So You Want to Be An Advocate?

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I am searching for guidelines for special ed advocates. Are there legal requirements for becoming an advocate?

There is no formal process and currently no national certification for advocates.

Try to attend a Wrightslaw program – great training and networking with other advocates who can give you advice.

You will find the schedule of Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy  training programs here.

A good source of training (without the networking) is our Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Program on CD-ROM. Info can be found here:

For Advanced Advocates

William and Mary Law School Institute of Special Education Advocacy ISEA.

View the Slideshow from ISEA 2012.

LIVE Blogging from ISEA 2012.

Scholarships / Funds for training

Some state Planning Councils or Developmental Disabilities Councils offer scholarships or funds for participation in conferences and short-term educational programs for advocates in the field of developmental disabilities. You may want to investigate funding available in your state. Go to the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities.
Click on the map for your state Council website to begin your search.

(Example: Oklahoma Consumer Involvement Fund or the Indiana Consumer Investment Fund)

More Helpful Articles

So You Want to Be an Advocate?

So you Want to be An Advocate: Advocacy FAQs

Special Education Advocacy

Contact your state Parent Training and Information Center to find out what training they provide. Here is a link to the Directory of PTIs:

Other advocates take advantage of Advocacy and Leadership Training through Partners in Policymaking:

You will need to check to see if your state has this training – most (but not all) do.

You might want to join COPAA, if you are not already a member, and join the listserve. They also have advocacy training.

Go to for more info.

Good luck!

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