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Special Education Advocacy Clinic

Clinic's Guiding Principles

  1. Children with disabilities possess unique qualities that may enrich the lives of those with whom they interact.
  2. Children with disabilities need effective advocates relative to their special education needs.
  3. Assistance with advocacy relative to special education issues is a service Regional Centers are required to provide to their consumers.
  4. An extreme shortage exists with respect to the availability of advocates and advocacy services for consumers of Regional Centers relative to special education issues.
  5. Legal advocacy services are often not available to consumers because of financial constraints or parents' lack of knowledge regarding available resources.
  6. Children with disabilities benefit when their parents and family members are knowledgeable about their special education rights and responsibilities.
  7. Legal advocacy services and training may be provided to consumers in a competent and cost effective manner through collaboration with law school clinical programs.
  8. Special education places families and educational agencies in a relationship likely to last for many years during which the law contemplates both will necessarily interact in meeting the educational needs of children with disabilities. The interests of such children are best served when families and educational agencies work together in a collaborative manner.
  9. Collaboration is most likely to occur between educational agencies and parents where parties possess substantive knowledge of the law, and where they possess knowledge and skills regarding interests based in negotiation and problem solving.
  10. Collaboration is most likely to occur between educational agencies and parents where the parties possess knowledge of the procedural safeguards associated with federal and state special education law.