The Arc's Education and Advocacy Programs provide support by helping families learn how to best advocate for their children. We attend meetings, assist with paperwork, and provide further resources if necessary. Advocacy programs at The Arc provide support, information and individual advocacy for families or caregivers with a child who requires special education services. This may include children identified through early intervention services, children recently diagnosed with a developmental disability, children who are struggling in school, or families who are looking for a more positive educational outcome for an older student. The program also addresses more systemic issues of policy and practice.
There are no eligibility criteria for this program, either financial or by disability category, and our services are always free to families. Since 2009 our education advocacy program has assisted, supported and trained more than 300 families.
Our contacts with families are typically intensive and may involve consultations with school staff, observation of the student, review of student records and placements and participation in school meetings. Advocates partner with school personnel to resolve any disagreements which might arise about a student's educational program, and have a nearly perfect rate of success in settling disputes without litigation.
Advocates connect families and educators with community resources and reliable, timely information.