#AdvocacyMatters: New Year, New Challanges

August 20, 2021 / #AdvocacyMatters

As summer draws to a close and big, yellow school busses begin to appear in the morning fog, we sit at the outset of the third school year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From the sudden school closures and remote-only classes in March of last year and through the myriad of changes and challenges in the 18 months since, our team has worked diligently to provide information and assistance to students and their families. Through robust resources, live seminar events, and direct work one-on-one with clients, we’ve strived to ensure that families don’t have to navigate this alone.

We are constantly adding to and updating our Special Education Resource Center, which you can find here, and our COVID-19 Education information page, which you can find here. By keeping our community informed and aware throughout this seemingly ever-changing situation, we can be sure that students and families across our state have the information they need to make informed decision as we enter this new school year.

Understanding that the need for this work far outpaces the capacity of our team alone, we’ve partnered with several allied organization to amplify our message and our reach. Perhaps the most impactful of these partnerships is our new “Second Saturday” legal clinics, which we created in conjunction with Albeit Weiker LLP and The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities. These clinics offer students and families across the state the ability to learn about many of the issues that are prevalent in the Special Education system. Each clinic, held on the second Saturday of every month, features a parent empowerment seminar that covers specific topics, like Understanding the Sections of an IEP, Behavioral and Social/ Emotional Supports, and Progress Reports and Data Driven Goals. The last portion of each clinic is reserved for one-on-one assistance, which can be reserved ahead of time, with an attorney or advocate from one of the presenting organizations. You can learn more about these clinics here.

The only certainty at the beginning of this new school year seems to be that new issues will arise as guidelines evolve amid this fluid situation. Above the political posturing and bickering pundits, our mission holds strong. As an advocate, and ally, and a resource for every student and family preparing to tackle another school year of highs and lows and victories and challenges, we won’t be deterred… because #AdvocacyMatters.

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