Advocacy and disability

Essay by prncss722University, Bachelor'sA+, December 2007

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Advocacy and Disability � PAGE �6�

Advocacy and Disability

Leah de Rosa

University of Phoenix

BSHS 442

Genevieve Damon, MSW, MBA

December 10, 2007

Advocacy and Disability

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 15% or one in seven Americans has learning disabilities (, 2007). The need for Human Services professionals to assist parents in advocating for their child to receive appropriate services and to assist in the process has become a necessary task. This paper will discuss the role of the advocate in reference to assisting parents through the difficult process and ensure the child receives the services and resources needed.

Under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), each state must provide necessary funding for any child diagnosed with a disability; s/he should receive legally mandated services and resources necessary to fulfill her/his educational needs. Congress did not make many adjustments when approving the new IDEA 2004; instead they placed more pressure on parents to fight for the needs of their child, and requiring more assistance from an advocate.

This process follows a child through graduation; therefore, making certain the process is done fairly, most times, an advocate is requested and needed by the parents (Wrightslaw, 2007).

Parent advocates

Parent advocates (PA) are helpful to parents and guardians who have a child with disabilities as they attempt to navigate the complicated waters of ensuring the proper services and resources are readily available to meet the goals and needs of the child with disability or special needs. A PA would first assist the parents in obtaining any written statements from the child's file and to gain access to the student records, as the parents have the right to inspect and review this under the law (Wrightslaw, 2007). Schools are rarely compliant; therefore, the PA knows how to best...