Now Offering Saturday Advocacy Clinics
The Arc is pleased to offer Advocacy Clinics on select Saturdays from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Click here to visit The Arc’s calendar to view the schedule. Dr. Lisa Faranda, BCEA, and Joyceann Husted are available for consultations. These highly qualified volunteers will meet with parents, listen, and advise on next steps. They can help with letters and follow-up, refer parents to appropriate resources, review IEPs and evaluations, and help parents figure out what to ask. A consultation at the clinic can serve as a first step to getting the help you need for your child. Call 610-696-8090 ext. 220 for an appointment. This free service is available by appointment only. Click here to learn more about Lisa.
The Arc’s education advocacy services help parents, guardians, and students develop a plan of action for obtaining a free and appropriate education and helping students make meaningful progress on their educational goals. All children and students from birth to 21 who are eligible or suspected of being eligible for specialized education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act (IDEIA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can access The Arc of Chester County’s education advocacy services.
All education advocacy services are offered at no charge to Chester County families with a verifiable total household income of $70,000 or less. All other families can access The Arc’s highly qualified education advocacy services for a reasonable fee of $60/hour.
Here’s how education advocacy works:
- The advocate listens to the parents/guardians, gathering valuable information related to the current situation. The need for further information is also assessed.
- The advocate reviews the current Evaluation Report (ER), Individualized Education Program (IEP), and other pertinent documents, as necessary.
- The advocate educates/informs parents/guardians about their children’s right to a free and appropriate education, the applicable laws, the special education process, how to effectively partner with the school team, how to effectively resolve issues, and how to be their children’s best advocate.
- The advocate may attend IEP meetings with parents/guardians, if requested/deemed necessary. The advocate may also attend a resolution meeting, mediation or a due process hearing, if requested/deemed necessary, and the family has been unsuccessful in obtaining a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for a student through other appropriate methods.
- The advocate encourages parents/guardians to attend local workshops and conferences and to network with other parents through a variety of local disability-specific or topic-specific parent support groups. Knowledge is power.
- The advocate encourages students to become a stronger voice for themselves by self-advocating appropriately.
- The advocate may refer the family to other state and local service providers, e.g., behavioral health, mental retardation, medical assistance, support groups, etc. as needed.
- The advocate always works toward empowering the parent/guardian to become an informed, active, equal member of his/her child’s IEP team, knowing that the child’s parent/guardian is always the child’s best advocate.
Who should I contact?
- I will not qualify for services at no charge and would like to contact/speak with The Arc’s fee-for-service education advocate, Amy Betts, M.ED.
- I have general questions, need a referral, or am not sure if I qualify for free services. Email Connie Mohn.
Get Started Now
Download a fee-for-service education advocacy client agreement by clicking here
Download an education advocacy client information sheet by clicking here