Fall or spring semester: 3 credits
The Special Education Advocacy Clinic (SEAC) represents parents and children in disputes with public school districts concerning the special education of students with disabilities. SEAC provides representation to students with a spectrum of disabilities and educational needs, with a strong emphasis on serving students with developmental disabilities and advocating for inclusive educational practices. In this clinic, you will represent clients during Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and in litigation activities, including the preparation of complaints for impartial due process hearings, resolution and mediation sessions, prehearing conference activities, and, when necessary, due process hearings. During these activities, you will develop the skills needed to locate resources and to collaborate with professionals and experts in various educational, medical and allied therapeutic fields. By participating in the clinic you also develop an understanding of the federal and Illinois statutes and regulations that govern special education, as well as the case law and U.S. Department of Education and Illinois State Board of Education publications interpreting those statutes. You will meet at least once a week with the instructor for a case supervision session and to attend IEP meetings or other activities necessary to provide effective representation to clients. You also contribute to various projects related to public policy initiatives undertaken by SEAC and partnering agencies and organizations.