Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the challenging, changing world of special education.
Update on Wrightslaw: Special Education Law; help for children with reading
problems; reading at Wrightslaw; early screening and intervention; online
advocacy training; Wrightslaw coming to OH, NY, IN, MO & AZ; Council
of Parent Attorneys & Advocates; leadership training. Download
1. Update: Wrightslaw: Special Education Law
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA 97) was reauthorized in December 2004. The reauthorized law is called The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. We refer to it as IDEA 2004. Except for a few provisions, IDEA 2004 will become effective on July 5, 2005.
- Finding and Purposes
The language of many key statutes in unchanged. However there are some changes you should know and understand.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview,
Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 by Peter W.
D. Wright, Esq. describes the substantive changes to these five statutes
by section and subsection. Text added to IDEA 2004 is in italics.
Text deleted from IDEA 97 has been
We are using this new publication in our training programs to supplement Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy. If you have either of these books, we encourage you to download and print this publication, and attach it to your book.
Download the Cover Page and Table of Contents (2 pages): https://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/idea.2004.coversheet.pdf
text of IDEA 2004 (162 pages): https://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/idea.hr.1350.pdf
2. Help for Children with Reading Problems
with disabilities have deficits in reading. These children need intensive
research-based instruction that targets their reading problems. But most
children do not receive research-based reading instruction and never learn
to read proficiently.
3. Reading at Wrightslaw
The Reading Library at Wrightslaw includes information about reading, reading disabilities, research-based reading programs, law and caselaw, certified language therapists, and more.
Parents: Does your child have a reading or learning disability? Read these articles in Learning to Read -
Children Succeed or Fail at Reading, Research from National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development Program in Learning Disabilities
Check out the articles in Teaching
Children to Read -
4. Early Screening & Early Intervention
to the Nation's Report Card, 31 percent of 4th graders are proficient
readers. Minority students score lower - just 16 percent of African
American and 22 percent of Hispanic 12th graders are proficient readers.
(U.S. Department of Education, Nation's
Report Card, 2002)
20-question Screening Tool for 4-year-olds is quick and easy-to-use.
(It was developed by reading researchers and shows how the child is developing
pre-reading skills.) Read the instructions and click through the screening
tool with the child. At the end of the tool, you'll see the child's score
and links to activities that can help improve and strengthen pre-reading
in English Instructions
5. Online Advocacy Training
"I've have spent many hours on Wrightslaw and other sites. I have learned a lot but want to learn more. Where can I find advocacy training opportunities?"
In addition to the training programs in this newsletter, you can contact a Parent Training Information Center in your state to learn about advocacy training programs. Directory of Parent Training Information Centers
Online Advocacy Course: Making Your Case
Your Case is a three-hour online course that focuses on how to communicate
with public officials by telling your personal story, writing letters,
providing testimony, and communicating in positive ways.
6. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in New York, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona
Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four
areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use
the bell curve to measure educational progress & regression; SMART
IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.
Island, NY: March 4-5, 2005 (Mini Boot Camp)
participants will receive two books, Wrightslaw:
Special Education Law and Wrightslaw:
From Emotions to Advocacy, (Value: $59.90), and the new publication,
with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation
and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 by Peter Wright, with their
7. Annual Conference of The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates in Atlanta (March 10-13, 2005)
The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), a national organization of parents of children with disabilities and their advocates and lawyers, will hold their annual conference in Atlanta on March 10-13, 2005.
The conference will provide unique opportunities for training and networking with experienced, knowledgeable attorneys and advocates on special education issues. Participants will learn about recent cases, legislative changes, and tactics.
and Friday, March 10-11, there will be four
intensive hands-on skills trainings:
Fees vary, depending on when your form is received, days attended, and
8. Interested in Leadership Training?
Partners in Policymaking is a leadership training program for parents of children with disabilities and people with developmental disabilities. Participants attend advocacy skill workshops, resource development, and leadership skills training.
take place over a period of several months so you must be willing to make
a commitment of time, motivation and energy. Expenses for training, lodging,
meals and travel are provided through the program.
Virginia Residents - The Virginia Board is recruiting members for the Partners in Policymaking Class of 2006 now. Learn more about this training opportunity or call 1-800-846-4464.
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.