Wow! Last week I attended a Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training, hosted by Missouri Parents Act, http://www.missouriparentsact.org/ , at the University of Missouri in Columbia. If you can ever get to a Wrightslaw training (find future dates & cities, here https://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/schedule.htm , you definitely want to take a day or two and kick your advocacy up a notch. The presenter, Attorney Peter Wright, brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, good humor, and practical tips throughout the entire day. You will meet other people in the same situation as you and your child, as well as people from all over, who you simply want to know in the IDEA and Sec. 504 advocacy arena. Peter also pointed out the new Wrightslaw YouTube channel for advocates.
So last week, we got a thorough review of the broad outlines of our laws, IDEA and Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and then drilled down on the finer points most often needed today. Everyone learned how to read those mysterious normed test scores. Once you see how they work, you can use them to measure individual student progress or to spot weak areas that schools often overlook.
Just so you don’t miss anything, you get a double-ended pen/highlighter to use as you go through the legal overview. You may laugh about that now, but trust me. In the middle of a law review, this tool becomes more than a pen or highlighter. It is your means of staying engaged and WOKE.
The practical Wrightslaw seminar makes me a better advocate for you and your child. I am especially thankful to MPACT for hosting it. But the great thing about Wrightslaw seminars is that EVERYONE who attends becomes a better advocate, too. Wrightslaw trainings are open to anyone who registers. I hope you can find a training near you–or in a place you want to visit–and take the time to attend. Don’t settle for what you hear ABOUT the law, especially if your only source is what school personnel tell you. Dig it out for yourself, and you will be more than glad you did.