What we're about
Regardless of the “isms” you're dealing with within a public agency or publicly funded private program, there's an administrative procedure that protects you. Let us teach you how to advocate intelligently and effectively, simply by following the rules.
KPS4Parents is a child and family advocacy organization, devoted to protecting the educational, employment, and civil rights of individuals with disabilities. We do most of our work in the special education system, but also support families with Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and/or regional center services, and employment assistance and supports through State Departments of Rehabilitation Services.
All of these state and federally funded programs operated at the local level are regulated by state and federal law that call for processes and procedures that are very similar in design. The public sector is fairly “cookie-cutter” when it comes to the procedural safeguards and due process rights that protect its constituents.
While we have historically focused on disability rights since our founding in 2003, we are not really disability rights advocates so much as we are social justice advocates.
The answer is not to go to school board, city hall, or other local government public meetings and carry on like a lunatic. The answer is to gather actual evidence of actual facts and utilize the procedural safeguards that every agency must make available to its constituents to exercise your rights according to the rule of law.
The problem is that nobody teaches people how to do that, unless you go to law school, but most of these procedural safeguards are there for regular people to do themselves without having to hire a lawyer.
KPS4Parents has created this Meetup group to help share what we have learned doing the work that we do in special education and other disability-related lay advocacy with others who are interested in learning how to effectively advocate for themselves, their family members, and members of their local communities who need them as allies, according to the applicable rules and regulations.
This includes complaints to or about local public agencies and private programs that receive public funds as grants or contract fees, regardless of the nature of the agency or program. When public funds are committed to specific agencies and programs, there are rules connected to that money through various regulations.
Agencies and programs can lose their funding for failing to comply with those rules. All of these programs come with procedures that regular, everyday people can use to enforce the rules and their rights, including complaint procedures that can trigger investigations by state or federal regulators, as well as initiate informal administrative hearings and/or dispute resolution options, such as mediation.
If you are interested in learning more about how regular, everyday people can participate in serious social justice work using evidence-based practices according to the rule of law, we would love to share what we have learned over the last 19 years since we first opened our doors to families of children with special needs.
These events are led by our CEO, Anne Zachry, who has been a lay advocate since 1991 and a special education paralegal since 2005, plus she completed her master's degree in educational psychology in 2013. Ms. Zachry has worked as paralegal for attorneys in matters ranging from informal administrative hearings to State and federal District Court proceedings to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has designed and implemented compensatory education services to restore lost instruction to students who have been deprived of appropriate educational benefits by their local education agencies. She has designed and creates content for an evidence-based food security and sustainable living curriculum.
Join Ms. Zachry in our bi-weekly Meetups via Zoom to talk about how we can all collaborate to help marginalized populations unite at the grassroots level to participate responsibly in our democracy according to its legal design. All we have to do is follow the rules, but first we all need to learn how to do it so that we're all participating in democracy together.
Let us use our field experience to educate you on the best practices that we've refined over the last 19 years successfully advocating for children and adults with special needs within public agencies and publicly funded private programs. Join our group and participate in our Meetup events every other week. We look forward to seeing you.