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BREAKOUT III – SATURDAY, 3/10/18, 3:00 PM –4:15 PM
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3.1 Essential Components of Vocational Evaluation: Employable Goals, Environmental Adjustment, and Expert Interpretation

Dr. James Williams
CRC-Bloom Consulting
Chief Operating Officer/Vocational Expert
7600 Burnet Rd, Ste 102
Austin, TX 78757
512-537-1661
JWilliams@bloomconsultingco.com

 

Bruce Bloom
CRC-Bloom Consulting
President/Vocational Expert
7600 Burnet Rd, Ste 102
Austin, TX 78757
512-537-1661
bbloom@bloomconsultingco.com

 

Audience category: All

Audience level of expertise: All

 

Brief Session Description:

This timely and transparent session focuses on the research-based tools and methodology needed to ensure an accurate and appropriate functional vocational evaluation. Using high-quality psychometric, environmental, and employment instruments, families, schools, and, students are empowered with the information they need to make an informed choice regarding their future post-secondary employment, education, and independent living goals.

 

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Dr. James Williams is the Chief Operating Officer and Vocational Expert at Bloom Consulting in Austin. TX. He is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and an Adjunct Professor at St. Edward’s University. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Special Education from Sam Houston State University, his Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and his Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. He is also a certified Special Education Teacher with experience in public and private education and social services. Dr. Williams has provided services to individuals with disabilities, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders, across the lifespan for the past eleven years. He continues to use his professional and personal experience with Asperger's Syndrome as a catalyst to inspire and educate others to believe in the incredible possibilities for adults and children with disabilities when they receive the appropriate support and accommodations.

 

Bruce Bloom is a Vocational Expert, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and the President of Bloom Consulting located in Austin, Texas. Bruce earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The State University of New York at Stony Brook, and his Master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from The University of Texas at Austin. Bruce has worked as a human resource generalist, and an operations manager for several Fortune 500 companies. After graduation from The University of Texas, he started his own Vocational Consulting Company in Austin, Texas, focusing on vocational evaluations, worker compensation, case management, business and educational consultations, job placement, and supported employment services for the Texas Workforce Commission. Bruce worked for two years with Rehab Without Walls as their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor by helping adults diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury in their goals of returning to work. In 2014, Bruce completed a postgraduate program in Forensic Rehabilitation through George Washington University and currently consults with attorneys as a Vocational Expert regarding pre- and post-injury earning capacity in legal disputes, as well as other forensic vocational rehabilitation settings. Bruce sits on the board of advisors for The University of Texas-Austin Vocational Rehabilitation Education program and the Texas Workforce Commission’s Developmental Disabilities Taskforce.



3.2 The Top 40-Chart-Topping District Court Decisions of 2017

Richard L. O’Meara, Esq.
Murray Plumb & Murray
75 Pearl Street, P.O. Box 9785
Portland, ME 04104-5085
Tel:  (207) 773-5651
romeara@mpmlaw.com

 

Amy Phalon, Esq.
Murray Plumb & Murray
75 Pearl Street, P.O. Box 9785
Portland, ME 04101-5085
Tel: 207-773-5651
aphalon@mpmlaw.com

 

Audience category: All

Audience level of expertise:All

 

Brief Session Description:

IDEA hearing decisions initially are 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, Title IX, 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 offer a somewhat lighthearted, but seriously important, survey of the district courts "hit parade" of decisions handed down in 2017.  The focus is on what we believe to be the 40 best district court decisions that should be cited and quoted by attorneys and advocates representing children with disabilities. 

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Richard O'Meara, Esq is a shareholder and director in the law firm of Murray, Plumb & Murray in Portland, Maine, which has the largest practice in Maine representing families of students with disabilities.  He received his B.A degree summa cum laude from Dartmouth College; an M.Sc. degree with distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a J.D. degree summa cum laude from the University of Virginia School of Law.  Mr. O’Meara has been involved with the ACLU of Maine since 1987 and with COPAA since its inception.  As part of his civil litigation practice, he regularly represents families of children with disabilities in disputes arising under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Maine Human Rights Act.  Mr. O’Meara is the president of the Board of Disability Rights Maine, the state’s federally-funded protection and advocacy agency, and a member of COPAA’s Amicus Curiae Committee.

 

Amy Phalon is an associate attorney at the law firm of Murray Plumb & Murray.  Her practice is centered on representing students with disabilities and their families.  Amy received her J.D. from Maine Law School in 2013.  She received an M.A. in English from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, in 2001; and her undergraduate degree is from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  Prior to embarking on her legal career, Amy taught writing and English literature courses at York County Community College in Wells, Maine.  She is a member of the Disability Rights Maine Board of Directors and the Chairperson of the Town of York Planning Board.


 

3.3 How to Write an Engagement Letter

Andrew A. Feinstein, Esq.
Feinstein Education Law Group
86 Denison Avenue
Mystic, Connecticut 06355
860-572-8585
andy@attorneyfeinstein.com

Jillian Griswold
Feinstein Education Law Group
86 Denison Avenue
Mystic, Connecticut 06355
jillian@attorneyfeinstein.com

 

Audience category: Attorney/Law Student
A
udience level of expertise: Novice/Intermediate

Brief Session Description:

Lawyers represent clients under retainer agreements, the terms and conditions are set forth in an engagement letter. This session outlines what needs to be covered in such a letter both to protect the lawyer and to abide by ethics rules; the specifics to be included in the scope of work; and answers such questions as: how specific should the scope of work be?  To whom does attorney-client privilege run?  Who is the client?  When does representation end?  Do fixed price agreements work?  Are they ethical?  How can contingent fee agreements be structured? 

 

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Andrew A. Feinstein has represented children with disabilities and their families pursuing appropriate educational programs for the past twenty years, first in Hartford with David C. Shaw, later, as a solo practitioner in Mystic, Connecticut, and since 2015, as the principal at Feinstein Education Law Group, with offices in Mystic and Manchester, Connecticut. He is co-chair of the Government Relations Committee for the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), the preeminent national special education advocacy organization and an adjunct professor of special education law at Central Connecticut State University.  Attorney Feinstein was graduated from Wesleyan University in 1972 and the New York University School of Law in 1975.  He completed the Senior Manager in Government Program at the Kennedy School, Harvard University, in 1983.  He has served as a professional staff member of the House Committee on Armed Services and Chief Counsel of the House Civil Service Subcommittee.

 

Jillian Griswold, Esq. joined the Feinstein Education Law Group in 2015. Before joining the firm, she represented low income children and their families in education law matters at Connecticut Legal Services for eight years. Jillian has helped parents and students in over 38 towns throughout Connecticut. Her experience includes representation in special education matters (including PPT/IEP meetings, mediations, due process hearings, and federal appeals) as well as representation at school expulsion hearings and school accommodation/residency hearings. Jillian is regularly invited to speak to parent groups, state agencies and other attorneys/advocates about education law, as well as provide trainings. She has also testified in front of Connecticut legislators on issues that impact children with disabilities in school. Jillian received a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and is admitted to the Connecticut State Bar, the Federal District of Connecticut and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She is also a member the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates. Jillian lives in the woods of Willington, Connecticut with her husband, two children, and an old Pug named Finnegan.


 

3.4 Making School Choice Work for Students with Disabilities

Eve Hill
Brown Goldstein & Levy
120 E. Baltimore St., Suite 1700
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 962-1030
ehill@browngold.com

 

Audience category: All

Audience level of expertise: Novice

 

Brief Session Description:

This session addresses how "school choice" systems, including voucher and charter programs, challenge the implementation and enforcement of the rights of students with disabilities.  Systemic effects on students with disabilities, legal issues regarding the disability rights of students, and what states and advocates should demand when deciding whether and how to implement school choice systems are covered. 

 

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Eve Hill is a Partner at the law firm of Brown Goldstein & Levy.  She is a nationally known disability rights advocate and expert on disability rights law.  Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Hill was Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she was a member of the Civil Rights Division’s leadership team and was responsible for oversight of the Division’s disability rights enforcement, educational civil rights enforcement, Title VI interagency coordination and the American Indian Working Group.  Highlights of Ms. Hill’s work at the Department include participating as part of the negotiating team for the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled; testifying before Senate Committees on disability rights issues; enforcing ADA requirements for websites and other digital technology; implementing Olmstead community integration requirements in residential, employment and education settings; and enforcing civil rights in education, law enforcement, public services, and health care contexts. Previously, Ms. Hill served as Senior Vice President of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, where she was responsible for the Institute’s disability civil rights work.  Ms. Hill was the founding Director of the Washington DC Office of Disability Rights, a Cabinet-level DC government agency.  Prior to joining the District, she was Executive Director of the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles.  She was also a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California School of Law and Loyola Marymount University School of Education.   Ms. Hill started her disability rights work at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section.  Before joining the Justice Department, Ms. Hill was an associate with the Washington, D.C. firm of Pierson Semmes & Bemis. Ms. Hill is the co-author of a treatise and casebook on Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy, as well as law review articles on disability rights.   Ms. Hill received her J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School, which recently presented her its Exemplary Public Service Award.



3.5 Assessing, Treating, and Monitoring Interfering Behavior: And The Importance of Accurate Data

David Kuhn, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Director, Advanced Interventions
Milestones Behavioral Services
339 Boston Post Road
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 799-4110 x566
david.kuhn@ibtservices.org

 

Judy Palazzo, MS, BCBA, LBA
Director of Behavioral/Consultative Services
Milestones Behavioral Services
339 Boston Post Road
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 799-4110 x576
palazzo@cccdinc.org

 

Audience category: All

Audience level of expertise: Novice/Intermediate

 

Brief Session Description:

One of the most common reasons individuals with developmental disabilities lose their educational placement and/or are not effectively educated within school programs is due to challenging behaviors. This session not only discusses the process of correctly assessing student behaviors, but also how information gathered should be used to guide treatment development and how efficacy should be evaluated.

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Dr. David Kuhn received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University with a specialization in intellectual and developmental disabilities. Subsequently, Dr. Kuhn was a Senior Behavior Analyst at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, co-director of the Behavioral Psychology Program at the Westchester Institute for Human Development and Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the New York Medical College, and Clinical Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Associate Professor at Columbia University and Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Kuhn is currently the Director of the Advanced Interventions and Evaluation & Planning programs at Milestones Behavioral Services, in Orange, CT. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-D and Licensed Psychologist in New York and Connecticut.   Dr. Kuhn is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and has served as a guest reviewer for numerous journals. He was President of the Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis 2007-2008.  Dr. Kuhn has published over 20 research articles and book chapters. His current research interests focus on the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior as well as increasing appropriate behavioral repertoires among individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disabilities as an approach to both increase adaptive behavior and decrease problem behavior.

 

Judith Palazzo holds a Master of Science Degree in Special Education, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and has been in the field of autism treatment since 1990, providing services for children with autism across public and private schools as well as home and community settings.  In 1999, Ms. Palazzo joined Milestones (formerly the Connecticut Center for Child Development) a private, non-profit, agency that provides services and support to individuals with autism and their families where she served as Clinical Director for both center-based and outreach programs. Ms. Palazzo currently serves as the Director of Behavioral Services for Milestones.  She is responsible for overseeing and supporting all clinical directors for Milestones center-based programs and consultative services, ensuring effective student programming, staff/parent training, and continued implementation of ABA strategies across all areas of programming. Ms. Palazzo has presented lectures and workshops on autism and ABA at national and international conferences, served on the Executive Council of Connecticut ABA, and published in Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.



3.6 The Endrew Decision:  What Does It Mean for Systemic Litigation?

Professor Mark C. Weber
Vincent DePaul Professor of Law
DePaul University College of Law
25 E. Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL  60604
(312) 362-8808
mweber@depaul.edu

 

Lewis Bossing
Senior Staff Attorney
Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
1101 15th Street NW, Suite 1212
Washington, DC  20005
(202) 467-5730 x1307
lewisb@bazelon.org

 

Audience category: All
A
udience level of expertise: Intermediate/Advanced 

 

Brief Session Description:

The Supreme Court's decision in Endrew F. announced a new, markedly more demanding standard for FAPE under the IDEA.  How should Endrew F. inform advocacy to ensure that all students with disabilities make progress toward ambitious academic and post-secondary goals?  The presenters analyze Endrew and its progeny, and make the case for systemic advocacy to ensure that school districts implement schoolwide approaches to helping all students reach high achievement goals.

 

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Mark C. Weber, Esq., is the Vincent de Paul Professor of Law at the DePaul University College of Law.  Professor Weber's main professional interests are disability rights and complex tort litigation. He is the author of Disability Harassment (NYU Press), Understanding Disability Law (Lexis-Nexis), Special Education Law Cases and Material (Lexis-Nexis) (with Sarah Redfield and Ralph Mawdsley), and Special Education Law and Litigation Treatise (LRP Pubs.). He frequently speaks on disability law issues at national and international programs. He has presented testimony on the implementation of the ADA to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and is active in community service and legislative initiatives on disability matters. Professor Weber's work on complex tort litigation includes both scholarship and law reform efforts. He has appeared at programs on mass tort issues conducted by the Indiana court system, the Illinois court system, and the Federal Judicial Center, and at various academic symposia. He began his career as a staff attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and then worked as a clinical fellow at University of Chicago Law School. At DePaul, he has served as associate dean and acting dean of the College of Law. He has received the College of Law Outstanding Teaching Award, the DePaul University Excellence in Public Service Award, the College of Law Excellence in Scholarship Award, the DePaul Spirit of Inquiry Award, and the Center for Disability and Elder Law Distinguished Service Award. He was named Vincent dePaul Professor of Law in 2004.

 

Lewis Bossing, Esq., is a senior staff attorney for the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.  Since coming to the Center in 2007, Mr. Bossing has worked on a broad array of issues affecting adults and children with mental disabilities, including community integration, education, voting, and criminal justice.  Bossing has been involved with most of Bazelon’s education litigation over the past ten years, including coordinating Bazelon’s work as class counsel in the longstanding special education class action Blackman v. District of Columbia, which achieved significant reforms in Washington, DC’s special education dispute resolution system.  Bossing is also on the litigation team for the nation’s largest special education class action, Doe v. Ohio, where, working with expert educators, he has investigated special education practices in Ohio school districts. Bossing has also worked on the Center’s groundbreaking litigation seeking equal education opportunities for students who are unnecessarily segregated in separate schools and separate classrooms.  Bossing is lead counsel for Bazelon in its litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against the Pasadena (CA) Unified School District, and has also worked on the Center’s ADA enforcement actions against the Springfield (MA) Public Schools and the Lansing (MI) Public Schools. Bossing frequently speaks on disability education topics including, recently, the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, which announced a new standard for evaluating whether schools provided FAPE to students with disabilities.  Bossing co-authored an amicus brief in the Supreme Court’s proceedings in the case on behalf of former Department of Education officials in support of the plaintiffs.  He also led Bazelon’s contribution to an amicus brief in the District of Columbia Court of Appeal’s proceedings in D.L. v. District of Columbia, in which that court reaffirmed that IDEA cases may be class actions.



3.7 Understanding the Differences Between IDEA, a Law to Educate Students with Disabilities, and the ADA/504 which Prohibit Disability Discrimination

David M. Grey
Grey & Grey
2800 28th St., Suite 330
Santa Monica, CA 90405
310-444-1980
david@greyslaw.com

 

Audience category: All 

Audience level of expertise: Novice/Intermediate 

 

 Brief Session Description:

This program clears up the confusing differences between 504, ADA, and the IDEA. IDEA's focus is to provide special education tailored to the child's unique needs so they will make progress. ADA/504 prohibit disability discrimination and ensure equality of opportunity.  504 also has additional educational requirements similar to IDEA, not found in the ADA.

 

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

David M. Grey, Esq. is a partner with the law firm of Grey & Grey in Santa Monica.  David is an experienced special education attorney who has successfully handled a lot of due process hearings and appeals in state and federal court.  He has experience with a broad range of special education matters. A significant number of his cases involve people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or those who are in danger of being seriously hurt if not properly served by the school. David has a growing interest in using civil rights laws to obtain injunctive relief and damages beyond what is provided for under IDEA. Prior to his special education practice, David focused on employment and real estate disputes, where he had many jury trials, arbitrations and administrative hearings.  He is a cum laude graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University and received his law degree from Hofstra University in New York. David has lectured and written extensively on a variety of legal topics. Most recently he was successful in convincing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse summary judgment against two of his clients in K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District, 725 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. 2013)(cert. denied). The Ninth Circuit made clear that compliance with IDEA does not foreclose rights available under the Americans with Disabilities Act.



3.8 Trauma-informed Holistic Advocacy: The Integration of Legal and Social Work Services in Special Education Advocacy

Verity Sandell
James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy
Special Educational Legal Advocacy Attorney
1123 Emerson St., Ste. 203
Evanston, IL 60201
847-492-1410
vsandell@moran-center.org

 

Audience category: Attorney/advocate/Related Professional

Audience level of expertise: Intermediate/Advanced  

 

Brief Session Description:

Combining the strengths of social work in special education advocacy facilitates comprehensive, wrap-around representation. Various options for incorporating social work discussed will include providing case management, clinical care, building consensus, and diffusing conflict.  The model at the Moran Center will be discussed as a case study.  The presentation also includes a discussion of the ways that social workers help provide trauma informed care and emotional support in the midst of difficult legal cases, and help our clients access the wrap around services they need. 

 

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Verity Sandell represents children and parents in their special education, school discipline, and other education matters. As part of her work, she provides training on education law issues to attorneys, case workers, parents, guardians, and mental health professionals. Prior to joining the Moran Center in September 2016, Verity served as a staff attorney in the Legal Assistance Foundation’s Children and Families Practice Group. Before becoming an attorney, Verity taught elementary school in the Chicago Public Schools, as a Teach For America corps member. Her experiences teaching led her to law school, to advocate for the educational rights of low income students. 

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