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The Advocacy Institute :: Reports, Publications and Presentations

Study Finds Wide Variation in Graduation Rates for Students with Disabilities; Little Relationship with Graduation Policies (August 2015)
This analysis looks at the varied state policies regarding graduation requirements for students with disabilities and how these policies do, or do not, relate to the graduation rates being reported by states. Get it here.

Graduation Issues and Considerations for Students with Disabilities. Webinar co-presented by The Advocacy Institute and the National Center on Educational Outcomes on December 11, 2014. View archive here. Get the Webinar handout here.

Diplomas at Risk: A Critical Look at the Graduation Rate of Students with Learning Disabilities (2013): This comprehensive report examines the way in which students with learning disabilities, and more broadly, all disabilities, are exiting high school. Written by The Advocacy Institute for the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Get the report here. (PDF) View the Webinar about the report here.

Analysis of Students with Disabilities Served Under Section 504 (August 2015)
This analysis of state-by-state identification rates by race and ethnicity of students with disabilities served solely under Section 504 finds these students are overwhelming White and disproportionately male compared to overall school enrollment. Get it here.

Preparing for Special Education Mediation and Resolution Sessions: A Guide for Families and Advocates:
The Advocacy Institute and the Children's Law Clinic at Duke Law School have combined their talents to create this publication to help families and advocates make the most of the expanded dispute resolution options offered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004). Download or read online here.

Mini-Guide on Alternative Dispute Resolution:
This guide provides provide special education advocates and parents with information about the policies in place to implement Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) activities as encouraged or required under IDEA 2004. In addition, this guide outlines some of the current issues advocates and parents have identified in using ADR provisions and offers practical ideas and strategies that may assist in overcoming barriers to resolving disagreements.(PDF only, 10 pgs) Get it here.

Parent Guide to IDEA 2004:
This guide uses accessible language to help parents understand their rights and responsibilities in the special education process. Written by The Advocacy Institute for the National Center for Learning Disabilities (PDF, 106 pgs). Get it here.

A Parent's Guide to Response-to-Intervention:
Written by The Advocacy Institute for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, this guide provides an overview of the RTI process, describe how it is implemented in schools and offer questions that parents can ask. (PDF only) Get it here. Also available in Spanish here.

Parent Rights in the Era of Response to Intervention (RTI):
If a school is using an RTI approach, what rights do parents have and what strategies can be used to address identification issues? Written for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, this guide supplies all the answers. Get it here.

Understanding the Standards-based Individualized Education Program (IEP):
This guide provides an overview of a process and document that is framed by the state standards and that contains annual goals aligned with, and chosen to facilitate the student’s achievement of, state gradelevel academic standards. Written by The Advocacy Institute for the National Center for Learning Disabilities. (PDF only) Get it here.

Parent's Guide to Universal Design for Learning (UDL):
This guide provides an overview of universal design for learning, an important movement in education. Written by The Advocacy Institute for the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Get it here.

Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act:
This guide provides information on the ADA Amendments Act (effective January 1, 2009) and the significant changes the ADAAA has made to Section 504 of the Rehabilitiation Act of 1973 relating to school-age children. Co-authored by The Advocacy Institute and the National Center for Learning Disabilities. (PDF, 11 pages) Get it here.

The State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Emerging Issues (Third Edition, 2014): This comprehensive report examines the status of individuals with learning disabilities (LD) in the United States and provides a data-based perspective of LD across the lifespan. Get it here.

SLD Identification: An Analysis of State Policies: This article about a survey and analysis of state policies for SLD identification includes an audio interview with the authors and links to state criteria. Get it here.

Suceeding with Learning Disabilities: This 8-page supplement was developed in collaboration with the National Center for Learning Disabilities and distributed in USA Today on May 27, 2011. Get the supplement. (PDF)

IDEA 2004 Close Up:
Information Series for Parents and Advocates

A series of short, parent-friendly articles on key provisions of IDEA 2004 and specific changes that parents and advocates should know and understand. Written by The Advocacy Institute for GreatSchools.org, the IDEA 2004 Close Up series is available FREE of charge:

The Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Aligning the IEP and Academic Content Standards to Improve Academic Achievement

Transition Planning

Disciplining Students with Disabilities

Highly Qualified Teachers

Resolving Disagreements between Parents and Schools

Specific Learning Disabilities Evaluation and Eligibility

Extended School Year (ESY) Services

No Child Left Behind and Students with Disabilities:

The Advocacy Institute is working to help parents understand key provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and ways they can use these provisions to help improve the academic achievement of children who struggle to learn.

These products, written by The Advocacy Institute, are available FREE of charge:

ESEA Flexibility: Issues for Students with Disabilities. The Advocacy Institute has identified 7 issues that may have a negative impact on students with disabilities in states that have received ESEA Flexibility (aka "waivers") from the U.S. Dept. of Education. Get it here.

Why Students with Disabilities Need No Child Left Behind. The Advocacy Institute perspective on how NCLB is having positive impact on the nation's 7 million students with disabilities. (PDF, 8 pgs) Get it here.

NCLB and IDEA: What Parents of Students with Disabilities Need to Know and Do (2006). This information brief, produced by the National Center on Educational Outcomes, provides parents with an understanding of important provisions of NCLB and IDEA designed to work together to improve academic performance for students with disabilities. Get it here. (PDF, 23 pgs) This publication is also available in Spanish.

Determining Appropriate Assessment Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (2005) This Parent Advocacy Brief provided an overview of appropriate accommodations for students with IEPs or 504 Plans, serves as a guide to choosing accommodations and suggests questions to ask when making appropriate accommodation decisions. Get it here. (PDF)

Rewards and Roadblocks: How Special Education Students are Faring Under No Child Left Behind (2007). This report, a product of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, provides a compelling look at how several NCLB requirements have affected this important and often controversial student group. Get it here. (PDF, 26 pgs)

State Testing Accommodations: A Look at Their Value and Validity (2007). This report looks at the variation across states in accommodations provided to students with disabilities. Get it here (PDF)

Challenging Change: How Schools and Districts are Improving the Performance of Special Education Students (2008). This report, a product of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, takes a look at how 2 schools and 3 districts are making changes to improve the academic performance of students with disabilities. Get it here. (PDF, 30 pgs)

Webinars presented for the Spina Bifida Association

Enjoy free access to these Webinar presented by The Advocacy Institute:

Difference between 504 plans and IEPs (Presented August 14, 2012)
This presentation covers the background of Section 504, the difference in eligibility criteria, the key obligations of school districts, and the difference between 504 plans and Individualized Education Programs or IEPs. View the archive here.

How to Plan and Prepare for an IEP (Presented August 21, 2012)
This presentation covers the role of parents in IEP meetings, how to prepare for IEP meetings, several key components of IEPs and how to resolve disputes. View the archive here.

International Dyslexia Association Perspectives on Language and Literacy (Volume 34, No. 4, Fall, 2008)
"Meaningful Accountability for Students with Dyslexia"


The issue was developed by guest theme co-editors Candace Cortiella, Director at The Advocacy Institute, and Rachel Quenemoen, Senior Research Fellow and national technical assistance team leader at the National Center on Educational Outcomes. Read the issue summary and list of featured articles here.

A Special Mother: Getting Through the Early Days of a Child's Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities or Related Disorders :: Read an excerpt from this book featuring an interview with Candace Cortiella, Director at The Advocacy Institute.

 
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