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Andrea Golloher Chosen to Spearhead the Use of DEC Recommended Practices for Young Children with Disabilities

­­­­­Andrea Golloher will serve as a statewide “ambassador” to spearhead use of the DEC Recommended Practices for the care and education of young children with disabilities. Andrea Golloher, Assistant Professor of Special Education and the Associate Director of the Early Childhood Institute at San José State University’s Connie L. Lurie College of Education, is among 22 newly selected aPRy Ambassadors chosen to bring awareness and support to the dissemination and use of the DEC Recommended Practices (RPs) and the associated resources and tools. Ambassadors now reside in 24 states.
Andrea says, “As a faculty member preparing early childhood special education and training early childhood educators to support inclusive programs, I am very excited to be a part of the aRPy Ambassador Initiative. I look forward to learning more about the tools that have been developed and establishing a plan to promote the Recommended Practices in California”.

The aRPy Ambassador Initiative represents a unique partnership between the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children and the Region B Parent Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at Parent to Parent of Georgia. The partners contributed to the processes of selecting, preparing and supporting professionals from across the country who act as aRPy Ambassadors.
Through a cooperative agreement with the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education, the ECTA Center developed a suite of free resources and videos – starring the animated spokesperson ‘aRPy’ for whom the project is named – to help practitioners and families apply these recommended practices to developmental interventions in everyday routines and settings involving children and families.
The ambassadors form an international cohort with knowledge of evidence-based practices, professional development and training, and their state’s early childhood services and practitioner networks. Not only will ambassadors collaborate with one another to develop and share strategies and resources, but each will develop and implement goals aimed at improving outcomes for young children and their families.
2016’s inaugural group of ambassadors were instrumental in helping to design, document, and make recommendations for supporting this new group of ambassadors to disseminate materials nationally. The group will meet in person with ECTA in April 2020 to receive training and support, including a toolkit to use in their activities.
Andrea and her fellow “aRPy Ambassadors” are professionals from organizations, including OSEP funded Parent Training Information Centers, state agencies and universities, who are working on behalf of children with disabilities birth through age 5 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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