Advocacy for Special Needs Kids

The state Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) helps facilitate individual education program (IEP) meetings if there is tension, and helps parents find out-of-district special-education programs when appropriate programs aren’t available in their child’s home school district. Find your local SELPA office at


San Francisco/Peninsula

The Community Alliance for Special Education helps families and schools work together to develop IEPs, serves as mediators and offers a free downloadable Special Education Rights and Responsibilities Handbook on its website. 1550 Bryant St., #735, San Francisco. 415-431-2285.


Attorney Susan Foley specializes in helping families navigate federal laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act within school systems. 763 Polhemus Road, #2, San Mateo. 650-345-2300.


The Leigh Law Group represents families of special-needs children and can attend IEP meetings with parents, advise them on decisions related to placement, testing and IEP goals and more. 870 Market St., #1157, San Francisco. 415-399-9155.


East Bay

The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund can advise parents about special-education options and offer resources related to your child’s education and needs. The organization also holds a free IEP clinic once a month for parents who need help strategizing and preparing for an upcoming IEP meeting. 2212 Sixth St., Berkeley. 800-348-4232.


Silicon Valley

The Law Office of Alison Sayar advocates for children with disabilities to gain appropriate educational and medical services. 171 Main Street, #291, Los Altos. 650-248-9975.


Led by a parent of a special-needs adult, Special Education Advocacy and Consulting coordinates services for your child and guides you through school district interactions including IEPs and classroom placement in Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los Altos. 190 Arbuelo Way, Los Altos. 650-935-294.

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