Joann Lebherz
Special Educational Advocate

Educational Advocate representing Children and their Families in Plymouth, Barnstable, Bristol and Norfolk Counties, from Boston to Cape Cod and the Islands.

Coastal Education Advocacy

We will advocate for your child to receive the services they need and deserve to succeed in school.

We thoroughly research your child's disability and will make recommendations, mediate and negotiate on their behalf based on information ascertained from a wide range of experts that we partner with depending on the specific learning, cognitive deficit, health or mental health disability or disciplinary issue. We will fight for your child's special educational rights using Massachusetts and Federal Laws as guidelines. 

Hello

6 Reasons to Hire a Special Educational Advocate


  • Someone who knows the IEP process better than you, including how to do a thorough record review.
  • A good advocate has connections and knowledge about programs and services in your area that you may not know about.
  • Good advocates will steer you away from Due Process but know their limits. And they’ll know when you have no other choices and will connect you with attorneys.
  • Someone to act as a barrier,  be the proverbial “bad guy” allowing parents to remain more neutral in confrontations.
  • A note taker, bounce around ideas, another set of eyes and ears.
  • Temper the meeting-some staff are more professional with others around. 


I hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.

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WHY USE AN EDUCATIONAL ADVOCATE?

As your special educational advocate we will champion 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.


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SERVICES OFFERRED

SERVICES PROVIDED FOR THE PARENT:

  • REVIEW, EXPLAIN and organize student’s documents
  • ADVISE on the best communication style with school districts and  PROVIDE suggestions for resolving issues and concerns
  • TRANSLATE Special Education terms 
  • EDUCATE  in Special Education process and laws by state and federal guidelines. 
  • ASSIST AND COMPLETE state forms relative to the child's disability. 
  • RESEARCH specific educational needs of the child diagnosed with Autism, Mental Health Disability, Intellectual Deficits, Learning Disabilities, ADHD/ADD, etc. and provide referrals for wrap-around family services. 
  • PROVIDE children with Complex Health Needs  such as brain trauma, diabetes, cerebral palsy, arthritis and other chronic health conditions a comprehensive IEP/504 Plan with an IHP (Individual Health Plan).
  • INTERPRET educational and psychological testing
  • ATTEND Team meetings and advocate for Parent and Student Concerns.
  • Recommend and negotiate for special education services on IEP’s , 504’s, behavior and transition plans
  • RESEARCH Out of district placements and funding and mediate with the school district with the appropriate placement determined by the advocate and parent. 
  • IEP can be reviewed only and a PARENT CONCERN AND AGENDA be composed so that the parent can represent themselves at a School District Meeting. 
  • ATTEND formal mediations and hearings with BUREAU OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL APPEALS


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, suspension meetings and hearings
  • RESEARCH and review proposed educational services and placements soley based on the student's profile
  • MONITOR the implementation and effectiveness of the IEP through data collection requested and IEP progress reports
  • PROVIDE a transition plan and supports for after graduation from High School. 



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. Joann has a strong referral network of specialists, i.e.: Neuropsychologists, ABA Services, Mental Health therapists, pediatricians, CBT , DBT and other rehabilitation organizations. Joann partners with Mass. General Hospital Partners Healthcare, Childrens Hospital, Therapists, Social Workers, ARC's, Community Mental Health Centers, JRI. 



EDUCATION AND TRAINING


Joann is a trained Parent Consultant certified by The Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) in Boston and is currently one of their workshop trainers. 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 pediatric 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.  Currently in the Masters Program at SNHU in Special Education. 



PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS


  • Joann volunteers her time as a Special Education Surrogate Parent for children in DCF Custody. This is a position through the Dept. of Education.
  • She is a substitute teacher and tutor 
  • Member of COPAA, PALS and CTE Ambassador 
  • Member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.


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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 an 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...........

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Accepts Mastercard, Visa, 

American Express and Discover. Paypal, Venmo and Cashapp. 



Contact~~Joann Lebherz, Educational Advocate

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

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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 violated an educational  law we will refer you to a Special Education Attorney that can advise you. 

Joann Lebherz-Special Educational Advocate

PO Box 984, EAST SANDWICH, MA 02537

Cell- 774-205-4278 or Office-774-205-2926~~ceajoann@gmail.com Fax-267-224-4453

Hours

Monday - Friday  8am - 4:00pm


Saturday & Sunday: Closed