Special Education Advocates
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Special Education Advocates
Looking for recommendations for a professional Special
Education Advocate to help us with our son's intervention
services and IEP. We reside in the Oakland Schoool
There are several ways to get the help. The first, and
best, is to purchase a NOLO PRESS book on IEP's to
understand the process. Then choose someone to help.
Often, the district will offer an 'advocate' who may be
helpful, but often is paid by the district and does not want
to anger his or her employer and, therefore, does not fight
very strong for your child. There are private advocate's;
some are attorneys and some aren't. If it is a serious
problem, an attorney may be best as his or her fees may be
paid by the district if it goes to a hearing; a non-attorney
may not get fees from the district. Finally, parents should
rigorously prepare for the IEP meetings, with evaluations
that are specific and directed to the problems your child
has in school. All parents have the right to have their
children evaluated, first by the district, and then, at the
district's expense, by a professional of your choosing.
These evaluations are often the key to obtaining the
services your child needs. I have a special needs child and
I am an attorney who does this type of work. Neil
We used www.Adamsesq.com. Ms. Adams and her staff are
terrific. Both times she helped us and we got reimbursed for
her services by the school district when we got what we
needed. Looking back, I wish someone had referred us to a
sp. ed lawyer. We had used an advocate in the past but that
didn't work. Along the way, I have consulted with
www.dredf.org Disability Rights Education... at
510-644-2555. Ask about your local SELPA parent meeting.
They're great!! Several times I've called in upset needing a
quick consult on an up-coming IEP. Take Care.
To get your child assessed by the school district, you can
request the assessment yourself. If you need help getting an
assessment or receiving services for a special needs or
disabled child, and you don't want to or can't work through
a NOLO PRESS book, I recommend you call either
located in Berkeley. They have sample letters on their website.
Family Resource Network
located in Oakland
Don't have an address for SF area.
They have advocates that are free to you.
You do not need an attorney to start the process. Attorneys
are valid for challenging cases, e.g. where services are not
provided, but not needed to get an assessment.
Once you talk to one of the above, they can help you over
the phone with what you need immediately. They also provide
group trainings to understand the basics of Special
Education law: the process, timelines, the school districts
responsibilities, your basic rights.
Should you need an advocate for extended help, the above
organizations will be able to refer to you independent
advocates who will charge you. They also have a list of
attorneys specialized in Special Education. Every child
deserves a good education.
I'm looking for an educational advocate to help me get my
daughter's Oakland Public elementary school to comply with her
504 plan. There's an intriguing posting in the archives, but it
contains no contact information for the advocate who is
described as follows: ''He has never lost a case. Sharp as a
tack. Sweet and funny, too. His non-combative nature during IEPs
is all ordered and part of a plan. He can get you what you
need.'' Sounds like what I'm looking for, but who is he? Anyone
else like this around?
Have you checked out DREDF, Disability Rights Education and
Defense Fund? They have a website that has a lot of information
about what they do and they are located in Berkeley:
I had a training recently from a parent advocate and was very
impressed by her knowledge and advocacy.
this page was last updated: Nov 13, 2010
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