Parent Summit FAQ

What is the I’m Determined Parent Summit?
The I’m Determined Parent Summit is a two-day networking and learning event for parent(s)/guardian(s) of youth who apply and are accepted to attend the I’m Determined Youth Summit. Youth attend a youth-only event, and parent(s)/guardian(s) attend a nearby Parent Summit event. The Parent Summit has been hosted by the Center for Family Involvement since 2008. Materials from past events can be found on the Upcoming/Previous Summits link to the left.

When and where is the Parent Summit?
The Parent Summit, and the I’m Determined Youth Summit, is held each June on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

Who can attend the Parent Summit?
Virginia students with a disability, age 13-21, are encouraged to apply to attend the I’m Determined Youth Summit. Applications can be made at Typically, 125 or more youth are accepted to attend. An adult family member or guardian must accompany youth under 18 years of age. All adults who accompany a youth to the summit are registered to attend the Parent Summit.

What if I or my youth has specific needs such as a special diet, interpreting services, a personal attendant or a physically accessible room?
If accommodations for the youth and parent are listed on the application, every effort will be made to meet needs. Accessible lodging is available.

Why should parents want to attend the summit?
In addition to learning information about a variety of areas related to transition planning and adult services, parents attending the summit have said:

  • “I have learned so much. I wish I had gotten this information years ago!”
  • “This Summit has been a life-changing event for me, and for my family!”
  • “It was so valuable to have an opportunity to talk with other parents and to learn from their experiences.”
  • “Excellent!! Soooo helpful!”
  • “This was our first summit and we thought it was amazing.”
  • “A wealth of information that will steer our “next steps” at home.”

What is the process for filling out my youth’s application?
Typically, in early December each year, the I’m Determined Youth Summit application is posted on for about three months. Youth can get assistance from a parent or teacher in completing the application prior to the application deadline. Applications are reviewed as they are submitted and decisions are made about acceptance by spring.

When are applicants notified of acceptance?
Each spring, applicants are contacted regarding their acceptance. At that time, additional information is provided about the date and location. Applicants can continue to check for updates and to watch videos about what to bring to JMU.

If my youth is accepted, do I have to attend?
An adult family member or guardian must accompany youth under 18 years of age. All adults who accompany a youth are registered to attend the Parent Summit.

Can more than one parent or guardian attend with a single youth?
Yes, pending availability, family members are welcome to attend.

Does the Parent Summit cost anything?
No. Lodging is provided for youth and their parent(s)/guardian(s), free of charge, in conveniently located JMU dormitories. Free meal passes are provided to allow both youth and parents/guardians to receive all meals in the beautiful East Campus Dining Hall at JMU, reserved for summit participants. Mileage to and from the event is reimbursed by completing a form once at the summit (a reimbursement check is mailed within four to six weeks). Bringing personal spending money is optional.

What do I need to bring with me to the Parent Summit?
Once accepted, youth and parent(s)/guardian(s) will receive information with specific directions and suggestions for what you may want to bring with you to make your stay more comfortable. Linens, including towels, and a pillow and blanket are provided for each person attending. There are videos posted at that explain this further.