Families are often overwhelmed by the complexity of special education laws that entitle a child with disabilities to a free and appropriate education (F.A.P.E.) in the least restrictive environment (L.R.E.). Northeast Arc Educational Advocacy helps families navigate the special education process, enabling parents to become more proactive members of their child’s educational team. Our advocates work cooperatively with families and schools to develop an appropriate individualized education program (IEP) that meets the individual needs of the student and keep up to date on federal and state laws that entitle children with special needs to appropriate programs and services.
Educational advocates also provide families with referrals to various resources both within and outside their school systems and confer with medical professionals, counselors and educational consultants in an effort to develop a full understanding of the child’s needs.
If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, a Northeast Arc Educational Advocate can help:
- Am I struggling to secure appropriate educational services for my child?
- Do I feel like the team doesn’t fully consider my input during the meeting process?
- Do I feel more “walls” than “bridges” being built between the members of my child’s educational team and me?
- Do I think I could be too emotionally involved to calmly and effectively advocate for my child?
Educational Advocacy Services include the following and more. Discounted rates are available for families who maintain a membership with Northeast Arc.
1:1 consultations and record review
Representation at team meetings and mediations
Overview of state and federal special education laws
Developing an appropriate IEP
Other educational needs: social/emotional, vocational, assistive technology, communication, behavior, travel training and extracurricular activities
MCAS: accommodations, appeals process and student success plan
Summer programming: recreational, academic and therapeutic
Resolving IEP disputes through due process
Transitioning from Early Intervention
Transitioning from Adult Services (chapter 688)
Trainings for parents, Special Education Parent Advisory Councils (SEPACs), Early Intervention programs and school district staff