The Education Advocacy Committee is one of two committees under the Advocacy and Partnership Committee, which works to enhance Howard County communities and make them more inclusive of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families. The committee works to protect the rights of, and secure resources and services for, people with autism and their families through strategic partnerships and advocacy efforts. The Education Advocacy Committee focuses its work on areas of ongoing interest with regard to the Howard County Public School System.
The Education Advocacy Committee is currently chaired by former HCAS president Roger Thibaudeau and includes parents whose children receive special education services. Given that most families initially connect with HCAS around education issues, this particular committee is visible, important, and committed.
Throughout the 22-year history of HCAS, the Education Advocacy Committee has directly impacted the development of several early intervention programs in our school system, as well as more intensive 1:1 instruction, and inclusive opportunities. Members serve on numerous HCPSS workgroups devoted to improving services for students with autism and related disabilities, including the Middle School Autism Workgroup, Restraint and Seclusion Workgroup, Project SEARCH Steering Committee, and the Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities, to name few.
The Education Advocacy Committee meets several times a year with the leaders of the department of special education in an effort to stay informed of DSESS initiatives and to bring issues of concern and opportunities for collaboration forward.
HCAS strongly advises parents to be “in” the conversation in order to affect the conversation. People who are interested in advocating for systemic change on behalf of their children, and in support of all children with autism, are encouraged to join the committee. If your personal journey has benefitted from others along the way, and you wish to give back, this is an excellent way to do it! Share your knowledge with families who need it, strengthen your advocacy skills and others’, and join us in our ongoing efforts to strengthen special education services in Howard County.
The committee meets monthly (teleconferencing is available). If you are interested in participating, or would like more information, please email Roger Thibaudeau at email@example.com.