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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

When Parents Aren't Enough: External Advocacy in Special Education

From The Yale Law Journal

By Erin Phillips
Volume 117, No. 8 (June, 2008)

"Parents often lack the necessary knowledge about disability and educational options, and often have difficulty interfacing with school officials in special education proceedings. These gaps in knowledge and ability make it difficult for parents to advocate effectively for their children without any external help..."

ABSTRACT: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has been widely celebrated for providing millions of disabled children with broader educational and life opportunities. This Note seeks to improve the implementation of the IDEA by questioning one of its key assumptions: that parents possess the tools to advocate for their children in special education matters.

This Note argues that many parents need assistance to achieve optimal outcomes for their children because of the complexity of both the disabilities involved and the formal rules of the system itself. Several policy options are considered in the hope that local educational agencies will implement pilot programs to further explore the issue of external advocacy in special education

Read the entire article (52-Page PDF) HERE.

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