The Special Needs Advocacy Network is at the forefront of advocacy for students with disabilities and their families. Special Needs Advocacy Network works to increase the quality and quantity of representation available to students and their families and to ensure the rights of children with disabilities and their parents/guardians are protected. As an organization committed to civil rights, Special Needs Advocacy Network recognizes the relationship between discrimination and bias against people with disabilities and other forms or systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination based on race, national origin, ethnic and/or religious identity, sex/gender/gender identity/sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
Special Needs Advocacy Network is committed to the full inclusion of persons of diverse backgrounds and identities in Special Needs Advocacy Network‘s leadership and membership and defines inclusivity as the valuing and promotion of the perspectives of those of different backgrounds and identities. Special Needs Advocacy Network defines cultural competency as a set of values, behaviors, attitudes, and practices within a system, organization, program, or among individuals, which enables them to work effectively, cross-culturally. This includes, but is not limited to race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, class, age, ability, religion, and language.
Special Needs Advocacy Network is committed to the development of policies and activities to promote the participation of diverse stakeholders and constituents, and to encourage all members to demonstrate cultural competency and genuine sensitivity in representing and advocating for students and their families. In addition, Special Needs Advocacy Network is committed to considering fully, in all activities and programs, the intersectionality of race, national origin, ethnic, cultural and/or religious identity, sexual/gender identity/ sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, in our efforts to protect and enforce the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families.
In addition, Special Needs Advocacy Network seeks to address issues affecting access to advocacy for students of color and linguistically diverse children and their families in recognition that these students are disproportionately represented in special education. Our organization also seeks to address the need for advocates, attorneys, and empowered self-advocates from diverse communities as leaders and members of Special Needs Advocacy Network to fully address the inherent inequities experienced by students of color and linguistically diverse students.
(Special Needs Advocacy Network would like to thank COPAA for allowing us to use their “Diversity Statement” as the basis for Special Needs Advocacy Network’s policy.)
Gender-Neutral Language Policy
To reflect an advocacy community that recognizes and supports a wide range of gender identities, Special Needs Advocacy Network has adopted the following policies:
Special Needs Advocacy Network has adopted the use of gender-neutral pronouns referring to unspecified community members when referenced in text and official policies.
In Special Needs Advocacy Network text referring to unspecified community members, gender-neutral phrasing they/them/their should be used, rather than him/her, he/she, his/hers, etc.
[It was agreed that Special Needs Advocacy Network will over the next calendar year will work towards adopting this gender-neutral policies inclusive of training of our board and membership, examining software, marketing materials, interactions with the pubic, and our role in workshops/trainings.]
Advocacy Network, Inc.
177 Huntington Ave Ste 1703,
PMB 52476, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Email: [email protected]