The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
September 18, 2001

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Issue: 130
ISSN: 1538-3202

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Highlights: From the front lines with the American Red Cross; links to free newsletters, publications, and resource directories.

Subscribers on September 18 2001: 30,223

Like many of you, we are numb and exhausted following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. As individuals and as a nation, we will be forever changed. We take life for granted and yet it is a fragile gift. For those who have lost friends or family, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

It is time to get back to work.

1. From the Front Lines with the American Red Cross

Our daughter-in-law, Sara Wright, works for the American Red Cross as the Emergency Services Specialist for the Arlington County Chapter, which has jurisdiction over the Pentagon. Sara has been directing emergency operations, for 24 hours the first day, and is coordinating all services at night.

A talented writer, Sara edited our new book, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide (available soon).

On Saturday, Sara wrote a letter to her friends and family and described the events and activities of her chapter during the first days of this crisis. Her letter helped us to understand what Red Cross staff and volunteers are doing -- the millions of small tasks that must be done for the system to work, and that this work will continue for many weeks.

We learned about disaster specialists and volunteers who are engaged in work that is exhausting, numbing, and necessary.

When people feel emotional and helpless, many want to do something NOW. We need to take a longer view of the work ahead of us.

Sara explains that while we want to help, we must be patient, ask how we can help, and listen to the answers - even if they are not what we want to hear. She warns us not to act out of hatred or a desire for revenge and reminds us that "we are all in this together."

Sara's letter inspired us. We asked if we could post her letter on the site to give you an inside look at work by the American Red Cross during this difficult time. She agreed with one stipulation -

"We need all the help we can get right now. But please make it clear that these are my personal reflections and not an official view sanctioned by the American Red Cross."

To read about Sara's life on the front lines, go to the Wrightslaw site.

2. Please Help the American Red Cross

At the end of her letter, Sara asked, "When you display your American flag, maybe you should add a picture of the globe, because we are all in this together."

On Monday, September 17, we added two images to the pages on the Wrightslaw site. To see these images, visit the "Please Help" page we built to benefit the American Red Cross.

3. More Free Stuff - Online Newsletters

You need to learn about the child's disability, proven methods of teaching and learning, rights and responsibilities, and advocacy strategies.

Even if you are an experienced Internet user, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of material you find. You can easily spend hours looking for information without finding what you need.

In the last issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we told you how to get free books and publications about IEPs, reading, high-stakes testing,transition plans, children's mental health, discipline, zero tolerance and other subjects. If you missed this article, go to the Wrightslaw site.

You can't beat a good online newsletter for up-to-date information. Please check our listings of free online newsletters about legal, special education, and disabilities information. Each listing has a link that you can follow to subscribe.

We divided the online newsletters into four areas:

* Learn about the Law and Legal Research
* Learn about Special Education Law and Advocacy
* Learn about the Disabilities
* Learn about Education & Special Education

4. Getting Help - Resource Directories

Looking for an advocate? Want to get a copy of your state special ed regulations? Searching for information about how you can help your child?

Please visit our Getting Help page for resource directories and links to more useful information.

Subscription Information

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources.

Subscribers receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

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