Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Protecting the Legal and Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities
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Support Civil Rights and Quality Education for All
Education is the future; a critical investment that reduces inequality and increases opportunity. A child’s place of birth, chromosomal makeup, or neurological wiring should never determine whether they receive a quality education. There are 6.5 million students with disabilities in this country; too many of whom are being denied access, pushed out, and left behind. Bridging the graduation and employment gap between students with and without disabilities is essential.
COPAA is the leading organization representing the educational interests of students with disabilities. Since its inception in 1998 as an all-volunteer endeavor, COPAA has grown into a 1600-member, unparalleled peer-to-peer network. We are the national voice for education equality.
COPAA members provide quality representation and knowledgeable support for students with disabilities and their families. This empowers students and parents, and often is what makes the difference for students with disabilities to attend school, graduate, go to college, get a job, and live the American dream. Here is just one story that shows the impact that representation from a COPAA member had on students and their families:
Dennis was a high school student who had never learned to read. From first through eleventh grade, he failed the majority of his classes, yet he was administratively promoted from grade to grade. By the time he was 18, he had a history of suspensions from school and charges against him including possession of a concealed weapon, auto theft, and battery.
Despite his academic and behavioral problems, Dennis was never evaluated or identified as a child with a disability in need of special education. After years of struggling in school with an undiagnosed learning disability, an attorney from Legal Aid filed for a due process hearing on Dennis’s behalf under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A settlement was reached without a hearing.
Under the settlement agreement, Dennis was provided with intensive educational and transition services. As a result, Dennis learned to read and was able to graduate from high school. Because of the transition services, Dennis attended a technical school paid for by the school district, where he excelled as a student electrician. He then secured a job as an apprentice to a traveling electrician. One of his first assignments was to travel to Texas after a hurricane to help rebuild homes destroyed by the storms.
COPAA’s impact is greater with your support.
100% of your donation goes directly to support excellence in advocacy. Here are just a few examples of how your donations helped COPAA to accomplish our mission this year:
• COPAA provided 45 membership scholarships.
• COPAA granted five full scholarships to the 2014 COPAA Conference.
• COPAA awarded scholarships to 13 advocates from across the country, who participated in cohorts two and three of our yearlong, intensive Special Education Advocates Training (SEAT).
• COPAA retained a government relations firm to assure our voice is strong and loud in protecting student and parent rights.
• COPAA hired a very experienced legal director to strengthen special education rights through amicus and public policy work, and to expand the depth of resources available to attorneys, advocates, and parents.
Please make a year-end contribution to COPAA today.
Donate online at http://www.copaa.org/donations/. You can make a one-time donation or split it up and make monthly payments throughout the year. Please forward this email and encourage your family members, colleagues and clients to do the same.
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