February Small Business Feature: Advocacy for Special Kids
Location: Massachusetts (Office Located in Braintree MA)
How did you get started?
Our founder Maureen Brown started this practice in 2003. She has worked tirelessly to educate and support families to help their children with special needs receive the supports and services that are entitled to receive a free and appropriate education. She does this by trying to keep cases from having to be litigated and in a way that builds relationships instead and working toward a mutual goal which is to help support the child.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
Our business has expanded during the pandemic given the fact that most schools have been shut down since March 2020. Most students have struggled with online or virtual learning but particularly students with disabilities. Teachers also found it challenging to get up to speed as to how to teach students with significant disabilities to learn virtually.
What are your favorite products or services that you currently sell?
We are a consultation business so we offer services from an initial phone consultation to fully supporting families in all aspects of their Childs educational nee
ds. We provide services for students 3-22 and also began to offer College Counseling. The College counseling supports students with learning disabilities that are continuing their education after high school. We are excited to expand our practice to support families to identify colleges that can offer ongoing support for their young adults with learning disabilities.
What are a few fun facts about your business?
We love to support other woman-owned business, we offer initial free consultations, we have an expertise in a wide range of disabilities and keep ourselves updated on special education case law(Individual with Disabilities Educational Act IDEA) as well as the Department of Education Advisories. We are also in a number of professional organizations such as Council of Attorneys and Advocates, Special Needs Advocacy Network, and continue to do various training to stay up to date with the latest trends.
What advice do you have for someone in the beginning stages of owning a business?
I think getting a mentor(s) to help support and guide you and offer guidance. Find out what things you can do for free such as setting up a Facebook Business account, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Some bookkeeping programs are also free or low cost if your client list is small. Joining networking groups is also a great way to ask other small business owners for advice and referrals on products and services.
Interested in learning more? Check out their website: asktheadvocate.org