Special Education Volunteer Advocates (SEVA)
Increasing the number of underserved families who can be provided with in-person support
Enhancing the capacity of SPAN Resource Parents to support families preparing for and at IEP meetings and building the knowledge and skills of families and youth to advocate on their own behalf to secure effective inclusion and transition to adult life
Enhancing the capacity of SPAN Resource Parents to support families preparing for and at IEP meetings and building the knowledge and skills of families and youth to advocate on their own behalf.
SEVA helps by:
- Enhancing the capacity of SPAN Resource Parents to serve as volunteer support for families in preparing for IEP meetings
- Increasing the number of under-served families who can be provided with in-person support
The SEVA Project is designed to provide support to families to increase and improve their advocacy skills for their child/youth with a disability. SEVAs serve as Peer Mentors and provide support to families at IEP meetings. SEVAs offer communication skills that may be helpful to parents as they develop and maintain partnerships with their child’s school.
The project serves children with IEPs and families seeking inclusion and placement in the least restrictive environment.
The SEVA does not support families who are currently working with an attorney/education advocate or in mediation and due process.
With the support of trained parent volunteers at IEP and related meetings:
- Parents can communicate more effectively with Child Study Team members because they have learned more effective communication strategies (skill development), they are more knowledgeable about special education rights and processes and research related to the positive impact of inclusive education and effective transition to adult life services (increase in knowledge), and their self-confidence and self-efficacy has been increased (capacity-building).
- Parents and Child Study Team members learn strategies to “create agreement” and avoid or resolve conflict related to the IEP/special education services.
Resources & Materials
SPAN Resource Parent Comprehensive Training Series | SPAN Training for Resource Parents
SEVA Volunteer Advocate Outreach Flyer (English & Spanish) | SEVA Volunteer Advocate Outreach Flyer
SEVA (Special Education Volunteer Advocates) Logic Model | The Logic Model for the SEVA Project