Alert: Kids Need Our Help This Week
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Plainly, the Senators are getting a great deal of their information from school districts. Senate staff repeat stories of "Cadillac services" coerced out of defenseless school districts by parents' lawyers who run "IDEA mills." These stories involve dolphins and horseback riding lessons. You get the picture.
is absolutely imperative that all members of the Senate, especially
the members of the HELP committee (names and states listed
below), hear from their constituents - that's you!
As for what you should say to our Senators, here are some ideas.
1. Tell a simple, human story that anyone can relate to.
Personal stories are important. Explain how your child, or a child for whom you advocate, will be hurt by the proposed changes.
focus on diagnosis or specialized interventions. Talk about
denial of access to quality education, about lack of opportunity
for educational progress. It is important to tell our stories
in terms that all Americans can relate to.
2. Emphasize how difficult it has been to get the most basic services for your child or the children for whom you advocate.
need to counteract the stereotype that we are whiny upper-middle
class parents who want outrageously expensive services at
public expense because we have a sense of entitlement.
3. Advocates and attorneys need to counteract the myth that we are operating "IDEA mills."
attorneys who represent children with disabilities are solo
practitioners, public interest lawyers and members of small
firms. We often handle IDEA cases on not much more than a
wing and a prayer.
List of HELP members:
Judd Gregg (NH), Chair
2. Your To Do List
To send an email to your Senators, go to the NCLD Legislative Action Center. When you enter your zip code, you will go to a page that allows you to send an email to your Senators. http://www.capwiz.com/ld/issues/alert/?alertid=2086276&type=CO
* June 11 & 12: National Call-In Days (Toll-Free #)
ASHA (the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) is sponsoring a toll-free call-in day to Senators on Wednesday June 11 and Thursday June 12 between 9:00-5:00 Eastern time. The number you can use to call in toll-free on those days is 1-800-760-3014.
Theme: Retain IDEA "Highest Qualified" Provider Language So Our Kids Can Get the Support They Need
The focus of this initiative by ASHA is to urge the Senate to retain the current IDEA requirement that our children receive treatment/therapy from the "highest qualified" providers. I.e., our children should remain entitled to help from certified, qualified speech/language pathologists (SLP's), as well as other professional such as occupational therapists (OT's), physical therapists (PT's), etc. If less qualified individuals are allowed to provide treatment, that could hurt our kids by providing them with substandard care.
3. Don't Leave Us Behind - IDEA Rally in Washington DC - June 17, 2003
Don't Leave Us Behind, a national rally and press conference to Preserve Civil Rights under IDEA for Students with Disabilities, has been organized for June 17, 2003 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Room G50.
about the IDEA
4. Learn More About IDEA Issues
H.R. 1350 Will Not Accomplish the Goals of Its Proponents is a short article by disability rights advocates that focuses on whether the House version of IDEA (HR 1350) meets the goals its proponents intended.
Strengthening accountability and results for students with disabilities.
5. IDEA Contacts The information in this Alert comes from several organizations, including:
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates - www.copaa.net
Alert - News about federal legislation that may affect
your child. To subscribe, go to http://www.capwiz.com/ld/home/
and click ACTION E-LIST
6. Subscription & Contact Info
The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.