William C. Peever, B.A. J.D.
**Special Education Law and Advocacy Training through:
The Federation for Children with Special Need;
After graduating from Bennington College, William Peever began teaching high science. During one of the many IEP meetings it became obvious to Bill, that there was a problem with the system. One of his students who was on an IEP with an accommodation that allowed the student to sketch during class, and not take notes. Bill was outraged, during the first team meeting, he brought this relic from middle school up, and made it clear that although this accommodation may keep the student from causing trouble in the class, it was not in his academic best interest. He might as well stay home, if all he is required to do was sketch dragons in science class. This was the first time that Bill encountered the inequities of the special education system in America, but not the last, and over the years he fought to ensure that all of his students were educated.
Since those early days, Bill has graduated in the top ten percent of his law school, and raised a family with special needs; it was his family, specifically his daughter Abby that helped forge the path that led him to found The Massachusetts Advocacy Group. When Abby began to show signs of being dyslexic, Bill sprang into action calling for testing and an initial team meeting. During one of the pre-IEP team meetings that was called to discuss additional testing that he had privately paid for, the homeroom teacher said, “what exactly are we doing here, the testing doesn’t show anything new?” That meeting was in April of her first grade year, by October of second grade Bill had her on an IEP. Her teacher was correct, nothing had changed, his daughter was dyslexic and that teacher, and that special education team had cost her an entire year of education. It was this pivotal experience, fighting for his daughter, a little girl without a voice, who was struggling to read, that helped him choose the path that he would devote his life’s work to.
Bill now works with a team of professionals at the Massachusetts advocacy group, fighting for the rights of students all over Massachusetts.
Special Education Consultant, and Advocate
Margie has been an educator for over thirty years. Over the years she has attended numerous trainings in differential learning and special education. Margie’s substantial experience in the public school system has enabled her to effectively assist parents in navigating through the IEP process. Her intimate knowledge and experience with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), from within the public school district system has provided Margie with unique skills and rare insight in advocating for the special needs of children and families she represents. Margie is deeply committed to helping families weight educational options based upon the unique needs of the child. Margie is a passionate Advocate who tirelessly works with parents, teachers, specialists and other professionals to identify and secure appropriate services, supports and school placements through the IEP process.
Margie is a graduate of Salem State University. She holds a Massachusetts Professional Educators License in Elementary Education and is Certified in the Wilson Reading System. Margie also completed the Wrightslaw Special Education Advocate Training Course.
and Language Pathologist
Meagan Heinold, M.S. CCC-SLP
Your school will have a Speech Language Pathologists on their side, and so should you. The school’s SLP will do their best to bend the testing results in a way that will best suit the school's staffing and financial needs. As you can imagine, testing results can be very subjective, and the school will use them to persuade you that your child does not need all of the accommodations that you would like. It is important to remember that a school like any business only has so many resources to spread around, and will do their best to keep within their budget. Unfortunately, this often means that your child’s best interest is not always served.
To counterbalance this, we have our own Speech Language Pathologists, and it is Meagan’s job to look over the testing that has been conducted by the school, and come to her own independent conclusions. She will then write up a comprehensive and objective report as to exactly what the testing is telling us about your child’s actual needs. She may also suggest additional testing, and if the school refuses, we will have Meagan conduct that testing herself. These steps will insure that your child has the best possible chance during those crucial initial IEP meetings.
In addition to the IEP services, Megan can and will work with your child to accelerate her success in classroom activities, social interaction, literacy, and learning. Our Speech Language Pathologists collaborate with teachers, pediatricians, your team here at MAG and families, in order to support student communication skills both in and out of the classroom.