Advocacy Strategies: Learning from Others
parents, we have experienced similar events and emotions. Our children
have experienced acts of discrimination. Our hearts have been broken,
our senses inflamed."
"Each step along this path, we have been supported by other parents,
people with disabilities, and advocates. Love for our children brought
us together and keeps us together. We have our stories, our experiences,
our fears, and our hopes. We need each other." (From
Emotions to Advocacy, page 15)
encourage parents to join a support or study group or an advocacy
How do you find a parent group? Do you know about parent groups in
your child's school? Do you know about groups in your community?
When you join a parent group, you will meet other parents who have
traveled down this road. Learn from them In addition to emotional
support, they will teach you the "rules of the game."
Look for an active parent group that is dedicated to meeting the needs
of their members. You may find groups that were established to meet
the needs of children who have different disabilities than your child.
Do not rule these groups out. Parents of children with disabilities
share many common interests and concerns, and want to get quality
special education services for their children.
If your school district has a special education advisory board, contact
a board member and ask about parent groups. If you contact a national
or state organization for information, ask if there are local support
groups in your community. (From Emotions to Advocacy, page 15)
you look for a parent or disability group, think about your interests
* Do you want emotional support?
you want to meet other families who have a child with a disability?
you want advocacy training?
* Do you want to learn more about your child's disability?
you want to learn about special education issues?
* Do you want to get involved in school improvement issues?
Your answers to these questions will help you decide what type of
group to join.
on these pages will help you get started:
Training Information Groups
Disabilities Organizations and Information Groups
Organizations & Groups
Don't forget to check the Yellow
Pages for Kids with Disabilities for your state!
Emotions to Advocacy Study Groups
Do you want to learn about effective advocacy? The best way to
learn is to teach others. How
to Start an "Emotions to Advocacy" Study Group is about
the nuts and bolts of starting a group, how to get free publicity,
how to manage emotions and stay on task.