The Special Education Advocate meets with the parents of students with disabilities to assist them with navigating through the school system to determine an appropriate education which meets their child’s needs. The Advocate will provide assistance and education with the Individualized Education Plan, (IEP) or 504 Plan, and develops a TRI Independent Living Plan to help the parents become self-advocates so their child will stay in school and reach their educational goals.

The Special Education Rights Workshop that is offered contains the following content: parents and students rights, the school district’s responsibilities, how to receive services for a child, the Committee on Special Education (CSE) process, eligibility for special education services, and what actions to take if you disagree.  This workshop is offered weekly during the school year and they are scheduled at libraries throughout Dutchess County.

Other workshops such as, Common Core, Individualized Education Plans, Understanding Evaluation Testing, and Transitioning to Adult Services are periodically offered.

This program is funded by Adult Career Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities – Family Support Service (OPWDD-FSS) and New York State Office of Children and Family Services (NYS OCFS) Dutchess County Division of Youth Services, as a result of these generous grants this service is free to the consumers we serve.

For more information or to register for a workshop, please contact:

Karen Lynch
Special Education Advocate
(845) 452-3913, Ext.112 


New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (Parts 200 and 201)