I.D.E.A. Turns 45 Years Old

Congress enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) (EHA), in 1975, to support states and localities in protecting the rights of, meeting the individual needs of, and improving the results for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families. This landmark law, whose 45th Anniversary we celebrate this year, is currently enacted as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended in 2004.
See the timeline for I.D.E.A. over the past 4 decades.



Services We Provide

The Family Resource Center was organized to promote opportunities for learning, inclusion, and empowerment for individuals with disabilities and special needs, their families, and their communities through such means as education, advocacy, and outreach.



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About Family Resource Center

The Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special Needs, Inc. (FRC) is a not for profit, 501(c) organization located in Charleston, South Carolina. The FRC provides information services throughout the Lowcountry and was organized to promote opportunities for learning, inclusion, and empowerment for individuals with disabilities and special needs, their families, and their communities through such means as education, advocacy, and outreach. The majority of seats on the Board of Directors is held by parents of children with disabilities under the age of 26. Donations to the Center are tax deductible according to federal guidelines. The Board invites inquiries regarding the activities of The Family Resource Center and welcomes support from the tri-county area to accomplish our mission.

About Accessibility

A grpahic depicting one woman in a wheelchair painting and another doing potteryThe Family Resource Center is committed to providing access to our web pages for individuals with disabilities. The content of this site has been tested for usability and accessibility using a combination of standards-based, automated procedures and accepted heuristic methods. All web pages conform to Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Downloadable documents have been made as accessible as possible.  Fully accessible versions of individual documents can be supplied on an as-needed basis by calling 843-266-1318 or by Email: bevmccarty@frcdsn.org.

We make every effort to comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508 requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from us, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on us. Compliance is an ongoing process and we encourage notification when information on our website is inaccessible.



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    When I was a special education director we would often have meetings in school with all the multidisciplinary team present, a related service person, like a speech therapist, the child’s teacher, a school psychologist, and than the parents. I always felt so conscious that the parents came into a meeting that may have 6, 7, 8 or more school people to discuss their child’s future, and the parents knew little of the complex nature of assessment and the often very confusing requirements of special education law. How isolating that must be. I have been very happy to be part of the Family Resource Center including the Parent Training and Resource Center, an organization that provides opportunities and empowerment for individuals with disabilities and their families.
    Walter Jenner, Family Resource Center Board of Directors
    Walter Jenner, Family Resource Center Board of Directors
  • “I am so grateful for the compassion of the FRC.”
    Jessica Garis, parent in Charleston County
  • “Many, many parents have commented to me that the Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special Needs has been a critical difference-maker in the trajectory of their children’s lives. Perhaps most importantly, these parents utilize and benefit from your organization’s services on a long-term basis….It is truly difficult to put into words where our community would be without your organization’s dedication to the underserved. Your tireless advocacy on behalf of patients with disabilities is an inspiration to countless other mental health workers throughout the region.”
    McLeod Frampton Gwynette, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, MUSC
  • “Sharla, your advice and encouragement helped me be persistent in making sure all of the recommendations were clear and specific….Without your guidance, I wouldn't have known that this was acceptable for me to do. The school/district have met all of our requests… I feel like everyone is on board….I'm telling everyone about your office and how much help you provided! I have made a donation through the PayPal link, but if you're ever looking for parent testimonials I am happy to provide one. Thanks again"
    Lori Dickerson, parent in Charleston County
  • “Thank you so much for mentoring me on (my son’s) IEP. It was very helpful and I’m so glad to have met you.”
    Eli & Shannon, parents in Charleston County
  • “The work you have accomplished with the Family Resource Center has been simply outstanding. Moreover, the working relationships that you have developed with special education officials in your area have led to improvements in their special education programs. Truly your work has been a model of what a Community Parent Resource Center (CPC) should be doing and has had a tremendous impact on our state.”
    Mitchell L. Yell, Ph.D., Fred and Francis Lester Chair of Teacher Education, USC
  • “Thank you very much for supporting us. We really appreciate you. You make a difference in someone’s life.”
    The Quintels, parents in Charleston County
  • “The Parent Training and Resource Center provides quality programs and professionally trained staff to meet the needs in our community.”
    R. Keith Summey, Mayor, City of North Charleston
  • “The FRC provides unique opportunities for families to access mentorship resources not easily found elsewhere in the local area. Your programs enable families, especially those with a newly diagnosed special needs family member, to gain valuable insights into the complicated world of special education. Our families are well served from the point of referral and intake, to the point where they confidently stand on their own as advocates for their family member.”
    John J. Tecklenburg, Mayor, City of Charleston
  • “The mentors have helped parents communicate effectively with the school district and their methods have taught parents to become advocates for their children throughout the special education process…As a Director of Special Services, I appreciate the opportunity to work with the PTRC.”
    Dr. Antonia Cappelletti, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Dorchester District Two
  • “support, kindness and great advice meant so much to us”
    Rob & Michelle, parents in Charleston County
  • “The presence of The Family Resource Center in a complex IEP meeting was an asset to the family. The Parent Mentor kept the child's parents up to speed during the entire decision-making process."
    Shelly Ackley MS CCC-SLP, Say it with a Smile LLC
  • “I appreciate (my Mentors) insight and expertise more than I could ever express! "
    Kerry, parent in Berkeley County
  • Translation: “We love everyone, especially the boss. Thank you for all you have done for my Family, for looking after all of us. Sometimes one feels sad when there in nobody there to fight for your rights, to Support you or to help you. I thank God for you, your agency and the work you do. Keep going onwards. Sincerely, Eloina”
    Eloina via Handwritten Postcard
  • "This year has been hard for everyone. Those of us who have special needs children were hit very hard when our children's routines were upended. I was hopeful when school started back we could start fresh but autism had other plans. My son’s behavior was immediately out of control when he re-entered school. A meeting was called and I turned to Shea, my Parent Mentor at The Family Resource Center. The understanding she and her fellow staff members have of the IEP process is second to none. She has given me the confidence and knowledge to navigate my son’s education, that I could never have done without her help. I would highly recommend this dedicated staff to anyone who is struggling to understand the complicated world of all things IEP related"
    Kelly, parent in Dorchester County


The Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special Needs/Parent Training and Resource Center is not a legal services agency and cannot provide legal advice or legal representation.

Any information provided by Program staff or Peer Parent Mentors, or in Program resource materials, is not intended as legal advice and should not be used as a substitution for legal advice.

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