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2017 Webinar Series

COPAA 2017 Webinars (Four Live Series) 

 *All Sessions Are Recorded

You may register for the entire series, select any individual sessions, OR take advantage of the cost savings and purchase an annual subscription for all live and archived webinars.

  • Annual Subscription: Huge Cost Savings! A yearly subscription includes access to 70+ recorded sessions in addition to ALL live series for a full year.

2017 Webinar Series 1: 
Creating IEPs Using Accurate, Airtight and Organized Information

Word Registration in a Green BoxClick Here to Purchase this Entire Series or Individual Sessions

Sponsored by: 

Regina Skyer & Associates Logo


The Law Offices of Regina Skyer & Associates



Huntington Learning Center 


1.1 Myths and Misperceptions:  A Guide to Help Parents Make Informed Decisions Using Accurate Information

Date/Time: Tuesday, 6/27/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Missy Alexander, Advocate and Louis Geigerman, Advocate

Description: Parents learn about rights and responsibilities in order to better advocate for their child’s right to FAPE.  However, there are many myths and misperceptions shared at IEP meetings that derail advocacy efforts; for example, “a child’s diagnosis is under the medical model of the disability, not the educational model.”  The purpose of this presentation is to identify and debunk these myths and misperceptions, giving participants tools to use to effectively overcome objections.  

1.2 Organizing Data to Tell Your Story

Date/Time: Thursday, 7/13/2017, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Penny Simpson, 

Description: Don’t shy away from numbers, use them to your advantage! Learn how to take IEPs, evaluations, test scores, and other data straight from the student’s school record and turn hundreds of pages of information into Charts and Graphs that tell a powerful story.

Putting Feet on the IEP: Implementation, Fidelity Data, and Progress Monitoring

Date/Time: Wednesday, 7/26/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Ann Simun, PsyD. and Sandra Dixon Shove, Advocate

Description:  Parents, advocates, and attorneys invest much time and attention into developing IEPs that are reasonably calculated to provide meaningful educational benefit, but what comes next? How can you know if the program is working? What kinds of information can be requested in between annual IEP reviews? Must parents simply sit back and watch while the school staff takes over? Discuss answers to these questions and effective strategies for post IEP development advocacy. 

1.4 Creating and Implementing an Airtight Individualized Transition Plan

Date/Time:  Wednesday, 8/30/17,  2:00-3:15 ET

Presenter: Amy Larsen, Esq.

Description:  All too often our students are without adequate Individualized Transition Plans (ITP).  In this presentation participants learn to create an airtight ITP with appropriate supports and services specifically tailored to the individual student’s needs.  An overview of IDEA requirements of ITP, a discussion of current best practices in the field, monitoring and implementation strategies are included.  Current evidence based practices in the field, monitoring and implementation strategies are also discussed. Why an ITP is so important to the students’ future is explained. The audience is engaged in creating and critiquing individual ITPs.


2017 Webinar Series 2: Successfully Using Advocacy Tools

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Regina Skyer & Associates Logo


Sponsored by: Law Offices of Regina Skyer & Associates

2.1 Ten Ways to Successfully Request an Independent Education Evaluation

Date/Time: Tuesday, 7/11/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Leslie Doan

Description: 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, 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.


2.2 Improved literacy outcomes for children with Intellectual Disabilities: What we know about effective evaluation and intervention

Date/Time: Wednesday, 7/19/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Anne I. Treimanis, Esq. and Kathleen M. Whitbread, Ph.D.

Description: Yes, students with Down syndrome can become proficient readers! It starts with an appropriate evaluation. This session will explore 1) what the research tells us about effective literacy instruction for students with ID; 2) the components of a comprehensive reading evaluation, including special considerations for students with ID; and 3) efficient and useful progress-monitoring practices.

2.3 Advocating for the Elephant in the Room: Using Special Education Advocacy to Address Youth Mental Health Needs

Date/Time: Thursday. 7/20/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenter: Sarah Flores, Esq.

Description: For many years, parent attorneys and advocates have urged that the Rowley standard (that educational programs for students with disabilities must provide "more than a trivial educational benefit") is outdated and does not reflect the high expectations for students with disabilities that Congress articulated in the 1997 and 2004 amendments to IDEA. Courts have rejected this argument, noting that Congress did not explicitly override Rowley when it amended IDEA. This webinar offers an alternative approach to enforcing IDEA's substantive guarantees: Educational Benefit Review. This method, which is now used by several State Educational Agencies to monitor students' IEPs, enables advocates, hearing officers and judges to evaluate the quality of a student's program against explicit statutory requirements of IDEA that, collectively, must be met for a student to receive educational benefit. The webinar presents the case that Educational Benefit Review is a powerful tool that can help us avoid the perverse results of some recent cases.

2.4 Impact of ADD/ADHD and Executive Functioning and Equal Educational Opportunity

Date/Time: Tuesday,  8/22/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Matthew D. Cohen, Esq.

Description: This session focuses on understanding ADHD and executive functioning deficits and the impact on behavior, academics, and school success.   Content includes the responsibilities of the LEA to provide an appropriate evaluation and education including supports and accommodation under IDEA, ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  The July 2016  “Dear Colleague,”  letter from the U. S. Department of Education with the accompanying resource guide is reviewed and utilized to clarify the fallacies of school district responsibilities to students with an ADD diagnosis.  Common advocacy concerns and strategies are presented.


2017 Webinar Series 3: Strengthening Your Advocacy for Socially and Racially Diverse Populations

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Sponsored by: Huntington Learning Center


3.1 What Does Parental Participation Really Mean?  A Guide for Parents at CSE Meetings

Date/Time: Tuesday, 8/8/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Kerry McGrath, Esq. and Katherine Aquino-Melendez, Esq.

Description: As a parent of a special needs child, you have probably attended numerous Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings. You may have had questions, about the significance of your role at these meetings. How much does my opinion matter? What is the CSE required to consider at these meetings? At this session you will learn what it means when you hear “parents are mandatory members of the CSE,” and how you can be your child’s advocate at the next CSE meeting. 

3.2 Special Challenges of Representing Clients in Rural and Low Income Areas

Date/Time: Thursday, 8/10/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Josh Kershenbaum, Esq, and Maria Vetter

Description: Working with families who live in rural and low-income poses special challenges for lawyers and advocates.  This session outlines challenges associated with practicing special education law in those areas,such as transportation issues, communication barriers, and a lack of available resources. Creative solutions for overcoming those problems are discussed.                          

3.3 What Special Education Attorneys and Advocates Need to Know about Immigration Consequences of School Based Behaviors

Date/Time:Thursday, 8/17/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenter: Constance Wannamaker, Esq. and Julia Longoria

Description:Throughout the country court-involved youth face potential immigration consequences for behavior directly or indirectly related to their disability.  DRTx attorneys present potential problems that may arise for children here in the U.S. both with and without status, and discuss ways to avoid negative immigration consequences that may arise from disability related behaviors.   

Battling Implicit Bias to Advocate for African American Students with Disabilities

Date/Time: Wednesday, 8/23/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Dustin Rynders, Esq, and Dr. Alfreddie Felder

Description: Learn about emerging research on the role of implicit racial bias in special education and how advocates and attorneys can combat such bias in their existing practice. Attendees are also introduced to the practices of cultural humility, research on the African American learner, and creative legal approaches to addressing implicit bias. 


2017 Webinar Series 4: Legal Topics and Strategies

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Sponsored by: Huntington Learning Center


4.1 2016 Annual Case Law Review    RESCHEDULED FOR 10/10/17

Date/Time: Thursday, 9/7/17, 2:00-3:15

Presenters: Judith Gran, Esq.

4.2 The Top 40 Chart-Topping District Court Decisions of 2016

Date/Time: Wednesday, 9/20/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenter: Richard O'Meara, Esq. and Amy Phalon, Esq.. 

DescriptionIDEA hearing decisions initially are reviewed by the federal district courts, and U.S. district judges also handle most cases that raise discrimination or retaliation claims under section 504, the ADA, or the First Amendment.  Given this, practitioners need to focus on how district courts have addressed issues of importance to our practice.  In this session the presenters offer a somewhat lighthearted, but seriously important, survey of the district courts’ “hit parade” of decisions since the last COPAA conference in March 2016.  The focus is on cases the presenters believe are the 40 best district court decisions that should be cited and quoted by attorneys and advocates representing children with disabilities.


4.3 The Post-Olmstead Application of ADA Rights to Public Education Services and Placement Claims, Cases, How and When to Use these Rights 

Date/Time: Thursday, 9/28/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenter: Jonathan A. Zimring, Esq.

Description: This session includes a review of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Olmstead and Title II enforcement and use, distinguishing the ADA from IDEA rights and procedures.  A framework for ADA use in school programs and in services in the community is provided.

4.4 Discovery Issues in IDEA Cases

Date/Time: Wednesday, 10/4/17, 2:00-3:15 ET

Presenters: Sonja D. Kerr, Esq. and Dorene Philpot, Esq.

Description: This session is designed to provide an overview of discovery issues and problems that may arise particularly during the administrative hearing in IDEA cases. States have different procedures and some permit more formal discovery than others. Participants learn how to maximize the strategic use of discovery options and respond to discovery requests of districts in focused ways designed to improve success at hearing

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