Parent Advocacy, the Professionals' Role—From a Parent's Perspective One might ask, what is advocacy? How do parents learn how to advocate for their child's needs? If a parent doesn't advocate for her child's needs, who will? Can advocacy skills be taught? If so, how do you teach someone to become an advocate? What are some of the ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2008
Parent Advocacy, the Professionals' Role—From a Parent's Perspective
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nan Ellen D. East
    Disability Rights Center, Little Rock, AR
  • Nannette Nicholson
    University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Arkansas Children's Hospital
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2008
Parent Advocacy, the Professionals' Role—From a Parent's Perspective
SIG 9 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, October 2008, Vol. 18, 63-68. doi:10.1044/hhdc18.2.63
SIG 9 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood, October 2008, Vol. 18, 63-68. doi:10.1044/hhdc18.2.63
One might ask, what is advocacy? How do parents learn how to advocate for their child's needs? If a parent doesn't advocate for her child's needs, who will? Can advocacy skills be taught? If so, how do you teach someone to become an advocate? What are some of the tools that are useful when advocating? As a parent, where do you start? As a professional, how do you guide the parent and lead them to fulfill their role as an advocate? Let's step back for a moment and consider some possible answers to these questions.
What is advocacy? Bartleby's American Heritage Dictionary defines advocacy as “the act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea or policy; active support” (2008). Therefore, the parent advocate can be defined as a parent who argues in favor of technology, intervention services, and educational accommodations that they believe best meet the unique needs of their individual child. Can advocacy skills be taught? The best answer to this question is one that comes from the voice of experience. Nan Ellen East, parent of a 40-year-old son with hearing loss and executive director of the Arkansas Disability Rights Center shares her perspectives on parent advocacy.
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