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2020 One Day Pre-conference: Thursday, 3/5

Thursday, March 5, 2020   9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Title

Presenter(s)

Intended Audience

T.1

Speaking the Language of Literacy: Communication and Collaboration with Reading and Writing Experts

Jeanne Tighe

Catherine Merino Reisman

Sarah Zuba

Intermediate

All Attendees

* Eligible for Advance Advocate Certificate Program, must meet other criteria.

T.2

Common Ground: Developing A Successful Special Education Advocacy Business with An Ethical Mindset

Cynthia Daniels-Hall

Eric Hall

Shenikwa Medlock

Intermediate

Advocate

* Eligible for Advance Advocate Certificate Program, must meet other criteria.

T.3

Reframing Special Education as a Civil Rights Issue: Litigating Cases for Students with Disabilities Under the ADA, Section 504

Tal M. Goldin

Kevin Golembiewski

Intermediate

Attorney/Advocate

* Eligible for Advance Advocate Certificate Program, must meet other criteria.

 

Half Day Sessions

Thursday, March 5, 2020 

 

Title

 

Presenter(s)

Intended Audience

T.4.1

9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Manifestation Determination Reviews Under IDEA and Section 504

Mandy Favaloro

Novice/Intermediate

All Attendees

T.4.2

1:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Special Education Rights for Children with Behavioral Challenges: What to Expect in the IEP, FBA & BIP and Avoiding MDR & Expulsion Pitfalls

Jeffrey L. Forte

Solandy Forte

Novice/Intermediate

All Attendees

 

 

T.1 Speaking the Language of Literacy: Communication and Collaboration with Reading

and Writing Experts

 

Presenters:

Jeanne Tighe, M.A., CCC-SLP, SLDI, BCS-CL

Beyond Communication

108 Straube Center Boulevard

Suite I-3

Pennington, NJ 08534

jeanne@bcpractice.com

 

Catherine Merino Reisman

Reisman Carolla Gran & Zuba LLP

19 Chestnut Street

Haddonfield NJ 08033

856.354.0071

catherine@rcglawoffices.com

 

Sarah E. Zuba

Reisman Carolla Gran & Zuba LLP

19 Chestnut Street

Haddonfield NJ 08033

856.354.0091

sarah@rcglawoffices.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

Literacy is a crucial element of programming for all students and an area of need for students with many different disabilities, yet it is an area in which rigorous training and scientifically-based interventions are often lacking. Learn effective attorney-expert collaboration to ensure delivery of meaningful literacy services, whether through advocacy or litigation.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Jeanne Tighe, M.A., CCC-SLP, SL/DI, BCS-CL, is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Board Certified Specialist in Child Language. She owns and operates Beyond Communication, LLC, a multidisciplinary private practice serving children with communication and learning disabilities. Early work as a Teacher of the Deaf exposed Ms. Tighe to the practice of intensive auditory training, a skill set that provided a unique foundation for her transition to specialization in the language-literacy connection. Ms. Tighe has obtained credentialing by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) as a Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Interventionist and has served on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Branch of IDA. Her current work focuses on the integration of language and literacy interventions, and she is a frequent presenter and trainer on these topics. Ms. Tighe has delivered expert testimony on issues in language and literacy in over a dozen special education due process hearings. She also proudly serves the next generation of teachers and SLPs as an adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey.


Catherine Merino Reisman is a founding partner of Reisman Carolla Gran & Zuba LLP, providing consultation and guidance regarding the legal rights of children and adults with disabilities. She is admitted in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, and has represented clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationally in administrative hearings as well as federal and state court. Upon graduation from law school, she was a clerk to the Honorable Edward N. Cahn, Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Catherine then practiced employment law at a small Philadelphia firm for several years. Prior to forming RCGZ, she was “Of Counsel” to a regional mid-sized law firm, where she co-chaired the Special Education practice group in addition to handling appellate, commercial and employment litigation. Catherine is a past Chair and a member of the Board of Directors of COPAA. Catherine is a Co-Chair of COPAA's Amicus Committee. She is a former parent member of the Program Advisory Board to the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education. Catherine speaks regularly to groups of parents and attorneys regarding special education, civil rights, and disability rights.

Sarah E. Zuba is a partner at Reisman Carolla Gran & Zuba LLP. She brings experience in both civil litigation and education to her advocacy on behalf of the civil and legal rights of individuals with disabilities and their families. While studying at The College of New Jersey and after graduating from Yale Law School in 2002, Ms. Zuba taught students of all ages, including children with special needs, in a variety of settings. Ms. Zuba serves as Chair of the board of Community Treatment Solutions, a nonprofit mental and behavioral health provider for at-risk youth and their families. She regularly presents to parent and professional groups throughout New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania and at COPAA conferences.


T.2 Common Ground: Developing A Successful Special Education Advocacy Business with

An Ethical Mindset

 

Presenters:

Cynthia Daniels-Hall

Education Advocate

Founder/Owner, EveryChild Solutions

(919) 389-1469

everychild1@aol.com

 

Shenikwa Medlock

Non-Attorney Advocate

Cirkiel & Associates, P.C.

(480) 382-4020

smedlock@cirkiellaw.com

 

Eric Hall

Education Consultant

Director of Transition - EveryChild Solutions

(919) 389-1469

fape4everychild1@gmail.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

Advocate

 

Brief Session Description:

This session is for Special Education Advocates who want to focus on the Business of Advocacy and Ethical Practices Special Education Advocacy is a self-regulating profession which includes a wide base of diverse individuals who work in several settings. Settings include working independently, in Parent Training and Information Centers, disability specific organizations, and law offices. The session is a large group discussion for Special Education Advocates planning, starting, maintaining, and growing a thriving business with an ethical mindset, while supporting families parenting children with disabilities.

Presenter’s Biography:   

 

Cynthia Daniels- Hall is a professional Special Education Advocate (non-attorney) for her independent professional special education advocacy business, EveryChild Solutions. LLC. Cynthia founded EveryChild Solutions L.L.C in 2004 in North Carolina and in those 15 years has provided services to hundreds of families parenting children with disabilities. She has now had the extreme pleasure of seeing many of the children grow into adults who are successfully navigating life after high school. EveryChild Solutions provides education advocacy services across North Carolina and for military families in surrounding states. Cynthia is a member of COPAA and serves on the Board of Director and is one of the Co-Chairs of the COPAA Advocate Committee. In 2006 she completed the COPAA Special Education Advocacy Training during the Demonstration Project in Philadelphia, Pa. site location (16 weeks onsite- training with a follow-up practicum at the Council for Children’s Rights in Charlotte, North Carolina. Cynthia is an ardent volunteer for NAMI North Carolina, served on the Board of NAMI Durham and is a state trainer for NAMI Signature programs which support families of children and youth with mental health challenges. Cynthia is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking and a presenter for the Program. Cynthia services on the Council on Education services for Exceptional Children (CESEC) as Vice-Chair (elected) of the Advisory Council to the North Carolina State Board of Education and the NC Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) Exceptional Children Division.

 

Shenikwa Spencer Medlock is a wife of 21 years and mother of four children with varying disabilities. Shenikwa assists families with: challenges in Education Law, including Special Education; education powers of attorney; civil rights violations of students and adults with disabilities; Clery Act issues; State Education Agency issues; US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) complaints; Title IX complaints; Texas Health and Human Service issues, and; Texas Department of Insurance complaints. Shenikwa received Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT), and was a 4th SEAT Cohort graduate, and received training from the Minnesota Council on Disabilities.  She earned the distinction of completing the Advanced Advocate designation. Shenikwa previously worked with the Texas' Parent Training and Information Center, and the Partners Resource Network as a Volunteer Parent Trainer. She is a paralegal and member of the State Bar of Texas in the Paralegal Division and is a Commissioned Notary Public. Shenikwa sits on the Board of Directors for several organizations, including the Council of Parents Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Dallas Southern Sector Chapter, and the nationally syndicated podcast (and non-profit) ‘The Help Show’.

 

Eric Hall is a 2005 Graduate of Partners-In-Policymaking (North Carolina), and is a NAMI Basics Teacher and NAMI Basics State Trainer. He is a former member of the Wake County Special Education Advisory Council and completed an internship in special education transition issues at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Eric was a parent participant in the parent leadership program, “Parents as Collaborative Leaders: Improving Outcomes for Children with Disabilities”, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Grant: $898,956 - October 2004 – September 2010, Co-PIs: Susan Hasazi, Katharine Shepherd, and Paula Goldberg. Eric sits on the Board of Directors of Clean Air Carolina, a non-profit organization, and is currently a doctoral student in Education at North Carolina State University.


 T.3 Reframing Special Education as a Civil Rights Issue: Litigating Cases for Students with

Disabilities under the ADA, Section 504, Title IX, Section 1983 and Other Civil Rights Laws

 

Presenters: 

Tal M. Goldin, Esq.

Director of Advocacy,

Montana Legal Services Association

616 Helena Ave., Ste. 101

Helena, MT  59601

(406) 442-9830x157  

tgoldin@mtlsa.org

 

Kevin Golembiewski, Esq.

Berney & Sang

1628 JFK Blvd., Suite 1000

Philadelphia, PA 19103

215.690.1722

kag@berneylaw.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

Attorney/Advocate

 

Brief Session Description: 

This full-day session examines ways to maximize the systemic impact of our work by reframing special education as a fundamental civil rights issue.   This skills training assists participants in identifying and effectively litigating statutory and common law civil rights claims arising from the disparate treatment of students with disabilities in K-12 public schools.

 

Presenters’ Biography: 

Tal M. Goldin, Esq. is a civil rights attorney and the Director of Advocacy at Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA), Montana’s federally funded civil legal aid organization.  Tal is responsible for the supervision and training of over 15 public-interest attorneys addressing the civil legal needs of low-income Montanans.  Tal’s work is focused on developing and prosecuting impact litigation and emphasizing the civil rights aspects of poverty law in a broad range of areas, including discrimination in public programs and services, consumer protection, domestic violence, victims of crime, elder abuse and exploitation, subsidized housing, public benefits, health harming legal needs, and Indian law. As a member of the organization’s Leadership and Management teams, he is involved in all aspects of daily organizational leadership and long-term strategic management.  Tal is actively involved in providing training, technical assistance, and mentorship to special education attorneys and advocates across the U.S. Prior to his work at MLSA, Tal was the Supervising Attorney for the Education Unit at Disability Rights Montana, the federally mandated civil rights protection and advocacy organization for Montana, where his work focused almost entirely on enforcing the federally protected rights of children with disabilities in K-12 public school settings.  In 2018, Tal and his co-counsel obtained a $1.14 million settlement against a school district and the state educational agency (the largest special education settlement in Montana history) for a rural Montana student with a severe cognitive disability and autism who had received no education in almost four years. Tal has taught Special Education Law, Policy, and Practice at the University of Montana, Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, served as an adjunct professor at the University of Montana School of Law, and presented throughout Montana and nationally on the civil rights of students with disabilities.   Previously, Tal worked in private practice in the areas of family, real estate, landlord-tenant, and business law; at the Kings County (Brooklyn, NY) District Attorney's Office (KCDA) as a researcher and grant writer for youth alternative-to-incarceration programs; and later assisted in prosecuting perpetrators of child abuse and child homicide in the KCDA Crimes Against Children Bureau. In a prior career, Tal was a scenic designer, project manager, and art director for film, television, and theatre based out of New York City. Tal is a member of the Order of Barristers, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, the National Association of Counsel for Children, the American Bar Association, the Montana Trial Lawyers Association, a past president of the Western Montana Bar Association, and a 2013 fellow of the New Leader’s Council.  He is admitted to practice law before Montana state and federal courts, Washington state courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

 

Kevin Golembiewski, Esq. is an associate with Berney & Sang, a Philadelphia civil rights firm.  He has practiced education law since graduating from Harvard Law School in 2013, save two years during which he clerked for the Honorable Charles R. Wilson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  Kevin concentrates his practice on federal litigation.  He has litigated special-education cases in district and circuit courts across the country. Kevin has published five law review articles, including one offering advocates strategies for leveraging the Equal Educational Opportunity Act, Compensatory Education is Available to English Language Learners under the EEOA, 9 Ala. C.R. & C.L. L. Rev. 57 (2018).


T.4.1 Manifestation Determination Reviews Under IDEA and Section 504

 

Presenter: 

Mandy Favaloro

Attorney

A2Z Educational Advocates

881 Alma Real Drive, Suite 309

Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

310-573-1430

mandy.favaloro@gmail.com

 

Intended Audience:

Novice/Intermediate

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description: 

The session serves as an introduction to the process of manifestation determination reviews (MDR) under IDEA and Section 504, what happens after the MDR (i.e., functional behavior assessment, behavior intervention plans, and expedited due process) and how to advocate for your student/client throughout the process. The session also provides an introduction to behaviors related to past trauma and adverse childhood experiences and how to take those into consideration during the MDR and when establishing a behavior intervention plan (BIP). 

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Mandy Favaloro is an attorney at A2Z Educational Advocates.  Ms. Favaloro graduated magna cum laude from the University of Redlands with a B.A. in Government, and then attended law school at Pepperdine University, where she graduated with a Juris Doctor degree.  Ms. Favaloro has advocated for parents of students with disabilities at all stages of the process including IEP meetings, mediations, due process hearings and in federal court. Ms. Favaloro prepared and delivered oral arguments in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case involving a school district’s denial of a student’s access to school, obtaining a favorable opinion from the Ninth Circuit on the precedent setting issue of mootness of an IDEA claim upon the death of a student.  Ms. Favaloro is an active member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).   She currently serves as the Vice Chair for the Board of Directors and as the Co-Chair of the Conference Committee.  Ms. Favaloro served as a primary instructor for COPAA’s SEAT program for five cohorts, presented at COPAA’s Annual Conference since 2007, and has presented webinars for organizations on a variety of special education topics.


T.4.2 Special Education Rights for Children with Behavioral Challenges: What to Expect in

the IEP, FBA & BIP and Avoiding MDR & Expulsion Pitfalls

 

Presenters:

Jeffrey L. Forte, Esq.

Special Education Lawyer & Certified Child Advocate
Forte Law Group LLC

One Enterprise Drive, Suite 402,

Shelton, CT 06484
Tel 203-257-7999, Cell 203-257-1148
Email jforte@fortelawgroup.com Website: www.fortelawgroup.com

 

Solandy Forte, PHD, LCSW, LBA, BCBA-D
Milestones Behavioral Services

339 Boston Post Road

Orange, CT 06477
Tel 203-799-4110, Cell 203-554-0763
Email sforte@mbs-inc.org Website: www.mbs-inc.org

 

Intended Audience:

All Levels of Experience

All Attendees

Brief Session Description:

The IDEA provides specific requirements for an IEP when a child’s behavior effects their access to learning or the learning of others. This program addresses how to ambitiously represent children with behavioral challenges from the perspective of the advocate, attorney and clinician. Case studies will also be presented for participants to see how to practically apply the covered materials.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Jeffrey L. Forte, Esq. is the founding member of Forte Law Group LLC and is one of only very few attorneys in Connecticut that has obtained a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy from the Institute of Special Education Advocacy (ISEA) at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia. Jeff’s legal educational background including his legal internships while in law school contributed significantly to him honing the multifaceted nature of special education law, juvenile justice and child advocacy. Jeff graduated from American University, Washington College of Law where he placed first in his class for trial advocacy and first in his class for best appellate argument at the law school’s mock trial and moot court competitions. While in law school, Jeff also served as Dean’s Fellow for the both Civil & Criminal Mock Trial Programs and was selected to be one of eight student attorneys to serve within the law school’s Third Year Criminal Justice Clinic where he served as a criminal defense attorney for children involved within the juvenile justice system.

Solandy Forte, PhD, LCSW, BCBA-D is a Licensed Behavior Analyst in CT and MA the Director of Consultation Services and Community Outreach at Milestones Behavioral Services in Milford, CT. Dr. Solandy Forte is a doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst licensed in Connecticut and Massachusetts and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Solandy provides consultation services to the Milestones’ School Programs, Advanced Intervention and Daycare. She is also leading the Community Outreach initiative. Solandy has worked with children and young adults with a wide range of developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, autism and related disorders in their homes, schools, and community settings. She has coordinated with multi-disciplinary teams to promote capacity for educating children within the least restrictive educational setting. Currently, Solandy serves on the Board of Directors for the Behavior Analyst Leadership Council (BALC) and has been a member of the Executive Council for the Connecticut Association for Behavior Analysts (CTABA). She has presented at regional and national conferences on topics related to staff training, behavioral assessment, navigating through cultural barriers, behavioral consultation, supervision, and ethics. Solandy is an adjunct professor for the Institute of Autism and Behavioral Studies at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut and the Institute of Behavioral Studies at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.


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