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When Do You Need an Advocate?

You may want to seek out an education advocate in the following situations:

  • A student’s educational rights are being denied (IDEA, due process, Child Find, Michigan School Code, McKinney-Vento, civil rights).
  • A student is being denied an education or is facing suspension or expulsion.
  • A student’s safety is at risk.
  • A family finds the school system to be unresponsive or unjust in the above situations.

Resources for Free Education Advocates

Please note that student advocates are in VERY short supply around the state.

Student Advocacy Center of Michigan
Find more details here.

The Michigan Alliance for Families    
(734) 994-8100 Ext. 1590
MAF is a statewide information center that can provide parents of students with disabilities the information they need to advocate for their own children and connect parents with advocates in their own community. This is always a great place to start.

The Arc Michigan
(517) 487-5426 or (800) 292-7851
Find local chapters here.
The Arc provides advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service
Marquette Office-1-866-928-5910, Lansing Office-1-800-288-5923
MPAS provides education, advocacy and legal assistance for individuals with a disability.

University of Michigan Law School Pediatric Advocacy Clinic
(734) 763-1942
The Pediatric Advocacy Clinic (PAC) is a medical-legal partnership that practices at both the federal and state level in courts, administrative agencies, and local school districts. Casework includes domestic violence and family law, special education, public benefits, and low-income housing.

Other Resources

Mediation is available throughout the state for free for special education disputes. A trained mediator can help improve communication, avoid conflict, ensure everyone’s voice is heard and establish productive relationships. Great for families with longstanding challenges with districts — or anytime things seem “stuck.” For more information, call 1-800-8RESOLVE or see www.cenmi.org/msemp.

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View our sample letters to help you craft letters to your child's school. View our Create-A-Letter Page »

Our Programs

Photo of student writing on a whiteboard.

We have a variety of programs to help students, including: Education Advocacy, Check and Connect, and more. View our Programs »