Michelle’s 14-year history of advocacy began at the most fundamental level – fighting for her two children, both of whom contend with learning challenges. Michelle emerged from a series of successful and well publicized battles for her own child’s appropriate services to eventually join Disability Rights Texas, where she worked with attorneys and advocates on a range of issues including civil rights, disaster relief, special education and social security.
During her journey, Michelle achieved certification as a special education advocate from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and has demonstrated expertise reviewing records, advocating for appropriate evaluations, placement and services at ARD meetings in addition to filing complaints effective with Texas Education Agency, Office of Civil Rights, Texas Medicaid and Texas Workforce Commission.
From 2016 to 2019 Michelle served as a court-appointed educational surrogate parent for a DRTx foster care client with both intellectual disabilities and extreme emotional disturbance.
Augmenting Michelle’s practical experience is formal training conducted by Texas Institute on Person Centered Practices and Support Development Associates, Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy, The Arc of Greater Houston, The Monarch School and Institute Therapy Services, Attention Deficit Disorder Association Southern Region and Neuhaus Education Center.
Michelle’s abiding passion is assisting families with the practical application of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other laws to improve the lives of children with different abilities.
A published writer and former award-winning television news anchor, Michelle’s articles on disability issues frequently appear in Houston’s Buzz Magazines where she has served as a staff writer since 2004.
She is married to veteran Houston news reporter and political talk show host, Greg Groogan.