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BREAKOUT VI – SUNDAY, 3/11/18, 11:30 AM –12:45 PM
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6.1 ADAAA Accommodations for People /Students with Disabilities: Transitioning from High School to College and the Workforce

Donna Drumm, Esq. and Certified ADA Advocate
DrummAdvocacy, Founder,
800 Westchester Ave. Suite N-641,
Rye Brook, NY 10573,
914 222 0529

 

Molly McCabe, Mercy College
Associate Director, Office of ACCESSibility
Division of Student Affairs
555 Broadway, Main Hall 109
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
mmccabe4@mercy.edu
Phone: (914)-674-7523

Audience category: All

Audience level of expertise: Intermediate

Brief Session Description:

Identify differences in the accommodations processes for persons with disabilities in K-12 (using FAPE and IDEA); in colleges (using ADA and Sect. 504) and the workplace (using the ADA and EEOC regulations). This session is beneficial for special education attorneys and advocates; includes perspectives from an attorney advocate and a college disability support office administrator.

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Donna Drumm is the principal of DrummAdvocacy.  (www.drummadvocacy.com) Her civil rights practice is devoted to assisting court users, students and hospital patients with obtaining accommodations for their visible and invisible disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  She is an adjunct professor at Mercy College presenting coursework in the Masters of Health program. She also teaches Civil Litigation and Law Office Management courses to students in Mercy’s paralegal program.Ms. Drumm’s passion for serving persons with invisible disabilities began when she met her realtor (Ms. C), who was being sued by a state security commission for $1.25 million dollars.  The fine was incurred by her ex-husband who was imprisoned for his participation in a Ponzi scheme.  “During her seven-year legal ordeal, I observed this vibrant and intelligent woman suffer bouts of depression and PTSD before court hearings and after court hearings which rendered her unable to get out of bed for weeks.  Ms. C. emerged victoriously and was released from the $1.25 million fine.  Still suffering from her disabilities, she fought to change the law which resulted in severing liability for an for ex-spouse to pay fines for the wrongdoings of a former spouse.  And she won! “Seeing first hand the devastation a court case can have on a person’s emotional state, I searched for a body of law that would support litigants’ well-being during the litigation process.” Ms. Drumm found Dr. Karin Huffer, author of “Unlocking Justice” which explained the bridge of the Americans with Disabilities Act and courtroom accommodations.  Ms. Drumm completed her certificate as an Americans with Disabilities Advocate in 2014.  Her advocacy practice was published in the September 2016 edition of the New York State Bar Association’s Bar Journal. She has spoken on ADA Advocacy at Mercy College, before the New York State Bar Association at its annual meeting in 2017 and for the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.As an associate at the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, she worked on international cases in antitrust, products liability, bankruptcy and other civil litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States.  Her affiliation with bar associations became professional when she joined the staff of the Westchester County Bar Association as the CLE & Publications Director and then Executive Director until 2014. Her experience in running her practice began in 2008, Discoverlaw and as of 2015 Drumm Advocacy. Ms. Drumm is admitted to practice in New York State and the United States Supreme Courts. She is a certified Americans with Disabilities Advocate.

 

Molly McCabe is the Associate Director for the Office of ACCESSibility at Mercy College. Her primary responsibility is to ensure equal access to curriculum and college life for students with disabilities. This is achieved through managing accommodation requests, meeting with students, executing skills-based workshops and programs, updating college policies to reflect current disability law, and consulting with faculty and staff on best practices. Before Mercy, Molly was a special education teacher with Teach for America in Charleston, South Carolina. Her experience includes working in the areas of learning disabilities, assistive technology, inclusive teaching practices, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Molly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Interdisciplinary Studies from Stonehill College. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology at Ball State University (expected graduation July 2017).



6.2 Reviewing Timothy W. After Endrew: Meaningful Related Services for Students with Significant Disabilities

Rebecca Diddams, Esq.
Lanterman Regional Center Special Education Law Clinic
Staff Attorney
3303 Wilshire Blvd. #700, Los Angeles, CA 90010
480-643-9826
Rebeccadiddams@gmail.com

 

Alex Tracosas
UCLA School of Law, JD Candidate 2019
Lanterman Regional Center Special Education Law Clinic, Intern
3303 Wilshire Blvd. #700, Los Angeles, CA 90010
310-351-0808
Tracosas2019@lawnet.ucla.edu

Audience category: Attorney/Advocate/Parent

Audience level of expertise: Intermediate

 

Brief Session Description:

How to respond to denials or inadequate offers of Language and Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy for students with multiple or significant disabilities. Learn the true extent of the educational/medical model split, and gain useful tools to argue for service eligibility and increased service time under the "appropriately ambitious" standard.

Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Rebecca Diddams, Esq. received bachelors degrees in Psychology and Justice Studies from Arizona State University, and her Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law. During law school, she began interning with Lanterman Regional Center’s Special Education Law Clinic, in Los Angeles, CA, working as an advocate for families of children with developmental disabilities. After law school, she continued with the Law Clinic as a fellow and grant recipient from the Department of Developmental Services to reduce disparity in access of services.  She has been working towards this goal by providing multi-lingual trainings to families, social workers, and community members about Special Education law and families’ rights.

 

Alex Tracosas is a 24-year-old Los Angeles native. In 2015, Alex graduated Summa Cum Laude from Syracuse University with a B.A. in Political Science. He is currently working toward a joint juris doctor and master’s degree in public policy from the UCLA School of Law and UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Upon graduating in 2020, he aspires to enter the political arena as a staunch advocate for, among others, the developmentally disabled and mentally ill.



6.3 "It's All Greek to Me" - Understanding Psychoeducational Assessment Results

Rebecca Saitz, Ed.S/M.S.
Feeney Law Office, PLLC
School Psychology Consultant/Advocate
1177 Jadwin Avenue, Ste. 104
Richland, WA 99352
(561) 756-7614
rsaitz21@gmail.com

 

Kerri Feeney, M.Ed,
Attorney at Law;
Feeney Law Office, PLLC; Attorney;
1177 Jadwin Avenue, Ste. 104,
Richland, WA 99352;
(509) 946-5200
kerri@feeneylaw.net

Audience category: All

Audience level of expertise: Novice/Intermediate

Brief Session Description:

The purpose of this session is to help attendees translate numerical results into meaningful information for their client or child(ren). Key terms and sample profiles utilizing popular batteries are reviewed to help attendees better understand results of psychoeducational assessments.

 Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Rebecca Saitz, Ed.S/M.S, is a graduate of the COPAA Special Education Advocate Training program and a certified School Psychologist (Florida, Oregon, and Washington). She is a former Oregon Intervention Systems (OIS) certified instructor. OIS is Oregon’s system of training and implementing the principles of Positive Behavior Support and Intervention to students with behavioral and/or cognitive challenges. She graduated with a combined Ed.S/M.S (Counseling in Human Services with a specialization in School Psychology) from The Florida State University. While there, Ms. Saitz was a two-term President of the Counseling and Psychological Services in Education Graduate Student Association. She was also selected by her peers to act as the Intern Representative of her local association. Ms. Saitz later received advanced graduate training in the psychology of performance from Barry University, and successfully completed a Mental Conditioning internship with Evert Tennis Academy. Ms. Saitz currently consults for Feeney Law Office, PLLC in Washington, advocating for the civil rights of students with a focus on research and evaluation.

 

Kerri W. Feeney, MEd, Attorney at Law, provides representation throughout Eastern Washington in all areas of disabilities law, with a practice focus on special education litigation.  In 2014, Kerri completed training as a mediator through Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. In 2015, the Washington State Association of Justice named Kerri the Public Justice Lawyer of the Year for her work advocating on behalf of students with disabilities.  She presents regularly on the topics of dispute resolution, ethics and special education. Kerri is admitted to practice in the Eastern and Western District Courts of Washington, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.



6.4 Expulsion Strategies A Review and Primer

Mandy Leigh, Esq.
870 Market Street,
San Francisco, California 94102
415-399-9155
mleigh@leighlawgroup.com

 Audience category: All

Audience level of expertise: Intermediate/Advanced 

 Brief Session Description:

The aim of this session is to discuss the purpose of expulsion hearings and provide the attendee tools to obtain evidence to win the case and preserve the student's rights for appeal. The trend in manifestation and expulsion hearings is for school representatives to treat the manifestation and expulsion procedures like a criminal trial; but, without many of the protections once would expect from a court of law. Learn to be a super sleuth and approach evidence and procedure in spite of roadblocks by schools. 

 

 Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Mandy G. Leigh is an experienced civil rights and special education attorney with a law practice dedicated to representing children and families across the state of California at IEP meetings, Due Process Hearings and before state and federal tribunals for civil rights violations including but not limited to Section 504, ADA and retaliation claims.   She has worked nationally representing students in IDEA, Section 504 and education related matters, writes frequently on civil rights issues, sits on the Special Education Committee for California’s Office of Administrative Hearings and speaks nationally on issues pertaining to special education and education law.



6.5 Canines in the Classroom -The Law and Educational Benefits of Service Animals in Schools

Sande S. Shamash
Jewish Child and Family Services
Director of the Legal Advocacy Center
216 W. Jackson Blvd. Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60606
312-673-2740

 

Holly L. Christian
Jewish Child and Family Services
Staff Attorney for the Legal Advocacy Center
216 W. Jackson Blvd. Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60606
312-673-2707 

 Audience category: All 

Audience level of expertise: All

 

 Brief Session Description:

Following the recent attention from the decision in the Fry case, this session focuses on the use of service animals in schools. Everything from the definition of service animals and comfort animals and current governing statutes/ case law to the educational benefits of these animals and how to advocate for their inclusion in schools is covered.

 

 Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Sande Shamash has devoted his career to working with children and families.  He started in 1993 as an Assistant Cook County Public Guardian and Attorney and was subsequently appointed by the governor as an Administrative Law Judge, and later Chief Judge of the formerly named Illinois Department of Public Aid.  In 2004, after serving on their Board of Directors, Sande was appointed as the first ever Executive Director of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Illinois, Inc.  (TSA-IL).  As an expert on Tourette Syndrome (TS), Sande has presented and conducted trainings for numerous community groups, school and school district staff.  He also leads and trains leaders for TS support groups throughout the state. Sande has been affiliated with Roosevelt University since 1996.  He’s developed courses and taught classes as an adjunct professor for the University’s paralegal program in the subject areas of commercial law and bankruptcy law, and more recently developed and taught a Special Education Law course.  Sande also serves on Roosevelt University’s Faculty Advisory Board. Sande currently serves as the Director of the Legal Advocacy Center for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.  In that capacity, Sande runs a non-profit program specifically dedicated to assisting clients with special education, guardianship and other disability and mental health legal issues.  Sande received his law degree from DePaul University (1993) and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin (1990).

 

Holly L. Christian began her career advocating on behalf of persons with disabilities by working on the Ohio Veterans Wrap Around Project under then- Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton as a Statehouse Civic Scholar at the University of Dayton. This project focused on increasing the number of Veterans Treatment Courts and resources available to Veterans with mental health, disability, and substance abuse issues in the criminal justice system. After graduating from the University of Dayton with a B.A. in both French and Political Science, Holly continued her work at DePaul College of Law graduating in May of 2016 with a certificate in Public Interest Law. While at DePaul, Holly worked for the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs as an AmeriCorp J.D. member focusing on bettering the treatment of Veterans with PTSD, TBI, physical disabilities and substance abuse problems through legislation, benefits, and case referrals. She was later employed at Children’s Law Group as a law clerk assisting attorneys in special education, probate and other disability cases. She also earned the CALI award in her disability law, animal law, and public international law classes indicating that she received the top grade in the class. Holly also engaged in an independent study on the use of service animals and emotional support animals in public schools under the guidance of Mark C. Weber. Holly served as the President of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at DePaul and remains involved in the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Humane Society and ASPCA efforts to protect animal rights. Following graduation, Holly was appointed to serve as District Justice of northern Ohio in the professional law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta. She also coaches the Phi Alpha Delta mock trial team at DePaul. Holly joined the Legal Advocacy Center of Jewish Child and Family Services in 2016 and continues her work serving individuals with disabilities in her role as a staff attorney representing students and families primarily in contested special education matters. She also provides consultation, information and referrals to individuals in the areas of civil rights, mental health, and disability law. She also serves on the Illinois Attorney General Committee on Special Education on the School to Prison Pipeline Subcommittee.



6.6 A DIY Mediation Kit For Parents, Advocates, and New Attorneys

Jane DuBovy
Attorney at Law
881 Alma Real, #309
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
310-573-1430
njdubovy@a2zedad.com

 

The Honorable Marc Levine
Retired, Attorney at Law
818-429-0770
JudgeMarc@att.net

 

Audience category: Attorney/Advocate/Parent 
A
udience level of expertise: Novice/Intermediate

 

 Brief Session Description:

The session helps participants understand the mediation process and how to better prepare, organize, and argue cases at IDR and Due Process mediations.  Charts for compensatory education and reimbursements are supplied and explained.  Learn approaches for compensatory education hours are determined and when to include transportation and other services as part of the negotiations. Participants also learn how to properly organize issues in order of importance along with how to present information at the mediation. 

 

 Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Jane DuBovy is a widely known and respected attorney.  She has been practicing law for over 37 years, 25 years in the field of bankruptcy and 16 years in the field of representing students with special needs.  She has a 23 year-old son, diagnosed with Autism, who motivates her to champion for his, and others’, rights.  Leaving the bankruptcy practice behind, she focuses 100% of her legal energy on students with special needs and their families.  She is also an avid tennis player. On behalf of her son she has filed for Due Process against LAUSD, and won; Westside Regional Center, and won; Boy Scouts of America and settled, SSI and in the midst of appeal, and finally FedEx, for employment discrimination. She’s a trained mediator who has been on the bankruptcy mediation panel for over 20 years.

 

Judge Marc Levine has been practicing law for over 15 years.  He was associate general counsel and held an executive position with a major insurance company for 10 years.  In 2010, he left the private sector to work for the State of California as an Administrative Law Judge.  While on the bench, Judge Levine heard cases involving individuals with disabilities, as well as those involving children in special education cases.  He was also an arbitrator with American Arbitration Association and is a certified mediator.  Judge Levine retired from the bench in 2017, and has since been dedicated to advocating for the rights of children and their parents. 



6.7 It Takes a Village (or a Medical-Legal Partnership): Using Title IX and IDEIA to Advocate for the Needs of Pregnant and Parenting Students

Sarah Flohre
Supervising Attorney
Children’s Law Center
501 3rd Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20001
P: 202-467-4900 ext. 628
F: 202-467-4949
e-mail: sflohre@childrenslawcenter.org 

Audience category: All 

Audience level of expertise: All

 

Brief Session Description:

This presentation provides the audience with an overview of applicable law and creative advocacy strategies under IDEA and Title IX for ensuring the needs of pregnant and parenting youth are met in their schools, ranging from how to advocate to ensure a pregnant or parenting youth is able to return to school to tips for ensuring young parents have equal access to attend the education meetings of their own children. 

 

 Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Sarah Flohre a supervising attorney in the Healthy Together program, a Medical Legal Partnership at DC’s Children’s Law Center. Sarah joined Children’s Law Center as a special education staff attorney in 2012, after working for many years in private practice, advocating for the special education needs of low-income children and families. She has litigated over thirty administrative due process hearings, has litigated appeals of Hearing Officers’ Decisions under IDEIA in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and has assisted with class action litigation on post-Katrina health care issues. Sarah has also presented on special education issues and special education litigation practice in many forums, including at the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) Annual Conference, the National Association of Counsel for Children’s Annual Conference (NACC), and the 16th and 17th ABA Children and the Law Conferences.



6.8 Don't Shed Your Rights at the (Private) Schoolhouse Gate: Remedying Discrimination in Non-Public Schools

Sarah E. Zuba, Esquire
Reisman Carolla Gran, LLP
19 Chestnut Street
Haddonfield NJ  08033
856.354.0091
sarah@rcglawoffices.com

 

Catherine Merino Reisman, Esquire
Reisman Carolla Gran, LLP
19 Chestnut Street
Haddonfield NJ  08033
856.354.0071
catherine@rcglawoffices.co

 

 Audience category: Attorney

Audience level of expertise: Intermediate 

 

 Brief Session Description:

This session  examines the opportunities, challenges, and strategies in holding nonpublic schools accountable for violations of the civil rights of students with disabilities in state and federal courts and administrative proceedings, focusing on Section 504, the ADA, and even IDEA, along with state anti-discrimination laws and contract law. 

 

 Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Sarah E. Zuba, a partner of Reisman Carolla Gran LLP, brings experience in both civil litigation and education to her advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families. While studying at The College of New Jersey and after graduating from Yale Law School in 2002, Ms. Zuba taught students of all ages, including children with special needs, in a variety of settings. Ms. Zuba serves as Chair of the board of Community Treatment Solutions, a nonprofit mental and behavioral health provider for at-risk youth and their families. She regularly presents to parent and professional groups throughout New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania and at COPAA conferences.

 

Catherine Merino Reisman, a founding partner of Reisman Carolla Gran LLP, focuses her advocacy efforts on protecting the legal and civil rights of adults and children who have disabilities. Ms. Reisman is a Board member of COPAA, co-chair of the Amicus Committee and a former Chair of the COPAA Board. She represents clients with disabilities not only in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but nationwide. Catherine regularly speaks to parent groups and has presented at several COPAA conferences. She graduated New York University in 1985 from Yale Law School in 1989.


 

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