Carla Lehmann: Los Angeles, CA

Carla Lehmann is a parent advocate and proud mom of an exceptional boy, who now is 8-years-old. Once becoming a mother, she soon learned that her son had developmental delays. Carla then began researching how to best help her son overcome those challenges. She is interested in pursuing a legal education to better understand the rights and protections afforded to her son and others and advocate for vital services.

Before she began her advocacy work, Carla studied at UCLA in the Digital Media Certificate Program, where she learned about the Internet and digital industries. After graduating, Carla managed accounts and projects within the online marketing and advertising corporate world for over 10 years. She worked in different positions within the field and for various industries as an Account Manager, Producer, Project Manager, and Technology Manager. Carla often worked with Entertainment, Rich Media, and Social Networks to manage online advertising campaigns with clients such as Sony Pictures, Fox Entertainment group, Activision, Toyota, Honda, Coca Cola, and many others.

Carla became a leader in the special needs community. She is heavily involved—participating in various community trainings, seminars and parent support groups. She has created and administrates three different social media support groups, in both English and Spanish, to help educate, inform, and provide outreach services to parents of special needs children in California. Carla's goal and passion are to empower and help members in the community through social media. Her support groups offer members and their families an opportunity to come together every month for a dinner where parents can share their experiences, discuss available resources and receive in person support. Carla also organizes formal speaker presentations, in collaboration with the Learning Rights Law Center, State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Disability Rights California, the Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy and others.

Carla is currently completing her degree in Paralegal Studies with honors at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC). She is also near successful completion of her Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT) at the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). Through this training, Carla learned about the different type of laws governing Special Education, discussed case law, and gained important skills to effectively advocate for children that qualify for special education in the public school system. She also learned how to spot and research legal issues and use written communication as evidence in the possibility of a due process hearing. 

Carla will continue to use her knowledge and passion to help other parents that are going through the same journey as her and wanting to overcome institutional barriers to improving their children’s quality of education and the services they receive at school, home and in the community.

To Carla, the Coelho Center Law Fellowship is a tremendous opportunity to gain additional skills, build connections, and learn more about disability law.