Subj: THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, SEPTEMBER 26, 2001 (V. 4, N. 28)
Date: 9/26/01 4:42:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: webmaster@wrightslaw.com (Wrightslaw)
Reply-to: webmaster@wrightslaw.com
To: special-ed-advocate@lists.wrightslaw.com (THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE)

Highlights: This issue focuses on paper trails, letters, and documentation; new article about parent advocacy; Fall schedule; thanks from Pete and Pam.

Subscribers on September 25, 2001: 30,547 people in 50 states and dozens of countries.

Please forward this newsletter or the subscription link to your friends so they can learn about special education advocacy. Thanks! 

http://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

Wrightslaw flyer: http://www.wrightslaw.com/flyers/wrightslaw.pdf

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THEME: PAPER TRAILS, DOCUMENTATION, & LETTER WRITING 

1. PARENT ADVOCACY: CREATING PAPER TRAILS 

2. THE ART OF WRITING LETTERS 

3. 12 RULES FOR WRITING GREAT LETTERS 

4. FALL SCHEDULE - TEXAS, COLORADO, HAWAII 

5. THANKS FROM P2

6. SUBSCRIPTION AND CONTACT INFO

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1. PARENT ADVOCACY: CREATING PAPER TRAILS 

Good records are essential to effective advocacy. Make your requests in writing. Write polite follow-up letters to document events, discussions, and meetings. Train yourself to write things down!

In this article, you learn how to use simple tools: logs, calendars, and journals. You learn how to use a log to document phone calls and meetings. If you have a dispute with the school, your log and letters are independent evidence that support your memory. Documents that support your position will help you resolve disputes early.

Get this new article about effective parent advocacy at -- 

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/advo.create.trails.htm

For more great articles, cases, and other resources, please visit our Parent Advocacy page -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/advo.index.htm

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2. THE ART OF WRITING LETTERS

When parents fire off a letter to the school, they are usually in the middle of a crisis that involves their child. They feel helpless and anxious. They want to DO SOMETHING. They may be trying to right a wrong or protect their child from harm.

In "The Art of Writing Letters, you will learn two approaches to letter writing, the Blame Approach and the Story-Telling Approach. You will learn the differences between business letters and therapeutic letters - and why you should never send therapeutic letters to the school.

Before you send a strongly worded letter to the school, you should keep several things in mind.

* After send a letter to the school, it is out of your hands forever. You can never change it!

* Schools are bureaucracies. Your letter will be read by strangers. 

* Your reader will not wade through a long letter in hopes that you included a valuable nugget of information.

* Your your letter is a personal statement about you and your situation. What do you say about yourself when you write an angry, threatening, or demanding letter?

Learn more about "The Art of Writing Letters" -- 

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/DRAFT_Letters.html

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3. 12 RULES FOR WRITING GREAT LETTERS 

You write letters to request information, request action, provide information or describe an event, decline a request, and express appreciation. You write letters to the school to express concerns and to educate school personnel about your child’s problems.

You want your letters to make a good impression. Read "12 Rules for Writing Great Letters" and learn how to write letters that accomplish your objectives. 

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/12rules_letters.htm

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4. FALL SCHEDULE - TEXAS, COLORADO, HAWAII 

* OCTOBER: TEXAS

October 20, 2001. Special Education Law and Advocacy, Houston, TX (6 Hour Program)

* Learn About the Law
* Learn About IEPs
* Learn About Special Ed Advocacy 
* Learn How to Use Tactics & Strategies 

Sponsored by The Arc of Greater Houston  http://www.thearcofgreaterhouston.com/

For information, call (713) 957-1600 

To review the program, please download our flyer from
http://www.wrightslaw.com/flyers/houston_flyer.pdf

* NOVEMBER: COLORADO

November 2, 2001. Special Education Advocacy, Colorado Springs, CO (6 Hour Program)

November 3, 2001. Special Education Advocacy, Denver, CO (6 Hour Program)

Sponsored by The Advocacy Project & Special Kids Special Families 

For details contact: AdvocacyPro@aol.com or call The Advocacy Project 303-680-6741

* DECEMBER: HAWAII

December 7-8, 2001. Two-Day Training, Honolulu. (12 Hour Program)

We will post details about the Hawaii conference on our schedule page soon.

* JANUARY: CARIBBEAN CRUISE

January 14-18, 2002. "From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise" from Miami to Cozumel. (6 Hour Program)

A Very Special Cruise Seminar and Fund Raiser for Special Education, Sponsored by Value Voyager in partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines, 4 Nights, 5 Days. Includes 6 hour Advocacy Program. All meals, lodging and training: Approximately $500.00

To learn more, download our flyer for the "From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise Seminar" -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/flyers/cruise1.pdf

* SPRING SCHEDULE 

To see if we are coming to your area, please check our schedule at -

http://www.wrightslaw.com/schedule.htm

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5. THANKS FROM P2

Yesterday, we launched WRIGHTSLAW: FROM EMOTIONS TO ADVOCACY with a pre-publication offer to newsletter subscribers. In one day, hundreds of people placed orders for FETA. Several people wrote personal notes on the order form:

"You have given me the courage and strength to get an appropriate program for my autistic son. Your law book is my bible. I love you and everything you represent!" -- Susan

"I'm looking forward to this more the annual John Grisham book! I can't wait!" -- Melissa

"I am so excited about this book. I have all your books -- can't survive without them!" -- Sissy

We read every note! We want to thank you for your support, encouragement, and confidence in us. Together, we are making a difference.

To learn more about FETA:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/feta/feta.htm