Four Steps to Advocate for Services in School

You should always have the accommodations you need in school for you to have a conducive learning environment. At some point, it will take extra effort on your part to get those accommodations. Just because you have a disability, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn just like the other students in school.

Here are four steps to advocate for services in school:

    1. Evaluate what you need vs. what you want. Needed things are what you need to do well in school, if you had such accommodations in place you would do better.

    2. Find a helpful resource at school. You can use a teacher, a classmate, a guidance counselor, a principal, or someone else who gets accommodations. Once you find someone, ask to meet with them so you can learn how to advocate for what you need.

    3. Talk to your teachers. Teachers have the overall authority in the classroom, so it’s important you meet with them to talk about some of the accommodations you need to do better in their class. Because your parents can help you advocate for what you need, try to involve them in your meetings. If your parents’ participation is not possible in the assigned date of the meeting, write a letter explaining it. If after the meeting, your accommodations are still not fulfilled as expected, it’s time to higher up school personnel, like a Principal.

    4. Schedule a follow-up meeting. You may need to talk to your transition staff on several occasions during the school year, just to let them know how things are going for you. At least halfway through the year, you should have a meeting with the transition staff, a teacher and your parents to share with them if something is not working for you, so changes can be made.

Learn more,