The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
February 3, 2004

Issue - 246
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

What is Your IEP IQ?

IDEA: Speak Out, Organize, Demonstrate

Better IEP Meetings: Play Hearts, Not Poker

Tip: How to Use a Parent IEP Attachment

IEP Info & Resources

Wrightslaw Advocacy Programs - Sold Out!

Yellow Pages for Kids, Strategies for Getting Help

Discounts on Wrightslaw Books; Exam Copies

Subscription and Contact Info

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Judy Lewis

At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education. In this issue, we look at IEPs, IEP meetings and IDEA reauthorization.

Highlights: What is your IEP IQ?; IDEA reauthorization - advocates speak out, organize, demonstrate; 8 steps to better IEP meetings - play hearts, not poker; how to use a parent IEP attachment; IEP info and resources; Wrightslaw programs sell out; get help from the Yellow Pages for Kids; discounts on Wrightslaw books; exam copies.

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2003 Alexa rankings)

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter is free - please forward this issue or the subscription link to your friends and colleagues so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too. We appreciate your help! Download newsletter

1. What is Your IEP IQ? Take the IEP Quiz to Find Out!

To be an effective advocate for your child, you need to learn the law. You also need to learn how to use the law without starting no-win battles.

Few parents or educators learn about legal rights and responsibilities by reading statutes, regulations and cases. Most people get information from training sessions, articles, listserv advice, and informal discussions with others. Parents get advice from educators and other parents - and this advice is often wrong!

Your knowledge can rise no higher than your source.

You must read the law. The only way to fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities is by reading and rereading the law.

Take our IEP Quiz to test your knowledge. (Complete instructions for taking the IEP quiz are in What Is Your IEP IQ?)

The IEP Quiz consists of 18 questions from Appendix A. When you finish the IEP Quiz, you can send an email to Wrightslaw for the correct answers.

What Is Your IEP IQ?

More about IEPs

2. IDEA Reauthorization: Advocacy Groups Speak Out, Organize, Demonstrate

Last summer, the Senate HELP Committee voted to approve the controversial Senate Bill 1248 to reauthorize the IDEA. In December, Congress adjourned for the holidays before voting on Senate Bill 1248.

We hear that S. B. 1248 will be brought to the floor for a vote by the Senate in a few weeks. This may happen in March - or sooner - or later. (Dates may change.)

In recent months, advocacy groups have formed with the goal of preserving the IDEA. You need to learn about these groups, the issues - and the stakes. Read Advocacy Groups Speak Out, Organize, Demonstrate (February 2004)

To get up and running about IDEA reauthorization issues, read these articles:

Battle Against Low Expectations. The Center for Law and Education reports that Senate Bill 1248 will undermine opportunities for students with disabilities.

Back to School, Backs to the Wall on IDEA Reauthorization. Learn about the battle to preserve the good IDEA, key issues, what you should do and say.

IDEA Talking Points. Issues parents and advocates should address in the reauthorization battle (discipline, elimination of short-term objectives and benchmarks, elimination of procedural protections for parents and kids, more).

IDEA Reauthorization News

3. 8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings: Play Hearts, Not Poker by Jennifer Bollero, Esq.

In 8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings: Play Hearts, Not Poker, Jennifer Bollero, an attorney and mother of a child with autism, explains that if you learn "the rules" and strategies, you reduce the risks when you negotiate for your child.

"Your child's IEP should never be a gamble. Know what your goals are and work them. Many roads lead to the same place. Many different cards can win the game."

8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings: Play Hearts, Not Poker

Learn about Advocacy

4. Tip: How to Use a Parent IEP Attachment

Frustrated at IEP meetings? Are your questions are not answered?

In How to Use a Parent IEP Attachment, advocate Judy Bonnell teaches you how to use a simple form to track your requests, the school's response, issues that were resolved, and issues that are still on the table.

More Advice & Tips

5. IEP Info & Resources

If you are like most people who visit Wrightslaw, you have questions about IEPs. We built the IEP Page with articles, law and regulations, tactics and strategies, tips, recommended reading, and free publications to answer your questions.

Learn about IEPs

More Topics

6. Wrightslaw Advocacy Programs - SOLD OUT!

Deb writes, "Your Florida Boot Camp was 'sold out.' I was on a waiting list with at least 100 others and could not attend. I will always regret this. Will the program take place again in the future? If so, when?"

On January 30-31, Pete and Pam put on a Wrightslaw Boot Camp for 200+ parents in Ft. Lauderdale. The Boot Camp "sold out" and had a waiting list of more than 100 parents.

In December, we did a one-day Advocacy Training Program in Oklahoma - sold out!

In November, we did a Boot Camp for 200+ parents in Jackson, Mississippi - sold out!

The Wrightslaw programs scheduled for this winter and spring are filling up fast. If you plan to attend, please register soon. If you wait, you may find yourself in Deb's shoes - feeling regret.

Midwest Tour in February

Jefferson City, Missouri -February 17, 2004
Skokie, Illinois - February 20, 2004
Indianapolis, Indiana - February 24, 2004
Troy, Michigan
- February 28, 2004


Spring 2004

Manchester, New Hampshire (Boot Camp) - March 26-27, 2004
Juneau, Alaska (Boot Camp) - April 8-9, 2004
Anchorage, Alaska  (Boot Camp)- April 13-14, 2004
Annapolis, Maryland (Boot Camp) - April 30-May 1, 2004
Birmingham, Alabama - May 25, 2004

Knowledge is power. When you have information and skills, you will be a more effective advocate for your child. Our role is to help you gain this knowledge so you can negotiate on your child's behalf. When our programs sell out, we know parents and advocates hear our message and are taking action.

Wrightslaw Programs focus on four areas: special education law; using the bell curve to measure progress; SMART IEPs; and tactics & strategies for effective advocacy.

For information about other programs that will be held over the next few months, please check our Seminars & Training page.

If you are interested in bringing Pete and Pam Wright to your community, please read our FAQs about Seminars. We are scheduling programs for 2005-2006.

7. Need Help? Visit the Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Are you looking for a tutor or therapist? A psychologist or educational diagnostician? A speech language therapist? An advocate or attorney?

If you are looking for help - or a helper - visit the Yellow Pages for Kids. Your state Yellow Pages has many resources - evaluators, therapists, tutors, special ed schools, grassroots organizations, and support groups.

You should also check the database of service providers from the International Dyslexia Association.

Are you looking for a research-based reading program? Review the list of providers who use structured, multisensory, alphabetic techniques.

Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities

Research-Based Instruction

8. Discounts & Exam Copies

50% Discount on Bulk Purchases of Wrightslaw Books
-The Advocacy Challenge Discount is a 50 discount on bulk purchases of Wrightslaw books.

Exam Copies - Teachers in colleges and universities around the country use Wrightslaw books in education, special education and special education law courses. Learn more

Wrightslaw books are reasonably priced ($29.95) - easy on tight student budgets.

Wrightslaw Books:

9. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate
is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA Reauthorization Newsletter Archives

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: http://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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