Hi! My name is Anne Zachry and I am the Executive Director of KPS4Parents. KPS4Parents is a non-profit organization that has been providing lay special education advocacy, parent training, public agency consultation, and paralegal services to special education attorneys since 2003. (For those of you wondering, KPS4Parents stands for Knowledge Powers Solutions for Parents.)
I have been with KPS4Parents since we first opened our doors as lay advocates, having worked for 12 years prior as a freelance special education lay advocate.? In my 17+ years advocating for children with disabilities and their families and building positive working relationships where I’ve been able with public education officials and attorneys, I’ve seen and heard a lot of things. I have perspective from both the public agency and the parent sides of the issues and have found myself standing in the middle trying to take care of concerns on both sides so that, ultimately, the child gets served appropriately.
For the most beneficial outcomes to be achieved, both sides have to work together. Schools need to understand that having a child with a disability is a very, very emotional situation for any family and parents need to understand that public agencies are fraught with challenges, some of them seemingly impossible to overcome, that interfere with the delivery of appropriate services to children with special needs. Some of the answers are easy. Some of them escape identification for years. Even once they’re identified, making them actually happen presents a whole new set of obstacles to overcome.
This blog is intended to inform and inspire you. Whether you are a parent of a child with special needs, a general education teacher, a special education teacher, a public school administrator, or you work for another agency that serves the same population in conjunction with or in addition to the public schools, the information you’ll find here and the insights you can provide will help you help us build a better tomorrow.
We promise you that our ultimate goals is to facilitate collaboration among all the stakeholders, but we aren’t going to sugarcoat anything. There are some serious problems that we have to overcome and some of them are very ugly. You’ll find below additional information about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the protections that parents, advocates, and educators have against retaliation in response to their efforts to pursue appropriate outcomes for children with special needs.
The first step in overcoming the obstacles we each face is to fearlessly reach out to each other and unite. When teachers fear for their jobs and parents fear for what their children will face at school if they dare say anything about a bad situation, public education becomes increasingly anti-child. We simply cannot have that. We will incur further economic hardship as a nation and will lose our souls in the process. Please read our additional content provided in the Downloads?& Links below to learn more.
Please also subscribe to our feeds so that you can remain informed and stay involved. We’re looking forward to the directions this blog will take us and having you involved as a member of our community.
Anne M. Zachry
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