Started in 1974, the Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) has grown from a grassroots parent group to a nationally recognized 501(c)3 organization serving more than 40,000 families and their children with special needs annually. The Federation is recognized statewide and nationally as a pioneering organization that advocates for quality education, strong parent participation and access to quality health care services for all children, especially those with disabilities.
The work of the Federation is centered around its mission; The Federation for Children with Special Needs provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners, and their communities. We are committed to listening to and learning from families, and encouraging full participation in community life by all people, especially those with disabilities.
Federation staff works in the areas of children’s health, parental involvement, Early Intervention, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), Basic Rights, Inclusion and Transition/Self Determination. The Federation plays a pivotal role in the dissemination of information to parents and families and provides training in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin/Cantonese, Vietnamese and Portuguese. Throughout its history, the Federation has worked to reach out to financially and culturally diverse families in need of supports and services.
The families we work with (and their professional partners) require a variety of supports. These supports can include training, workshops on Individualized Education Program development, assisting their child as he/she phases out of the school system, finding a Down syndrome support group, working with children on the Autism spectrum, advocating for their child’s inclusion in a school setting, and much more. During this past year, the Federation received 16,000 phone calls and emails from parents seeking assistance, and conducted 600 workshops for over 9,000 parents and professionals at 100 locations throughout the state of Massachusetts.