Special education staff have a professional responsibility to advocate for their students and their families. When collaborating with families, there are often opportunities to empower families and help them find services and resources in the community. Awareness of disability advocacy organizations and their relationship with public schools will help the educator assist families as they navigate the systems of support in their area to access needed supports and services.
Allocate at least 2 hours in the field to support this field experience.
Tour a local disability advocacy organization and interview an administrator regarding:
- Relationship of special education to the organization, and function of educational agencies
- Continuum of placement and services available for individuals with disabilities
- Publications relevant to individuals with disabilities
- Information provided on disabilities
- Activities relevant to individuals with disabilities
- Culturally responsive factors that promote effective communication and collaboration with individuals with disabilities, families, school personnel, and community members
- Roles of professional groups and referral agencies in identifying, assessing, and providing services to individuals with disabilities
- Any resources to assist in programming for individuals with disabilities
In 250-500 words, summarize your interview and your experience touring the organization. In addition, reflect upon advocating ethically for individuals with disabilities, and explain how you will use your findings in your future professional practice.
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