Education Advocacy

Our trained education advocates support students with disabilities and their parents by helping them navigate the complex special education system. We provide information and guidance to ensure students with disabilities have access to the supports and services they need to be successful in school.  

All students are entitled to a free and appropriate education. Our education advocates can work with you to: 

  • request special education testing and make sure your child receives appropriate and timely evaluations 
  • understand your rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Link to both Acts?) 
  • review Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and 504 Plans 
  • attend meetings and hearings such as Committee on Special Education meetings, parent-teacher conferences, disciplinary hearings, manifestation hearings, and other informal meetings 
  • access resources, information, and referrals to help students with disabilities succeed 

Our education advocacy program is available to: 

  • students with any type of disabilities 
  • students who have a 504 Plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) 
  • students with disabilities who have not had an evaluation for special education services 
  • students with disabilities in all levels of school, including elementary, secondary, and higher education  

Our education advocates are happy to present to groups, agencies, and education professionals about education law, disability accommodations, and disability awareness. 

Contact Us

ONONDAGA COUNTY

Brad Burnham
Education Advocate
(315) 671-5421
bburnham@ariseinc.org

Amanda Grzejka
Education Advocate
(315) 671-5422
agrzejka@ariseinc.org

Joey Massay Donato
Education Advocate
(315) 671-2926
jmassaydonato@ariseinc.org

OSWEGO COUNTY

Vicki Affinati
Education Advocate
(315) 602-4944
vaffinati@ariseinc.org

Nicole Jenkins
Education Advocate and Access to Services Coordinator
(315) 602-4933
njenkins@ariseinc.org

MADISON COUNTY

Amanda Grzejka
Education Advocate
(315) 671-5422
agrzejka@ariseinc.org

CAYUGA/SENECA COUNTY

Brad Burnham
Education Advocate
(315) 671-5421
bburnham@ariseinc.org