Loud Voices Together Educational Advocacy Group

  "Empowering People through Preparation and Persistence" 


MISSION


To empower, inspire, and engage student's with disabilities to live their best life in local and extended communities.


VISION

At Loud Voices Together, we are empowering people through preparation and persistence while encouraging students with disabilities, their families, and community partners to become inspired and engaged while traveling the Special education journey.

Loud Voices Together accomplishes the organization's mission by providing (1) creating and facilitating T.I.P.S. (Tangible Information Parents Seek™) presentation to engage and inform parents of students with disabilities about their student’s special education rights, role-play an actual Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting, and remedies when things are not amenable between families and the school district (2) establishing the Harriet Tubman Scholars tutoring program to address the academic struggles of students with disabilities and (3) community outreach through the Harriet Tubman Helping Hands which addresses the need for parents to have proper attire when attending IEP meetings at schools, addressing short-term and long-term financial needs and planning, providing a monthly support group to parents and caregivers, and by offering assistance with life’s basic necessities of food, clothing, and access to community resources.


                      CORE VALUES 

We are a non-disability specific organization that celebrates, respects, and appreciates the differences that we share with respect to people, cultures, regions, religions, and political views.


We further believe, that we should lead by example, strive to provide exemplary service, remain knowledgeable, maintain integrity and respect for all, while acting socially and fiscally responsible to our internal and external stakeholders.


  About the Advocate

Ronnetta Stanley is indicative of the strength, resolve, patience, and passion that a special education advocate must possess. Her journey with special education is deeply personal. Unknowingly, it began when her son displayed unexpected differences. Her weakest days proved to be the greatest source of strength. Using her FAITH as the compass, she began to receive the knowledge needed to make a difference in her son’s life.


Ronnetta made the choice to take life’s lemons and make lemonade, creating Loud Voices Together Educational Advocacy Group, Inc. As a non-attorney special education advocate, Ronnetta has fostered a network of invaluable resources to assist children who are differently-abled, and their families with a myriad of possible resolutions.


Over the past 19 years, Ronnetta’s extensive experience, as an advocate, has earned her the respect of many throughout the State of Maryland. She is a trained paralegal and skilled mediator in negotiating the rights of parents and students in the development of an appropriate IEP and educational placement.


She has completed extensive advocacy training through the William & Mary Institute of Special Education Advocates (ISEA), under Peter and Pam Wright, and with the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPPA) Special Education Advocates Training (SEAT) program.


Ronnetta is the recipient of the 2016 Legislative District 26 "Unsung Hero" for her advocacy efforts.


She is a member of COPAA’s diversity and advocates committees and various local and state advocacy organizations.

 

What is Special Education?


Special education is a service, not a place.  Special education provides specialized educational instruction to meet the individual needs of the student.


The difference between an IEP and 504 plan.


An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a legal document that documents a student with a disabilities academic strengths, needs, related services, goals and objectives, and accommodations necessary to receive specialized instruction.  Students must be found eligible for special education services after being assessed in all suspected areas of disability.


Parents should receive a progress report on IEP goals and objectives around the same time the students receives a report card.  Parents can request an IEP meeting at anytime, but should have at least one IEP annually to review the student's progress.


Section 504 is a Civil Right and is a a part of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This plan provides equal access to students. Secondly, Section 504 provides accommodations and modifications to students that substantially limits a major life activity.