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What is an Advocate?

What is an advocate? An advocate is someone who can effectively communicate to others who you are, what you need and how to get your needs met.


So, what is an educational advocate? An educational advocate is someone with extensive knowledge about special education programs, 504 Plans, IEPs, and academic support that students can receive. This person educates parents and students about the resources available to them and how to acquire each resource, as needed.


You may be wondering why someone would possibly need an educational advocate?




Here are some examples of what some parents have stated they have experienced when in an IEP or 504 meeting:


  • I never know what to say at these meetings.
  • I feel so intimidated.
  • I don’t feel like anyone is listening to me.
  • Sometimes I feel so dumb!
  • I don’t understand anything that is on the IEP.
  • I need to feel like there is someone else in the room to support me.
  • I feel rushed!
  • This IEP is does not represent my Childs needs at all!
Do any of this sound familiar? You don’t have to go through this process alone.


Here’s a snapshot of what educational advocate can assist with:
  • Assist parents with steps to take after a learning disability diagnosis ( autism, ADHD, anxiety, etc.)
  • Prepare parents for IEP meetings and 504 Plans.
  • Accompany parents to meetings or speak to the school on the family’s behalf (with signed permission.)
  • Review special education documents and other forms.
  • Explain reports to parents so they can have a better understanding.
  • Answer any questions the parents may have related to educational support.


Educational Advocates are not attorneys and do not act as attorneys when working with families, schools, and anyone on your student’s educational team!

It is not an educational advocates stance to go into school and create a hostile environment, but rather to go in with parents and collaborate with the school’s educational team to create the most effective plan for our students while creating a working relationship between parents and schools.

The ultimate goal of an educational advocate is to communicate and advocate for the needs of your student while your student’s educational team (which includes you, the parents) come together as a whole to create the best plan possible to set your student on a path of success!

By Tona Collins

Tona Collins

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