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Conference Proposals Submission
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COPAA 19th Annual Conference:

Call For Pre-Conference Proposals

The Fairmont Dallas,

March 2-3, 2017

 Click Here to Submit A Proposal For COPAA's PRE-CONFERENCE NOW


COPAA is an unparalleled peer-to-peer network. The Annual COPAA Conference is the only opportunity of it's kind for sharing expertise, networking and face-to-face training. Over 600 leading special education advocates, attorneys and parents from across the country are expected to attend. Sessions focus on excellence in advocacy and strategy to successfully protect and enforce the civil and legal rights of students with disabilities and their families.

The Committee has interest in sessions that demonstrate the success of the full spectrum of tools and processes available under the law. All relevant topics are considered. This year there is a particular interest the following pre-conference topics:

  • Evaluations and Assessments that utilize and discuss the most recent protocols of test instruments used to assess students.
  • Section 504 and ADA application and strategies
  • Neurological Issues and their impact on school performance is also being considered as a pre-conference topic
  • Topics of National Importance (not only state specific) that include specific advocacy strategies for participants to implement in their local communities and practice.
  • Trauma and its impact on the learning process for students, and addressing the needs of students with trauma
  • Topics for Advanced attorneys and advocates/related professionals.
  • Topics of Interest to Parents, caregivers and families
  • Civil Right to an Equal, Quality Education emphasizing strategies to close the gap between the promise and the reality. 
  • Sessions that address the need for advocates, attorneys, parents and empowered self-advocates from diverse communities as leaders and strategies to fully address the inherent inequities experienced by students of color and linguistically diverse students.


  • Dates for Pre-Conference Presentations: Proposals are sought for pre-conference sessions to be held on Thursday, March 2nd and/or Friday, March 3rd, 2017. Some sessions are one day and some are held over two days.
  • Length of Presentation: Pre-conference sessions are held 9:00 am-5:00 pm. We are looking for sessions that are either one or two full days.
  • Online Submission and Accuracy: Complete the online submission, and it is highly recommended to use Google Chrome internet browser for best software compatibility. Make sure you provide all the information requested- see list below. The information relating to the session should be attached in one Word document. You must combine your bio's and resume into one document because uploading a new document removes the prior document.  . 

We expect to receive more proposals than can actually be accepted for presentation. Proposals that do not have complete information in the requested format will not be considered.

  • Audience: Approximately 250-300 registrants for the pre-conference. Attendees include attorneys, advocates, parents, students, related educational professionals and their knowledge level vary widely. The selection committee will ensure the pre-conference sessions offer a range of topics and depth of information so there a variety of options suited for all attendees. Accordingly, proposals should be developed, and clearly identified for the target audience

Proposals must be received on or before midnight Eastern Time on August 15, 2016. Don't wait until the last minute! Click on Register to submit the online form and attach ONE Word document that contains all required information. 

Content of Proposals Must Include the Following:

1. Title of Presentation: 140 Characters Maximum

2. Contact Information for Each Presenter: Organization, Title, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone number, E-mail (Lead presenter first, then Co-Presenter 1, Co-presenter 2, etc.)

3. Brief Session Description: for the Registration Brochure (approximately 40-60 words). It should accurately reflect the content of the white paper and ppt. that will be presented

4. Detailed Session Description: for CLE approval (approx. 300 words)

5. Outline with Session Details

6. Intended Audience: Proposals should identify who the presentation is geared towards and identified as such.

    a) Audience Category: Attorney, Advocate, Related Professional, Parent or Mixed Audience (identify which ones).

    b) Audience Level of Expertise: Novice, Intermediate, or Advanced or a Combination (identify which levels). Note: Please be sure to accurately represent this. We received feedback in evaluations that some session's content and level advertise did not accurately match the presentation.  Please note any prerequisite skills or prior knowledge of subject matter that is required.  

7. Presenter's Biography: 1-2 paragraphs for each presenter to be used in program materials, if selected.

8. Copy of lead presenter's current resume (include in the Word document with proposal information).  Only one single document can be uploaded.

Selection of Proposals and Development of Program

Selections of proposals will be made by COPAA's Conference Sub-Committee based on quality of written submission, topic, and only those that are completed in entirety and submitted by the August 15th deadline will be considered. 

Preliminary questions concerning proposals should be emailed to

Please note:  No single person has authority to assure acceptance of a proposal prior to the committee's review of the submission. As a condition of acceptance, presenters may be asked to develop a longer or more detailed outline on or before a specified date.

Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged via email, if you don't receive a email receipt the proposal submission was not completed.

Decision Letters will be e-mailed in September.

Registration and attendance to COPAA educational events is NOT open to anyone who is not a member of COPAA OR does not meet eligibility.  Any individual who currently receives more than 50% of his/her income from state, local, or, in the case of an attorney, who has represented such an agency or school district within the past five years, shall not be permitted to register or attend a COPAA educational event unless a formal exception is granted by the Executive Director of COPAA.  (Click here for more information regarding membership, guest membership and for the full eligibility policy).

Commitment Requirement:

All speakers agree to provide All materials for your session to be printed by COPAA and provided to attendees by date provided in the acceptance letter. That will include Power Point presentation, cases, supporting materials, examples, etc. Typically, they are due in late January or early February. All documents submitted for attendees must be in an accessible format, and COPAA will provide instructions. Failure to provide materials within the deadline could result in cancellation of the presentation and/or will be considered in reviewing proposals for future COPAA conferences.

Presenters must attend a short speaker preparation conference call in February, there will be two dates and times to choose from. 

Presenter's must bring a laptop and it should have the presentation loaded on that machine and also bring the presentation down loaded to a thumb drive. 

Financial Arrangements

The conference registration fee will be waived. COPAA pre-conference presenter's hotel accommodations will be billed to COPAA for the night before your session begins through the main conference.   



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