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Our Mission Statement

Parents of children with disabilities run into obstacles when they advocate for their children. Two obstacles are isolation and lack of information. We are working to remove these obstacles.

In April 1998, Pete and Pam Wright put up a one page site with links to several articles. Thirteen years later, the site includes hundreds of files about special education law and advocacy. These files are in the Law Libraries and the Advocacy Libraries.

More than 85,000 people subscribe to The Special Ed Advocate, the free online newsletter about special education law and advocacy, published by Pete and Pam Wright.

Today, parents visit the Wrightslaw site to learn about their legal rights and responsibilities and how to use tactics and strategies to get better special education services for their children.

Special educators visit Wrightslaw to learn about their responsibilities to provide a free appropriate education to all children with disabilities. Visitors post questions, share information, and provide support in the discussion areas.

At Wrightslaw you will find links to hundreds of special education law and advocacy articles, newsletters, cases, and practical guidance for parents, advocates, and attorneys. Wrightslaw is the most comprehensive special education advocacy site on the Internet.

Parents are the catalysts for educational reform.

For years, parents worked to educate school officials who viewed children with disabilities as uneducable. When educating school officials didn't work, parents brought lawsuits against school districts for excluding or segregating children with disabilities.

As catalysts for reform, parents took their case to Congress in the early 1970's. When Congress investigated, they learned that millions of children with disabilities were not receiving appropriate educational services -- and that one million children with disabilities were excluded from school.

Because parents were catalysts for reform, Congress passed Public Law 94-142 (the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975) in 1975, which was later renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Today, more than five million children with disabilities receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Millions more children with handicaps are protected from discrimination by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

But the educational bureaucracy resists change.

Twenty-five years after the Individual with Disabilities Act was enacted, children with disabilities are still being educated in separate classes and schools with little or no contact with non-disabled children. Children with disabilities are placed in classes with teachers who don't have the knowledge or skills necessary to teach them.

Over the years, parents have encountered two obstacles in advocating for their children: isolation and lack of information. The Internet is beginning to remove these obstacles.

Today, parents use the Internet to learn about their legal rights and responsibilities, and about effective educational practices. Parents visit forums and chat rooms to share information and provide support.

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Last updated: 06/27/11

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