Early Childhood - Citizenship & Advocacy

Early Childhood - Advocacy & Rights
Citizenship and Advocacy
Questions Your Child Will Want You to Ask:  What advocacy supports are available to help our family?  Do you know if there are resources devoted to my specific disability?  Have you found places where you can connect with other families one-on-one or in groups?  What do you tell family and friends about my diagnosis/special needs?  What do you tell your my siblings about my diagnosis/special needs?  Who can you talk to when our family and friends don’t understand what you are experiencing or do not understand things about me?  Do you accept me as a child first, not just a child with a disability? Do you make sure you are recognized by others as the expert on me and my needs?  What do you do for yourself and my siblings to help balance my needs?  Do you know about my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Do you know about my rights under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)? Do you know where to get help if my rights are violated?

General Advocacy Supports
CT Council on Developmental Disabilities-the mission of the Council is to promote full inclusion of all people with disabilities into community life.  http://www.ct.gov/ctcdd/site/default.asp  Phone:  860-418-6160
The Arc Connecticut-is an advocacy agency organization committed to protecting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to promoting opportunities for their full inclusion in the life of their communities.  http://www.thearcct.org Phone:860-246-6400
CT Down Syndrome Congress-helps ensure that all people with Down Syndrome are included in all aspects of life, are empowered to meet their needs and are recognized for their contributions.  www.ctdownsyndrome.org/ Phone:  888-486-8537
Disability Specific Resources

*Google the name of your child’s specific disability for more information. 
Infoline -  2-1-1- is Connecticut's free information and referral service. Simply by dialing 2-1-1, a toll-free number throughout Connecticut, callers can reach knowledgeable, multilingual staff and get information, referrals or seek help in a crisis.  www.infoline.org/  Phone: 211
Connecting with Other Families
The Connecticut Family Support Network (CTFSN) exists to help families raising children with disabilities and special health care needs.  www.ctfsn.org  phone:  877-376-2329
Parents Opening Doors (Latino Family Supports) Group teaches Hispanic parents how to advocate for special education services for their school-aged children with disabilities.  860-297-4391

AFCAMP-Trains parents of children with disabilities from every school district in Hartford to become advocates within their schools, and assists them with training other parents to become advocates.860-297-4358  http://csfaa.org/resources_support_groups.html

Parent to Parent of CT (PATH)- is a network of families providing informational and emotional support to others who have a child with developmental or health related needs. http://www.pathct.org

Know Your Rights

Americans with Disabilities Act  (ADA) National Network -provides information, guidance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels.) http://adata.org

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) -is a law ensuring educational services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. This website provides useful information about how IDEA ensures that  states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities https://idea.ed.gov

National Disability Rights Network - is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). www.ndrn.org/

Education Advocacy
The "IEP Guide - Page by Page" is an easy to read review of the Individual Education Program (IEP) document, presented to you in a page by page format.  This resource may help one better understand each page of the IEP and prepare for a successful Planning and Placement Team meeting (PPT).
State Department of Education-  IEP Manual and Forms
Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center, Inc. (CPAC) is a statewide nonprofit organization that offers information and support to families of children with any disability or chronic illness, age birth to 26.  http://www.cpacinc.org/  860) 739-3089 V/TDD • Toll Free 1-800-445-2722
Parent’s Guide to Special Education –this document provides information for parents, guardians and other family members about laws, regulations, and policies affecting special education programs and services. https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Special-Education/Parents_Guide_SE.pdf

Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys go to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. - See more at   http://www.wrightslaw.com/

When Your Rights are Violated
Office of Child Advocate -  monitors and evaluates public and private agencies that are charged with the protection of children, and reviews state agency policies and procedures to ensure they protect children's rights and promote their best interest. www.oca.state.ct.us     1-800-994-0939