Our Purpose

We have programs all over Florida, to make sure you get the help you need, when you need it.

Family Network on Disabilities

Family Network on Disabilities (FND)  is a family-driven grassroots organization for persons with disabilities and their families. FND was founded in 1985 by a group of parents of persons with disabilities who came together for mutual support and information-sharing.

OUR MISSION: striving for the complete integration and equality of people with disabilities in a society without barriers. 

FND serves all persons with all disabilities and believes that everyone has intrinsic value and the inherent right to respect, independence, knowledge, freedom of choice, inclusion, quality of life, success, and equality.

Family Network on Disabilities operates the following programs across Florida:

Parent Education Network (PEN), Parent Support Network (PSN), Parents of the Panhandle Information Network (POPIN), Family Star, and United Families: all are programs designed to ensure that parents of children with the full range of disabilities and mental health challenges have the training and information they need to prepare their children for school and be able to lead productive, independent lives to the fullest extent possible. These programs offer free help and information to families of students with disabilities and the professionals that serve them.

POPIN provides these services to the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, LaFayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, Seminole, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.

PSN provides these services to the following counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Sumter.


PEN provides these services to the following counties: Broward, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, and St. Lucie.

Family STAR (Support, Training, Assistance, Resources) is Florida’s Family to Family Health Information Center. This program provides information and support to families of children and youth with special health care needs.

Family Network on Disabilities provides comprehensive special needs trust services, including service as a trustee, co-trustee, or trust administrator. We handle all types of special needs trusts, including pooled trusts.

Scholarships And Opportunities

The Jan La Belle Scholarship Program was established in 2009 to provide a financial resource to individuals with disabilities who desire to pursue their personal and career goals through attendance at a postsecondary institution. Awards are made annually, up to $15,000. Awards are targeted at individuals between the ages of 16-24 who have a disability and who are pursuing higher education. Their school of choice may be academic or vocational.

FND provides assistance and support to parents, educators, community organizations, and faith-based groups to increase the kinds and types of parental involvement and engagement to increase student academic achievement across Florida. FND provides these free services to form and foster partnerships between home and school to build sustainable relationships for student success.

All services provided by Family Network on Disabilities are delivered to families in a format that is suitable to their needs and culture by professionals who have a personal understanding of what it’s like to have a disability or a loved one with a disability.

Here For You, Always.

FND understands the challenges affecting families that have children with disabilities. That’s because we were founded in 1985 by those same families – the ones seeking more and better options for the care and education of their kids. The active, caring parents that were among FND’s original members have helped it grow into the state and national organization it is today.

Before our founding, kids with disabilities were generally met with low expectations by those entrusted with teaching them. But as FND has grown and evolved, we have worked to deliver information and training to families and provide one-on-one assistance to help them understand their rights and receive better education outcomes for their children.

A Seat at the Table

We strive to ensure that families are active in the process of helping their children find the best care and educational opportunities.

“Families have a seat at the table” is the motto that shapes and guides our work. The families that work with us are committed to helping their children receive the best options for their education.

From its beginnings among a small group of parents, FND has grown into a national organization that advocates for kids with disabilities so that they receive free appropriate public education and achieve high-level outcomes.

When a child is born with a disability, parents may not know where to turn. FND actively seeks those families so we can be their lifeline to a better tomorrow.
One of the original children of FND expresses his gratitude this way: “I was born with disabilities and had learning disabilities my entire life. FND found us.”

OUR MESSAGE TO FAMILIES: We are here for you, always. You may not know what to ask or where to turn. But in your darkest moments, we will find you.

Our Dedicated Staff

Richard La Belle

Family Network on Disabilities

Joseph La Belle

Director of Programs Impact, Family Network on Disabilities

Laura Mattson

Trust and Operations Director,
Family Network on Disabilities

Heidi Flatt, CPA, CGMA

Director of Finance,
Family Network on Disabilities

Eliana Tardío

Director of Digital Communications,
Family Network on Disabilities

Kathy Powell

Project Director, POPIN
Parents of the Panhandle Information Network

Tosha Littles

Project Director, PSN
Parents Support Network

Allicia Walford

Project Director, PEN
Parent Education Network

Lisa Math

Family S.T.A.R. & UFCMH

Employment Opportunities

26750 U.S. Highway 19 North
Suite 410
Clearwater, FL 33761

(727) 523-1130
(800) 825-5736

Family Network of Disabilities