Empowering Parents to Be More Effective Advocates for Our Children
• This year we will have the opportunity to meet the new Fairfax County Public Schools Ombudsman, Armando Peri, who will be there to discuss his role in resolving issues between parents and FCPS. (We’re hearing good things!) He is eager to meet us and understand our concerns.
• POAC-NoVa President Susan Edgerton will discuss critical issues for parents to understand in the IEP process. I will also briefly explain what the FCPS Advisory Committee on Students with Disabilities (ACSD) is and how you can access it to help you.
• Rachna Heizer, an attorney, ACSD member, and ARC Board Member will discuss effective advocacy and the new process the Virginia Department of Education has created for earning credits toward a standard diploma. She will also discuss the process Virginia has created for local credit verification, which can even be applied retroactively!
1:1 Sessions with Professionals
This is also a great opportunity to take advantage of professionals’ personalized advice! Register on Eventbrite for sessions with the following:
• Michael Toobin, JD. As the father of a grown son with a disability, Michael has helped many families of disabled children establish legal documents for guardianship, as well as wills and trusts which can help you and set up resources for your children’s needs in the future.
• Juliet Hiznay, JD. Juliet is an educational attorney and advocate, and former POAC-NoVA Board Member, who also has a child with a disability. Juliet has worked all over NoVA to help families resolve issues with their children’s schools from getting placements in residential settings to helping schools and parents communicate more effectively about appropriate academic, social, and emotional goals for disabled children.
• Kathy Adams, Medicaid Case Manager. Kathy is a POAC-NoVA Board member, who has also served as a local parent advisor on the Individual and Family Support Program (IFSP) grant administration, a stakeholder in the Welcoming Inclusion Network (WIN) with the Community Services Board in Fairfax-Falls Church and regularly advocates at the state and local level. She is a case manager for the CCC+ Medicaid waiver program, helping families and individuals with developmental disabilities find resources and services. She can help you understand the waiver eligibility requirements in VA and give you ideas for accessing help if your child is placed on a long wait list!
• Scott Campbell, Autism Awareness and Safety Expert. Scott, who has been living in Northern Virginia with an autistic son since 2002, is POAC-NoVA’s Vice President and has developed an in-depth knowledge of the federal, state and local resources available to all families with individuals with disabilities. He has specific expertise to share with active-duty and retired military families, due to his 31 years of active military service. Also, he has given over 375 presentations on autism awareness and safety issues, so he is uniquely able to answer any questions for families that may have any safety and/or behavioral concerns.
Free childcare is available, but limited. Please register for child care when registering for the event, at least 3 days before the meeting so that we can make the appropriate arrangements and hire enough sitters. The church has a nursery/playroom and playground.