Parents are often overwhelmed by the complexity of special education laws that entitle a child with disabilities to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Having an advocate guide them through the process enables parents to become more active members of their child’s team.
Good advocates work cooperatively with families and schools to develop an appropriate individualized education program that meets the individual needs of the child. By keeping up-to-date on federal and state laws that entitle children with disabilities to appropriate programs and services, our advocates provide consultation and record review, as well as representation at team meetings and mediations. The advocates also provide families with referrals to various resources both in 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. We strive to empower parents to help in building bridges with tier districts, instead of walls.
Advocacy services are a “for-fee” service and our rates are very competitive. Some things the Advocacy Department can offer are:
- Overview of state and federal special education laws
- Entering special education, the referral process, and getting organized
- Developing an appropriate individualized education plan
- Other educational needs: social/emotional, vocational, assistive technology, communication, behavior, travel training, 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 to adult services (chapter 688)
- And more!
We also provide trainings to Parents, Arc staff, Parent Advisory Councils, Early Intervention programs, and school district staff. Topics vary and range from Understanding an IEP to goal writing and more.
For more information or to set up an appointment, contact the Advocacy Intake Coordinator at 978-762-8352 or send us an email.