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Student Rights Initiative Draft Program
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Friday, March 11, 2016

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Welcome Activity - led by Hasan Davis, COPAA's Opening Keynote Speaker

In this interactive workshop Hasan shares impactful strategies for building a culture of accountability in a classroom or any small group (geared for students).  He will share a new twist on an old favorite, the Bio Poem, as a tool for understanding students and planning with them for success. Bring your imagination and your tools (Paper and pens) because the best way to understand is by experiencing the possibilities.


5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Keynote Address with COPAA 2016 Conference Attendees

SRI participants will join COPAA’s conference attendees for the opening keynote address by Hasan Davis.  Hasan will share his journey through the education, justice and social service systems. Systems that more often than not failed to provide him the support he needed to be successful. Luckily on his journey, there were within each system outliers and resisters, whom Hasan affectionately calls “hope dealers”, who found a way to engage, encourage and empower him. With their support he was able to transcend his mounting list of “failures” and become a champion for youth.  Hasan believes that each person in the community has the opportunity, and the responsibility, to influence and change the way youth encounter the education, justice and social service systems.  Hasan will share the simple strategies his personal champions employed to help him make the JD shuffle from Hasan Davis Juvenile Delinquent to Hasan Davis Juris Doctor. 


6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Social Night for students only (with chaperones)

Join the party for  a chance to get to know your fellow SRI participants better!  Building a community of fellow self-advocates is an important part of the SRI.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

8:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Working Breakfast: What do you think your rights are?

Led by:  Alexis Casillas

In this working breakfast, participants will have a collaborative and interactive discussion in which they will discuss what they already know about their rights under the law, and begin to learn from other students and from the trainers in order to expand that knowledge.


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM 
Breakout 1: Self-Advocacy and its Role in the Laws

Presented by Denise Marshall and Michael Gilberg, Esq.

In this presentation, Denise Marshall, COPAA’s Executive Director, and Michael Gilberg, a special education attorney and self-advocate, will provide participants with an overview of the legal and policy reasons for self-advocacy in the IEP process.  Denise and Michael will discuss the role of self-advocacy and the importance of students becoming more involved in their own IEPs.


12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Awards Lunch with COPAA 2016 Conference attendees

SRI participants will join COPAA conference attendees for the 2016 Annual Awards Luncheon.  The luncheon features presentation of the Diane Lipton Award for Outstanding Advocacy.  Students will have the opportunity to eat lunch with other participants, to listen to inspirational speeches about the impact of advocacy, and to be part of the larger COPAA community for this exiting event.


1:30 PM - 2:45  PM
Breakout 2: Sample IEP Meeting

Panel Demonstration

A mock IEP meeting will be presented in which students will be able to learn from observing the interactions of parents, students, advocates, school district representatives and professionals in a hypothetical IEP scenario.


3:00 PM - 4:15PM

Breakout 3: What’s Out There? A presentation on possible interventions and accommodations available in school

Moderator:  Mandy Favaloro

Panelist Include:  Matt Cohen, Missy Alexander, Lauren Stevenson, Susan Bruce 

Mandy Favaloro will moderate a panel that includes a special education attorney, a special education advocate, a clinical psychologist and a parent to discuss available interventions, accommodations and services in the school system.  Students will learn about what services they can access and what accommodations exist to assist them in their educational programs.  They will also learn from the presenters more about Individual Transition Plans and interventions / services geared towards preparing students to transition to adulthood.


4:15 PM - 5:45 PM

Breakout 4: Planning Session: Figure Out What You Need and How to Get it Through the planning process

Group Facilitators:  Michael Gilberg, Missy Alexander, Mandy Favaloro, Carrie Watts and Cheryl Poe

In this workshop, participants will work in small groups facilitated by SRI trainers to learn to plan for the IEP process.  Building on the information and skills learned thus far, students will develop a plan for giving a presentation to their IEP teams about what they want changes, why they need what they need, and why they do not want what they do  not want.  Students will have the opportunity to practice verbal communication and self-advocacy skills in the small groups with input from other participants and guidance from SRI trainers.



6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
General COPAA Conference Reception

SRI participants will have the opportunity to join COPAA conference attendees at the Saturday night reception and silent auction.  At this informal, networking event, students will be able to spend more time with one another and also mingle with attorneys, advocates, parents and professionals within the COPAA community.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

8:00AM -10:00 AM 
Working Breakfast: Past IEP Recipients Show How IEPs Can Work and Prepare Students for a Lifetime of Success

Led by:  Michael Gilberg COPAA Board Member Attorney (additional panelist to be added)

Michael Gilberg will lead a discussion with other past IEP recipients.  The presenters will will discuss their experiences growing up as students with IEPs and how that experience has shaped their lives and careers leading them to where they are today. They will discuss the steps IEP recipients can take to best position themselves for future success in all areas including college, career, and social/emotional. They will also talk about the mistakes that they made or were made on their behalf and how to avoid these traps. They will also discuss with the students what they would like to see changed in their current IEPs and how to facilitate those changes and how sometimes interventions that the student does not like at the time are beneficial to their long term success.


10:15 AM -11:15 AM 
Breakout 5: Brief Case-law in Review and Discussion of the Broader Disability Movement Trends

Moderator:  Carrie Watts

Panelists Include:  Judith Gran and Selene Almazan

Presenters, including those at the forefront of both the initial and current movement, will review the history of how special education became a civil right protection for students with disabilities.  Students will gain an understanding of how their own rights interact within broader disability movement trends.


11:15 AM -12:45 PM
Breakout 6: Planning for How to Spread the Message Back Home

Led by: Alexis Casillas and Missy Alexander

Presenters will facilitate a group discussion for SRI participants to debrief on what they’ve learned during their time together, and what they want to do with that knowledge.  In this interactive session, poster paper will be used with headings of “something new I learned,” “what I plan to do for myself,” and “points I want to share with others.”  As participants share their input in each of these 3 categories, they’ll be recorded on the pages for all to see and copy themselves (if they so choose).  We’ll also talk about what they need to help them implement what they want to do for themselves and what they want to share with others.  Participants will be encouraged to make a ‘to do’ list with action steps to help them achieve their goals.


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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