Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press
 Home > Advocacy Library  > Letters to Wrightslaw > Standards for Advocates


The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2014 - 2015 Training Program

Aug 2 - Birmingham, AL

Aug 3-8 - Wmsburg, VA

Aug 21 - Norfolk, VA

Oct 23 - Wilton, CT

Oct 25 - Olympia, WA

Oct 30 - Phoenix, AZ

Nov 6 - McAllen, TX

Nov 21 - Temecula, CA

Dec 4 - OKC, OK

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Candle in window
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Consultations
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Allergies
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 
A Georgia Advocate asks: "How can I get professional standards for advocates in my state?"

Print this page

As an advocate, I continually run into the problem of coming behind other ‘advocates’ who have made a mess of things and broken down all effective communication between the school and the parents. They often back out of the situation they created, leaving the parents in a greater state of crisis.

These advocates know only half of the law(s), have no negotiation skills, no functional knowledge of the child's specific disability or needs. They seem to think their job is to be a 'pit bull' and 'attack' the school system in a direct and personal fashion.

This negates my credibility, and damages my ability to work with the school. I have to ‘clean up’ after advocates who refuse to return confidential documents and tape recordings to the parents.

I think we need some baseline professional standards for those who call themselves "Special Education Advocates." How might I accomplish this?

I appreciate the demands on your time and will wait patiently for a response.

Thank you,
Leslie

From WRIGHTSLAW

Dear Leslie:

The things you describe happen when inexperienced people take on a job, then find it is more complicated than they realized. This isn’t specific to advocates, but is a sign of inexperience and lack of training.

Similar things happen when inexperienced attorneys receive a request for help. Sometimes they assume that writing a letter to the school will cause the school to reconsider a position. Of course, in most cases this doesn't happen.

Most professions have ways to monitor their members -- tests and exams to gauge information, standards, hours of supervision.

You should get involved with COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates). COPAA is an independent, nonprofit organization of attorneys, advocates and parents established to improve the quality and quantity of legal assistance for parents of children with disabilities.

COPAA is working on standards and training for advocates. I think advocates will have more credibility and muscle if they belong to COPAA. The COPAA site is at

http://www.copaa.net

BTW: The 3rd annual COPAA conference is scheduled for early March in Houston.

The Conference schedule is at http://www.copaa.net/3rdconf/schedule.html

You can also leave your message on the Wrightslaw Bulletin Board/Guestbook. After people leave questions on our Bulletin Board, they get public and private emails about their question or issue. Go to:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/feedback_purpose.htm

Good luck!

Pam Wright

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

Copyright © 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

25% OFF Wrightslaw Products

Wrightslaw Summer Sale!


Now Shipping!

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Check it out!

Wrightslaw Store

The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Blog the Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw on Facebook

Find us on Facebook

Wrightslaw Books

Student Discounts

Military Discounts


Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book
To Order


About the Book

To Order


Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

About the DVD Video
To Order


To Order


Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training


Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $
24.95
Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)


Wrightslaw WebEx Special Education Law & Training Program (6.5 hrs)


Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $99.95
Wrightslaw Special: $49.95