A2Z Educational Advocates in the community
A2Z’s team is very active in the special education community both locally and nationwide!
Jane DuBovy, attorney of over 35 years, not only represents her clients with passion and dedication, but also gives back to many organizations and families in other ways. Jane speaks on special education topics nationally and locally. She has provided training to attorneys in southern California on topics related to special education law, and has also taught pre-conference trainings and/or breakout sessions at COPAA’s Annual Conference. Jane has been involved in boards and fundraising efforts for various organizations. She has worked on ground-breaking issues, such as representation of young adults in qualifying for Regional Center services under the 5th category based on a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Carrie Watts has been a part of A2Z for over 17 years. She served on the board of COPAA, a national civil rights organization dedicated to special education advocacy and to protecting the rights of students and families, from 2011 through 2020. For the 2014-2015 year, she served as Chair of the Board of Directors of COPAA. In 2016, Carrie spearheaded the Los Angeles pilot site of COPAA’s MLK National Day of Service program. Carrie was also actively involved in the development of the inaugural Student Rights Initiative (SRI) at COPAA’s 2016 Annual Conference. The SRI is designed to provide training on the IEP process and self-advocacy skills to students aged 14-21 in order to empower them to become self-advocates. Locally, Carrie is involved in many volunteer activities. She is also an activist within the chronic illness community.
Mandy Favaloro has been a part of A2Z for over 10 years. Currently she is one of the Co-Chairs of COPAA’s Conference Committee. In addition, Mandy has been an instructor for COPAA’s Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT) program and Co-Chair of COPAA’s Training Committee. Mandy has also taught preconference trainings designed specifically for advocates and focused on teaching the practical skills needed for successful special education advocacy. Mandy currently serves on the Board of Directors of COPAA as the Vice Chair. For the upcoming year, Mandy will be serving as COPAA’s Chair.
A2Z also provides academic internship opportunities to students from Pepperdine University and Loyola University. A2Z’s Advocacy Interns work collaboratively with A2Z’s team while learning about case management, client communications, organization skills, and special education laws and policies. Our interns also complete special research projects related to topics in special education. Additionally, A2Z provides supervision for the required practicum hours for COPAA SEAT students. Our SEAT students have the opportunity to work under the supervision of our experienced special education attorneys and advocates to gain practical skills and knowledge related to the IEP process, compliance complaints, drafting letters, and due process cases. Both the SEAT students and the Advocacy Interns enrich the team at A2Z and offer their own unique skills and experiences to our work on behalf of our clients.