Registration for Fall 2017 Volunteer Advocacy Project now open

By: Elizabeth Turner

Registration to participate in the Fall 2017 cohort of the Volunteer Advocacy Project is now open through July 15.

The Volunteer Advocacy Project (VAP) trains interested individuals to advocate for families as they navigate their way through the special education process. Realizing the challenges parents face in advocating for their children with disabilities, VAP trains interested individuals to become special education advocates so they can provide instrumental and effective support to families of children with disabilities in Tennessee. Since its inception in fall of 2008, thee VAP has trained more than 300 advocates across the state.

The training will take place on Monday evenings from 5:00 –8:00 p.m. CST (6:00-9:00 p.m. EST) beginning on Aug. 21 through Nov. 6 at various locations across the state. The training will run for 12 weeks, earning participants a total of 40 hours' training. Participants will discuss in detail the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Tennessee state law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Following graduation from the VAP program, each participant commits to working, at no cost, with four families of children with disabilities.

The VAP has multiple sites across the state of Tennessee. The main site is at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville. From the Nashville site, the training is video-conferenced to other areas. In the past, the training has been video-conferenced to: Memphis, Martin, Mountain City, Jackson, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Crossville, Johnson City, and Knoxville. For each region of the state, various agencies work with the volunteer advocates.

In order to participate in the training as a distance site, at least three participants per location must sign up. This promotes the development support networks throughout the state, in addition to training individuals.

Cost for materials is $50. Click here to register for VAP Fall 2017. The deadline to apply and pay is July 15.

For more information about the training or registration, visit the VAP website or contact Kelli Sanderson at or Ellen Casale at

Last Updated: 5/10/2017 1:40:14 PM

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