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 (if you are a returning family, information will still need to be collected in order to update what we have on file).
Step 3: After initial 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.
For more information on how to advocate for your child, please visit:
Email forms to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (269) 966-2576
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: Tamara Sandoval
Tamara has a bachelor’s degree in general studies and has a background in elementary education. She has spent her career working with children of all ages through providing childcare and substituting in schools throughout Calhoun County. From an early age, Tamara has developed a passion for teaching students who may need unconventional methods to learn. She is passionate about standing besides those individuals that often go unheard and empowering them to use their voice. She is committed to helping students and families receive the support they deserve to achieve their educational goals.
Please call (269) 966-2575 for more information.
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 and the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region.