I'm Carol Ellen Steiner, MSW. I have been married to Jim for more than 40 years. We are parents of two children. We began searching for information after our family doctor told us to relax and wait for our son to ‘outgrow it ’. We found help through the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities in the late 1970's (ACLD has recently changed its name to LDAA). It was then that I began learning and practicing advocacy with other parents of children who found ACLD. For many years I worked as a volunteer with ACLD and took advantage of the many types of informational seminars and trainings. I am deeply grateful to LDAA and honored to have had the opportunity to advocate with amazing families. These experiences allowed me to contribute to the futures of many children and helped me to grow and learn so that I could improve as an advocate.
In the 1980's I went back to college. Formal training as a social worker would give me better skills to apply to my work as an advocate. It also gave me an opportunity to work as a group home manager in the system serving people with developmental disabilities and as a theraputic support in an after school program of a mental health center. I also got to experience how a social service agency works and learn how child welfare and child abuse programs are developed and function. As I continued to be an active volunteer with LDAA and do advocacy, through the 1980's, I also had the opportunity to work in a charitable hospital as a social worker. There I learned about the government and community systems that have so great an impact on the lives of people who have to cope with disability.
In the 1990's I was a Board member at the LDA of Pennsylvania and was representing families who had to take their cause into a due process hearing. And, I made the decision to turn my volunteer advocacy into a professional private practice. My private practice is active, serving people with many different types and degrees of need.
I'm an advocate. I advocate for children, young people and their families, who have a need related to disability and education.
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