LZR Educational Advocacy & Mediation Model of Advocacy

Typically, parents need help with navigating the Special Education maze, because:

Are not familiar with the rights their children have regarding their education and services,
Are intimidated by school staffs in ARD meetings.
Frequently, their voices are not heard regarding their son/daughter education plans.

In many instances due to lack of knowledge of Special Education regulations schools,
commit violations which negatively impact a student’s progress, such as:
   • They do not devise an appropriate IEP based on the child's individual needs.
   • They do not implement the IEP as written.
   • They do not allow the parents to participate in the IEP development process.
   • They do not include the mandated personnel to be present during ARD meetings.
   • They do not give notice of rights, planned meetings.
   • They do not prevent a child from being punished for actions or inactions that are
   • manifestations of the child's disability (caused by the child's disability).
   • They do not train staff and aides in the child's areas of disability.
   • They do not train parents in the child's areas of disability.
   • They do not maintain proper records.
   • They pre-determine placement and services before the ARD meeting.
   • They do not conduct necessary evaluations of the child.
   • They do not provide education and services in the least restrictive environment,
     based on that child's individual needs.
   • They do not offer extended school year services to the child, resulting in regression
     of skills during the summer vacation that cannot be recouped quickly.
   • They do not make efforts to identify children as one in need of special education
     or services, even though, they have been struggling academically or behaviorally.
   • They do not allow the special needs child to participate in extracurricular activities
     due to her/his disability.

Our Model of Advocacy in Assisting Parents  to Improve Educational Outcomes for their Children with Disabilities is based on two principles:

   • The vast majority of school staff wants what is best for the student.
   • The majority of the mostly overwhelmed school staff wants their jobs to become easier.

Albeit that there are occasions which present irreconciliable differences at the ARD
meeting level, a Model of Advocacy based on collaboration, respect, and trust among all
stakeholders leads to improved educational outcome for the student.