Empower parents, school staff, and community members to advocate for special education students within the framework of the law.
Inspire parents to take control of their child’s special education journey through objective, collaborative, child-centered advocacy.
Build confidence in parents, school staff, and community members to actively participate in both the development and the implementation of the IEP.
Provide a framework for best practices in joining one, the legal principles of special education with two, the interests and values of everyone at the IEP table to effectively develop and implement an IEP.
The Special Education & Advocacy Lab is an on-line, on-demand training course for parents of children on special education that are interested in improving their advocacy at the IEP table. Each of the ten modules is a little under an hour, so in about 6.5 hours – less than one work day – or a few weeks’ time we go start to finish in Special Education Advocacy. We cover Parent Rights and the nuts and bolts of the IEP Meeting, the basics of the law, a deep dive into the IEP document and goal writing, progress monitoring and specially designed instruction, due process, document organization, communication strategies and so much more! Each module is jam packed with content and collaborative, reasonable, objective advocacy tips.
Picture this: You’re at the IEP table. You’ve gotten a draft of the IEP from the school five days before the meeting, made notes on the draft, and communicate them and any additional thoughts to the team. You understand everything the team discusses, and you feel not only welcome but to participate in the meeting. Together with your child’s teachers, therapists, and administrators, you put together a comprehensive, thoughtful IEP for your child. This can happen.
✓ How to be empowered to advocate for your special education student within the framework of the law.
✓ Get inspired to take control of your child’s special education journey through objective, collaborative, child-centered advocacy.
✓ Build confidence to actively participate in both the development and the implementation of the IEP.
General education teachers, special education teachers, instructional assistants, teacher’s assistants, teacher’s aides, school nurses, school counselors, school social workers, school resource officers, administrators, special area teachers, related services professionals, coaches, after school care providers, imagine if your entire school community the basic concepts of special education and could collaborate on the best plan for each student.
✓ Empower instructional assistants with basic knowledge of the school’s legal obligation and – just as importantly -the skills to modify work and make learning accessible for the child.
✓ Build confidence in special area and general education teachers to work collaboratively with the special education and related services staff.
✓ Encourage communication, collaboration, and thoughtful humility on all IEP teams in your building. This can be a reality in your school!
Rather, the training focuses on collaborative and effective conflict resolution.
Rather, the training is sequential and comprehensive. The first module covers Child Find and basic information about IEP meetings. Then, we’ll cover eligibility and evaluations, the IEP document itself, writing goals, implementation of the IEP, progress monitoring, record keeping, and the annual review. Along the way, I’ll provide lots of advocacy tips, but then we’ll wrap up with alternatives to dispute resolution like mediation and settlement discussions, as well as due process. Then, we’ll spend one entire module pulling the lessons together with hypotheticals and hands-on situational discussions that you can apply immediately.
Staff at organizations that serve people with disabilities, coaches, tutors, extracurricular activity sponsors/ teachers, babysitters, church personnel, daycare workers, anyone that volunteers with children in IEPs, you work so hard to reach You build into them, forming their values. You set goals for them- and before you know it – with them. You stay up at night, dreaming up the drills, strategies, and programming that will engage and develop them. The one mystery that you can’t seem to access is special education. It’s like a foreign language. If you could crack the code, your impact would compound exponentially. In this training you’ll learn
✓ How to unravel the profile of a child by reading evaluation reports and starting thoughtful conversations
✓ The basic principles of special education like how to get an IEP, what is in the IEP, how to work on the IEP skills outside of school, and how to use the IEP to develop activities for community growth.
✓ Effective advocacy tips to help you empower the families you serve and to participate in conversations with school, therapists, and anyone else on the child’s team.
Introduction to Special Education Advocacy
✓ Purpose of IDEA
✓ Child Find
✓ Parent Rights
✓ 6Ws of an IEP Meeting (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How)
Preparing for an IEP Meeting and Eligibility
✓ Preparing for the IEP Meeting
✓ Writing Parent Interest/ Future Planning Statements
✓ Eligibility / Child Find
The IEP Document
✓ The Order of the IEP Document
✓ Overview of Each Part of the IEP
Writing Goals and Specially Designed Instruction
✓ Goal Writing
✓ Definition and Implementation of Specially Designed Instruction
Implementation of the IEP and Progress Monitoring
✓ How to Implement the IEP
✓ Engagement of Parents In the Implementation of the IEP
✓ Supports for School Personnel
✓ Progress Monitoring
✓ The IEP Binder
✓ The School’s Files
✓ FERPA requests
✓ Pre-Mediation Statements
✓ Advocacy Tips for Effective Parents
Annual Review and Communication Tips
✓ Trienneal Evaluations
✓ Tips for Annual IEP Meetings
✓ Sunday Emails
✓ All About Me Books
✓ Beginning of School Emails
✓ Monthly gifts
Impasse and Alternative Dispute Resolution
✓ How to Find and Read a Law
✓ Avoiding Impasse/ Getting “Stuck”
✓ Mediation Overview
✓ Legal Setting for Due Process
✓ Contents of Due Process Complaint
✓ Stay Put
✓ Resolution Meeting
✓ The Due Process Hearing
Putting it all Together
✓ Real Life Hypotheticals/ Applications
Live Coaching Calls will include directed but open discussion and time for Q&A on two modules at a time (schedule in chart). Live Coaching also includes Mini Trainings on five additional topics.
✓ Inclusion Workshop ($49 Value)
✓ Behavior Workshop ($49 Value)
✓ 504s and IEPs
✓ Guide to Additional Recommended Resources
Even though I have two kids on IEPs, I still felt unsure and not very confident in my ability to advocate. Up until this point, I had just gone along with everything the school recommended, but we started experiencing some problems with the implementation of our IEP, and I was getting worried about placement. I had no clue where to begin to figure out our next steps and I knew that this would not be our first bump in the road. When I learned about the course, I felt like it would empower me to become a better advocate by equipping me with the knowledge I needed about the IEP process.
I have two children on IEPs, and frankly, I felt overwhelmed and intimidated at their meetings. I used Ashley Barlow as a special education attorney, because I live in Ohio, and I was so impressed by her that I enrolled in the Special Education & Advocacy Lab. The info in her course is very down to earth, aasy to understand and follow, and includes personal experiences to which parents can relate. The trainings have already made the process so much easier to go into. At our last meeting, we felt like we had a stronger voice.