#AdvocacyMatters: You Aren't Alone

June 18, 2021 / #AdvocacyMatters

When families are trying to understand and protect their student’s right to an appropriate education, we believe that they shouldn’t be alone. That belief was fortified earlier this spring when we announced a new, regular series of monthly student legal clinics hosted by DRO, Albeit Weiker, and the Coalition for the Education of Children With Disabilities. This partnership was created specifically to connect parents with advocates and attorneys to ask questions and discuss challenges in a comfortable environment.

The first of these events – which are scheduled on the 2nd Saturday of every month – took place last weekend. More than 30 families met with 19 volunteers to take part in a workshop on “Learning the Language of Special Education” prior to private consultation with attorneys and advocates.

“This was one of the most rewarding professional activities that I've taken part of in a long time,” Mark Weiker, partner in Albeit Weiker LLP, reflected. “It was fun to be together with other volunteer attorneys, law students and educators, with the collective goal of learning and helping parents navigate and overcome their specific special education challenges.”

DRO Senior Attorney Kristin Hildebrant added “it’s great to partner with other parent and student advocates in the state to provide much needed information and advice to parents. Working together, we can reach more families and raise awareness about the rights of students with disabilities. I hope these events teach parents and students that they can use their own voice to effect change.”

The next clinic will take place on Saturday, July 10th, with a parent training explaining all the sections of an IEP and more opportunities for private consultation with an attorney or advocate. The clinics can be attended both in-person or remotely, and you can learn more and register here: lawyers4students.com/legalclinic.

By forging partnerships and connecting directly with our communities, it’s our hope that no family in Ohio is left navigating the special education system on their own. Our support for ongoing events, individual assistance, and resource development is unwavering, because #AdvocacyMatters.

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