Free Special Education Videos for Parents and Guardians of Children With Disabilites

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Dec. 1, 2011

CONTACT:
Patty Anderson
Deputy Director
panderson@disabilityrightstx.org
512.454.4816

AUSTIN — Disability Rights Texas has created four free online videos for parents and guardians of children with disabilities in need of special education services and supports. The new videos help address many of the unmet needs of families with children currently receiving or in need of special education services in Texas schools.

The two English and two Spanish language videos answer many of the frequently asked questions about special education rights and services and provide detailed information about preparing for Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meetings with school administrators. PDF transcripts are posted alongside each video for the hearing impaired, and the videos are captioned for the hearing impaired.

Video 1, “Parent’s Guide to the ARD Process: An Introduction,” provides a thorough overview of the steps involved in obtaining special education supports and services. Main points include eligibility requirements for special education; explanations of a free appropriate public education, what an ARD committee is, who is on the committee and what happens in an ARD committee meeting; and a description of an individual education plan and the steps involved in creating one.

Video 2, “Parent’s Guide to the ARD Process: Advocating for Your Child,” was designed to teach parents how to advocate on behalf of their children for special education services and supports. Key points include evaluating a child for a disability, the parent’s role in the ARD process, an overview of parents’ rights and how to prepare for an ARD meeting. The video also answers frequently asked questions about children’s special education rights in Texas.

“The Texas Bar Foundation provided the grant that paid for production of these videos,” said Mary Faithfull, executive director of Disability Rights Texas, the legal protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities in Texas. “Thanks to their generous support, the videos are now available free of charge on the agency’s website.”

“When we survey communities across the state, we hear repeatedly about the need for special education rights training for parents and guardians of children with disabilities,” Faithfull noted. “We know this information will help parents understand their rights and learn how to advocate on behalf of children with special needs.”

The Texas Bar Foundation grants more than $700,000 annually to nonprofits conducting programs that fit the Foundation’s mission. The organization funds projects throughout Texas that further legal services for the underserved, public education, ethics and professionalism in the legal profession, administration of justice and victim services. Since its inception, more than $12 million in grants have been awarded.

The videos can be found at the following links:
English: http://www.disabilityrightstx.org/resources/education-videos/
Spanish: http://www.disabilityrightstx.org/resources/videos-de-educacion/

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Disability Rights Texas (previously named Advocacy Inc.) is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Our mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society.