Bright and Beautiful Learning Center - Greenwood, SC - What Staff Members Said:
A Parent's Plan for Success - Janie
Bowman of BrightWord
Enter Pete and Pam Wright, with their progressive "Special Education Law & Advocacy Training Series" on CD. Law and Advocacy is an actual, live 6½ hour Power Point advocacy training presented to a group in Virginia over a four day period. The CD covers special education law and advocacy strategy, and is appropriate for parents, advocates, educators and attorneys.
Using WebEx, free software that you download and is easy to navigate, the Wrights use two of their flagship books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition as curriculum. You don't have to rush to take notes, as they tell you exactly what you need to document, and where, guiding you every step of the way. If you need to review a section, you can click back and repeat that section as often as you like.
Many areas are covered, including:
This is advocacy training at its best... as Pete and Pam share personal stories and background information to help you understand the law, and various tactics and strategies. They present with expertise and with passion, often sprinkled with humor. The information "sticks" with you.
sometimes so interesting you wish you could see them in action. Indeed,
including snapshots of them as they present the material would only
enhance the training. The cost of the CD might be prohibitive for
those on a tight budget, but it's worth the effort to coordinate the
purchase with other parents. Also, support groups, non-profits and
schools would find this CD advantageous for training parents and advocates.
you to everyone who put in the hard work and effort to make this training
CD a reality, it is a most appreciated resource".
I have four children with special needs and it is difficult to find two consecutive hours to spend on learning the law and effective strategies, much less a whole day. After attending the conference, I better realize the importance of preparation before action. I am intent on learning, organizing and preparing for litigation so that I will hopefully never have to go there!
As my husband drove home to Atlanta, I pulled out my laptop and learned how to make the bar graphs you demonstrated during the conference. What an incredible difference it made in the history I was writing concerning my sons test results. The strengths and weaknesses were so much more apparent than a basic listing of numbers! I also changed the way I was writing the letter so that, hopefully, it became a letter to a stranger that can stand on its own with the story told from a reasonable Mrs. Columbo.
As I told you at the end of the conference, I ordered the WebEx CD training set which arrived about a week before the conference. I like to play the sessions while I am getting ready in the morning, doing laundry, or other tasks that do not require much mental effort. It is my way of getting the review and repetition on a regular basis even though there is very little time in my busy schedule. Each time I listen, I pick up something new.
I have several other moms interested in doing a book study and plan to use all the information I am learning to lead a study group on From Emotions to Advocacy and Special Education Law in my home beginning in January so that we are all ready for the Spring IEPs. Are there any study guides available? I am working on making some but why reinvent the wheel if it already exists!
Since attending the conference, I have concentrated my efforts on one of my children in particular. As I listened to you speak of your early history, you described my precious 6 year old. I began charting his data, organizing his records, and using the techniques to appear as though I had a photographic memory. I met one-on-one with the due process facilitator and explained all the discrepancies I saw including accommodations listed in his 504 Plan that were not being followed, his significant regression in many areas from May 2007 to August 2007, incomplete testing and new goals set at school (OT) for 67% that he had already mastered at above 90% in private therapy. We discussed his ineligibility for an IEP or additional testing (April 2007) and my understanding of what his test results showed and how I read the regulations. I emphasized that I wanted to be a part of the solution and work with the school system, I did not want to make anyone look bad and that I simply wanted to move forward with an appropriate plan for my son and his needs. Within days, his 504 plan was revised, full testing was approved and STARTED and he began receiving small group help in math and reading. I was only in a meeting for one hour. Not only was it productive . It was nice.
you taught me in one day changed the way I advocate for my children.
I have a long road ahead with my four kids but you and the resources
you provide are a beacon of light. I look forward to learning more
and sharing what I learn with others. I eagerly await the opportunity
to hear you speak again!
Last revised: 11/07/07