Featured image for “Meet Your Advocate”

Meet Your Advocate

Bonita Chatfield is a passionate child advocate specializing in supporting children with special needs who face educational disabilities in navigating the education system.

    Her journey as a child advocate began when she witnessed the challenges faced by her own children in accessing appropriate educational resources. Committed to make a difference in their lives, Bonita pursued a career path of advocacy, education, and law, allowing her to bridge the gap between the fields.

    She collaborates closely with families and educational institutions to develop personalized education plans. By fostering strong partnerships, she ensures a holistic approach to each child's well-being and educational success.

    As an advocate, Bonita actively engages with schools and educators to promote awareness and understanding of disabilities.

    Beyond her advocacy work, she remains committed to staying informed about special education regulations, laws, current cases, and the latest advancements in the special education field. She actively attends conferences, and collaborates with experts to contribute to the collective knowledge aimed at improving the quality of life and educational outcomes for children with disabilities.

    Bonita has attended conferences and training from Wrightslaw, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPPA), the Disability Law Center of Virginia, and the Parent Educational Advocacy Center (PEATC).

      • Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference training program
      • William & Mary Law School Institute of Special Education Advocacy (ISEA) law program
      • Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT) by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) completed all three levels offered: a ten-week course; a year-long program; and a web-based curriculum and distance learning program
      • The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC)
        • Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) training
        • Parents as Collaborative Leaders (PACL) training
        • Transition University training
        • Family Engagement Conference
        • IEP University – Special Education Workshop Series
      • Disability Law Center of Virginia
        • Pathways Through Special Education in Virginia training

      She believes in continuing education and the importance of immersing herself in the world of special education as attorneys, advocates, and families continue to help navigate and define Individuals Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the specific code of regulations that drive its implementation and secure a free and appropriate public education for all students with disabilities (FAPE).

      Bonita's unwavering dedication and expertise have earned her recognition as a compassionate advocate in the field of child advocacy. Her tireless efforts to ensure that children with educational disabilities receive the support they deserve have positively impacted numerous lives. Her ultimate goal is to create a society where every child, regardless of their challenges, has equal opportunities to succeed and thrive in their educational pursuits.

      Bonita Chatfield