The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
February 11,2004

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ISSN: 1538-3202
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In this Issue

Mediation: Do We Need Attorney?

Resolving Disputes: Negotiation, Mediation, Litigation

FAQs about Mediation

Advocacy: Learning to Negotiate

Sale! Save $10 on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy

Mediation: The Lighter Side of Special Ed

Wrightslaw Programs in MO, IL, IN, MI

COPAA Conference in SF (March 11-14)

Subscription and Contact Info

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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 look at negotiation, mediation and advocacy.

Highlights: Preparing for mediation; how to resolve disputes by negotiation, mediation, litigation; FAQs about mediation; learning to negotiate; save $10 on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy; mediation & the lighter side of special ed; Wrightslaw programs in MO, IL, IN, MI; annual conference of Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2003 Alexa rankings)

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help! Download newsletter

1. We Are Going to Mediation - Do We Need an Attorney? Any Words of Wisdom?

"Our daughter is hearing impaired, oral, and mainstreamed. When we asked that she have an itinerant teacher, the school denied our request. They say she has to 'flounder' before they will provide help. If we stop working with her, she will flounder but we are not willing to put her through this."

"We are going to mediation about this issue. We have letters from professionals who back our case but we don't have an attorney to accompany us. Should we retain an attorney? What can we do to prepare? Any words of wisdom?"

We Are Going to Mediation - What Should We Do? Pete and Pam Wright answer questions about mediation, the role of attorneys, and how parents can prepare for mediation.

More Qs & As

2. How to Resolve Special Education Disputes: Negotiate, Mediate, Litigate

In How to Resolve Special Education Disputes: Negotiation, Mediation, Litigation, Pete and Pam Wright explain why conflict between parents and school officials is normal and why you must learn to negotiate. Although parents want the "best" services for their children, schools are only required to provide "appropriate" services.

Learn about the pros and cons of negotiation, mediation, and litigation.

Read the Negotiation & Mediation issue of The Beacon: The Journal of Special Education Law and Practice published by Harbor House Law Press, Inc

Subscribe to The Beacon.

3. FAQs about Mediation

In Mediation: What the Law Says, learn about the legal requirements for mediation, procedures, qualified mediators, mediation agreements, confidentiality in IDEA.

What is mediation? How does it work? Can it help? How are mediators trained? Are mediators really impartial? For answers to these questions, read FAQs about Mediation.

Learn more about Mediation

4. Learning to Negotiate is Part of the Advocacy Process

In Learning to Negotiate is Part of the Advocacy Process, advocate Brice Palmer describes role of negotiating in advocacy. This article includes important rules and great tactics and techniques.

More about Advocacy

5. Sale! Save $10 on Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy

"If I were asked to choose just one book to help me learn advocacy skills, this is it!" - Support for Families of Children with Disabilities Newsletter

"Expect this book to be tabbed and dog-eared . . . an invaluable advocacy tool." Tourette Syndrome Association Newsletter

As a parent, you represent your child's interests. When you negotiate with the school on your child's behalf, you increase the odds that your child will get an appropriate education. You cannot leave this job to others!

Most parents describe the process of negotiating with the school as a frustrating, exhausting ordeal. Some parents throw in the towel. Others persevere and prevail. What do effective parent advocates know? What are the secrets of their success?

Effective advocacy comes from research, planning and preparation. Successful advocates know what is important and what is not worth fighting about.

You need knowledge and skills in several areas: organizing the file, using test scores to monitor progress, learning legal rights and responsibilities, writing SMART IEPs, and using strategies in letters and meetings. Wrightslaw: From Emotions To Advocacy teaches you these skills.

What People Are Saying

"A clear roadmap to effective advocacy." - DD Quarterly

"This practical, user-friendly book includes dozens of worksheets, forms, and sample letters that you can tailor to your needs." - Network News, Arizona Department of Education

"A wonderful resource . . . a wealth of insights on special education advocacy that will help parents obtain better programs and services for their children." - Mothers from Hell

"Learn about tests and SMART IEPs . . . essential information for parents and professionals." - Hands and Voices Communicator

"One of the most important how-to manuals ever written for navigating your way through special education and using the law to get a good education for your child . . . a goldmine of information!" - Thom Hartmann, author, ADD: A Different Perception

Learn about Wrightslaw: From Emotions To Advocacy l More Reviews

Wrightslaw Books are Reasonably Priced & Easy on Tight Budgets

6. Mediation: The Lighter Side of Special Education

Aimee Gilman is an Ohio attorney who represents kids with disabilities and the parent of a child with a disability. She is also very funny. Recently, Aimee shared her observations about special education mediation.

"Special ed mediations must always occur at the district board of education office so that parents and their advocates are the only ones inconvenienced (and intimidated) by the location."

"A box of doughnuts will appear which will be offered to district staff and the mediator only. The mediator will munch on them during the course of the day. Parents need to keep a keen eye on those doughnuts. Parents should know that as the doughnuts disappear . . . "

Learn what happens as the donuts disappear in Mediation: The Lighter Side of Special Education.

More Lighter Side of Special Education articles by Aimee Gilman:

The IEP The Due Process Hearing
Parents & Kids
My Law Practice

7. February: Wrightslaw Programs in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan

Wrightslaw programs scheduled for this winter and spring are filling up fast. If you plan to attend, please register soon. If you wait, you may find that the program sold out!

February: March Through the Midwest

Jefferson City, Missouri -February 17, 2004
Skokie, Illinois - February 20, 2004
Indianapolis, Indiana - February 24, 2004
Troy, Michigan
- February 28, 2004

Spring 2004: NH, AK, MD, AL

Manchester, New Hampshire (Boot Camp) - March 26-27, 2004
Juneau, Alaska (Boot Camp) - April 8-9, 2004
Anchorage, Alaska  (Boot Camp)- April 13-14, 2004
Annapolis, Maryland (Boot Camp) - April 30-May 1, 2004
Birmingham, Alabama - May 25, 2004

For more programs, please check our Seminars & Training page.

you are interested in bringing Pete and Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars. (We are scheduling programs for 2005-2006.)

8. Annual COPAA Conference, San Francisco, March 11-14, 2004

The Annual Conference of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), a national organization of parents of special education students and their advocates and lawyers, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero Center in San Francisco on March 11-14, 2004.

The COPAA conference provides unique opportunities for training and networking with the most experienced and knowledgeable attorneys and advocates for students and parents on special education issues. Learn about recent cases, legislative changes, and tricks and tactics from experienced attorneys, advocates and parents.

Participants can attend a rich array of workshops and plenary information sessions. The program includes pre-conference programs including parent & advocate skills training, a survival guide for new IDEA attorneys, and federal litigation attorney skills training.

Learn more about the COPAA ConferenceRegister Online.

Learn more about the Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates (COPAA)

9. Subscription & Contact Info

The 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.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Reauthorization Newsletter Archives

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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