Parent Advocates

 

Parent Advocates are considered to be a member of the IEP and as such participate fully at IEP team meetings if the parents have chosen to invite a parent advocate to the IEP team meeting.

The IDEA allows the IEP team to include, at the discretion of the parent or the school,

 "other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child". 34 CFR 300.321(a)(6). The IDEA states the determination of "knowledge or special expertise of any individual described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section must be made by the party (parents or the public agency) who invited the individual to be a member of the IEP." 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.321 (c)

 In addition, the IDEA states that the IEP team is responsible for developing, reviewing, and revising the child's IEP. The Department interprets these provisions in the IDEA to mean that whomever the parent chooses to include as a member of the IEP team must be allowed to participate actively in the development, review, and revision of the IEP. School districts or charter schools should not prohibit parent advocates from speaking at or participating in IEP team meetings.

Case Mangers, and administrators are to notify the Special Education Office when a parent has indicated that an advocate will be attending a meeting. 
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