What is an advocate...

For Special Education students?

What is a Education Advocate?

A Special Education Advocate is usually someone who has a special education degree, has a child or other family member with special needs, or has worked in a related field.

They are people with a true passion for the special needs population. Advocates provide support, direction, encouragement and comfort for families and work together with you and the school district to secure the best possible education for your child.

A special education advocate stays current on State and Federal legislation.

An Education Advocate is NOT….

A licensed, practicing attorney.

The dictionary definition of an advocate is someone who supports or defends a cause or someone who pleads on another person’s behalf; a lawyer.

It should be noted that most special education advocates are not licensed, practicing attorneys, however, they are well versed in the laws and regulations of a school district as well as the Federal and State education laws.

Guidelines for Choosing an Advocate

"Unlike attorneys, no certification authority exists to certify advocates at this time. However, many special education advocates have years of experience and training. When you interview an advocate, you should ask about their education and training. You should also ask whether the advocate stays current in the field by getting updated training and education through workshops, conferences, and continuing education programs. Do not hesitate to ask for references from the advocate. You are the one making the hiring decision."
Learn more at COPAA.org

What can an advocate do?