A Non-Profit Company

Bradford Education Project

Making Advocacy Accessible For All

About

What is Bradford Education Project?

The Bradford Education Project is a 501c3 Non Profit Organization. Our mission is to provide quality educational advocacy and support for the most vulnerable students – children with disabilities, children in poverty, experiencing homelessness, requiring foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, and English language learners.  We seek to provide expert educational advocacy for all children.  We provide access through free and low cost advocacy services for middle and low income families. 

Educational Advocates often speak on behalf of children and families in crisis. The job is tough, and includes investigating cases thoroughly, reviewing records and academic progress, observing children in social settings, reporting findings, and counseling the child and the family.

What do we do?

Bradford Education Project’s Educational Advocacy assists parents with understanding and participating in the special education process. The following items will give you an idea of how Bradford may be able to assist your family. You may choose to have a special education advocate work in an advisory role for you behind the scenes, or you may choose to have the advocate be much more involved in obtaining, maintaining, and monitoring your child’s special education services.

Who do we help?

Bradford Educational Project and their Special Education Advocates assist families of children with any learning concerns. Some students have needs that are already identified, whereas other parents will seek advocacy support in helping them identify issues that may be affecting their child’s learning.

Common examples

Where Bradford Expertise Makes a Difference

How do I get started?

Since each student is unique, the process will be unique as well. Generally, you will first be asked to fill out an Intake Form, giving relevant background details on your child and family.

How can you help my family?

Guidelines for Choosing an Advocate

Why work with an Educational Advocate?

Working with your school district to ensure your child is receiving an appropriate education can be challenging. Often parents feel they are not equal members of their children’s educational team, and that decisions are not always made with their child’s unique needs in mind. Add the complexities of special education laws, with timelines and procedures that are unfamiliar to most parents, and it can quickly become overwhelming for many families. It is then that parents often look for the assistance of an advocate.

The Role of an Educational Advocate

As a parent, you care deeply how your child learns and grows, and about being an equal partner on the team that develops and oversees or carries out your child’s IEP. A good advocate wants to help you assume a primary role in your child’s education. He or she won’t make your decisions for you but will help you be informed and assist you in considering options and alternatives. A good advocate will empower you.

Answer your questions and simplify the education maze to move toward a better, more appropriate education for your child.

Examine test results and school records to determine whether further assessment is necessary.

Suggest possible educational and/or clinical areas to investigate based on the unique needs of your child.

Provide referrals to proven professionals such as physicians, evaluators, educational consultants, speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists.

Prepare documentation to support the program your child needs.

Assist in the process from evaluation through eligibility and IEP development.

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Suggest accommodations to add to your child’s IEP to further support learning. Monitor progress and request program modifications, as needed.

Investigate and explore alternative educational placements for your child.

Support parents through mediation and other avenues of dispute resolution.

Suggest possible educational and/or clinical areas to investigate based on the unique needs of your child.

Teach parents how to advocate effectively for their child.

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Most advocates also consider their role to include fostering a positive and collaborative relationship with schools and school districts to the maximum extent possible, while still holding them accountable to the federal and state laws that are in place to protect your child. Advocates work hard to maintain a professional, respectful, and collaborative meeting atmosphere that encourages the entire team to stay focused on your child’s educational needs. At times, this is their most challenging—and most important—role.

Examples of Advocacy

  • Solution

“My daughter has problems with memory, attention, and concentration. Her teachers have been helpful because they send me emails each week letting me know what assignments have been missed. However, she is still struggling. I think she needs accommodations in the classroom such as copies of her homework assignments from the teacher. Her grades are now declining to D’s. I need help.”

  • Solution

 “My son just got suspended from school. He bullies the younger children. Recently, he sent an email, which was threatening to another student. I do not blame the school for acting. Jake is getting more and more angry each day. I do not know what his rights are in our public school. Perhaps he needs to attend a private school. I need help.”

  • Solution

 “My granddaughter has tics. She has been diagnosed with Tourette’s Disorder. I am afraid of her getting labeled if I let the school know she has a neurological disorder. Her stress is increasing and there is an increase in her repetitive behaviors. She cannot stop shoulder shrugging and eye blinking. Everyone is noticing these behaviors now. I do not know where to go from here.”

  • Solution

 “My wife and I are concerned about our son. He is in the third grade and can’t read quickly. He can read words but is so slow. As a result, my son cannot complete a test when timed. He is so anxious now. He knows he has a problem. I wonder if he would benefit from additional time when taking a test? I’m not sure how to bring this up to the teachers.”

  • Solution

 “My granddaughter struggles with attention and concentration. She has trouble remembering to turn her assignments in and studying for her tests on time. We need to help her, and it is the end of the school year. What can we do now? How can we help here next fall, so she succeeds?”

Board Members

Victoria Crisp

President, Executive Director

For 20 years Victoria’s personal and professional resume is filled with factual bullets of helping children succeed. Whether in a specific special education setting, a private charter school or a traditional public school system, Victoria has “been there & done that”. Victoria understands families, she empathizes with grace and gets results. Victoria is a change agent. She fights for the children she represents and is determined to get what they deserve. Parents have called her a “life changer”.

Victoria’s strengths: counseling skills, being able to cope with distressing situations, problem solving, a caring personality (empathetic), excellent people skills, planning, and decision-making.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) are just a few of the medical diagnoses of kids that Victoria’s has represented.

Victoria lives just North of Boston, MA in Salem, MA. To reach Victoria for a consult, ask a question or get some advice please call or email her at vcrisp@bradfordeducationproject.com

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Amy Emanuel

Vice President

Amy is the Vice President and co founder of the Bradford Education Project. She graduated from Bradford College in 1998 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in American Studies.  She had a thrilling career in the music industry from 1998-2004. Amy also has a passion for cooking and baking, she attended the Culinary Institute Alain and Marie LeNotre to study pastry 04-05. She then worked as a pastry chef until 2008.  Amy is a dedicated wife and mother to two amazing young women. She is a global citizen and philanthropist. She is dedicated to making the world a better place! She is tirelessly involved in volunteering and leading several fundraisers for schools and The Emergency Food Network in Cville. Her philanthropy and guidance of the Always AM fund supports the UVA School of Education, the Soulsville Charter School/ Stax Music Academy, and the Bradford Education Project. 

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David Zimmer

Secretary

David has over 10 years experiencing working in private special education schools in Massachusetts, and more than 15 years serving young people and families.  David currently serves as the Admissions Director and Public School Liaison at the Manville School in Boston, having previously worked at the Walker Beacon School (where he served as Assistant Principal and Principal), Chelsea High School, and the COMPASS School.  David brings extensive experience in special education and leading teams of teachers and clinicians to educate and support students with significant social/emotional, behavioral and learning needs.  David believes in the vision and mission of The Bradford Project, and the leadership of Victoria Crisp!

 

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Lillian Wong

Board Member

Lillian Wong is a partner at Wong & Boscarine LLC, located in Topsfield and Cambridge. For over a decade, her practice has focused exclusively on advocating for the educational and civil rights of students throughout Massachusetts. Attorney Wong has been a featured speaker at various conferences and her advice has been published in Autism Asperger’s Digest and ADDitude magazine. For the past six years, she has been named a Super Lawyer Rising Star for her work in school and education law. Ms. Wong is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of California School of Law at Los Angeles.

 

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