CADRE's Guiding Principles of Collaborative Advocacy combines highly effective communication strategies, facilitative behaviors, interest-based problem solving skills, and most importantly, a collaborative approach to empowering students with disabilities, their families, and other advocates for the student to effectively navigate the IEP process.
Navigating the world of special education is a challenge. Educators and parents of students with disabilities alike are charged with the responsibility of making educational decisions for students that will ultimately impact the trajectory of the student’s academic career, social emotional development, and future independent functioning. Understanding the complex system as a parent is difficult, and if done without support can be an overwhelming experience. Many parents rely on the support of a trusted friend or educational advocate to help them better understand the IEP process and the provisions outlined under the IDEA. Through close collaboration with State Education Agencies, Parent Centers, and the full range of stakeholders, CADRE has learned of the critical deficit of resources designed to promote the use of ethical and collaborative advocacy methods. This document is a response to this need.
In creating this document, CADRE received stakeholder feedback from represeantives across the country, including Parent Center staff, parents, advocates and SEA staff. CADRE is grateful to the following contributors:
Nissan Bar-Lev, Director of Special Education, CESA 7
Janice E. Breton, State Director of Special Services, Birth – 20, Maine Department of Education
Cindy Duch, Director of Parent Advising, PEAL Center
Ysela Heim, Parent & Exceptional Student Consultant, Special Education Advocacy Services, LLC
Charmaine Thaner, Advocate, Collaborative Special Education Advocacy, LLC
Ann Turnbull, Retired Distinguished Professor of Special Education, University of Kansas
See CADRE's other resources related to collaboration and communication:
For Educators: Working Together: Building Improved Communication and Engaging Parents in Productive Partnerships
For Parents: Steps to Success: Communicating with Your Child's School and Educational Advocates: A Guide for Parents
For IEP Team Members: Working Together Online Learning Series
Comments from the field:
As a Special Education Director of 38 school districts, I extend my deepest thanks for this new CADRE much, much needed project.
- Special Education Director
It actually makes me feel really proud because this is exactly how I personally work and wish all advocates would!
- Parent & Advocate
This is a great document and will be so supportive for parents navigating the decision of where to find support.
- Parent Center Director
You have identified a critical, unaddressed need, and your work in this area will fill a significant gap.
- Parent & Education Expert