I would love to hear from parents about their current struggles with special education. Feel free to email me at advocate60915@yahoo.com. I can answer questions, help with resources, etc. 

I am currently interested in connecting with parents that have had experience with the RTI process (response to intervention). I recently spoke to a teacher who stated that her school district told teachers that they could not refer a child for a special education evaluation if the child had not gone through all threes parts of the RTI system.  I have talked to parents about this in the past but have never had a teacher confirm that this is the truth. I would like to do a blog post about this issue. Contact me at: advocate60915@yahoo.com. Thank you. JoAnn


Be sure and check out my blog post (on my blog post page). My blog is entitled:  What makes this advocate angry related to special education! 

If your child with a disability had their school closed due to the coronavirus I have an awesome resource for you. The Office of Civil Rights which is part of the U.S. Department of Education has put out a fact sheet about school closures and students with disabilities. 

The link is: http://www2ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/ocr-coronavirus-fact-sheet.pdf?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=in-text-link. 

This fact sheet has a lot of good information for parents and also discusses the possibility of "compensatory services". Compensatory services make up for what services a child lost during the school closing. While it mentions "lost skills" that is not the only reason a child with a disability needs "compensatory services". 

If I can help you in any way please feel free to contact me by E mail: JoAnn@disabilitydeception.com. 


Testimonials for Disability Deception:

"I was surprised to learn of this book whose title openly acknowledges something that I deal with on a continual basis. I have long bemoaned the fact that there is so little information and a lack of published guidelines on how to deal with the lies and fraudulent schemes that I regularly encounter from our school district (which seems to take a zero-tolerance approach towards educating "over-budget" children with disabilities. My son with autism & speech apraxia falls into that category.) I was able to identify with JoAnn Collins' description of initially being shocked when she found out for the first time that she had trustingly believed what turned out to be a blatant lie from a "caring" professional -- depriving her child of needed services. She very openly addresses this pervasive problem, which I (like many parents) have had to discover on my own the hard way. I believe her book should be read by every parent with a child that has a disability affecting his or her education."

"Mrs. Collins acknowledges that there are wonderful (& deeply-appreciated) public educators who have personal and professional integrity to resist taking part in these illegal tactics.  However, she upholds the fact that districts are legally obligated, nonetheless, to provide an appropriate education to all children when they accept special education funding. y times over when children grow up to be dependent on services employment and independence. I am grateful to JoAnn Collins for addressing this topic!"

Welcome to the website of JoAnn Collins

JoAnn Collins is the mother of three adults with disabilities-two who have developmental disabilities. She has been an effective educational advocate helping children and parents for over 25 years. In 2007, her first advocacy book for parents was self-published and named "Disability Deception: Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game. " This book was well-received by parents, who were surprised by learning the many lies they hear related to special education. "Slaying Special Education Dragons" came out in 2014 and is a roadmap to help parents as they navigate the special education maze!

​Special Education Dragon Slayer

Testimonials for  Slaying Special Education Dragons

"I am an advocate and I will be using this book often. Everyone can benefit now from what [JoAnn] has learned in the many years the author has successfully advocated and helped families.
JoAnn Collins has done the hard research for you. This book is filled with straightforward information addressing a broad range of special education issues. "

"It contains concise descriptions of common problems parents face, along with the solid tools to overcome them. It is jam-packed with great resources that parents can use to advocate for an appropriate education for their child.

There is also information on using a special education advocate, such as how to find one and what to look for.
I am grateful the author has shared her knowledge and resources with advocates and parents. We are all in this together!"

For a limited time, check out the special price of "Slaying Special Education Dragons" of $13+shipping on Amazon.

Are you hosting an event for parents or book club and need 10 copies of either book? Please email JoAnn at advocate60915@yahoo.com for a special rate.

Wrightslaw article on Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District


This article specifically states that school districts must "look at a child's unique needs to develop an IEP pursuing academic and functional advancement."

JoAnn's Comment:  I am absolutely thrilled with both of these decisions. Many children with disabilities will be helped by them, but especially the Endrew F. v. Douglas County. Many school districts have extremely low expecations for children with disabilities, and I love the fact that now the U.S. Supreme Court has set a higher standard--it is about time!

I also love the section of the ruling that discusses academic and functional advancement. Early in my daughter Angelina's life I learned from wonderful people that functional skills were important, whether she could learn academics or not.  Many times over the years in my advocacy I have fought for functional skill training for children especially those in their teen years, as they transition to adulthood.

What do you think about this ruling? You can send me your thoughts or questions at JoAnn@disabilitydeception.com. 

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling for Parents

In Endrew F. vs Douglas County School District, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a critical decision that raised the bar for the educational benefits owed to millions of children with disabilities. This ruling rejected a lower court standard from the 10th Circuit court of Appeals. The court ruled unanimously that schools must do more than provide a "merely more than de minimis" education program to a student with a disability.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the opinion for the eight-member court, and he delivered much of it from the bench . . .

"When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing 'merely more than de minimis' progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been
 offered an education at all," Roberts said."For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to 'sitting idly ... awaiting the time when they were old enough to drop out,'"he added, quoting from key 1982 Supreme Court precedent on special education, Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, "The IDEA demands more," the chief justice said. "It requires an educational program reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances."

Higher Standard-----That standard was the one suggested by President Barack Obama's administration, in one of its final arguments before the justices in January. For a child for whom a regular classroom is not "a reasonable prospect," the chief justice said, the educational program must be "appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances." "Of course this describes a general standard, not a formula," Roberts said. "But whatever else can be said about it, this standard is markedly more demanding than the 'merely more than de minimis' test applied by the 10th Circuit."

Education Week article on Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District