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2017 Breakout Session VI
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Breakout VI - Sunday, March 5, 2017 ·  11:30 PM - 12:45 PM




Intended Audience


Representing the Non-Attending Student

Charlie Fox

Julie Welsh



Matchmaker, maker, make me a match: Attorneys and Advocates

Hadassah Foster

Tania L. Whiteleather



Ten Ways to Successfully Request an Independent Education Evaluation

Lesli Doan

Attorney|Advocate|Related Professional|Law Student


The Reporting and Investigation of Abuse in Schools: Problems and Procedures

Colleen Elbe

Kendra Hollingsworth

Attorney|Advocate|Law Student


Full Inclusion: How to Fight for the LRE and What to do When You Get It

Amy Langerman



How to Reap the Benefits of Overlapping Entitlements for Students: IDEA and Medicaid

Tara Ford

Debra Poulin



Addressing the language needs of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing

David M. Grey



Using Technology to Assist in Advocacy

Shenikwa Medlock

Hope Watson



6.1 Representing the Non-Attending Student

Presenters: Charlie Fox, Esq., and Julie Welsh, Esq.
Audience Category: Attorney/Advocate/Parent
Audience Level:  Intermediate

This session focuses on the scope of the problem of non-attendance and student-friendly nomenclature.  Participants learn how to counter the standard district defenses of:  1) it’s a home based problem, 2) the real issue is drug-related or social maladjustment, and 3) lack of medical and/or parental transparency.  Strategies to avoid stone-walling or eligibility denial by school districts are discussed.  The wide variety of case law on the topic of non-attendance and how to apply it to their own cases are presented and practical tips for evaluations and hearings are interspersed throughout the presentation.


6.2 Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match: Attorneys and Advocates

Presenters:  Tania L. Whiteleather, Esq., and Hadassah Lynn Foster
Audience Category:           Attorney/Advocate
Audience Level:  Intermediate/Advanced

Special education attorneys and advocates provide parents of children with disabilities with two different, yet synergetic services. Working together can offer pluses and minus for both parties. This session provides information regarding the legal aspects of attorney/advocate relationships and an understanding of the roles and skills required to maximize benefit to families.  Case law on the subject is examined.


6.3 Ten Ways to Successfully Request an Independent Education Evaluation

Presenter: Lesli Doan, PhD
Audience Category:      Attorney/Advocate/Related Professional/Law Student
Audience Level:       All

This is a visual presentation of the popular late night Advocate discussion with COPAA's "Ask a Psychologist," a monthly tele-webinar outlining issues pertaining to school psychology and special education. In today's special education world, there appears to be a lack of information about what defines an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE), and how to successfully request one from a respective school district. This discussion examines the appropriate steps to take in requesting an Independent Education Evaluation.

6.4 The Reporting and Investigation of Abuse in Schools: Problems and Procedures

Presenters: Colleen Elbe and Kendra Hollingsworth
Audience Category: Attorney/Advocate/Law Student
Audience Level: Intermediate

This presentation includes an examination of the disturbing nationwide rise in allegations of abuse at the schoolhouse. Participants compare and contrast varying state laws on the reporting and investigation of abuse at schools. Local and litigation strategies are presented after a discussion of the complexities and difficulties these cases present to parents, advocates and attorneys nationwide.


6.5 Full Inclusion: How to Fight for the LRE and What to do When You Get It

Presenter: Amy Langerman, J.D.
Audience Category: All
Audience Level: All 

While the IDEA declares that children with disabilities be educated with peers without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate, schools pay lip service to this congressional mandate and continue to warehouse children in self- contained classrooms. This session reviews the legal requirements for LRE, strategies to fight for full inclusion, and how to make inclusive practices work.


6.6 How to Reap the Benefits of Overlapping Entitlements for Students:  IDEA and Medicaid

Presenters: Tara Ford and Debra Poulin
Audience Category: All
Audience Level: Intermediate                                                                                    

IDEA mandates the provision of FAPE to students with disabilities. Medicaid has a provision called Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment which requires that Medicaid enrolled children under the age of 21 receive all medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services.  Learn how to leverage the Medicaid entitlement for students and to enhance school capacity to provide services.

Addressing the Language Needs of Children Who are Deaf or Hard-of-hearing

Presenters: David M. Grey
Audience Category: Attorney/Advocate
Audience Level: All

Each child who is deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) should receive an education that allows him or her to master a primary language. Development of language for DHH children requires goals, placement and specialized services suited to their language and communication needs. This presentation explains what schools are required to do to address the language needs of DHH pupils.


6.8 Using Technology to Assist in Advocacy

Presenters: Shenikwa Medlock and Hope Watson
Intended Audience:  Intermediate/ Advanced
Audience Category:  Advocate

Do you know how to use technology for your advocacy?  This presentation explains the different ways technology can be used for the business of advocacy.  Topics discussed include: work collaboration, client surveys, scheduling client meetings, simplifying complex using infographics, tracking emails, streaming events online, podcasting, storing data in the cloud, legal issues arising from apps, and more.



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