About Us

Family Network on Disabilities

Family Network on Disabilities (FND) was founded in 1985 by a group of parents of persons with disabilities who came together for mutual support and information-sharing. FND is a family-centered and family-driven grassroots organization for persons with disabilities and their families that is family-centered and family-driven. The mission of Family Network on Disabilities is striving for 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. They are all 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 not only school but to 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.

  • PEN provides these services to the nine most southern counties in the state (Collier, Hendry, Glades, Martin, Broward, Dade, Lee, Palm Beach, and Monroe),PSN provides these services to the Central Florida area (Brevard, Citrus, De Soto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, and Sumter), and POPIN provides these services to families living in the Panhandle of Florida from Escambia to Volusia County.

  • 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.

  • UNITED FAMILIES is a state grant designed to ensure that families are the catalysts for transforming the mental health and related systems in Florida by strengthening coalitions among family organizations and between family members, policymakers, and service providers while recognizing that family members can be effective change agents.

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.