Diane Willcutts is the Director of Education Advocacy LLC. She works throughout Connecticut, helping families navigate the special education, Section 504, and Birth to Three processes. Using strategic thinking, courtesy, and clear communication, she provides skilled advocacy services on behalf of children with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Over the past 20 years, she has supported families of children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, ADHD, language disorders, dyspraxia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, PANDAS, Tourette Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other unique learning needs. She has worked with teams in more than 80 Connecticut school districts.
To ensure she gives her clients the most up-to-date information impacting their children, Diane participates in ongoing professional development related to special education law and instruction of children with disabilities. She has completed more than 700 hours of training through Wrightslaw, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), the Learning Disabilities Association of Connecticut, the Autism Spectrum Resource Center, Orton-Gillingham Academy, and the Connecticut and Massachusetts Bar Associations. Diane is also a past instructor for COPAA’s renowned Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT) course.
Regarding professional affiliations, Diane is a member of numerous organizations supporting children, including the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), Connecticut Families for the Effective Treatment of Autism (CT FEAT), the International Dyslexia Association, and the Council for Exceptional Children. She previously served as president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Connecticut and as a member of the board of directors for COPAA.
In addition to her work on private cases, Diane also served as a state-appointed surrogate parent, advocating for students with disabilities who were in foster care.
Prior to becoming an advocate, Diane conducted education research through the University of Connecticut’s Department of Psychology, facilitating focus groups, developing user-friendly education manuals, presenting at national and international conferences, and co-authoring articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Both at UConn and at Rutgers University, Diane taught courses in statistics and research design, which provided her with a practical foundation for understanding and interpreting research on methods of assessment and instruction.