Non-Attorney Special Education Advocate
Liz Tashma began her special needs journey in 2008 with the autism diagnosis of her child. Since that time, she has immersed herself in the world of special needs advocacy; helping dozens of families navigate the complex special education system.
Liz has an environmental engineering degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and worked in the field for eight years before turning her attention to advocacy. Liz is a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and in 2020-21 completed the Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT) 2.0 which is a year-long course, classroom, self-study, and a required practicum, that provided her with the information, training, and practical experience to become a special education advocate.
Liz was a representative for Oceanside Unified School District and elected as Chairperson on the Executive Board of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE). NCCSE is a Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) that is composed of 14 school districts in the North County. Committee members are tasked with providing input to the school districts regarding compliance with Federal and State law, providing input on policy and procedure, and advertising NCCSE programs and training to the school district. Duties of the Chairperson include briefing the 14 school superintendents on a quarterly basis, leading CAC meetings, and leading Executive Board meetings.
Liz was also the Lead Parent for two years on the Camp Pendleton Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Support Council. The council meets quarterly with the Commanding General for Marine Corps Installations West and directors of various family support organizations. She was responsible for gathering and consolidating the key concerns of military families with special needs children, from other parent representatives, and the community at large and reporting to the Council. As part of her advocacy, Liz briefed First Lady Michelle Obama, Congresswoman Susan Davis, Congressman Darrell Issa's staff, several Commanding Generals at Camp Pendleton, and several Commanding Officers on the impacts of having a child with autism in a military family.
Liz is known for creating solid working relationships and communicating effectively. She is dedicated, detail-oriented, and passionate about helping families learn to effectively advocate for their child(ren)!
Liz has been married to her husband, Sean, since 2002. Sean retired from the Marine Corps in 2016. They are the proud parents of two children.