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Being the parent of a struggling reader is difficult and the evaluation process is complex and often confusing. This series is designed for parents and caregivers who are new to special education services as well as families of students with IEPs who still find navigating the system difficult. Join us as we break down the process into simpler steps and explain the jargon you may be hearing. We will talk about the timeline for requests as well as your rights and responsibilities as a participant on the IEP Team during the IEP process.

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1/18/23 – Session One
The IEP Process Timeline

Presented by Olabimpe Abayomi-Ige
Something is wrong and my child is not progressing at school. What are the next steps? What can I expect and how soon can I expect help?


1/25/23 – Session Two
Exploring the IEP – A deep dive into making the IEP work for your child

Presented by Bonita J. McCabe, Child Advocacy Director, The Arc of Philadelphia
Explanations of all the jargon you don’t know or understand.


2/1/23 – Session Three
504 v.s. IEP – Which is right for my child?

Presented by Sharon Marzocco, Special Education Advocate
How do they differ? How are they the same?  A comparison of the two documents.


2/8/23 – Session Four
Meaningful Parent Participation in the IEP Process: Parents’ perspectives

Presented by Regina Anderson and Jessica McKee MSW, LSW, Parents
Regina and Jessica will be sharing things they have learned along the way about best practices for participation in the IEP practice.   Register Now


2/15/23 – Session Five
Panel Discussion – How do all the pieces fit together?

Moderator Dr. Tracy Johnson-Rockmore, President & Founder, Vessels of Hope
All the Presenters will highlight their must know and must do tips for parents, with a Q&A wrap-up   Register Now



Register for all 5 sessions to receive the discounted rate of $20 and have access to all of the recordings and resource guide!

Registration is $5 per session

Session Four
Session Five




Dr. Olabimpe Abayomi-Ige currently works for the School District of Philadelphia as a Special Education Compliance Monitor (SPECM) and as a Special Education Teacher. In this position, she works with a team of specialists including a school psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, school counselor, vision itinerant, Hearing specialist, and physical therapist. She is in charge of special education programming for all students with special education needs at her current school. She has worked with students with special education needs for more than two decades and has wealth of experience serving students with specific learning disabilities (e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia), Other Health Impairments (OHI), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and Emotional Disturbance. She has an in-depth knowledge of the special education law, IDEA, and its implementation as well as the ESSA (Every Student Succeed Acts, 2015).  

She is very passionate about helping children and their families.

Dr. Abayomi-Ige received her Ph.D. from Temple University, Philadelphia.



Bonita J. McCabe is a self-taught parent advocate.  She has three children and they each had IEPs. Bonita’s eldest has dyslexia and the youngest two have autism.  Since 1999, Bonita has also provided advocacy services to families in the surrounding counties.  She has also worked with various professionals, educators, local attorneys, and other advocates and also worked for a local attorney who specializes in Special Education Law.  She attends IEP meetings, Facilitated IEP meetings and Mediations with families.  Since 2015, Bonita has been employed by The Arc of Philadelphia as the Child Advocacy Director where she reviews and explains the procedural safeguards and teaches families what their child’s rights are, the importance of documentation, and assists families with prioritizing what the issues are so that their child will receive appropriate services in the Least Restrictive Environment. 




Sharon Marzocco is a parent with personal IEP and GIEP experience. She has used these life lessons to advocate for children and families in search of free and appropriate public education. She is a member of COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) and a Parent Consultant for PEAC (Pennsylvania Education for All Coalition). Sharon’s passion is empowering parents to advocate for and receive the best possible education for their children. She has experience with IEP coordination and compliance, GIEP’s, learning differences, autism support and networking families with appropriate services and providers.




Regina Willis is the parent of a child in a Philadelphia charter school who was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2020. She has since become very involved in education and literacy, advocating through her elected officials and school administration to increase knowledge on dyslexia and the lack of effective methods to teach children to read.








Jessica McKee, first and foremost, is a parent advocate to her own children. Jessica has 5 children, 1 with dyslexia and 3 with IEP’s. She is a Licensed Social Worker and is currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Jessica has always worked to support underserved communities, and continues to do so by advocating for improved teacher training regarding all things dyslexia, improved legislation regarding dyslexia, and access to structured literacy in all K-3 Classrooms.






Tracy Johnson-Rockmore is the Founding President and CEO of Vessels of Hope, a non-profit organization that helps individuals with learning disabilities. Her hometown is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Harcum College  and an Enrollment Counselor at Eastern University. She has received an Associate’s degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies from Harcum College; a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor Human Resource Management from Cabrini University; a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education from Eastern University; and a Doctorate degree in Ministry Science from the Accelerated School of Christian Ministry International, Inc.


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