advocacy plan

Assignment: Preparing an Advocacy Plan

As a Special Education Leader and advocate in the field, you will be called upon by various entities to advocate for services for students with exceptionalities as well as the delivery of services and resources for students with and without disabilities. Throughout this course, you have engaged in discussions and completed activities and reflections to support your completion of an advocacy plan, specifically a plan for advocacy and leadership in an area of interest that includes issues of diversity and special needs. You have explored important transformational, authentic, and change leadership principles; researched special education problems and issues; practiced applying criteria and activities associated with stages of the policy process; examined effective advocacy planning practices; and analyzed the foundational principles and intent of special education legislation.

The assignment for this module includes preparation activities to support the construction of an advocacy plan, with attention to the critical elements associated with effective leadership, advocacy, policy, and law you have explored in this course. The activities and elements you will conduct and address in this assignment represent an informed, organized approach you can use in your future leadership and advocacy efforts to assure policies and practices reflecting more just educational experiences for individuals with diverse and special needs. For this assignment, you will first develop a “Preparation Guide for Advocacy Plan” paper which highlights the research to support your advocacy plan. Then, you will create an advocacy plan addressing an issue or problem related to the field of special education.

To prepare:

·         Review the “Preparation Guide for the Advocacy Plan Requirements” document in this module’s Learning Resources for the specific requirements and key components of an advocacy plan.

·         Using the “Preparation Guide for the Advocacy Plan Requirements”, identify an existing policy issue or a desired policy issue that will become the focus of your advocacy plan.

·         Review the “Advocacy Plan Requirements” document in this module’s Learning Resources to begin thinking about how you will craft your own plan for this assignment.

Develop a 5- to 8-page paper following the guidelines and prompts from the “Preparation Guide for the Advocacy Plan” document.

Note: The “Preparation Guide for the Advocacy Plan” must be completed before writing the advocacy plan. Information you gather to create this guide will depend on whether you will be advocating for an existing policy issue (Approach 1) or a desired policy issue (Approach 2). Key components you must address in your Preparation Guide for the advocacy plan paper, regardless of which approach you choose, are:

·         Advocacy and Diversity Definitions

·         Problem Selection

·         Policy Issue

·         Research-Policy and Law Principles

·         Conclusion-Leadership

Write a 5- to 8-page advocacy plan using the requirements and problems listed in the advocacy plan documents. Keep in mind, your advocacy plan will be informed by the “Preparation Guide for the Advocacy Plan” paper you completed.

Note: Key components of the advocacy plan include:

·         Section 2.1: Executive Summary

·         Section 2.2: Graphic or Diagram

·         Section 2.3: The Advocacy Plan

o    2.3(a): Problem Statement, Policy Issue, and Solution

o    2.3(b): Stakeholders

o    2.3(c): Problem/Policy Issue Current Status

o    2.3(d): Alliances/Coalitions/Partnerships

o    2.3(e): Goals (S.M.A.R.T.—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely)

o    2.3(f): Tactics and Tools (Messaging)

Refer to the “Advocacy Plan Requirements” document for the specific requirements of the key components of the advocacy plan.

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Fowler, F. C., Hulett, K. E., & Kieff, J. E. (2011). Leadership, advocacy, policy, and law (Laureate Education, custom ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

  • Section III, Epilogue, “Future Implications” (pp. 622–632)

Focus on the current and future issues regarding special education law presented in this epilogue. Do any represent interests that include issues of diversity and special needs that would benefit from an advocacy plan?

  • Chapter 1, “Policy—What It Is and Where It Comes From”(pp. 3–25)
  • Chapter 7, “Setting the Stage and Getting on it: Issue Definition and Agenda Setting” (pp. 169–196)
  • Chapter 14, “Contexts for Advocacy” (pp. 412–430)

Focus on how the contexts for advocacy in early childhood presented in this chapter also apply to the contexts for advocacy in special education. Particularly, focus on the examples of how advocacy leaders work to bring about positive changes within each of the contexts for advocacy.

Mayger, L. K. & Zerkel, P. A. (2014). Principals’ challenges to adverse employment actions: An empirical analysis of the case law. NASSP Bulletin, 98(3), 219–236.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Reviews court rulings involving school principals that were challenged by adverse employment actions of demotion, transfer, suspension, and termination.

Prater, M. A., Redman, A. S., Anderson, D., & Gibb, G. S. (2014). Teaching adolescent students with learning disabilities to self-advocate for accommodations. Intervention in School and Clinic, 49(5), 298–305.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Summarizes observations of four students with learning disabilities who were taught to select and request appropriate accommodations to be implemented in the general education rooms.

Sharman, R. R. (n.d.). An introduction to advocacy: Training guide. Retrieved from:

Whitby, P., Marx, T. McIntire, J., & Wienke, W. (2013). Advocating for students with disabilities at the school level: Tips for special educators. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 45(5), 53–59.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Review advocacy strategies for special education professionals as well as examples of how to respond to potential conflicts that may arise while advocating for a student with a disability.

Document: Advocacy Plan Requirements (PDF)

Document: Preparation Guide for the Advocacy Plan (PDF)

Document: SMART Goals Graphic (PDF)

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