Being a parent defines me. 

It was from the moment I gazed into my son’s eyes and remains this way today. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. You rise when your child succeeds and fall hard when difficulties emerge. No other role

in life can be exhilarating one moment and devastating the next.

Your heart soars with every positive step and your soul aches

when your child struggles. 


A child with academic and creative giftedness, my son found

school and the social world akin to living in another universe. He didn't understand them and they didn’t understand, appreciate or accept him. Family gatherings, outings, and typical childhood experiences were fraught with difficulties. So when his days became overwhelming and the spark in his eyes showed distress, my world shifted from my career to focusing solely on helping him navigate through the world well into young adulthod. Advocacy for him over many years led to having the privilege of doing the same for many hundreds of other children, teens, and young adults.

If your child is struggling, your life is upended in ways that few can understand. But I do. I’ll stand beside you, adding my voice and expertise as you strive to secure what your child needs to succeed in school for this leads to success in life. As the magnet on our refrigerator said, “We will never give up.” And we will not. Ever.


Bachelor of Arts, Journalism, The Pennsylvania State University

Advanced special education training: legal, autism spectrum disorders, learning differences, social thinking, behavioral interventions, mental health/mental wellness, at-risk and homeless students

Business expertise: nonprofit management, strategic planning, communications, coaching, work/life integration, diversity & inclusion

"On The Road To College" course developer and instructor with specialty in college essays

Student coaching: executive function, self-advocacy, college preparation/success, securing college accommodations and supports

Speaker, presenter, trainer, facilitator, writer, spokesperson, researcher

Certified: Mental Health First Aid; QPR Institute Suicide Prevention; Child Abuse Mandated Reporter; Overview of Family Homelessness, Understanding Family Homelessness, and Understanding the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Volunteer: West Chester University Resource Pantry Advisory Board; Pennies From Kevan Foundation/Homeless For The Holidays; Valley Youth House; Covenant House; KidSave; Chester County Single Mothers Conference; CBS-3 Autism Phone Bank Facilitator

Founder & CEO, Education Navigation

Former: Director, Human Resources Development, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP; Managing Director, Work/Family Management, Ltd.; Columnist - "Parents Express;" Pennsylvania Autism Taskforce; Host, WBEB-FM (101.1)


Cure Autism Now


Autism Speaks


WorldatWork Alliance for Work/Life Progress "Rising Star"


Business Philadelphia - "Innovator"
100 People To Watch


Pennsylvania Hospital Hospice Program


Working Mother WorkBeyond Summit & Working Mother Work Life Congress

Education Law Center


Philadelphia School District Special Education Conference


School districts & parent support groups


Human Resources & Employee Assistance conferences

Corporate Clients:

PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP

West Pharmaceuticals




Credit Suisse



Kraft General Foods​


Media & Mentions:
Audio opens in new window
Audio opens in new window
College Transition: - ADHD - Learning Disabilities - With Dr. Richard Selznick, "The Shut-Down Learner"The Coffee Klatch

As Americans age, fall ill or suffer a disability, the need for caregivers grows - and many workers are struggling to juggle familial responsibilities with their careers. It’s estimated over 65 million people, nearly 30% ...

Please reload

National Flex Day, celebrated the third Tuesday of every October, is a chance for those of us who are deeply concerned with work flexibility for all to come together, assess the landscape of flexible and remote work...

Please reload

Debra Isaacs Schafer is Founder and CEO of Education Navigation, LLC, a work/life and human resources consulting firm partnering with companies to support working parents and the education needs...

Please reload

I can't say enough about all the recent attention regarding parental leave and the companies expanding opportunities for new mothers and fathers to spend critical time with their newborns...

Please reload

On Work and Life, Stew Friedman spoke with Debra Schafer about what corporations can do to help their employees who need care for disabled dependents especially children with special needs or hidden differences...

Please reload

When West Pharmaceutical Services, a medical device company headquartered in Exton, Pennsylvania, surveyed employees at its corporate head office, it found that roughly 8% of the 400 employees at that location were interested in...

Please reload

Debra Schafer is CEO and founder of Education Navigation, LLC which provides employee benefits and work/life programming for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, and learning differences...

Please reload

Debra Schafer is the Founder and CEO of Education Navigation, a provider of voluntary benefits and work/life solutions to organizations focusing on parent employees with children from kindergarten through college transition...

Please reload

Debra Schafer founded Education Navigation in 2010 to help organizations support working parents whose children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder...

Please reload

An initial 30-minute consultation will help you determine if, together, we can support your child in school, address your work/life issues, or help your organization move forward.