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.

Upcoming events (4)

Human Development & Advocacy

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The presentation portion of this event will include a discussion of the various theories of human development from the psychological and sociological sciences, and relate these concepts to how individuals can successfully advocate for themselves and/or their loved ones when accessing and utilizing publicly funded benefits.

Whether it's disability services/supports, food and/or housing benefits for individuals with low incomes, victims' services, or any other publicly funded program meant to benefit the public, there are similar processes and procedures among them all.

Understanding human development in general makes it easier to work with the humans employed within the system and get services/supports appropriate to the needs of the humans who need them in each situation.

Learn how to use the sciences of psychology and sociology to work well with others in a way that respects everyone involved, navigates you through the bureaucracy of publicly funded programs, and increases your likelihood of successfully advocating for appropriate program benefits.

Publicly funded programs only work if everyone abides by the rules, which requires knowing what they are and how to successfully follow them so that real problems actually get solved. Sometimes, that can feel like herding cats, but it's achievable.

Success takes collaboration, not conflict, and an understanding of how the human beings involved in the process function as individuals, and how that impacts how they function as a part of the system, is necessary for successful collaborations.

Join this event to learn how to use what is known about human development to make you a more effective communicator and advocate for publicly funded program beneficiaries, whether it's for yourself or someone else important in your life.

The Basics of Advocacy

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Advocating for publicly funded program benefits follows the same basic process, regardless of the public program you're attempting to access.

This brief online event takes you through the basic processes one must follow when accessing any type of publicly funded program.

While the content of this instructional event is specific to advocacy within publicly funded programs, many of the same approaches apply to advocating for appropriate outcomes in other situations, too.

Get a sense of the basic mechanisms of social benefit programs and how to navigate them as a program beneficiary and/or on behalf of other program beneficiaries.

The Basics of Written Requests

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Publicly funded program benefits are document-driven processes, and written requests are basic advocacy tools.

In this brief online event, we go through the basics of preparing written requests, making sure they are received, and following through on them to make sure the involved publicly funded agencies respond appropriately to them.

Even as written communications become increasingly digital, it's still important to maintain a "paper trail" of evidence on the record that accounts for your efforts to advocate for appropriate program outcomes.

Learn how to keep track of your communications with publicly funded programs as you advocate for yourself and/or others.

The Basics of Formal Complaints

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Sometimes, despite your best efforts to work with others, a formal complaint against a publicly funded program becomes necessary in order to successfully advocate for appropriate program outcomes.

Even the best-intended case workers can overcome poor decision-making at the top of their organizations. Very often, the only way to effect changes with problems happening within the upper management or governing board of a publicly funded program is by filing a formal complaint of some kind.

Complaints don't automatically mean that someone within an agency is doing anything deliberately harmful. Complaints often just mean that things aren't working the way they're supposed to and extra help is needed to solve the problem, even if everyone is trying really hard to figure out what to do and nobody is trying to be difficult.

Filing a formal complaint is a legally protected activity within publicly funded programs, and there are different types of complaints used for different types of problems. Get the basics of formal complaints at this event to better inform your decisions as you navigate publicly funded programs on behalf of yourself and/or others.