You are your child’s best advocate. Effective advocacy is a learned skill and one that can make a positive difference in services for your child with special needs.
Effective advocacy involves these seven skills:
- Taking care of yourself
- Learning about your child’s special needs
- Learning about systems and laws that support families
- Preparing, organizing and planning for meetings
- Building your communication skills
- Understanding yourself and others by getting perspective
- Contributing to creative problem solving
Learn the facts, get involved, and let your voice be heard!
- Build your skills by attending one of our trainings or workshops.
- Access websites and publications — Learn how to effectively advocate for your child with special needs
- Practice Democracy — Tips on how to effectively communicate your concerns to your elected representatives
- Contact your State and Federal legislators — Let your representatives and elected officials know how you feel about changes that impact our families and children
- Learn about your local SELPA and CAC — Get informed about your Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) and join your Community Advisory Committee for Special Education (CAC).
- Know about the California Statewide Special Education Task Force
The following organizations offer information on current legislative issues both Federal and State.
- Keeping the Lanterman Promise — Information on the Lanterman Act, which is the law behind regional center services.
- Disability Rights California — Provides ongoing updates on how services are impacted by legislative changes.
- The California Budget Project — Information on how California’s budget impacts low- and middle-income Californians.
- Family Voices of California — Information for families with children with special healthcare needs.
- The Arc California — Weekly updates on legislation available through their Monday Morning Memo e-newsletter.
- The California Department of Education — Special Education Division, announcements and hot topics.
Here is our main Advocacy Resource page, containing Matrix Packets, Help! Sheets, Materials from Other Organizations and Websites.