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Become an Educational Advocate

The Lay Educational Advocacy Program (LEAP) was designed to train professionals, community members, and parents who want to ensure an appropriate education for children with disabilities. LEAP supports Missouri families during the special education process. LEAP training sessions teach:

  • Basics advocacy skills and how they apply in the education setting
  • Foundational concepts of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and 504 Planning
  • Specialty topics, such as parent and student rights, transition planning, and school discipline

LEAP Training Opportunities

Enroll for the LEAP Online Series

The full LEAP training delivered through a self-paced learning experience is comprised of 13 individual courses each taking an hour to an hour and a half to complete. Courses can be taken independently by topic area or sequentially in the full series. Learners may only be interested in taking one or two courses, and complete the full series in order, or jump around based on learners’ interests and needs. All choices are welcome.

Spanish versions of LEAP online materials and training videos are available for bilingual advocates and parents.

To enroll, visit: Enroll for LEAP here

Attend a Live Training

The LEAP Training can be delivered live, virtually or in-person over three 6-hour training days. Live trainings can be:

  • Hosted by the LEAP Network Partners for anyone in the state
  • Hosted by an organization, agency, or community for a specific audience

Check back for future Live Training dates hosted by the LEAP Network Partners.

For more information about hosting a training for an organization or agency contact

Become a Certified Missouri Lay Educational Advocate 

Consider becoming a certified LEAP advocate, if you have a desire to help families and individuals prepare for and navigate Special Education services and meetings in your community. These individuals have completed the LEAP online or in-person training and have demonstrated knowledge and advocacy skills through the completion of additional advocacy activities.  

LEAP certified advocates: 

  • Earn a certification to share in bios, on résumés, and with other professional credentialling.  
  • Become a part of an select community of trained advocates. 
  • Receive ongoing support and training opportunities through the LEAP Network. 
  • Have opportunities to advocate on behalf of Missouri students and families.  

For more information, or to begin your certification, contact

Contact us at:

Funding for the Lay Educational Advocacy Project provided by the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC), Grants #1801MOBSDD Seq. No.: 2018 / 4, #1901MOSCDD-02, #2001MOSCDD-02 and as authorized by Public Law 106-402 – Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act).