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The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, §501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates, parents and related professionals. COPAA works to protect the civil rights and secure excellence in education on behalf of the 6.5 million students with disabilities in America.
With over 1400 members nationwide, COPAA is at the forefront of special education advocacy. Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed. COPAA is committed to creating a level playing field to ensure students with disabilities receive equal access to the high-quality education to which they are entitled; and have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that is designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for post-secondary outcomes, community participation, and employment.
COPAA works to increase the quality and quantity of representation and ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected. Access to quality representation and knowledgeable support levels the playing field for students with disabilities and their parents. Effective special education advocacy is multi-faceted. While knowledge of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is pivotal in advocating for students with disabilities, the law does not stand alone. There are many other elements to effective advocacy or legal strategy. COPAA helps advocates, attorneys, and related professionals keep abreast of important issues at the State and Federal level, and understand how other federal laws, State statues, regulations, court findings and legislative history, in relation to IDEA or on their own, affect children and their families.