Free Advocacy Assistance
We have listed below organizations that can provide assistance with special education advocacy. To find more resources and guidance for parents advocacy in special education see our Parent Advocacy Guidance.
Free xMinds Team Consult
A small group of xMinds parents who have both experience and training navigating the MCPS special needs system provides help to parents who are new to the system or who need guidance or support in finding a school placement or advocating within the IEP process. These volunteers provide guidance, support, and can connect parents with resources (including educational consultants and lawyers, if needed), but these volunteers do not provide legal advice and do not accompany you to IEP meetings.
Our process: Once you complete our short intake form, one of our volunteer advocates will reach out to you to discuss your child’s situation. After you talk with the volunteer, they will report your information to our group of volunteer advocates who are supervised by one professional special education advocate. This group will pool their collective knowledge and advice to address your questions. Then the volunteer will get back to you with the guidance they've assembled. You do not send xMinds your IEP or other documents.
Free Information from Parents' Place of Maryland
You can contact Parents' Place of Maryland for free resources and information to help you ensure your child receives the support they need at school. Experts from the "Ask the Expert" program are available in Spanish or English. Contact Parents' Place of Maryland here: https://www.ppmd.org/contact/
Free Q&A with Disability Rights Maryland Every other Wednesday Night
FACEBOOK LIVE Q&A EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY @6:30pm -- March 24, 2021 and every other Wednesday after that date
Every other Wednesday, Disability Rights Maryland’s (DRM) Education Team hosts a live Q&A (on Facebook) to help parents and families understand their children’s rights to special education services, IEPs and 504 plans. This is a great opportunity to get your special education questions answered! No registration is required and it is free. Just use this link to the DRM Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DisabilityRightsMD
Spanish Interpretation is provided. Transcription using Maryland Relay Services is provided for hearing impaired. Recordings are available. If your questions can't wait -- send it any time to Susana Barrios at SusanaB@disabilityrightsmd.org.
Free Advocacy Assistance from Weinfeld Education Group
Special Education Excellence for Underserved Students (SEEUS) is a program at Weinfeld Education Group that provides no-cost, expert, high-quality special education advocacy to Black students with special needs whose education has been impacted by systemic racism.
Free Advocacy from Educational Resources Group of Greater Washington
Educational Resources Group of Greater Washington never turns away a client, regardless of ability to pay. Directors Stacy Ganz Kahn and Donna Sagona have experience as regular education teachers, special education teachers, staff development trainers, public school administrators, and parents of children with learning differences. This gives them a unique perspective on the entire IEP process. Educational Resources Group offers not only educational consulting and advocacy, but also academic therapy (tutoring) services.
Free Referrals and Information from the Resource Finder
The Resource Finder at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, housed at Baltimore's Kennedy Krieger Institute, provides free information about autism and other developmental disabilities, as well as access to related resources. Whether you’re looking for resources on advocacy assistance, child care, education, service providers, housing, or more, the Resource Finder can help. To contact the Resource Finder, call 800-390-3372, email ResourceFinder@KennedyKrieger.org, or submit an online form. Be sure to include information about your specific needs and location. The Resource Finder compiles and disseminates a personalized response to each inquiry.