What is the Local Task Force?
- The Local Task Force (LTF) is a committee of concerned and active parents, consumers, and representatives, brought together to collaboratively ensure that all children with disabilities in Westmoreland County receive the supports and services they need to be successful in the least restrictive environment.
- A major purpose of the Local Task Force is to propose recommendations that will improve, strengthen, and when needed, expand services for children with special needs.
- The Local Task Force serves as an information-sharing and networking vehicle between members and the community.
- The Local Task Force addresses individual issues brought to the committee by parents regarding their child’s educational needs during Creative Resolutions.
History of the Local Task Force
In 1971, the organization then known as the PA Association for Retarded Citizens, now simply The Arc of PA, sued the Commonwealth of PA for the rights of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend public school. The case quickly settled before the U.S. District Court, resulting in a consent decree. The state of PA agreed to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for all children with disabilities.
The Court’s decree laid the foundation for the establishment of the right to an education for all children with disabilities. That case also established the standard that each child must be offered an individualized education program (IEP) and that children should be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) possible. The PARC consent decree was then recognized on a national level as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, also known as IDEA, in 1975.
Who Can Attend Meetings and Activities?
Any interested person or parent of a student with a disability or special need may attend any of the regularly scheduled Local Task Force meetings. It is not necessary to be a member to attend, and no advance notice is necessary.
….You are always welcome!
When and Where are the Meetings?
Meetings are typically held every other month, with some meetings in the daytime starting at 10:00 am, and some meetings in the evening starting at 6:30 pm. Meetings usually last one hour. Please call 724-836-2460 to find out exact dates.
All Local Task Force Meetings occur at Westmoreland Intermediate Unit: 102 Equity Drive, Greensburg, PA.
What is the State Task Force?
The State Task Force serves as an advocate for students with intellectual disabilities, as well as those with other special needs, through resolution and administrative/policy support. The State Task Force meets up to six times per year in Harrisburg, PA, with downlinks in other areas of the state, and includes agency members. Parents and educators are encouraged to attend.
What is Creative Resolutions?
Creative Resolutions offers an opportunity for a parent to bring individual special education concerns to the attention of a Local Task Force voting member for the purpose of discussion and problem-solving. This confidential meeting usually takes place directly before a Task Force meeting, then comments are welcome after the general Task Force forum. Confidentiality is ALWAYS protected and NO name or district is ever revealed. Parents can schedule a Creative Resolutions meeting by contacting one of the co-chairpersons of the Local Task Force.
Who Can I Contact with Questions or to Request a Creative Resolution Session?
Natalie Smith, Educational Consultant
724-836-2460, ext. 2321