Special Education Advocate
Felicia Miyakawa, Ph.D., came to advocacy through the world of higher education. For ten years she taught Music History at a public university in Tennessee. For three of those years she also directed a graduate program, gaining valuable administrative and collaborative skills. She is a published author and recognized scholar of Hip-hop music and culture. She is also a Disability Rights activist. In her down time, she reads, dabbles in local politics, plays piano badly, and dreams of becoming a cat lady.
After leaving academia in 2014, Felicia moved to Round Rock, TX, to join her husband, who is a Professor at UT Austin. She has two children; both are autistic and receive services under IDEA. Advocating for them led her to understand the broader, systemic challenges parents face when their children need Special Education services. In 2015 she co-founded TENT: Twice Exceptional Network of Texas (http://tent2e.weebly.com), a parent-led, state-wide group dedicated to advocacy for students who are both gifted and learning or developmentally disabled. In early 2017 she completed COPAA's rigorous Special Education Advocacy Training program, which culminated in a practicum under Cirkiel's own David Beinke.
Felicia now advocates for children and their families in central Texas. She is eager to be part of systemic change in Texas education.