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Summer School 2013
So You Want to be an Advocate?

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Have you thought about becoming an advocate but don't know where to start?

I am interested in becoming an advocate for children with special needs and their families. Is there a certification process?

I am a retired school administrator. I am interested in training to become a special education advocate. Is there an organization I can join, training I may receive? Where should I begin?

I was a certified special ed teacher and I would like to become a parent advocate. I'm not sure how to get started.

In this four part series you will:

  • get the basics of becoming a special education advocate
  • read what advocates do to improve the lives of children with disabilities and their families
  • find out what training and certification, if any, is required
  • learn where and how advocates train

Part 1

advocate meeting with parentsWho Can Be an Advocate? What Do Advocates Do?

Find out about different types of advocates and what advocates do. Learn what you need to do to become an expert.

If you want to become a good advocate, hang around with folks who do advocacy work. Get advice from other advocates who will answer your questions, offer ideas, and make suggestions about how to negotiate the maze of special education. Find out how to link up with other advocates in your city or state.

In Part 1: So You Want to be an Advocate?, get the basics of becoming a special education advocate.

Part 2

What Advocates Need to Learn

  • What are the guidelines for special ed advocates?
  • Are there legal requirements for becoming an advocate?
  • What training and certification do you need?

Many people don't realize there is currently no certification process for advocates. But there is good training available.

This week you will find out what training and certification, if any, is required and learn where and how advocates train.

In Part 2: So You Want to be an Advocate? you'll learn how to plan and prepare to be an effective advocate and what mistakes to avoid. Find out where to get the information and training you need. Get a reading and resource list.

Part 3

advocate meeting with parentsHow to Hone Your Advocacy Skills

To become an effective advocate, there are three essential things you need to do:

  • Expose yourself to advocacy opportunities
  • Learn about special education, law, and advocacy
  • Practice, practice, practice advocacy skills

In Part 3: So You Want to be an Advocate? you will get a game plan for honing your advocacy skills.

Part 4

What a Good Advocate Looks Like

Are you ready to advocate? How will you know?

You'll know you are ready when a parent comes to you and...

  • you know what to do
  • you know how to do it

Keep up your reading, education, practice, and training. Good Luck!

In Part 4: So You Want to be an Advocate? you will get a game plan for honing your advocacy skill. Get more tips and tools for good advocates. Read an advocate's success story and download your certificate.



2011 Summer School Short Course CertificateCongratulations! You have completed Summer School 2013: So You Want to be an Advocate?, the four week series to becoming a more effective advocate.

Thank you for participating. You've worked hard reading, researching, and completing assignments. You're motivated and empowered - and ready to advocate!

Well done!


Success high fiveHere's your Summer School 2013 Certificate


We appreciate your positive comments about the Special Ed Advocate summer series.

"This summer school series for parents you've been running in the newsletter is perfect for the parents I'm training at the Parent Information Center workshops. You haven't just told parents what to learn, you are telling them how to learn it and how to approach the learning.."

"Excellent job again Wrightslaw! I cannot underscore the extreme importance of maintaining an ongoing “flow” of documentation of all school activity pertaining to your student. I just love it when a school official says, 'I don’t have knowledge or evidence of the district’s approval of that service for your student'. I can respectfully reply… 'I am eager to assist the IEP team in any way I can. I have the verification document you need right here.'"

"I LOVE your site. I have never received an electronic issue that did not have an article that was personally applicable. I would very much like to do each step in the summer organization 'class'. With three young children with special needs- I can't miss organizational help!!"

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