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What Is PEP?

What Is PEP?

Please note: The information below refers to the in-person PEP conferences, not the virtual PEP Academy conferences that are offered periodically online.

Parents Encouraging Parents

  • Parents Encouraging Parents are conferences, abbreviated as PEP, for families and parents who have children with disabilities, ages birth to 21.
  • Parents include parents as couples, single parents, legal guardians, adoptive, and foster parents.
  • A support person may attend and accompany a single parent. A support person is one who is helping a parent to raise a child(ren) with a disability or who is a caretaker of the child(ren) with a disability in the family (can include grandparent(s) or other relatives).
  • PEP conferences are arranged in a conference setting, and parents have the opportunity to obtain information relating to parents, parenting, educating, and supporting a child with a disability.
  • Professionals are also invited to attend to obtain information relating to educating and supporting a child with a disability and their family. Professionals must work with children and youth with disabilities (ages birth to 21) and their families.
  • PEP is a non-specific disability conference that focuses on commonalities, not diagnoses.

PEP In-person Conferences at Hotels

  • PEP in-person conferences are arranged at various hotels throughout regions in Colorado, and offers free registration, food, and lodging (if applicable).
  • Special accommodations, language interpretation, and document translation are available.
  • Participants who are confirmed to attend, arrive at the hotel, check into their room (if applicable), then go to PEP registration to sign in and pick up their conference materials, and meet their interpreters (if applicable).
  • Dress is casual--be comfortable! Remember that conference rooms could be stuffy or too chilly for some, due to air conditioning.
  • Transportation is not provided; consider carpooling if applicable; parking and sometimes valet service is available at the hotel venue. Our intent is to contract with venues that offer free parking for participants.
  • Bring a tote or bag to carry handouts and resources.

Cost, Food, Lodging

  • PEP conferences are free to attend. Funded by both federal and state grants, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Exceptional Student Services Unit (ESSU) offers these conferences free of charge to eligible Colorado parents of children with disabilities and to Colorado professionals who work with children and youth with disabilities and their families.
  • The CDE pays for lodging during the conference if a participant's commute to the hotel venue is more than 50 miles one way. Hotels require a personal credit card for incidentals; lodging cost will be charged to the master CDE bill.
  • The CDE will provide Friday's breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Saturday's breakfast and lunch.
  • Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the hotel venue.

Design of In-person PEP Conferences and Attendance

  • Each PEP conference is intentionally designed to be of greater value to parents and professionals who attend the entire conference.
  • All topics of discussion at PEP flow together from the opening session to the closing.
  • In the case of an emergency, where a participant must leave the conference, please call the number given in your reminder letters or your confirmation packet at the hotel. Because emergencies are unexpected and unavoidable, we will gladly give participants the opportunity to attend a future PEP conference.
  • In the case of a natural event or a road closure that prevents a participant from attending, or attending on time, you are still responsible for notifying us by calling the number given in your reminder letters. You will have an opportunity to attend a future PEP conference.
  • If you are confirmed to attend, and you must cancel, please call the number given in your confirmation letter and your reminder letters. You will have an opportunity to attend a future PEP conference.
  • If you are confirmed to attend and neither come to the hotel to register nor cancel with us, you will be considered a "NO SHOW" and will not be eligible to attend a future PEP conference. This guideline supports the PEP team's efforts to be good stewards of our federal and state funding.

PEP Typical 2-Day Conference Agenda (for in-person conferences)

Agenda típica de conferencias de 2 días de PEP (para conferencias presenciales)

More Information about PEP

Pahmela Mendoza
Family School Program Specialist
Phone: 720-237-4600
Email Pahmela Mendoza

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