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2016 Breakout Session II
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Breakout Session II (Saturday, March 12th, 1:30 - 2:45)

Ø 2.1 Beyond ABC’s — Obtaining & Using Effective Positive Behavior Support

Presenters: Felicia Hurewitz, Ph.D., BCBA, Jennifer Sang, Esq.

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate / Advanced

Description:  While there is extensive research supporting the use of quality Positive Behavior Support Plans (PBSP) to effect behavior change, few public schools are creating and implementing these plans using evidence-based protocols. Furthermore, the range of when and how PBSP's can be used is often restricted to extinguishing targeted behaviors of concern, without consideration of the corresponding requirement to increase pro-social replacement behaviors. This session describe the principles underlying positive behavior support and behavioral assessment beyond the standard ABC (Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence) format and examines common legal issues concerning exhibition of challenging behavior, from red flags and questions to ask at the IEP stage, to strategy for litigation when the primary issue is challenging or inappropriate behavior.


Ø 2.2  Sí Se Puede—Serving English Learners with Disabilities

Presenters: Mayra Lira, Esq., Ben Conway, Esq.

Audience Category: Attorneys and community organizers

Audience Experience Level: All Attendees, but this is not an introductory session. It assumes proficient knowledge of IDEA and at least some familiarity with Lau v. Nichols and Castañeda v. Pickard.

Description: English Learners (Limited English Proficient under federal law) are a large and growing population in our schools. Their robust legal rights are routinely trammeled at state and local levels. This session analyzes the progeny of Lau and Castañeda—the seminal cases exploring language-based discrimination in education—including ongoing litigation.  Also reviewed are the express native language protections in IDEA and how they inform an understanding of meaningful parental participation.  Finally, developments in the law, issue spotting, and advocacy strategies for representing English Learners with disabilities are explored.

Ø 2.3 Should I Stay or Go? Pendency Placements During Due Process &Appeals

Presenters: Michele Kule-Korgood, Esq., Lauren A. Goldberg, Esq.

Audience Category: Attorney, Advocate and Related Professional

Audience Experience Level: Novice / Intermediate

Description: The “Stay Put,” or pendency, provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (20 U.S.C. § 1415(j)) provides that a student with a disability will remain in their last agreed upon educational placement during the course of due process proceedings. At times, it can be difficult to determine a student’s last agreed upon placement. The intersection of the growing body of case law and the IDEA’s statutory provisions regarding pendency has produced a variety of situations where a child’s pendency placement during due process is unclear. This session will provide an overview of the IDEA’s “stay put” provision and various ways a child’s “pendency” placement can be determined.


Ø 2.4 - Legal Issues in Serving Twice Exceptional Gifted Learners

Presenters: Michael J. Eig, Esq., Rich Weinfeld, M. Ed., Paula A. Rosenstock, Esq.

Audience Category: All Attendees, who already have an understanding of how the IDEA works.

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate / Advance

Description: Many educational groups have long advocated for the identification of twice exceptional students as a foundation to their appropriate education. However, since there is no explicit mandate to serve twice exceptional students, one must look at special education law, gifted policies, directives from involved federal agencies, and precedents in case law for the authority supporting identification and services for this population, Recent judicial decisions and directives strongly support the need to identify twice exceptional learners, to include them in appropriate gifted education, and to ensure that they receive individualized support to access gifted education. The presenters share their expertise in working to ensure that twice exceptional learners are identified and receive appropriate support.


Ø 2.5 COPAA’s Public Policy Extravaganza – Gearing Up for IDEA Reauthorization

Presenters: Diane Willcutts, Denise Marshall, Selene Almazan, Laura W. Kaloi

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate / Advance

Description: The IDEA Reauthorization is not yet on the horizon, but COPAA is working now to lead the way.  Discussion includes COPAA’s policy analysis of burden of proof, reimbursement of expert witness fees, the discriminatory Rowley standard, and the attack on due process hearings.  Please use this information for your own legislative advocacy, share your input on these and other issues, and tell us the good and bad of what is happening in your state!


Ø 2. 6 Special Shingle: Opening a Special Education Law Practice

Presenters: Benjamin J. Hinerfeld, Esq.,Gina M. DeCrescenzo, Esq.

Audience Category: Attorney

Audience Experience Level:  Novice

Description: Gina and Ben collaborate as co-counsel frequently and successfully, despite having different litigation styles and despite maintaining offices in different states. This program is intended to empower practitioners who are considering opening a special education law practice, but find the prospect too daunting. It also gives practitioners who connect and inspire each other at COPAA's annual conference ideas on how to collaborate and co-counsel during the year. Gina and Ben will share the lessons they've learned related to: opening a practice, building a client base, getting paid, refining your model, and staying true. The joy of Special Education law is that you can “do well by doing good.” 


Ø 2.7 Job Skills and Transition: Utilizing FREE Tools

Presenters:Susan Bruce, Mary Eaddy-Baker

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: All

Description: People with disabilities are 2.5 times more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than people without disabilities. Work experience in school, postsecondary education, a family’s high expectation for their child, and the acquisition of “soft” skills (i.e., communication, teamwork, problem-solving) are key ingredients to help youth with disabilities be successfully employed. Families often “wait” on services to come to them rather than taking a proactive approach. This session focuses on what families and advocates can to in order to take a proactive approach to a youth gaining and maintaining employment.  An interactive tool that can assist youths and their families and employers is shared. 


Ø 2.8 The Impact of Trauma & Stress on Academic Functioning and Behavior

Presenters: Dina Cuervo, PhD, Lauren Stevenson, PsyD

Audience Category: All Attendees 

Audience Experience Level: All

Description: This presentation reviews the effects of trauma and toxic stress on brain functioning, childhood development, and overall behavior within an academic setting.  Presenters identify the behaviors and symptom related issues most strongly affecting academic achievement, and discuss the importance of screening for trauma and its implications for school-based interventions.  The risk and protective factors that mediate the relationship between mental health, behavior problems, and academic achievement are reviewed. 

more Calendar

6/1/2016 » 6/1/2017
Webinar Subscription for Organizations

6/1/2016 » 6/1/2017
Webinar Subscription for Individuals

7/14/2016 » 7/14/2017
2016 Webinar Series 1: IEP's and Their Components, What You Should Know

8/11/2016 » 7/25/2017
2016 Webinar Series 2: Access to FAPE

9/1/2016 » 12/1/2016
2016 New Attorney: Educational Rights Online Training

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