Arizona Alliance of Black
A Teachers Guide to Navigating the Special Education Process – Things You Can do to Make a Difference for Struggling Students Today!
This session will provide an overview of the procedural mandates of the special education process. It will explore what is “required” under the federal regulations and compare those requirements to some common misinformation educators are often given as it relates to the referral, evaluation and identification of children with special education needs. Gaining a deeper understanding of the procedural mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (“IDEA”) will equip educators to more effectively advocate for the children they teach and support.
The presentation will also offer participants with a parent perspective of the special education process and provide insights into the difficulties families face as they attempt to advocate for their children who attend a public school. These insights and a deeper understand of the IDEA procedural requirements will equip participants to more effectively work with parents and colleagues to ensure the needs of all children are being met, which will lead to better outcomes for children and educators alike.
David Jefferson is the founder of Parent Support Arizona, an organization that assists families across the state of Arizona by ensuring children and young adults with disabilities are supported as they seek resources through the public-school system, State Developmental Disability System and State Behavioral Health System. This support is offered through direct advocacy services; parent training; professional development; providing tangible resources and facilitation of parent support groups.
David has devoted the past 10 years of his life to supporting children and young adults with disabilities. He has done this as a foster parent, adoptive parent, advocate and community leader. David believes all children deserve an opportunity to reach their full potential and he works hard to offer families and professionals who work with children the resources, support and advocacy they need to ensure these children can excel at home, at school and in the community.
In addition to his work with Parent Support Arizona, David also supports children and young adults with disabilities through his service as;
Board of Directors Treasurer for COPAA, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, (a national special education advocacy organization;
Board of Directors President for Reach Family Services, a behavioral health agency that uses a family run/lived experience model to support children who have mental health and behavioral health challenges; and
Board of Directors President for the NAGI Foundation and animal welfare agency that provides social emotional learning programs for at risk youth that incorporates the use of animals; and free spay / neuter / medical treatment services to community members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
"Closing achievement gaps is a critical issue. The performance of Blacks is systematically different from that of other racial and ethnic groups. Decreasing gaps in student achievement means that we must increase the learning gains of Blacks."
- National Education Association
"The gap between teachers and students of color continues to grow. Over the past three years, the demographic divide between teachers and students of color has increased by 3 percentage points, and today, students of color make up almost half of the public school population. But teachers of color are just 18 percent of the teaching profession."
- Center for American Progress
"African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers. Black students make up 18% of the students in the CRDC sample, but 35% of the students suspended once, and 39% of the students expelled."
- U.S. Department of Education
Arizona Alliance of Black School Educators
1334 E. Chandler Blvd., Ste. #5-D32
Phoenix, AZ 85048
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All Rights Reserved.
AzABSE pledges to continue serving as educational advocates for children who have been poorly served in the past. We further pledge to ensure that African-American and all other diverse students are effectively educated in the present and are accorded priorities for the future. We pledge to lead the way through the creation of a concrete model that demonstrates the goals of academic and cultural excellence.