Maryland Special Needs Advocacy Project (MDSNAP) provides free educational advocacy services for Jewish children with special needs, from birth to age 21.  Our staff representative listens to concerns and helps parents help their children.  We assist over 200 families to navigate the special education system each year and work with parents to prepare for IFSP and IEP meetings, including accompanying them to these meetings.

MDSNAP also:

  • Educates parents about their legal rights (does not provide legal counsel)
  • Offers information, resources, and referrals
  • Maintains confidentiality at all times
  • Serves as the family relations arm of the PEN Project

The PEN Project is a collaborative endeavor of the Macks Center for Jewish Education, the Baltimore Jewish Council, Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore City Schools, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers Program, and Baltimore County Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program.

The PEN Program helps families access Child Find, a federal mandate to locate and identify students with educational disabilities, ages 0-21, regardless of where they are educated.  To make a referral to Child Find, complete the PEN Form. The MSDE liaison will contact the parent. Within a few weeks, parents should receive a meeting invitation letter from the school system.  It is highly recommended that parents contact MDSNAP for information and support prior to the meeting date.