JoAnn is the author of 
her first book: Disability 

Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How 

Parents Can Beat Them 

at Their Own Game 

(2007), a popular book 

on special education 

advocacy for parents.​​ Her second book, "Slaying Special Education Dragons" is a roadmap for parents to use as they navigate the special education maze.

JoAnn Collins is the parent of two children with developmental disabilities, Angelina and Shaun. JoAnn has been a special education advocate in Illinois for over 25 years, helping parents successfully navigate the special education system; and successfully advocating at several due process hearings. She is a past employee of Options Center for Independent Living where part of her job was educational advocacy. She has been a disability advocate, fighting for community services for persons with disabilities, for many years. JoAnn also participated in several statewide advisory councils, including the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP Part of the U.S. Department of Education) Advisory Board in the State of Illinois. She continues to answer questions and be a resource for parents as they advocate for an appropriate education for their child.

If you have a question or would like some advice feel free to email me at: I promise to answer!

About JoAnn

​Special Education Dragon Slayer

Praise for JoAnn:

  • "JoAnn Collins did it again! I can't thank her enough!! When I found her first book" Disability Deception", I knew then I wasn't going crazy! The school system can be a very dark and scary place when you have a child with Special Needs. I found this out first hand when I started advocating for my son and literally thought I was going crazy and that this can't be happening to me and my son. Then I found JoAnn Collins! She has a heart as big as the universe for Special Needs children. Her second book "Slaying Special Education Dragons" is just that!"

  • "You can beat the Special Ed system if you are experiencing problems with your school and this book helps you make sure your child receives a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education). JoAnn lays down a map for you to navigate the system without getting lost! She has done all of her research and put it into a friendly format that anyone can understand. She has also included letters to write to the school and different "lies" that they tell you in the letters as well. It's as if JoAnn was really there in person with you, telling you what to do."

  • "If your gut is gnawing at you and something doesn't seem right with your child's education, it is usually 99.9% right and you need to advocate for your child!"

  • "This book is my second Bible, along with her first book! They go to every IEP meeting with me in my briefcase and when I hear a lie coming out of the school district's mouths, I just open her book if I haven't memorized that part yet and read it to them. I highly recommend this book to parents with special needs children! You are not alone with JoAnn Collins!"