Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Protecting the Legal and Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities
|Parent or Family Member|
COPAA’s primary mission is to provide networking and learning opportunities for special education advocates and attorneys. We welcome as members parents or family members, who are often the first and most effective advocate for their child. COPAA learned during the Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT) grant that over 90% of special education advocates begin their career in special education advocacy to advocate for a family member with disabilities.
Information is power, and informed parents participate as a meaningful partners in their child’s education. Membership in COPAA enables parents or family members to network with others and access information about federal special education law and advocacy strategy. Knowledge about rights and strategy empowers families to pursue educational rights.
COPAA is premised on the belief that the key to effective educational programs for children with disabilities is collaboration -as equals- by parents and educators. This is the premise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the federal statutes that guarantee children with disabilities a free, appropriate public education. Special education advocates and special education attorney’s knowledgeable assistance to parents and family members levels the playing field.
Membership in COPAA provides an opportunity to dialogue with others about special education advocacy strategies to protect educational rights and plan for meaningful educational programs for students with disabilities. COPAA does not, however, provide individual legal representation or advocacy services.
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