Chapel Hill Training Outreach (CHTOP) was established in 1969 with funding from the Federal government as part of our nation's earliest attempts to provide educational services to young children with disabilities. Under the direction of Anne R. Sanford, who was the founder of CHTOP, the strategies and materials developed by CHTOP during these early years became known as the Chapel Hill Model. The Model included assessment instruments, curricula, and strategies for parent involvement and family-centered programming. In 1983, the Chapel Hill Model was validated unanimously for "exemplary program status" by the U.S. Department of Education's Joint Dissemination Review Panel (JDRP). Recently the Chapel Hill Model was renamed The LAP System.
Mike Mathers has been director of CHTOP since Anne Sanford retired in 1990. "One of the favorite things about my job," Mike says, "is that sometimes I get to travel to exotic places and train on early childhood." In this photo, Mike is leading a group of elementary school principals in Islamabad, Pakistan