Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join Us
2016 Breakout Session III
Share |


  Hotel | Fees | Partner OpportunitiesScholarships

Program/Agenda | Speaker Bios Our Sponsors

Breakout Session III (Saturday, March 12th, 3:00 - 4:15)

Ø 3.1 Surrounding the Elephant 2.0

Presenter: William J. Porta, Esq., M.E.d.

Audience Category: Attorney, Advocate and Related Professionals

Audience Level of Expertise: All Levels

Description: This highly interactive and entertaining course shows how strategic planning driven by existing technology can place the parent’s attorney or advocate in the strongest possible position before a due process hearing request is ever filed.


Ø 3.2 There are not 10 Free Days to Discipline a Student with Disabilities

Presenters: Stephanie Langer, Esq., Kristina Tilson, Esq.

Audience Category:  Attorney, Advocate,  and Related Professional.

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate / Advanced

Description: Districts have long believed that there are 10 school days that a student with a disability can be disciplined without recourse. Districts are wrong. There is no such thing as ten freebies and advocates need to start challenging this practice. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and other civil rights laws apply to students with disabilities every day of the year.  Attend this session to learn practices to end the silent 10-day pushout.


Ø 3.3 Working with the Middle: Solutions for Moderate Income Parents

Presenters: Janeen Steel, Esq., Rodolfo Estrada, Esq.

Audience Category: Attorney, Advocate and Related Professional

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate / Advanced

Description: Attendees learn “how to” launch a fee generating class for moderate income parents. Launched in 2015, the Parent Self-Advocacy Class was created to assist moderate income parents who need help understanding the special education system, but don’t meet Learning Rights’ low income guidelines. Self-advocacy is a vital skill parents need to learn. Not every issue can or should be resolved through litigation (for example, a parent shouldn’t file for due process just to get a school’s attention). In response to this need, Learning Rights created and launched the Parent-Self Advocacy Class to teach parents self-advocacy skills regardless of income.


Ø 3.4 But Her Grades are Fine: Proving Adverse Educational Performance

Presenters: Charles P. Fox, Esq., Julie Welsh

Audience Category: Attorney, Advocate and Related Professional

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate

Description: This session explores the difficulties of proving adverse educational performance, especially for academically gifted, but emotionally disordered students; overachieving students; frequently absent students and “wallflowers.” A wide variety of case law and the minimal guidance from OSEP are reviewed, along with possible strategies for combatting school district tendencies to focus strictly on academics, using state school codes and Common Core Standards. This presentation intends to help parents and advocates overcome school districts’ tendencies to focus strictly on academic progress at the expense of educating and servicing students to become fully functional, emotionally stable, communicative adults.


Ø 3.5 “The Top 40 Chart-Topping District Court Decisions of 2015”

Presenters: Richard L. O’Meara, Esq., Amy Phalon, Esq.

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: All Levels

Description: IDEA hearing decisions initially get reviewed by the federal district courts, and U.S. district judges also handle most cases that raise discrimination or retaliation claims under section 504, the ADA or the First Amendment. So, we all need to focus on how the district courts have been addressing the issues of most importance to our practices.  The presenters will offer a somewhat lighthearted, but seriously important, survey of the district courts’ “hit parade” of decisions since our last conference in March 2015. This session focus on the 40 best district court decisions that should be cited and quoted by attorneys and advocates representing children with disabilities (with fingers crossed that Judith Gran’s 2017 review of decisions from the courts of appeal does not include any reversals of the decisions on our countdown!)


Ø 3.6 Discovery without Discovery Rules

Presenters: John Rue, Esq. and Michelle L. Cummins, Esq.

Audience Category: Attorneys and advanced Non-Attorneys.

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate

Description: This session focuses on how to successfully obtain student records and other useful documents from a school district for a special education due process hearing.  State open public records statutes are valuable tools in the hands of a skilled advocate or a sophisticated parent. This presentation will teach you to gain timely access to public records that can help you to overcome the information asymmetry endemic to special education disputes. Having access to the right documents and information can make a huge difference in outcomes. These laws, in combination with the IDEA guarantee to the right to access student records for a due process hearing, are “discovery tools” that can enable you to cut through red tape and compel your district to produce the information that you need. Models and forms will be provided.


Ø 3.7 Two Tough COPAA Policy Position Issues

Presenters: Andrew Feinstein, Denise Marshall, Selene Almazan

Audience Category: All

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate / Advanced

Description: COPAA is a well-respected voice in government circles and the advocacy community on issues relating to the legal rights of children with disabilities.  On two major issues – disproportionate identification of minority children and disability-specific legislation – COPAA has taken a position after much internal and external debate.  This session will provide a forum in which COPAA members can discuss these issues and inform the organization for future policy debates.

3.8 Creating Trauma-Sensitive School Experiences

Presenters: Melissa Sadin, MAT, M.Ed., Gari Lister, JD

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Expertise Level: All Levels

Description: One in four children have been traumatized, greatly impacting their ability to learn.  This workshop -- led by a special education consultant and an attorney, both now parents of traumatized children, presents information under two main goals for participants (1) to understand and be able to articulate how trauma (especially chronic, early childhood trauma) impacts a student’s ability to learn; and (2) to understand how trauma sensitive school systems can be used to best address children’s need for safety, connection, and self-regulation in order to making learning possible. 

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

Online Surveys
Membership Management Software Powered by®  ::  Legal