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Special Education Advocacy Groups

Instructor: Fola Rae
Special education advocacy groups work to keep parents involved and informed about the issues affecting students with disabilities. Read on to find out what a few of these groups are doing and see what helpful resources are available to you.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

The CEC has worked on matters related to special education for many years and is concerned with making sure there are people to speak on behalf of students with disabilities. One of the ways it achieves this is through a volunteer group called the Children and Youth Action Network (CAN). Group members keep in close contact with local and state government officials in an effort to inform them of the special education considerations and policies that are on the minds of parents of special education students as well as the students themselves.

The CEC also offers resources to help parents stay up-to-date on current special education issues and provides educators with tools they can use to teach the special education students in their classrooms. You can learn more about what the organization is doing at (www.cec.sped.org).

National Education Association

Making sure that schools have enough money to help students with disabilities get a good education is one of the areas the National Education Association is concerned with. As more special education students are being put into classrooms to learn alongside students who do not have disabilities, local school districts have to be concerned with whether there is enough money to provide the support services and staff special education students need.

The NEA gets parents involved in this cause and provides a way for them to advocate for more federal funding for special education programs. This organization also advocates for improvements to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). More information can be found on the NEA website (www.nea.org).

Federation for Children with Special Needs

Parents of special education students need to know what help is available to them so they can nurture their kids while they learn. The Federation for Children with Special Needs is an organization that works to keep parents informed about special education by providing workshops, publications and leads to service providers. Parents can find resources to navigate the special education process in schools, meet their child's health care needs and help adults with special needs make the transition to independent living.

The organization also provides a telephone number that parents of students with disabilities can call to find out what services are available in the local area and learn how to speak out about the rights of special education students. Additionally, it hosts the Parent Consultant Training Institute, a program designed to teach parents about the laws related to special education. The organization provides more information on its website (www.fcsn.org).

Special Education Resources

To add to your knowledge of special education matters, check out the resources offered by Study.com. You can access the following video lessons at your convenience, anywhere you have an internet connection, and take short quizzes to measure your understanding of the key terms and concepts being discussed. Here are some examples of available resources:

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