Attended COPAA 2-day conference in 2008 and 2010 -- various sessions on current special education law.
Practical Hands-on Advocacy Work:
Advocating/assisting other parents in IEP meetings, one which resulted in securing mainstream 1:1 assistance for a student with autism.
Advocating for my own daughter for several years in IEP meetings.
Knowledgeable in procedures of state complaints and due process, and can assess if you situation warrants that level of advocacy.
Filed a successful FERPA complaint with United States Department of Education. The state was required to change its student records access law, specifically with regard to its interpretation of which records parents are entitled to view, and what is/is not a "sole possession" document. It also clarified to the state and school districts that parent's can not be charged for a school's search and retrieval of student record documents.
Summary of Direct Training In Education and Disabilities:
B.S. Degree in Education, graduated 1977.
Graduate-level courses in special education including assessments, dyslexia, reading remediation, math remediation.
Numerous full-day training sessions on RTI (Response to Intervention), special education eligibility processes used by schools.
ORPTI: Oregon Parent Training and Information Center is the former name of Oregon's designated federally-funded special education PTI (parent training and information center) for parents. Each state is required to have a PTI, and some states provide free advocates under this program. Oregon's PTI has changed several times in the years between 2010-2014, and is currently (2014) called FACToregon. Oregon refuses to provide parent "advocates" to help parents and limits their PTI program to conducting workshops which assist parents in learning more about their children's disabilities and basic information about parent rights. FACT also offers a toll-free help line where parents might get answers to many of their questions, and offers free "IEP Partners" to parents. IEP Partners differ from an advocate: a "Partner" is not allowed to advocate for your child during the meeting. Their relationship is to help the parents organize their thoughts and materials prior to the meeting, and take notes during the meeting without speaking for your child's rights/needs. If you do not need an advocate, you might like the assistance of an IEP Partner who can provide emotional support during the meetings and take notes. Even if you have an advocate, you can also have a FACT "partner" who might be available to talk before/after the meeting to give you their perspective of the issues.