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SPEAKS Education will provide a united
union where students, parents, and educators along with community/
professional and consumers will support and provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to children. FAPE allows all Special Education students (ages 0-26 in MI) to fulfill their education goals and be successful in
doing so in the community. It is our goal to advocate for special needs children through
teaching the educational rights and laws.
SPEAKS Education provides trainings and
information and referrals to students, parents, educators and community agencies. SPEAKS Education wishes to build
a positive, working atmosphere and
relationship for the best interest of the student. SPEAKS also provides parent mentors that are trained to work one on
one with the families so they can be educated to advocate for their own child.

S.P.E.A.K.S. Education was founded by Dorie France. After 20 plus years of advocating for children with special needs and learning how to communicate with educators , administrators, and community agencies, Dorie decided it was time to educate the parents and the student. Three years ago after Dorie's job was eliminated (from a MI PTI), she knew that there was no way she could let the families, students and educators go without services.

Dorie had numerous parents and administrators call and ask her to start a advocacy group. So with the help of 12 good people in the education field, medical and community mental health field along with some very super parents, S.P.E.A.K.S. Education was started.  In 2009, it became a incorporated and received it's non-profit 501c3 status.. 

S.P.E.A.K.S. Education stands for Students Parents Educators Alliance to Know. Special Education. The board consist of parents that have special education children themselves. There are seven board members and four advisory members. Five of the seven board members are parent mentors spread across the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

The Upper Peninsula is a remote, very rural and low income geographical area. To travel the Upper Peninsula on a daily basis can make for a very long day on the road. Our local school districts have the highest percentage of Native American student population in the state of Michigan . S.P.E.A.K.S. education know covers 8 counties in the Upper Peninsula and the districts within them.

S.P.E.A.K.S. Education was awarded the U.S. Dept of Education Office of Special Education (CPRC) Community Parent Resource Center grant. We are now the only CPRC in the state of Michigan. We are proud to be able to work with state and federal government in the best interest of all students. 

We have a small contract with Michigan Alliance that helps us pay for our office and the utilities. SPEAKS Education is a in-kind/volunteer and provides services free of charge. We received a small training grant from the SOSY program to help us with administration, building a strong board, and volunteer building.

We are very proud of our achievements for our short 3 year start. We at S.P.E.A.K.S. education work very hard for all children with special needs and their families.