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
SEVA helps by:
- Enhancing the capacity of SPAN Resource Parents to serve as volunteer supports for families in preparing for and at IEP meetings focused on inclusion and effective transition to adult life
- Increasing the number of under-served families who can be provided with in-person support
- Building the knowledge and skills of families and youth, particularly those facing the greatest challenges, to advocate on their own behalf to secure effective inclusion and transition to adult life
SEVA will provide a means for systemic change by enhancing supports available to families seeking quality inclusion and effective transition services so children with disabilities can become more independent, productive, contributing, and included members of their community.
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.
- Develop a curriculum, handouts, and activities with stakeholder input and feedback
- Recruit and train at least 2 classes of diverse parent volunteers in the first year and three classes each subsequent year
- Develop and use a marketing plan in multiple languages to inform families of services
- Develop and use protocols to assign trained volunteers to families
- Support volunteers as they support families
- Work with evaluator to measure processes and outcomes
- Develop a sustainability plan
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