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Sheree Brown-Kaplan is a long-time advocate for children with disabilities and their parents and a former At-Large candidate for the Fairfax County School Board. She is an executive board member of The Coalition of The Silence (COTS), where she serves as chair of the COTS Committee on Children with Disabilities. Sheree is a Northern Virginia native and graduate of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). She is also a graduate of George Mason University with a degree in history. Sheree has worked in various positions for members of both the US House of Representatives and the Virginia House of Delegates. After serving in the Executive Office of the President at the Office of Management and Budget, Sheree specialized in government affairs at a Fortune 50 company and later as director of government affairs for a trade association representing small, family-owned businesses.
The mother of two children with disabilities who attend FCPS, Sheree has been active in several local schools as a PTA Special Education Representative and has helped a number of PTAs in forming special education committees. Sheree served on the Executive Board of the Fairfax County Council of PTAs (FCCPTA) and as both a member and chair of its Special Education Committee. In addition, Sheree served on the school board’s state-mandated special education advisory committee, the Advisory Committee on Students with Disabilities. The Virginia Board for People with Disabilities selected Sheree to attend its nationally recognized advocacy training program, Partners in Policymaking, from which she graduated in 2008.
During 2007-2009, Sheree led community efforts to prevent the erosion of parents’ rights in the revision of the Virginia special education regulations, including working in coalition with groups across the state. In 2008, Sheree helped to pursuade then-Governor Kaine to retain the Virginia-specific right of parent consent to the termination of special education services. In recent years, Sheree has advocated fulfillment of the state-mandated functions of the Advisory Committee on Students with Disabilities and that the school board address the disproportionate discipline of students with disabilities. Sheree's work with COTS focuses on addressing all barriers to achievement that prevent students with disabilities from obtaining the successful outcomes intended by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): further education, employment and independent living.