, called the center 10 times, and was supported in 1 IEP meeting and 1 mediation, she would only be counted as one (1) parent served.

Virtual trainings (used in Sections I.A2, I.A4, I.A6)

Parent Center presentations delivered using methods that are not in-person and that are funded, in whole or in part, by the Parent Center project, including:

  • Training using live web, live social media platforms, or phone/video conferencing technology or other live virtual methods;
  • Training delivered via access to Parent Center presentation materials (e.g., recordings of webinars, phone conferences, on-lined self-paced training, and other means of access to presentations) available via Parent Center’s website, social media platforms, or other methods used to reach participants that are not in-person.


The data worksheet asks for a count of people who attended such virtual trainings. Count attendees based on:

  • Number of participants seen on the webinar attendance list during the conference, roll call, number of video views on social media, or in conference log for phone conference.

Number of views (e.g., pageviews reported in web analytics) of archived on-line trainings. Mirroring reporting for in-person training, people should be counted once only by using the unique views for webinar, social media and website training; and unduplicated number of participants for roll call, or in conference log for phone conference.

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Terms Used in Section III (Demographic Information)


A. Federal Disability Categories

Unless otherwise noted, the definitions of each term in IDEA can be found at:

Autism  (used in Section III.A1) | As defined in IDEA.

Deaf-Blindness (used in Section III.A2) | As defined in IDEA.

Deafness  (used in Section III.A3) | As defined in IDEA.

Hearing Impairment (used in Section III.A4) | As defined in IDEA.

Developmental Delay (early childhood) (used in Section III.A5) | As defined in IDEA.

Emotional Disturbance (used in Section III.A6) | As defined in IDEA.

Intellectual Disability (used in Section III. A7)  As defined in IDEA.

Multiple Disabilities (used in Section III. A8)
Please note that a child who has more than one disability is not included as a child with multiple disabilities. Please only include in the category of “Multiple Disabilities” those children who have been identified as meeting the definition of “multiple disabilities” as defined in IDEA.

Orthopedic Impairment (physical) (used in Section III.A9) | As defined in IDEA.

Other Health Impairment (used in Section III.A10) | As defined in IDEA.

Specific Learning Disability (used in Section III.A11) | As defined in IDEA.

Speech or Language Impairment (used in Section III.A12 ) | As defined in IDEA.

Traumatic Brain Injury (used in Section III.A13) | As defined in IDEA.

Visual Impairment including Blindness (used in Section III.A14)  As defined in IDEA.

Children who may be inappropriately identified (used in Section III.A15)
Include in the category the number of families who contacted you for individual assistance who have a child who may have been inappropriately identified as being a child with a disability due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading or math, cultural factors, environmental or economic disadvantage, or limited English proficiency.

Children where a disability is suspected or not yet identified (used in Section III.A16)
The number of families who contacted you for individual assistance who have a child who is suspected of having a disability but who has not yet been identified as having a specific disability or who has not yet been identified as having a disability to determine eligibility for IDEA.

Disability not disclosed (used in Section III.A17)
The number of families who contacted you for individual assistance who chose not to disclose their child’s disability status.

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B. Ethnicity Definitions

Hispanic or Latino (used in III.C)
A Latino or Hispanic person is of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Undisclosed (used in III.C)
A person who declines to disclose his or her ethnicity.

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B. Race Definitions

African-American/Black (used in III.C)
A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as “Black” or “African American” or use a term such as Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian.

American Indian/Native American/Alaskan Native (used in III.C)
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Asian  (used in III.C)
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. It includes “Asian Indian,” “Chinese,” “Filipino,” “Korean,” “Japanese,” “Vietnamese,” and “Other Asian.”

Caucasian/White (used in III.C)
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as “White” or use a term such as Irish, German, English, Scottish, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (used in III.C)
A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands. It includes people who indicate their race as “Native Hawaiian,” “Guamanian or Chamorro,” “Samoan,” and “Other Pacific Islander.”

Two or more races (used in III.C)
A person identifying as being multi-racial, inter-racial, or mixed race.

Undisclosed (used in III.C)
A person who declines to disclose his or her race.

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Terms Used in Section V (Outreach and Dissemination)

Exhibits, poster sessions, resource fairs—events attended (used in V.A4)
Count the number of events attended by parent center representatives who are funded, in whole or in part, by the parent center project.

Exhibits, poster sessions, resource fairs—materials disseminated (used in V.A3 )
# of materials disseminated at activities or events (not including events counted as “trainings”) where parent center publications, products, or promotional items are handed out or picked up by individuals. Events may be information tables, conference exhibits, poster session presentations, etc. Materials distributed are funded, in whole or in part, by the parent center project.

Materials disseminated (used in V.A3) 
Count number of publications (fact sheets, brochures, etc.), products (CDs, DVDs, flash drives, etc.), and promotional items (bookmarks, business cards, logo items like key rings or can openers) given to or taken by event participants.

Media events held (used in V.A6)
An event or activity that exists for the sole purpose of media publicity. It may also include any event that is covered in the mass media or was hosted largely with the media in mind. This number should not include trainings, workshops, or conferences.

Newsletters disseminated (used in V.A1)

Count the total number of parent center periodicals distributed (print or on-line newsletters, magazines, e-newsletters, etc.).

Count print periodicals mailed or handed out.

Count number of subscribers or recipients of newsletters sent via e-mail.

Count number of pageviews of newsletters posted on parent center’s website.

Add these 4 items to get the total newsletters disseminated

 Social media reach (used in V.A2)
Social media reach refers to the total number of users who have seen your content in any of your given social media platforms. This is not dependent on the number of followers, likes, or shares.

  • For example, you can have 10,000 followers; however, if you post an article, it may only be seen by 300 people. That’s your reach and the number you should report.

This reach encompasses all content that your Parent Center posts on the various social media platforms, such as but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Social media reach can typically be viewed under each post or through social media analytics tools. The best practice to collect social media analytics is to run monthly reports.

Note: Views of training videos posted in social media (e.g., Facebook Live, YouTube, InstaLive, etc.) are counted under “Virtual Trainings” only.

Website page views (used in V.A5) 
Count the number of pageviews. A pageview is each time a visitor views a page on your website, regardless of how many hits are generated. This is not the same as “hits.” These data are generated by your web analytics program.

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