About Us

Our Organization

The West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc. (WVPTI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit parent organization committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children through a special emphasis on children and youth with all disabilities and special healthcare needs.

WVPTI is the state's designated Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) and receives funding from the federal Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs. We serve parents and families of a child or youth from birth to age twenty-six with special needs.

WVPTI, Inc. affirms the right of all individuals, from all backgrounds and cultures, with or without disabilities, to appropriate education and other needed services.


Our mission is to empower families as advocates and partners in improving education, health, and transition outcomes for their children and youth with disabilities and special health care needs with a commitment to diversity and equity.


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



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


  • 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.


Our trained staff at WVPTI are selected for their skills, expertise, knowledge and support. Parent Engagement Specialists 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 Parent Engagement Specialists 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

Cara Price - Parent Engagement Specialist

Cara Price is the West Virginia Parent Training & Information Family Engagement Specialist and virtual trainer. 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 with the process 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.

Tammy Taylor-Lane

Tammy Taylor-Lane - Parent Engagement Specialist

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.

Valerie Gallagher

Valerie Gallagher - Data and Media Coordinator

Valerie Gallagher is our Data and Social Media Specialist. With over a decade of successful experience in Data Technologies and former management experience, Valerie specializes in data technologies. She regularly attends online training sessions that showcase new tech trends, such as self-service and analytics tools.

A firm believer in the power of positive thinking in the workplace, Valerie regularly develops her working knowledge to assist employees with effective data strategy techniques. Her former experience in training data-based solutions paved the way for her continued interest in Database Management. Valerie also considers herself an accomplished hobbyist in graphic design and 3D rendering. Her educational background includes being a former business student at WVU. 


Mary Scott

Mary Scott - Training Coordinator

Mary Scott is the WVPTI Training Coordinator. 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.

- Office Assistant