By Vittoria Woodill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Here at CBS3, we are thinking big with Small Wins. We’re awarding free advertising and cash grants to small businesses owned by or serving women and minority communities.

Our newest Small Wins grant recipient’s small business is helping parents get the most effective education for their children with special needs.

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We surprised Lisa Lightner, owner of A Day In Our Shoes, a few weeks ago with a check for $75,000 and here’s why she couldn’t be more deserving.

“We know, statistically, that about 15% of all school kids have an IEP. So we’re talking about a lot of kids,” Lightner said.

For children with special needs, the individualized education process (IEP) system is crucial. Since 2010, Lightner has been making it her mission to lighten the IEP load for parents with her company, A Day In Our Shoes.

“I am really committed to offering the best IEP training that is out there for parents,” she said.

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As a parent with a special needs child, she remembers how it felt being handed 600 pages of IEP paperwork and realizing even that didn’t cover everything her son needed.

“There have been times with my own child’s IEP that he hasn’t made progress and that he hasn’t done well in school … And at one point we had an IEP team that put their hands up and said we don’t know what to do with him,” Lightner said.

“So that’s what I try to do — teach parents to use the IEP process to get your child’s needs met and repair the relationships with the school,” she said.

Cheers and congratulations on this win and we thank you for what you do to help our community!

“I’m just using my platforms as best I can to amplify voices, be more inclusive and get everybody on the same page,” Lightner said.

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Watch the video for more.

Vittoria Woodill