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xMinds Logo - xMinds in teal and dark blue where the X looks like a person with an orange head; followed by the words Partnership for Extraordinary MindsImproving education for autistic students in Montgomery County, MD

Join Our Team of Volunteer Advocates!

Did you know that xMinds provides free consultations to help families with autistic children navigate the MCPS special education system? We’re looking for volunteer advocates who can help guide and support families through what is often a bumpy road. Selected applicants will work as part of a collaborative team that provides families with valuable information and connects them with resources, including educational consultants and attorneys, if needed. Each volunteer takes the lead providing a consult to each of their assigned families, and each volunteer also provides input to other volunteers as they assist families. Volunteer advocates offer general guidance and answer specific questions, but they do not provide specific legal advice, review IEPs or attend IEP meetings. The team of volunteers gets weekly training during August and then for further support, the team meets on Zoom once a week throughout the year. These weekly sessions are led by a professional special education advocate who provides information, resources and answers. 

What we’re looking for from volunteers:

  • A compassionate attitude and a desire to help families navigate the MCPS special education system
  • Experience advocating for students’ educational needs — even if only for your own child(ren)
  • Strong interpersonal skills and unwavering patience
  • Eagerness to learn more about MCPS’s special education system and about special education law
  • A collaborative spirit in which you welcome the suggestions of team members and generously offer your input
  • A commitment to spend 5 to 6 hours of your time each month, for at least one year, to support families directly and to collaborate with other volunteer advocates

What we offer:

  • Free training on special education advocacy and law, the IEP process, and the various special education programs and services offered by MCPS. Volunteers will receive training from local professional advocates during August as well as participate in weekly question and answer sessions with a professional special education advocate throughout the school year.. 
  • The opportunity to collaborate with a team of volunteer advocates, benefiting all members as they learn from others’ experience and expertise how to navigate the special education system and the IEP process
  • The chance to form friendships and make connections with others in the autism/special education community
  • The joy and satisfaction of helping autistic children in Montgomery County get the educational services and supports they need

If you're passionate about helping families get the support they need for their autistic kids, apply today to join our team of volunteer advocates!   We'll start our training during August 2024.  

Here's the training schedule:   (Please note this will be on Tuesday nights.) Before each session there will be about an hour or 2 of material you will watch on your own. Then we will have a facilitated discussion together on Zoom, where you can raise any questions. Monica Martinez will lead the training sessions. 

Tuesday Aug. 6  7pm –  8pm 

Tuesday Aug. 13  7pm – 8pm 

Tuesday Aug. 20  7pm – 8pm 

Tuesday Aug. 27  7pm – 8pm

Tuesday Sept. 3  7pm – 8pm 

Apply Here

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