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Jackie Martin-Sebell

Lead Advocate

Hello! I am mom of many kids who have gone through special education from birth through adulthood. My boys are the only ones still in school and are 16 and 17 (current junior and senior). Both of my boys have extensive IEP’s due to complex medical and educational needs. I’ve been through it all with and because of my kids – mediation, facilitation, state complaint, OCR complaint, due process, FBA, BIP’s etc. We have had IEP’s under multiple areas of eligibility – Early Childhood Developmental Delay, Learning Disability, Otherwise Health Impairment, Cognitive Impairment, Speech and Language Impairment, and Severe Multiple Impairment (we have had as many as 3 eligibilities for one child). My boys have been since birth and are incredibly medically complex – Moderate autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mitochondrial Disease, heart, liver, pancreas, esophagus and kidney disease, math, reading, and writing learning disabilities, severe allergies, mast cell, chiari malformation, paralyzed vocal cords, strokes (x5), epilepsy, moderate hearing loss, autoimmune diseases, severe executive functioning delay, etc. To say they have been through it, is an understatement for sure. I speak often from experience – my own – as well as experience helping other families over the last 15 years. I have had formal training including multiple extensive special education training programs, hundreds of day training courses, several weeks-months long training, and many specialty training programs in all areas around disability – special education, disability rights, and advocacy including a 6 month national special education training, 12 month statewide Leaders In Policy Advocacy (LIPA) training, COPAA, and Wrightslaw trainings. I’m a bit of a geek and though I clearly (as a single mom) don’t have extra time – I do still attend several webinars/classes a week as I do find value and worth in doing so. I work with many disability and medical organizations locally, state-wide, and nationally and sit on many boards related to disability and special education including Michigan Parent, Advocate and Attorney Coalition (MiPAAC), Arc Board of Directors, MI Family Voices, and MI DHHS Children’s With Special HealthCare Needs Advisory Council (CSHCS, co-chair). My hope and wish always is to improve policy and support positive change for individuals with disabilities, and/or complex medical needs; As a non-attorney special education advocate; I assist families throughout the country with private advocacy services including attending meetings, reviewing records to come up with recommendations to improve a students IEP services/supports/goals/etc, writing complaints, drafting letters and emails, as well as attending school meetings via zoom or google meet. I want to help ensure your child has access to a free appropriate public education, and I want to take the burden of how to get that for your child, off your shoulders. Over the last 15yrs, I’ve attended hundreds of IEP meetings, manifestation hearings, mediation and resolution meetings for my own children as well as for others. I’ve helped write hundreds of strong IEP’s that have brought success to students, and I’ve filed and have had success through the complaint process dozens of times. I want to help you know your rights and your child’s rights, as well as know how to ensure your child’s educational plan is well written and allows for a free appropriate public education as required by special education law. I am here to help you get an individualized educational program in place that works for your child, and I look forward to working with you, for your child.

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