So You Want To Be An Advocate?
Summer School 2013: Session 1

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In This Issue ...

Circulation: 91,875
ISSN: 1538-320
July 16, 2013

advocate meeting with parentsHave you thought about becoming an advocate but don't know where to start?

  • I am interested in becoming an advocate for children with special needs and their families. Is there a certification process?
  • I am a retired school administrator. I am interested in training to become a special education advocate. Is there an organization I can join, training I may receive? Where should I begin?
  • I was a certified special ed teacher and I would like to become a parent advocate. I'm not sure how to get started.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you'll find Part 1 of Summer School 2013: So You Want to be an Advocate?

In this four part series you will learn the basics of becoming a special education advocate. Find out what they do to improve the lives of children with disabilities and their families. Learn how advocates train.

Please don't hesitate to forward this series to other friends, families, or colleagues.

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Parents consult with advocate

Who Can Be an Advocate? What Do Advocates Do?

  • Supports, helps, assists, and aids
  • Speaks and pleads on behalf of others
  • Defends and argues for people or causes

Find out about different types of advocates and what advocates do.


Advocates question and answer session

Link Up with Other Advocates: Learn from the Experts

If you want to become a good advocate, hang around with folks who do advocacy work. Get advice from other advocates who will answer your questions, offer ideas, and make suggestions about how to negotiate the maze of special education.

Ask the Advocates! Asking questions is always a good strategy for identifying win-win solutions.


Two women discuss advocacy

Becoming an Advocate, Becoming an Expert

1. Gather information & hone advocacy skills
2. Learn about IDEA rights & responsibilities
3. Understand tests & measurements
4. Create paper trails: Letter writing & documentation
5. Subscribe to the Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
6. Join a Forum: Wrightslaw Way Blog & Community Helpline
7. Use information & resources

homework checklist

Summer School Session 1: Homework Checklist


  1. Make sure you have a copy of IDEA, federal special education regulations, commentary to the regulations, your state regulations.


  2. Look up your state curriculum standards.


  3. Locate a copy of Section 504, ADA, NCLB, Ferpa.

  4. Find an advocate on the Yellow Pages for Kids in your city or state.

Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Hot Links: Advocacy Resource Directory

Want to find other advocates in your city or state?

Are you looking for information and resources for parents, teachers or advocates for children with disabilities? Do you collect information for a website about special education or children with special educational needs?

Check out the Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities for a comprehensive up-to-date listing of advocates and advocacy resources.


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What People Are Saying About The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
"Thanks for the trustworthy information and support you provide through the Wrightslaw web site and newsletter. You helped our family act when we needed to - we are thriving now."

Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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