Wierd title, I know, but a nice program noonetheless. – If you want a short version, its the still-difficult-to-remember “PSLP”.

What is it? It Is a program that was founded by the Georgia Advocacy Office (www.thegao.org), the protection and advocacy system that protects the rights of persons with disabilities in the state of Georgia. The PSLP Is a part of the GAO’s commitment to helping all children in Georgia to have the benefit of knowledgeable and effective advocates.

The program is for 12 weeks (35 hours) and is for

  • People with disabilities or people with family members who have disabilities
  • Citizens who receive no financial support from a school district or State Board of Education
  • Persons of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds
  • People with the passion and time to lend to advocating for others

And its objectives are

  • To assist and enable concerned citizens to master information and negotiate systems in order to help secure the educational opportunities that are a civil right and legal mandate for students with disabilities
  • To provide trainees with the best information on the complex issues surrounding Georgia’s educational system to raise competency levels of people advocating on behalf of students with disabilities
  • To present professional speakers who educate trainees and give the project a hands-on, in-depth view
  • To develop long-standing relationships between concerned citizens and parents
  • To understand how valued social roles lead to a full life

I am happy to say that I have applied to for this (it is by invitation and application only) and was accepted!

Basically, I will be learning about Special Education within the school system; including the law as it relates to this matter. I will be able to help families who are going through the “maze” of all this and be their child’s advocate as they work with a school system to make sure they get the services they need and are entitled to.

Normally this would be Jen’s area, but I’m excited to be doing this. One of the things I hope to gain from this is how we, as Lutherans, can better equip our schools, teachers, and administrators to set up ministry and learning opportunities for those with Special Needs. — That has been lacking in our schools for far too long!

“Graduation” is December 10. I’ll let you know how everything goes.

Author: Scott Heitshusen

Lutheran (LC-MS) pastor in Sealy, Texas. Amazing wife, Jennifer, since 1991. Two sons, Daniel (b.1999) and Ben (b.2001). Ben has Down syndrome. Wonderful daughter-in-law, Rachel, since 2020. Jesus. Family. Others. Passionate about abolishing sex trafficking.

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