Working collaboratively towards successful outcomes
Type Effective as of December 12, 2013, I’ve been honored to be appointed by the Governor of ME to be a member of the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council. I’m currently active on the R&S Committee and was voted to be on the Executive Committee, for 2 years.
Effective as of December 19, 2014, I’ve been honored to be appointed by the ME DOE to work on the Title 1 Committee of Practitioners, which gives input on Maine’s accountability system developed because of the Every Student Achieves Act (ESSA), formerly No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
I’m dedicated to learning more about special education law, civil rights laws, disability laws, crisis prevention, and positive behavioral alternatives to R&S. I’ve completed the CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Hybrid Training Program, and the Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Training Series and Conference. Often I attend webinars, seminars, and conferences, as well as following current educational rights issues nationally. On 5/16/17, I completed the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT), which is an intensive 2 year-long training that included a practicum at Disability Rights Maine. In addition, in 2018 and 2017, I completed the Dyslexia Training Institute that each included 15 - 1.5 hour webinars.
I’m an active member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and continue my education through a webinar subscription. As a Special Education Advocate, I follow the COPAA Voluntary Code of Ethics for Special Education Advocates to the best of my ability. Please refer to my website http://www.debdavisadvocacy.com/ .
Since beginning my path in early 2013, the cases I’ve worked on have involved:
Reviewing and auditing of educational records (Written Notices, IEPs, Section 504 Plans, evaluations, letters, grades, etc.) to determine issues;
Assisting parents to better understand the Section 504 and special education eligibility process, their role in the process and their procedural safeguards;
Supporting parents to effectively correspond and collaborate with their school;
Answering questions, proposing recommendations, and providing honest feedback;
Preparing a parent concern list before and/or after IEP meetings;
Supporting parents by attending and audio recording school meetings;
Reviewing emergency intervention incident reports;
Assisting in the development of a Positive Behavior Support Plan;
Assisting in the prevention of disciplinary actions;
Assisting in working towards an out-of-district placement;
Research of all applicable information and for appropriate accommodations;
Dedicated to alerting you when you should consider a legal consultation;
Keeping an organized up-to-date notebook of educational records.Type your paragraph here. paragraph here.
Statement of Competency
As of 7/03/18
My experience started off as a parent of a child with developmental disabilities. My son, currently in Middle School, was diagnosed at age 5 with Asperger’s Disorder, ADHD Combined Type, Anxiety Disorder, Reading and Writing Learning Disorders, and Sensory Processing Disorder. I’ve advocated with Children Development Services (CDS) for special purpose pre-school, with my district for a comprehensive IEP and positive behavioral support plan, private occupational and speech therapy, social skills group therapy, and acquired MaineCare Katie Beckett Services, Section 65 and 28 in-home support services.
After my son had a challenging transition from preschool to kindergarten, I began working towards changing local policy and state regulations regarding the use of physical restraint and seclusion (R&S).
In January 2011, I was invited by the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) to join the stakeholder team that was updating the rule governing the use of R&S. After 100’s of hours of researching, meeting, and rule development time, in April 2012, the Governor of ME signed a revised, safer and more comprehensive law, to better protect all students in Maine.
As a stakeholder, I advocated for rules that were clear and organized, to change the name of therapeutic restraint to physical restraint, to add to the definition of physical restraint to include moving a child involuntarily, to add an annual notice to parents regarding the state rules and local policy, and to prohibit all physical restraint positions that restrict the airway. You can learn more about the project here.
Starting in 2013, I collaborated on a Best Practices Guide to Reduce the Use of R&S in Maine schools. Some of it has been released at the MDOE R&S website, “Emergency Prevention and De-escalation Strategies”. I’m continuing this effort to increase parent awareness and to minimize the use of R&S.