Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue, we focus on paraprofessionals and advocacy training programs.
Why you should request a paraprofessional, not an aide; how
to request a one-to-one parapro for your child; FAQs about related services;
how to get FAPE and avoid due process; advocacy training programs in Indianapolis,
IN & Hartford CT; Partners in Policymaking; free online advocacy course
1. Doing Your Homework: Why You Should Request a "Paraprofessional," Not an "Aide"
parents request a paraprofessional, not an "aide," in their
child's IEP? Why does Sue Heath say, "A simple change in the wording
of the IEP document makes a huge difference in what it says."
writes Doing Your
Homework about creative advocacy strategies. Sue is also the co-author
No Child Left Behind published by Harbor
House Law Press. Sue
Doing Your Homework
2. Strategies: How to Request a One-on-one Parapro for Your Child
When parents request a "one-to-one" paraprofessional for their child, they are often disappointed and frustrated by the school district's response. Even when the district agrees to their request, parents may be unhappy with the results.
Parents need to know what they want for their child, how to get it, and the outcomes they expect.
In How to Request a One-on-one Parapro for Your Child, parent attorney Wayne Steedman describes qualifications of paraprofessionals and strategies parents can use to make their case for a parapro.
3. FAQs: Related Services
What are related services? Who is eligible? How do you know what related services a child needs?
Do parents have to pay for related services? Who provides related services? How are these services delivered and coordinated? Funded?
4. Success Story: How We Got an Appropriate Education & Avoided Due Process
This success story, "How We Got an Appropriate Education & Avoided Due Process" is subtitled "Preparation is the Key to Success."
Learn how one mom used Wrightslaw resources and training to advocate effectively for her child. "After struggling with our school district for over a year to provide services to my disabled child without success, I knew I had to . . . " Read story
5. Join Pete & Pam Wright for Advocacy Training Programs in IN & CT (September 2004)
Wrightslaw Special Education Law Seminar in Michigan was a tremendously
rewarding experience and will forever change our practice." - Bryan
I. Eder, Esq., Chudnof & Eder,
a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or
guilty because of all the things that have been done or not done. This
time I left encouraged, inspired and armed!"
6. Advocacy Training - Partners in Policymaking
"I checked your schedule - you aren't scheduled to do training in my community. Do you have other ideas about how I can get training?" - Mark
Mark, If you want to advocacy training, you may want to look into the Partners in Policymaking program. Pete and Pam have provided training for the Partners program in Virginia for several years.
Partners programs are available in more than 30 states and several countries.
Participants learn about the history of disability advocacy, political issues, and how to become effective, involved community activists in civil rights and disability issues. While this can lead to special education advocacy, this is not the sole focus of the program.
Partners also offers online training classes.
Learn more in Advocacy Training: Partners in Policymaking
7. Free Online Advocacy Course for Parents
is a great course for new people who are interested in special ed advocacy
work." - Glen Sexton, Utah special ed advocate
The course includes surveys, readings, self-study questions, and a short-answer assignment. You also receive an extensive resource list and a course certificate that you can print.
The course has been approved by the Teachers College, Columbia University Institutional Review Board (IRB) and meets the highest ethical standards. There are no obligations, all information is confidential, and participants may withdraw at any time. The instructor will register individuals through early October, at which time the course will end.
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.