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2019 Pre-Conference Call For Proposals: March 7th and/or 8th, 2019
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COPAA is seeking proposals for presentation at The 21th Annual Conference, Pre-conference sessions are held 7th and /or 8th, 2019. Sessions can be two full days, one full day or 1/2 day ( 3.5 hours). Interested applicants must review the requirements for proposal content and format below prior to clicking on REGISTER to submit. Please follow full directions and include all information requested, including attachment of a single word document.

6/18/2018 to 9/7/2018
Where: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
500 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana  70130
United States
Contact: Conference Committee
844-426-7224 ext. 701

Online registration is closed.
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COPAA's 21th Annual Conference: Call for Pre-Conference Proposals

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, March 7th and/or 8th, 2019

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 in sessions that discuss/address:

  • Endrew F. measuring progress; Challenging and ambitious goals; Where are we now? 
  • The business of an advocacy practice
  • Bullying & Harassment
  • Strategies for assuring faithful implementation of IEPs and related services, supports, and accommodations to assure meaningful progress, and to include issue spotting in special education documents.
  • Assessment; breakdowns of, comparisons of, and introductions to assessment batteries, testing profiles for specific disabilities / suspected disabilities etc.
  • Addressing challenging behaviors that interfere with learning and discipline. Advocacy strategies from the IEP table to addressing interfering behaviors and how to successfully manage an expulsion hearing.
  • Practical application of IDEA, 504, and the ADA in day-to-day work (we would like more of ‘here’s what to do’ rather than ‘this is what the law is’).
  • Section 504:  Understanding rights under the law, comparison with rights under IDEA and the ADA.
  • Transition and post high school options: both for higher education and employment.
  • Strategies to increase social and racial equity for students with disabilities and their families.
  • Practical solutions to address the School to Prison Pipeline
  • Designing meaningful, “appropriately ambitious” IEPs in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Since not all in the audience have a hand in directly drafting IEPs, let’s include issue spotting.
  • Trauma: strategies to address the needs of students with a history of trauma.
  • Topics of national importance (not state specific) that include specific advocacy strategies for participants to add and implement in their local communities of practice.
  • Strategies to close the gap between the promise and the reality of the civil right to an equal, quality education. Audience wants to know what specifically to do.
  • Sessions that demonstrate the power of a quality education to produce outcomes for students and families. 
  • Post Filing and pre-hearing strategies: Practice tips for managing a 10 day offer including litigation strategies.
  • Charter Schools and Students with Disabilities: who’s responsible?  Practical interactions in protecting the rights of SWD.
  • Ethics for Attorneys.
  • Ethics for Advocates.
  • 504 Litigation and Exhaustion requirement post Fry.
  • Topics for advanced attorneys and advocates/related professionals.
  • Or sessions that demonstrate a combination of these factors.   
  • 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 and the length of the training. 

Proposals must be received on or before midnight Eastern Time on August 10, 2018. 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. Length of Session:  Two full days, One full day or 1/2 day (3.5 hours).

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

9. Copy of lead presenter's current resume (include in the Word document with proposal information and is included in the 15 page maximum). 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 10th deadline will be considered. 

Preliminary questions concerning proposals should be emailed to conference@copaa.org

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.   

Click on the Register (in the blue box at the top of this page) to submit a proposal.

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