SAN JUAN – Over a hundred families and individuals attended the 6th Annual South Texas Parent Conference hosted at PSJA Early College High School on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Aimed at improving the lives of individuals with disabilities in the Rio Grande Valley, the free conference was open to parents of children with disabilities or special health care needs, self-advocates, family members, educators, service providers, and other interested community members.

The full-day event was possible thanks to a collaboration between the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD Special Education Department, Texas Parent to Parent and Region 1 Education Service Center. It included parent and professional presenters, 16 breakout sessions focused on topics relating to the special education population, and it offered networking opportunities and presentations from local and state exhibitors.

According to the PSJA Special Education Department Director Debra Salinas, this is the second year that the conference is hosted at PSJA Early College High School due to its centralized location in the Rio Grande Valley and the work done throughout the year to serve the special education population in the district.

“This event is important because it helps parents learn more information about the resources available to assist them with their students,” Salinas said. “Any parent who couldn’t make it today and still has questions can always contact our department.”

For Alicia Berumen, a PSJA ISD parent, attending the conference helped her learn new ways she can improve her son’s life and better assist him to be independent.

“We’re always looking to learn about how we can help him,” said Berumen whose son attends PSJA North Early College High School. “Thank you to PSJA ISD for all that they to help families with kids who have disabilities.”