The Special Education Advocate at Taconic Resources for Independence, Inc. (TRI) meets with the parents of students with disabilities to assist them with navigating through the school system. Their goal is to determine an appropriate education which meets the child’s needs. The Advocate provides 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.

TRI offers a Special Education Rights Workshop which 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 scheduled at libraries throughout Dutchess County.

Other workshops we periodically offer are: Common Core, Individualized Education Plans, Understanding Evaluation Testing, and Transitioning to Adult Services.

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


Jennifer O’Neill
Special Education Advocate

(845) 452.3913 Ext. 117



ACCES-VR Adult Career & Continuing Education Services- Vocational Rehabilitation Counties Serving Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster:

Dutchess County Deputy Commissioner of Special Needs:

Helping our Children Guide:

How Students with Disabilities Can Prepare for College

IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act:

Learning Disabilities Online – Educators guide to learning disabilities/ADHD:

Learning Ally

National Center on Secondary Education & Transition (NCSET)

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN)

New York State Education Department – Special Education:

New York State Education Department – Special Education Law:

New York State Special Education Publications:

New York State Special Education Task Force:

New York State Education Department – Special Education Approved Hudson Valley Private Schools:

New York State Office of Children and Family Services

New York State Office of Mental Health:

NYD Part 200-201 NYS Regulations:

PACER Center

Parent to Parent of New York State

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

Special Needs Education Colleges in New York

Understood (For Learning and Attention Issues:

US Department of Special Education