Educational Advocacy



Educational Advocacy



The Educational Advocacy program assists families in guiding and supporting them through the special education process as a bridge between education staff and families. We educate on the proper processes to avoid breakdowns in communication to ensure that the child’s needs are met by means of referrals, recommendations, resources, materials, and meetings when necessary. Our Advocates listen to concerns from families and schools, create agendas for meetings, facilitate discussion between school staff and families, promote positive problem solving, bring best practices to the table, and aim to assist families and schools in keeping open communication that puts the student’s need at the center of every conversation. Using an Advocate ensures that parents are meaningful participants in the Special Education process, their voices are heard, concerns are addressed, and the laws and rights of their children with Special Education services are upheld throughout the process.

The Arc’s Educational Advocacy process includes our partner, Michigan Alliance for Families.


Step 1: Parents/educators/guardians will contact The Arc at (269) 966-2575.


Step 2: Intake information will be collected.


Step 3: After intake information is collected, a Parent Mentor will contact you.


All information and referral calls/inquiries will be supported by our Parent Mentor.


If it is determined that an Educational Advocate should be needed, the Parent Mentor will notify The Arc and an Advocate will be assigned.

Michigan Alliance for Families


For more information on how to advocate for your child, please visit:



Our Educational Advocates

Educational Advocate: Liz Young

Liz has a bachelor’s degree in Communications, and has spent her career working in the nonprofit sector. Her experience with navigating the special education system began in 2013 when she became a foster parent. Since then, she has developed a passion for helping children get the educational services they need to shine, not only for her children, but for others as well. Liz knows first-hand how overwhelming the process can be, and is committed to help other families as they seek to help their children grow and reach their goals.

Educational Advocate: Abbie Beaudrie

Abbie has been an active community member of Calhoun County for her entire life. While she is just beginning her career as an Educational Advocate, she has had 7+ years of experience supporting children in their growth and development. Abbie is now choosing to channel her skills she has learned from working in The Arc's Volunteer Program and her passion for working with children, as she advocates for students as The Arc's newest Educational Advocate. Her positive outlook, interpersonal skills, and calm demeanor assist her in developing relationships with educators, students, and families she serves. She believes in a person-centered approach as every student is unique and each student should have access to an education that works effectively for their needs. 

For more information on The Arc's Edicational Advocacy Program, please call (269) 966-2575 or email Abbie Beaudrie at

The Arc of Calhoun County

The Educational Advocacy  program continues to remain a majority unfunded, however, The Arc continues to offer the services to the community at no-cost.

The Educational Advocacy Program is funded in part by The Arc Michigan.