Advocacy

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Training Opportunities

I’m Determined Youth Summit – Bringing youth 13-22 together to learn and practice self-advocacy and self-determination skills. John McNaught, (540) 568-2641, www.imdetermined.org

Partners in Policymaking – Advocacy training program for parents and self-advocates. Teri Barker, (800) 846-4464, www.vaboard.org

Partnership for People with Disabilities – Various training opportunities for parents and self-advocates. Dana Yarbrough, (804) 828-0352, www.partnership.vcu.edu

Parent Education and Advocacy Training Center – Provides easy-to-understand, research-based information and training. Suzanne Bowers, (800) 869-6782, www.peatc.org

Youth Leadership Forum – Empowers young people with disabilities to further develop their leadership skills. Teri Barker, (800) 846-4464, www.vaboard.org

Legal

Center for Special Education Advocacy – Maintains a list of advocates and attorneys across Virginia. www.advocacyinstitute.org

disAbility Law Center of Virginia – Advocacy and legal representation for persons with disabilities. (800) 552-3962, www.disabilitylawva.org

Legal Aid Justice Center (Just Children) – Provides free legal services on noncriminal matters to income eligible persons in our service areas. Andrew Block, (434) 977-0553, www.justice4all.org

Special Education Advocacy Clinic (College of William & Mary) – was formed to assist special-needs children and their families with eligibility or Individualized Education Program meetings, discipline matters, mediation, and administrative hearings. Law students offer their services to families at no charge. Students also conduct a free training class each semester that offers tools and information to parents to help them become more knowledgeable advocates for their children. http://law.wm.edu/academics/programs/jd/electives/clinics/specialed/index.php

University of Richmond Clinical Programs: Education Rights Clinic – Law students represent children and parents seeking appropriate special education and community-based services mandated by both federal and state law. Adrienne Volenik, (804) 289-8921, http://law.richmond.edu/academics/clinical-programs/.

Wrightslaw – Website about special education law and advocacy, with thousands of articles, cases and free resources. www.wrightslaw.com

Policy

Virginia Board for People with Disabilities – Serves as Virginia’s Developmental Disabilities (DD) Planning Council. Heidi Lawyer, (800) 846-4464, www.vaboard.org

Voices for Virginia’s Children – Voices is a statewide, privately funded, nonpartisan awareness and advocacy organization that builds support for practical public policies to improve the lives of children. Margaret Nimmo Crowe, (804) 649-0184, www.vakids.org

Arc of Virginia – Policy development to benefit people with intellectual disabilities in Virginia. Jamie Liban, (804) 649-8481.www.thearcofva.org

General

Parent to Parent of Virginia – Providing best practice on supporting parents through peer-to peer matching. Dana Yarbrough, www.wordpress.ptpofva.com

Parent Education and Advocacy Training Center – Provides easy-to-understand, research-based information and training. Suzanne Bowers, (800) 869-6782, www.peatc.org