About Idaho Parents Unlimited
What is Idaho Parents Unlimited?
Founded in 1985, Idaho Parents Unlimited, Inc. (IPUL) is a statewide organization which houses the Idaho Parent Training and Information Center, the Family to Family Health Information Center, Idaho Family Voices and IPUL Arts.
IPUL Education: The Parent Training and Information Center ensures that parents of children with disabilities receive training and information on their rights, responsibilities, and protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in order to develop the skills necessary to cooperatively and effectively participate in planning and decision making relating to early intervention, educational, and transitional services.
IPUL Health: As the State Family Voices Affiliate and the Family to Family Health Information Center, IPUL assists families in making informed choices about health care; provides training, information, and resources to families of children with special health care needs.
IPUL Arts: Artist in Residence Program and Work of Art. IPUL empowers and engages people with disabilities in the creative process through opportunities which are fully inclusive, educational. and participatory. IPUL Arts connects teaching artists with students both with and without disabilities in Idaho schools and community centers through our Creative Access Artist in Residence program ensuring children and youth have access to high-quality arts education. IPUL Arts also houses the Work of Art program in partnership with the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide pre-employment skills to youth with disabilities through a unique and collaborative design thinking process.
Idaho Parents Unlimited's programs fulfill a mission to educate, empower, support and advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families.
You can view a short video about who IPUL is and what we do that below:
Engage + Educate + Bridge + Lead
We are the families we serve. We are allies who build relationships and assist parents to be involved in supporting the needs of their children and to be leaders who are a resource to other parents.
We support your journey and decision making as parents with credible information, training, and technical assistance, so you feel empowered to act on behalf of your children.
We serve as a bridge between families, children, and youth and the partners who provide services to understand needs, access resources, and support mutually beneficial solutions.
We are leaders in providing credible information and research-based data to support systemic change that removes barriers and creates equitable access to services, education, and opportunities.
Idaho Parents Unlimited, Inc. envisions inclusive and accessible communities, services, education, and opportunities for children and youth with disabilities and/or unique and special healthcare needs.
Our Guiding Principles and Beliefs
Parents, guardians, and other interested parties who seek IPUL’s assistance will receive, on a timely basis, accurate, culturally appropriate, understandable information and referral services on their children’s disabilities and their children’s rights under the laws that serve children/adults with disabilities. Additionally we will provide information on effective participation in team decision-making and finding service options/opportunities to meet their children and families’ needs. IPUL’s services must be accessible to all families in Idaho, regardless of language, disability, or cultural differences.
IPUL believes in the full participation of people with disabilities and their families in all decision-making processes that affect the services their children receive.
IPUL believes that people with disabilities and their families have the right and the responsibility to be actively involved in the local, state, and national decision-making that affect their lives. To that end, IPUL will seek to identify and facilitate the involvement of parents of children and youth with disabilities on policy-making committees and activities.
Based on established priorities, IPUL will participate in systemic change efforts that promote the interests of individuals with disabilities and their families.
IPUL believes parents should be informed of the options and opportunities that their children, upon adulthood, have to make their own life decisions, to the maximum extent possible. To facilitate this process IPUL provides the tools and resources families need to best advocate in the transition to adult service systems process.
Our Ethical Standards
Idaho Parents Unlimited adheres to the Ethical Standards for Human Services Professionals, as found on the National Organization for Human Services website.
What we do:
- Provide individual assistance to families through calls, emails, and in-person meetings
- Provide options that you may have to resolve any individual issues
- Present monthly training workshops and webinars on a variety of topics
- Provide special request workshops at community events and/or conferences as well as for parent or professional groups
- Advocate for systems, programs, policies, and rules that have an impact on Idaho families
- Provide effective advocacy training and information for families and youth to best advocate for themselves.
- Provide Parent Leadership Development training annually to build on a growing list of parent mentors who can amplify our work across the state.
- Provide scholarships to parents to attend conferences or events related to your child’s disability.
- Provide arts education through our in-school/community center residencies and Work of Art Programs
- Listen and provide support
What we do NOT do:
- Provide general parenting training (ie: court ordered classes)
- Advocate on behalf of an individual child or family
- Attend IEP meetings
- Tell you what you should do
- Provide legal assistance or advice
- Endorse or promote specialty care providers, legal services, or schools/districts
- Provide 24-hour crisis services (we are not a crisis agency)
- Provide routinely scheduled art classes
Who do we serve?
Idaho Parents Unlimited works with parents, family members, and caregivers of children and youth with disabilities and special health care needs and the professionals who are a part of their lives. While our office is in Boise, we work statewide using technology, and we frequently travel to all regions of the state throughout the year. We assist families who have children of any diagnosis from birth to age 26.
Who are Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs?
Children and youth who have or are at increased risk for chronic, physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and who also require health, education, and related services beyond that required by children generally (http://familyvoices.org/ncfpp/f2fs/). To keep things simple, Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs will be referred to by using the acronym CYSHCN.
- 68% have 2 or more health conditions
- 45.5% have health conditions that affect their daily activities
- 37.5% require specialized medical care
- 33.2% require mental health care
- 47.2% needed mental/behavioral health care but did not receive it (2)
- 12% of Idaho’s student population receive special education services
In Idaho, there are approximately 34,000 children ages 3-21 receiving special education services. Furthermore, an approximate 4,500 students receive services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (access accommodations). (NCLD) https://www.ncld.org/identifying-struggling-students
This does not account for infants, toddlers, or students who may be homeschooled or in private school settings. It is estimated that one in five children are living with a disability or special health care need.
Idaho Parents Unlimited provides assistance and training to approximately 5,000 families and professionals each year. Our services are always at no cost to families and are available to anyone who seeks them.