About Us

Mission

The West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc. (WVPTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that operates the statewide federally funded Parent Training Center and is the Family Voices State Affiliate Organization for West Virginia.

The WV Parent Training Center is committed to engaging families of children/youth with disabilities and special healthcare needs to empower self-advocacy and strengthening the parents' role.

WVPTI, Inc. strives to build positive futures for West Virginia's children and youth by working collaboratively with all parents, families, youth, schools, and communities to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school, community life, and living independently.

Vision

Our vision is children and youth with disabilities and special healthcare needs will be prepared to lead productive adult lives to the maximum extent possible.

"There is a plan and a purpose, a value to every life, no matter what its location, age, gender or disability." - Sharron Angle

Sample

Values

  • Quality leadership
  • Collaborative partnerships
  • Advocacy
  • Enhanced education and knowledge
  • Caring - emotional support

Impact

  • All children and youth can learn and have the right to participate in their schools and communities.
  • Parents/Families have the most significant influence on the development, learning, healthcare plans and educational achievement of their children.
  • Parents/Families can successfully participate collaboratively with professionals on behalf of their children if they have information and training about their child's disabilities or special healthcare needs.
  • Parents/Families have the capacity to make good decisions and assist their children in achieving outcomes when they have information and training.
  • Community acceptance and understanding of individuals with disabilities and special healthcare needs are expanded.
  • Parents/Families are engaged to participate and advocate for their children and youth with transition to adulthood and independent living.

Staff

Our trained staff at WVPTI are selected for their skills, expertise, knowledge and support. Regional Parent Trainers participate in training that includes, but are not limited to early intervention, special education, Section 504, ESSA, disability issues, procedural safeguards, parent leadership and other relevant topics. Our Regional Parent Trainers understand the challenges of parenting a special needs child or children because they have faced many of the same challenges in learning to navigate the special education maze.

Brenda Lamkin

Brenda Lamkin - Executive Director

Brenda has extensive experience in parent training and leadership by serving on state, local and national advisory councils. She holds a Master's degree in Education and has 15 years of experience working with parents/families of children with disabilities.

Her belief is the best teaching experience is being the parent of a special-needs child and going through the process yourself. There is no book or course of study that prepares parents for real situations that you encounter at IEP meetings or just getting through the school day without waiting for the phone to ring.

Brenda has a young adult son with autism. Brenda believes the special education process should not be so difficult. She holds an unwavering belief that all children can learn and have the right to fully participate in their schools and communities. Parents with information and training have a better opportunity to make well-informed decisions which can assist their children in achieving outcomes from birth to post-secondary skills. Brenda states, "I want parents and families to know that WV PTI is here for them."

Cara Price- Family Engagement Specialist

Cara Price- Family Engagement Specialist - Region 1 Trainer

Cara Price is the West Virginia Parent Training & Information Family Engagement Specialist and trainer in Region 1. She is married and has three sons. She has had several children with foster care in her home over the years. Her youngest son was adopted from a kinship placement and has autism, sensory disorder, and Tourette's syndrome. Cara, personally, was diagnosed with CP early in her life and has gone through the special education process. 

Her educational background has an MA in school counseling and a BA in Elementary Education with a specialization in LD, MI, BD, and Autism. She has worked in public schools for 13 years. Her role as advocate has been vital for over 20 years in different areas of the poscess of special education.  She has been at home with her son to homeschool him for the last eight years and is helping parents educate children with special needs. Cara has and continues to be on councils of statewide organizations which support individuals with disabilites. Cara is a person that is for all children to do their best with a system that is supporting a child's needs. 

Her area includes the counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Monongalia, Tyler, Marion,Taylor, Ritchie, Doddridge, Wirt, Harrison and part of Preston. Cara will be working with to help parents, guardians, foster parents and caregivers with special needs' children to advocate successfully for their children.

Kelly Miller-  Family Engagement Specialist

Kelly Miller- Family Engagement Specialist - Region 2 Trainer

Kelly Miller is from Lincoln County and is the mother of two girls, Emily and Allison. Emily, her oldest child, has completed Graduate School at Marshall University. Her youngest daughter, Allison, is a graduate of Lincoln County High School and has Down Syndrome.

Kelly has been advocating for people with disabilities for more than 20 years. She has worked in this field in many capacities. She serves on many State boards and Councils as a parent representative, being a voice for her daughter and others.

Kelly is the current Region 2 Parent Engagement Specialist and Trainer for WVPTI. She is also a senior college student herself with attending WVSU. She will graduate in May 2020 with a Regents Degree with an emphasis in Child Psychology. Kelly is excited to support families and provide them with resources and information. 

Her area includes the counties of Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo, Logan, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer, Summers, Monroe, Greenbrier, Fayette, Raleigh, Boone, and part of Kanawha. 

 Julie Dial - Family Engagement Specialist

Julie Dial - Family Engagement Specialist - Region 3 Trainer

Julie Dial is the Family Engagement Specialist for Region 3. Julie lives in Huntington with her husband, Johnny, two sons, Brandon and Dylan plus the dog, Max. She is a graduate of Marshall University with a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Communications and a minor in Sociology. She currently serves on the West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council, Autism Society of West Virginia's Advisory Board, and Marshall Univerity of Autism Training Center's Advisory Board. Her career in advocacy began when her son, Brandon, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD at five years old. Since this time, she has participated in the Partners in Policy Making Course through the West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council and graduated in 2014.

Julie loves to travel to new places and spends time with her family in the outdoors: hiking, camping, fishing, and kayaking. She enjoys listening to Brandon while he plays the tenor saxophone and piano. The best activity is watching Brandon and Dylan play soccer. 

Julie's counties include Pleasants, Wood, Ritchie, Wirt, Calhoun, Gilmer, Braxton, Clay, Roane, Jackson, Mason, Putnam, Cabell and part of Kanawha.  

 

 

 

 

 

Tammy Taylor-Lane -         Family Engagement Specialist

Tammy Taylor-Lane - Family Engagement Specialist - Region 4 Trainer

Tammy Taylor Lane is the WVPTI Family Engagement Specialist for Region 4. Tammy lives in Nicholas County with her husband, Robb, and mother Carolyn. Together, Tammy and Robb have six children, Caroline, Cody, Jacqueline, Josiah, Maddi, and Cassie along with a granddaughter, Laken. 

She is a graduate of Concord University and holds degrees in Education and Theater. She is currently completing a master's program in Family Life Education at Omega Graduate School in Tennessee. Tammy has taught at the Elementary School, during which time she has helped special needs children. 

Tammy is an advocate for the Multiple Sclerosis Society in research and development, as she was diagnosed with MS in 1996. She, also, is an advocate for the Parkinson's Disease association, Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Tammy loves to read and spend time with her family and five dogs (Bagel, Louie, Pepper, Eli, and Red Ryder). 

She is looking forward to assisting the families who have children/youth with special needs in Region 4.  

Her area includes the counties of Nicholas, Pocahontas, Webster, Randolph, Pendleton, Tucker, Grant, Hardy, Mineral, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, Jefferson, and part of  Preston.

Mary Scott

Mary Scott - Administrative Assistant

Mary Scott is the WVPTI Administrative Assistant. Mary has experience working with children with disabilities and has a family member who has struggled in life with disabilities. Education should not be a struggle for a child with needs. Mary’s personal family experience has inspired her to advocate and assist others who may need help.

Mary has Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Education. She has assisted parents and families who have children with disabilities to gain assistance in the educational system for over thirty years. Now, she is helping children and youth who have disabilities find resources and advocates for their needs by working at WVPTI, Inc. Mary has always believed that it is not the disability that defines you; it is how you deal with the challenges the disability presents to you.

 WVPTI Trainer and Family Engagement Specialist

WVPTI Trainer and Family Engagement Specialist - Trainer

Patty Boyce - WVPTI Family Engagement Specialist

Patty Boyce - WVPTI Family Engagement Specialist - Trainer

Patty Boyce joins West Virginia Parent Training & Information as an Interim Parent Engagement Specialist and Trainer. She will provide trainings and statewide presentations for our parents with special needs children/youth and for professional colleagues. 

Patty has a Masters in Social Work from West Vriginia University and a BS in Sociology/Human Services. She has been a Certified State Substitute Teacher and Mandt Certification. 

Patty has been an advocate for her son and other families for more than thirty years. 

WVPTI Trainer and Family Engagement Specialist

WVPTI Trainer and Family Engagement Specialist - Trainer