Joann Lebherz
Special Educational Advocate

Parent Consultant for Families in Plymouth, Barnstable, Bristol and Norfolk Counties, Boston to Cape Cod and the Islands.

Coastal Education Advocacy

We will advocate for your child to receive the services they deserve!

We thoroughly research your child's disability and will make recommendations based on information ascertained from a wide range of experts that we work closely with depending on the specific learning, health or mental health disability.

WHY USE AN EDUCATIONAL ADVOCATE?

As your special educational consultant we will advocate for your child from pre-school to high school and transitioning to adulthood. We will thoroughly and carefully review all your child's educational and medical records, which may include Neuropsychological, School Evaluations, Medical Records, Progress Reports and Report Cards. Respecting your vision for your child and mediating with the school on your behalf based on your child's individual special needs.  Your child IS entitled to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.


SERVICES OFFERRED

FOR THE PARENT:

  • REVIEW and organize the student’s documents
  • EXPLAIN what the documents are 
  • ADVISE on the best communication style with school personnel
  • TRANSLATE Special Education terms 
  • EDUCATE on the Special Education process by state guidelines. 
  • ASSIST AND COMPLETE state forms relative to the child's disability. 
  • Assist parents with ascertaining specific educational needs if their child has Autism, Mental Health Disability, Intellectual Deficits, Learning Disabilities, ADHD/ADD, etc. and provide avenues for wrap-around family services. 
  • Children with Health Related Disabilities, such as brain trauma, diabetes, cerebral palsy and other chronic health conditions are assisted in completing a fluid IEP/504 Plan and an IHP (Individual Health Plan)
  • MCAS Tutoring is also offered for ELA testing, as well as SAT tutoring for ELA (English Language Arts)



FOR THE PARENT MEDIATING WITH THE SCHOOL

  • REFERENCE state and federal education laws
  • INTERPRET educational and psychological testing
  • ATTEND Team meetings and advocate for Parent and Student Concerns
  • PROVIDE suggestions for resolving issues and concerns
  • OFFER input on IEP’s , 504’s, behavior and transition plans
  • NEGOTIATE for educational services, 
  • RESEARCH Out of district placements and funding

FOR THE STUDENT:

  • COLLABORATE with professionals such as doctors, psychologists, therapists, family service agencies     and lawyers involved with student’s needs
  • SUPPORT for disciplinary issues, meetings and hearings
  • RESEARCH and review proposed educational services and placements
  • MONITOR the implementation and effectiveness of the IEP
  • ATTEND formal mediations and hearings with BUREAU OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL APPEALS
  • EDUCATE how to advocate on behalf of your child


ABOUT JOANN 


Joann has over twenty years of experience implementing IEP's and 504 Plans. She has three children that were on IEP's and 504 Plans. Joann can assist client's with the laborious state forms that have to be completed. Such as Mass. Health, Developmental Disability Service forms (DDS) and SSI forms.  She has found this service to be very helpful for an overwhelmed parent with extensive forms that need to be completed. 



EDUCATION AND TRAINING


Joann is a trained Parent Consultant certified by The Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) in Boston and is currently a trainer for them in Complex Trauma.She is also Wright's Law trained. She attends special education training sessions at FCSN, NESCA, DDS, Complex Trauma Workshops, and Department of Children and Family Workshops to stay up to date on changing Special Education Laws and new Research. 


She holds a BA in Organizational Development in Education from Temple University . Concentration in educational advocacy/mediation, training, juvenile justice, special education and teaching.  



PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS


  • Joann volunteers her time as a Special Education Surrogate Parent for a child in DCF Custody. This is a position through the Dept. of Education.
  • She is a substitute teacher and tutor 
  • Member of COPAA, PALS and a NAMI Volunteer. 
  • Member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.
  • Mass. Insurance Agent in Health, Life and Accident
  • Refer clients to the appropriate specialists, i.e.: Neuropsychologists, ABA Services, Mental Health therapists, CBT and DBT and other rehabilitation organizations. 

Special Education information

IS YOUR CHILD NOT MAKING EFFECTIVE PROGRESS IN SCHOOL?

Knowledge is key for parents in learning about special education laws and procedures. We provide new clients a information package on Basic Rights in Special Education and Important Resources for their child, based upon disability.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO KNOW!

  • The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is a plan or program developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services. 

THERE ARE FOURTEEN DISABILITIES UNDER IDEA  

  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Developmental delay
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hearing impairment
  • Intellectual disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment, including blindness


  • A Section 504 Plan is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. 



Let an Advocate Guide You....

We can help your child succeed! We are here to LISTEN, LEARN and EMPOWER......We will advocate for your child so that they receive the individualized services needed and required to learn and be happy children. That's what every parent wants...........

We serve the South Shore (Plymouth and Bristol Counties), Cape Cod and the Islands, (Barnstable County).



Contact~~Joann Lebherz, Educational Advocate

774-205-4278/774-205-2926 or ceajoann@gmail.com

Please contact us for a free initial private consultation.

Please be advised we are not attorneys and cannot represent you in court. If you feel that the District has broken an education law we can refer you to a Special Education Attorney that can advise you. 

Coastal Education Advocacy

PO Box 984, EAST SANDWICH, MA 02537 & PO BOX 67 KINGSTON, MA 02364

(774)205-4278 or 774-205-2926~~ceajoann@gmail.com

Hours

Monday - Friday: 8am - 4:30 pm

Saturday: By appointment

Sunday: Closed