Webinar Archive: Yes You Can!
How Advocates Can and Do Make Positive Change

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Conducted February 9, 2009

Now more than ever advocates for children are going to be required to speak up on behalf of quality education and services for children and youth with disabilities. Gathering information, analyzing issues, collaborating and putting together effective coalitions and focused messages are all key to effective grass roots efforts, but often we donít know just where to begin!

In this webinar, participants gain skills that will help them approach advocacy with confidence using effective strategies that will help bring about positive changes in policy and practice for children and adults with disabilities.

Jamie Ruppmann, Member, Board of Directors, The Advocacy Institute, has over thirty years of experience in advocacy for children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities, training of parents, direct service providers, educators and professionals and policy development.

Jamieís experience includes her work as Director of Public Policy for The Autism Society of America, Coordinator of the Family Leadership Training Program at The George Washington University, one of four regional coordinators of the Virginia Systems Change Project, Director of Governmental Relations for TASH (formerly the Association for Individuals with Severe Handicaps) and Associate Director of The Advocacy Institute. In addition, she has held many voluntary leadership positions including President of the Virginia Chapter of the Autism Society of America, President of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association and Chair of the Fairfax County Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities. Jamie was a founding member of the Autism National Committee and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).

She is an experienced and talented public speaker, enjoys leading training activities and has facilitated numerous national seminars and forums as well as focus groups and meetings. Jamie considers herself first and foremost a child advocate. Her experiences as the mother of two sons with disabilities receiving special education has provided her with insight and empathy for parents, teachers and staff members who are devoted to providing the best possible services and supports to children and youth with disabilities.

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