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2016 Breakout Session IV
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Breakout Session IV (Saturday, March 12th, 4:30 - 5:45)


Ø 4.1 Education Advocacy for Court-Involved Students: Strategies for Success

Presenters: Marlies Spanjaard, Esq., Michele G. Scavongelli, Esq.

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: All Attendees

Description:  Students with disabilities are disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Court-involved children, whether in child welfare or delinquency proceedings, are likely to be in need of advocacy in matters related to their education. Compared to their peers, children in foster care have higher rates of school transfer, absenteeism, tardiness, truancy, suspension, expulsion, and drop-out. Approximately 54% of youth in foster care receive high school diplomas versus a national average of 75%.  Collaboration between court attorneys and educational advocates is key for the child’s success.  This session provides strategies for effective partnering to produce better outcomes in both school and court.

4.2 Make Your Practice Thrive Serving Low & Moderate Income Families

Presenters: Michael O'Connor, Esq., Andrew Cuddy, Esq. 

Audience Category: Attorneys

Audience Experience Level: All Attendees

Description: Many special education firms struggle financially and many attorneys are reluctant to enter this field of practice. The presenters offer their experience in relying on the fee-shifting provision of the IDEA to build a robust and effective practice by emphasizing representation of low and moderate income clients.  Perhaps the most critical element of a business model that relies of the fee-shifting provision of the IDEA is the attorney/client relationship established by the engagement letter (retainer agreement). The attendees will be provided ethical guidance and sample language to be used in defining the terms of this relationship.


Ø 4.3 Navigating the Growing and Evolving Charter Sector

Presenters: Lauren Morando Rhim. Ph.D., Donna Best,  Rochanda Hiligh-Thomas, Esq.

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate

Description: More than 2.5 million students attend charter schools yet, questions remain regarding whether they are fulfilling their obligations to students with disabilities. This session presents data regarding special education in the charter sector from the Civil Rights Data Collection and explore legal issues.


Ø 4.4 Challenging Racial Disparities in Special Education

Presenters: David Jefferson, Gloria Perez-Stewart

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: Novice/Intermediate

Description: This session explores how disproportionality affects students of color, and how racial disparities within special education are part of a larger system that unfairly targets this population and prevents access to an equal education. This session includes a historical perspective on (the lack of) racial justice within our special education system, and provides strategies on how advocates and attorneys can use this knowledge to affect long term systemic change beyond individual clients.


Ø 4.5 - THE JUDGE SAID WHAT?! How to Handle Appeals

Presenters: Alexis Casillas, Esq. Catherine Reisman, Esq., Selene Almazan, Esq.

Audience Category:  Attorney

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate / Advance

Description: There is nothing more irritating than getting a decision against you after a well-fought administrative hearing. Except maybe having your win challenged by a school district. This session is intended to help attorneys understand the standards for challenging or defending an administrative decision in the United States District Court, or into the Circuit Court of Appeals.


Ø  4.6 Roadblocks to Getting a Truly Independent IEE              

Presenter: Tania L. Whiteleather, Esq.

Audience Category:  All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate / Advance

Description: LEAs are working hard to not only avoid their duties under IDEA regarding requested Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) but are also acting very creatively to avoid their duties.  This presentation address court decisions regarding the timing of parent requests for IEEs and of LEA responses and of reasonable and unreasonable conditions placed on IEE requests and IEEs by LEAs. Parental participation in development of the IEP is essential to the IDEA. Winkelman v. Parma City    School Dist. 550 U.S. 516, 524, 127 S.Ct. 1994(2007).


Ø 4.7 Discipline of Students with Disabilities Under IDEA, §504 and the ADA

Presenter: David M. Grey, Esq.

Audience Category: Parent, Advocate, and Related Professionals

Audience Experience Level: Intermediate

Description:  Discipline of children with disabilities implicates IDEA, the ADA and §504. IDEA requires that children with disabilities be provided with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Providing FAPE, however, does not mean addressing the needs of the child with a disability as adequately as an able-bodied child. On the other hand, the ADA and §504 are anti-discrimination statutes that require providing children with disabilities with the same opportunities available to the able-bodied child. This difference gives rise to different rights and remedies under the ADA/§504 and IDEA. This program explores the differences between the IDEA, §504 and the ADA as it relates to student discipline. Rights of students, the broader definition of disability under §504/ADA, differences in manifestation determination and non-IDEA remedies are discussed.


Ø 4.8 Obtaining Insurance Reimbursements for ABA Therapy

Presenters: Jodi F. Bouer Esq., Yvonne McNamee, Paralegal

Audience Category: All Attendees

Audience Experience Level: Attorney (All Levels), Advocate and Related Professional (Intermediate / Advanced), and Parent (Advanced)

Description:  An attorney along with a coding and billing specialist present this seminar on how to compel insurers to pay for ABA therapy, and negotiate and strategically use insurance coverage to optimize school district settlements. The attendees are provided with: 1) a summary of the various legal bases to make insurance claims; 2) practical advice on the necessary the medical and documentary support, claims, billing and appeals; and 3) a summary of school district/insurance related settlement tactics and pitfalls.


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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