Parents want the "best" education for their children. Schools are only required to provide "appropriate" services for children with disabilities. Conflict between parents and schools is normal and inevitable.


  • Strategies to resolve disagreements
  • Steps to take if you disagree with the school
  • Options you have if unable to resolve disputes.

See more at:

New Posting

Save the Date: Walk-a-Thon, March 14, 2015

Posted: February 20, 2015

As part of the year-long celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law, Mountain State Centers for Independent Living is partnering with the Huntington Mall to have a Five Mile Walk-a-Thon.  
Everyone who participates in the Walk-a-Thon will receive a goody bag filled with gifts and coupons to use at the Huntington Mall. Bring your shoes to donate and come walk with us on Saturday, March 14, registration starting 9 a.m.

Stonewall Jackson Resort and Conference Center
May 5, 2015, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

2 Goals of the Conference

  • Identify common unmet needs and goals
  • Increase the linkage and referral relationships with the Drop In Centers and the Planning Council for persons with mental illness or co-occurring conditions.

Wellness and Recovery Drop In Center Conference

The Wellness and Recovery Drop In Center Conference is sponsored by West Virginia Advocates’ (PAIMI) Advisory Council. West Virginia Advocates and the Behavioral Health Planning Council will increase the knowledge base of the Drop In Centers regarding it’s Protection and Advocacy role.


Travel and overnight expenses will be paid for 2 participants from each of the Wellness and Recovery Drop In Centers.

Expenses are limited to:

  • Hotel room on May 4th
  • Dinner provided at the conference center restaurant May 4th
  • Breakfast and lunch May 5th.
  • Mileage will be reimbursed.


There will be participants from various organizations sharing information to increase the knowledge base of the Wellness and Recovery Drop In Centers throughout the state. The participants include:

  • Representatives from each of the 6 Drop In Centers in WV
  • Representatives from West Virginia Advocates
  • BBHHF representatives
  • Behavioral Health Planning Council members
  • Facilitator
  • 2 PAIMI Advisory Council members

Conference Activities   Conference activities include:

  • Introductions by Cathy Reed, PAIMI Advisory Council President
  • Presentations by BBHHF, West Virginia Advocates and the Behavioral Health Planning Council
  • The Wellness and Recovery Drop In Centers will share information
  • Small group discussions will identify goals and needs


Please RSVP. Contact Hope Bencho, Advocate, with West Virginia Advocates by phone at 304–346–0847 ext: 17 or by email at to register.

West Virginia Advocates invites you to attend our fourth Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Advocacy Boot Camp! We are pleased to welcome Pete and Pam Wright to West Virginia to share their many years of expertise with us.

Are you a parent or family member of a child with a disability? Are you a teacher or school administrator? Are you a service provider or social worker who provides services to children with special education needs? Are you an attorney or advocate who represents the interests of children with disabilities? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should attend our conference!

You will learn that all children - regardless of disability - should receive a quality education. You will learn the successful advocacy skills to work toward achieving that goal and receive four books to help you advocate for your child or student in the future. The two day boot camp is an intensive program and will focus on IDEA 2004, while incorporating West Virginia special education regulations, WV Department of Education Policy 2419. You will have the opportunity to network with families, educators, advocates, and others.

Each year, WVA receives hundreds of requests for assistance from parents regarding Prior Written Notice, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) development, Paraprofessionals, Least Restrictive Environment and other school-related issues. Your participation in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Advocacy Boot Camp will ensure that you have a better understanding of special education law and will develop you into the best advocate you can be for your child, student, or client. Register today!

I look forward to seeing you at the Wrightslaw Boot Camp!

Clarice Hausch
Executive Director, WVA

Ticket to Work: Support for People with Disabilities on the Journey to Financial Independence

February 25, 2015, 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST

For more information and to register visit or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

People First of West Virginia has a YouTube Channel. Here you'll find podcasts here about a variety of subjects including a series of self-advocacy podcasts.

NWVCIL HUD Fair Housing Grant

Posted: January 22, 2015

The Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living (NWVCIL) has been awarded almost $975,000 through a competitive HUD grant program to continue to combat discrimination in housing across West Virginia for the next three years.

The competitive grants are funded through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to help enforce the Fair Housing Act through investigations and testing of alleged discriminatory practices, and to help educate housing providers, local governments and potential victims of housing discrimination about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.

NWVCIL will continue to assist victims of housing discrimination based on all protected classes including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. NWVCIL will continue to focus education and enforcement activities on identified discriminatory practices in West Virginia including:

  • The denial of families with children in rental units
  • Sexual harassment in rental housing
  • The denial of reasonable accommodations for assistance animals in rental housing
  • The design and construction of new multi-family housing that is not accessible to persons with disabilities.

Anyone who believes they may have faced housing discrimination or those seeking more information about Fair Housing rights should call the Fair Housing Hotline at 844-212-3464 or visit

New Anorexia/Bulimia Support Group

Posted: January 22, 2015

Beginning on February 12, 2015, a new support group will be meeting on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM

Who: Anyone with anorexia or bulimia (at least 16 years old) and anyone who has a loved one (family or friend) with anorexia or bulimia.

Where: New Life Church, 1101 Cedar Crest Drive, Huntington, WV 25705

For more information: Teena Bryson, 304-617-5014

The West Virginia Olmstead Council is recruiting applicants for membership to fill vacancies on the Council. The deadline to apply is December 26th. 

West Virginia Olmstead Council Application for Membership (DOC)

The West Virginia Family-to-Family Health Information Center is seeking feedback from family members of children and youth with special healthcare needs, and the professionals who serve them.

If you would like to provide feedback, please click this link, which will take you to a brief survey:

The survey takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and is entirely anonymous. The information you provide will be used to improve services for children and youth with special healthcare needs and their families throughout West Virginia.

For more information on the West Virginia Family-to-Family Health Information Center, please visit or call 800-281-1436

ExclaimationThe WV Statewide Waiver Transition Plan has been posted for public comment until December 26, 2014. Here is some more information from APS Healthcare:

On behalf of the Bureau for Medical Services, APS Healthcare is notifying you the WV Statewide Waiver Transition Plan has been posted for public comment until December 26, 2014. You may comment on the entire plan which includes all three Waivers (ADW, IDDW and TBIW) or you may comment on the individual waivers.

You have four ways to make a comment and the particulars of how to do this are in the posted Transition Plan:

  1. Respond by email
  2. Respond in writing
  3. Call the Bureau for Medical Services
  4. Attend the Public Hearing on Dec. 15, 2014 from 1-3 pm at the Bureau of Senior Services in Charleston, WV.

Please go to this website to view the public notice by clicking the blue PUBLIC NOTICE letters:

Abbott Patient Assistance Foundation

Posted: November 19, 2014

The Abbott Patient Assistance Foundation provides Abbott Medical Nutrition products at no cost to patients experiencing financial difficulties.  For more information see the application (PDF).

Older News items available in the News Archive.