Framingham Online News

Framingham advocate for children to receive 2010 Community Partnership Award

Filed under: General Interest by News Staff at 8:26 pm on March 9, 2010

BOSTON, MA – The Federation for Children with Special Needs announced that Cathryn S. Kaner-Taytslin of Framingham will receive an FCSN 2010 Community Partnership Award for Outstanding Parent Advocate. The Federation will present the award at its Visions of Community conference, on Saturday morning, March 13, 2010 at the World Trade Center in Boston.

FCSN names Cat Kaner an Outstanding Parent Advocate

“This conference is always a great day of learning and networking for families of children with special needs and the professionals who serve them,” says FCSN’s Executive Director Richard J. Robison.

As part of the conference events, the Federation presents Community Partnership Awards to recognize ‘unsung heroes’ – those parents, educators, advocates, health professionals and community leaders - who have made a significant impact for children with special needs. These awards are the Federation’s way of acknowledging what individuals contribute not only to families, but also to communities. Their efforts enrich the entire community and make it a more accepting place.

About the award recipient: The Framingham Special Education Parent Advisory Council had been inactive for years, until Cathryn S. Kaner-Taytslin along. With an endless amount of energy, great ideas – plus dedication to both families with children with special needs and the school system – Cat revitalized the Council and put the ‘Parent’ back in F-SEPAC.

Like many parent advocates, Cat’s efforts began at home, advocating for the services and supports her children required to be successful in school. She realized other parents needed information about special education, and began organizing fabulous workshops where parents and teachers could learn together about a variety of special education topics. Cat then recruited parents for the F-SEPAC steering committee, which developed by-laws and organized elections.

In addition, using F-SEPAC as a forum for filling the communications gap between parents and the school, Cat created an annual Advise the Advisory Council session where parents could talk about what worked and what didn't work for their children with special needs. The F-SEPAC board compiles and shares that information with the Special Education Director and Superintendent, and together they work to address the challenges in the school district.

A resident of Framingham, Cat is a mom/advocate of three school-age children. She currently holds the positions of Publicity Chair and Past Co-Chair of F-SEPAC. Cat is also Chief Catalyst and CEO of the Framingham-based marketing agency Catalyst & Co., Inc.

About FCSN: The Federation for Children with Special Needs is a center for parents and parent organizations to work together on behalf of children with special needs and their families. Organized in 1975 as a coalition of parent groups representing children with a variety of disabilities, the Federation offers a variety of services to parents, parent groups, and others who are concerned with children with special needs. For more information about FCSN’s annual Visions of Community conference, and to register, visit or call 617-236-2710.

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