Debbie Vielbaum has more than 30 years experience in various positions of responsibility at the nationally-recognized Charles Armstrong School and her educational planning background, she has acquired a unique combination of skills that will benefit you and your child from the first consultation throughout the entire process. She worked as an advocate/mediator for Community Alliance For Special Education (CASE) in San Francisco and is a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). She is on the Advisory Board for the Parent Education Network Silicon Valley.
We offer a wide range of educational consulting and advocacy services for students in preschool through high school. When parents engage our services they receive professional guidance in determining which educational plan and/or school setting might work most effectively for their child. We use our specialized training and experience in psychology, education, language development, learning disabilities and advocacy to understand the needs of the child and parents. We work closely with parents and district staff to develop an effective and appropriate Individual Educational Plan (IEP). We work with the team to develop goals and determine the services, program, school or center that delivers the best solution.
Melissa Nolan has over 25 years experience working with public schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked as a Program Supervisor, Lead School Psychologist, School Psychologist, Assistant Principal at middle and K-8 schools, and as a Program Specialist through the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). She oversaw special education departments, created special education programs, facilitated legally-involved meetings, worked with parents during the Mediation process, and have served during hearings as an expert Licensed Educational Psychologist. She has helped parents work with Districts to develop settlement agreements.
Gina Miller has her credential and Master’s in Special Education as well as her administrative credential. She has worked in different school districts as an aide, teacher, inclusion facilitator, and administrator. Gina has won several awards in education, including Educator of the Year for the State of California Region 4. All of these positions have helped her gain a wide range of knowledge of the different aspects of special education and how to meet the individual student's needs. Gina’s expertise within special education has allowed her to work effectively with families and districts, and now provides advocacy for students.
MLG Advocacy and Consulting, LLC
MLG Advocacy and Consulting is owned by Maria Lang-Gavidia, M.S., a Special Education professional with over 20 years of experience in public education. Ms. Gavidia feels passionately that every student is entitled access to education in the least restrictive environment in which they can make progress towards their learning goals.
"After 23 years in public education, I founded MLG Advocacy and Consulting to put my skills and experience to use in a different way. As a special education administrator, year after year I saw that the most successful team meetings happened when parents felt heard, when educators were knowledgeable, prepared and confident, when technicalities and recommendations were clear and supported with data, and when all team members—including parents—felt their input was valued. Who benefits from successful meeting outcomes? The student."- Maria Lang Gavidia
While working as a behavior analyst, Ms. Savage frequently witnessed parents being overwhelmed and short-changed by the IEP process. Parents were having difficulties obtaining an appropriate education for their special needs child. There were severe inconsistencies in the information provided to parents concerning their rights, the rights of their child, and service options available to meet the educational needs of their child.
Ms. Savage saw a need to help and support parents with children in a failing education program. She has dedicated her career to representing children with disabilities. As a special education attorney, Ms. Savage represents children with disabilities and their parents in program disputes with local education agencies. The goal of her work is to help parents navigate through the process of obtaining a free appropriate public education for their special needs children.