Friday, February 12, 2016

Group Aims to Boost Advocacy Skills for Parents of Students With Disabilities

".....Meetings held in the wake of that scandal revealed other deep-rooted problems in the 7,000-student school system, including allegations that district officials discriminated against students with disabilities and minority students."

"During a months-long community listening tour, Taschner searched for ways to rebuild ties between the district and the families it serves. Around the same time, Rob Marshall, a Coatesville native who was completing a divinity degree, was looking for ideas to meet a community-service graduation requirement.
Taschner and Marshall found in each other like-minded spirits. From their partnership came Citizens Who Seek Educational Equity, or Citizens Who S.E.E., a group of volunteers who serve as advocates for parents of students with disabilities.
The volunteers—educational heavy-hitters who include the superintendent of another Pennsylvania district, a retired school psychologist, and a former youth-justice specialist—sit right alongside parents at meetings on their children's individualized education programs, or IEPs, helping to hammer out plans for services and supports for those special education students."

"Volunteers involved in Citizens Who S.E.E. stress that they are not employees of the district. They will butt heads with school officials if necessary in support of parents."

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