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2020 Breakout Session II

 

 Saturday, March 7, 2020 ▪ 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM

Title

Presenter(s)

Intended Audience

2.1

Removing Barriers to a Vocational Education: Supporting Students with Disabilities Who Wish to Attend Vocational High Schools

Ellen Saideman

Michelle Scavongelli

All Levels

All Attendees

2.2

Civil Rights Damages in Special Education Cases

Marcy Tiffany

Intermediate/Advanced

Attorney

2.3

The Top 40 Chart-Topping District Court Decisions of 2019

Richard O’Meara

Rachel Sears

All Levels

All Attendees

2.4

What Special Education Advocates Need to Know About the Unauthorized Practice of Law

Denise Marshall

Barbara Ebenstein

Intermediate/Advanced

Advocate

2.5

Autism Under Arrest: How to Navigate the Juvenile Justice System for Children and Youth with ASD

Marlies Spanjaard

Eileen Crehan

Novice/Intermediate

All Attendees

2.6

Significant Disproportionality : A Win For Students

Selene Almazan

Laura Kaloi

Seth Galanter

Intermediate

All Attendees

2.7

Trauma and Learning: The impact and how to effectively advocate for the student’s needs

Sondra Kaplan

Louis Geigerman

All Levels

All Attendees

2.8

The ADAAA of 2008 intended to make it less burdensome for individuals with disabilities to qualify for a 504 Plan, but is it happening?

Heidi Goldsmith

JoAnna Barnes

Novice/Intermediate

All Attendees

2.9

Restraint and Seclusion: A blueprint for how parents, attorneys and advocates can influence change

Guy Stephens

Heather Luke

Leslie Margolis

Intermediate

All Attendees

 

2.1 Removing Barriers to a Vocational Education: Supporting Students with Disabilities

Who Wish to Attend Vocational High Schools

 

Presenters:

Ellen Saideman, Esq.
Ellen Saideman Law Office
7 Henry Drive
Barrington, RI  02806
Office/Mobile:  (401) 258-7276
Fax: (401) 709-0213
Email: esaideman@yahoo.com

 

Michele G. Scavongelli, Esq.
Senior Counsel
The EdLaw Project
44 Bromfield Street, Second Floor
Boston, MA  02108
Office:  (617) 910-5845
Mobile:  (978) 505-1844
Fax: (978) 268-5145
Email: mscavongelli@publiccounsel.net

 

Intended Audience

All Levels of Experience

All Attendees

 

Brief Description of Session:

Vocational schools can offer unique benefits to students struggling in traditional school programs.  However, they also present many challenges for students with disabilities.  This session covers how to advocate for the accommodations and supports that that students need to access a vocational education successfully.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Ellen Saideman has nearly thirty years of experience with special education and disability rights litigation.  She is a COPAA Board member and co-chair of the COPAA Amicus Committee.  She has practiced special education in four states:  Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.   She is also admitted to five federal district courts, six federal circuit courts, and the Supreme Court.  She has written many briefs and motions, including numerous amicus briefs for COPAA.  On the topic of IEEs, she wrote an amicus curiae brief for the National Disability Rights Network, the National Federation of the Blind, and the National Coalition of the Deaf in a Fifth Circuit case, Seth B. v. Orleans Parish School Board, 810 F.3d 961 (5th Cir. 2016), which resulted in reversal of the district court’s decision to deny public funding of an IEE.  She spent more than twelve years teaching legal writing at Roger Williams University School of Law, and she has also provided training in legal writing to attorneys and advocates at COPAA and also at NDRN.  She has presented at COPAA’s annual conference on several occasions.  In 2000, for her legal work in Florida, including litigation that achieved dramatic expansion and reform of the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver for individuals with developmental disabilities, she received Florida ARC’s Marvin Finkel Memorial Advocacy Award and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s Outstanding Mentor/Advocate Award.

 

Michele Scavongelli joined the EdLaw Project as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Bingham McCutchen, LLP in September 2012, and has continued on as a staff attorney until the present. Michele has successfully represented over two hundred families in the past seven years in both school discipline and special education matters, prevailing at Administrative Law hearings, in Superior Court and in state complaints.  She has built a pro bono panel for The EdLaw Project and has trained hundreds of delinquency, child welfare, firm, and in-house counsel, as well as parent and community groups in special education advocacy and school discipline rights.  She is also the Deputy Director of the Youth Advocacy Foundation (YAF), a 501(c)(3) organization attached to the state public defender office whose mission is to shut down the school-to-prison pipeline by ensuring that all court-involved kids have access to expert education advocacy. Michele graduated Northeastern University School of Law in 2012. During law school, Ms. Scavongelli was a recipient of a Rappaport Fellowship at the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate and a recipient of a Hennessey Fellowship at the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. She interned at the Lowell Juvenile Court as well as at the law firm of Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP with a particular focus on special education law. Ms. Scavongelli also assisted victims of domestic violence at the Dorchester and Roxbury Municipal Courts and at Boston Medical Center and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. She has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and as a Special Education Surrogate Parent. Prior to attending law school she spent 29 years as an executive in the life insurance industry. She is on the board of Bottom Line, an organization that is dedicated to helping disadvantaged students get in to college, graduate from college, and go far in life. She earned her S.B. in Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979.


2.2 Civil Rights Damages in Special Education Cases

 

Presenter:

Marcy J.K. Tiffany

Tiffany Law Group, P.C.

23670 Hawthorne Blvd. Suite 204

Torrance, Calif.  90505

Telephone (424) 247-8250 x304

Cell Phone (310) 748-1332

Facsimile (424) 247-8257

www.tiffanylawgroup.com

mtiffany@tiffanylawgroup.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

Attorneys

 

Brief Description of Session: 

Learn how to identify potential civil rights issues in special education cases, as well as the legal and procedural requirements for pursuing damages under the various civil rights statutes. 

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Marcy J.K. Tiffany graduated from UCLA Law School in 1977, where she was Order of the Coif, and an editor of the UCLA Law Review and also received a M.A. in Economics from UCLA in 1978.  She clerked for the Hon. Marianna Pfaelzer, USDC, Central District, California and for the Hon. Abner Mikva, USCA, D.C. Circuit. Ms. Tiffany has served in a variety of government positions, including the Federal Trade Commission, United States Trustee’s Office and as counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.  She has practiced law at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, in Los Angeles, and at Hughes, Hubbard and Reed, in Washington D.C., and also served as General Counsel of Hughes Electronics.  She has had an extensive federal court litigation practice, including arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in FTC v. Indiana Federation of Dentists, 476 U.S. 447 (1986).  Ms. Tiffany began practicing special education law in 2001, and was a founding partner of Wyner & Tiffany in 2003, which specialized exclusively in representing students with educational disabilities.  In 2006, Ms. Tiffany was awarded the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award in the area of civil rights.  In 2011, Ms. Tiffany formed Tiffany Law Group, P.C. where she continues to focus on special education cases as a solo practitioner.  Ms. Tiffany was recently selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer for the 13th time.                          


2.3 The Top 40 Chart-Topping District Court Decisions Of 2019

 

Presenters:

Richard L. O’Meara, Esq.

Murray Plumb & Murray

75 Pearl Street, P.O. Box 9785

Portland, ME 04104-5085

Tel:  (207) 773-5651

Fax:  (207) 773-8023

romeara@mpmlaw.com

 

Rachel W. Sears, Esq.

Murray Plumb & Murray

75 Pearl Street, P.O. Box 9785

Portland, ME 04101-5085

Tel: 207-773-5651

Fax: 207-773-8023

rsears@mpmlaw.com

 

Intended Audience:

All Levels of Experience

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

IDEA hearing decisions initially are reviewed by the federal district courts, which also handle most discrimination or retaliation cases under section 504, the ADA, Title IX, or the First Amendment. The presenters offer a somewhat lighthearted, but seriously important, survey of the district courts’ “hit parade” of decisions handed down in 2019, focusing on the 40 best decisions that should be cited and quoted by attorneys and advocates representing children with disabilities.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Richard L. O’Meara is a shareholder and director in the law firm of Murray, Plumb & Murray in Portland, Maine, which has the largest practice in Maine representing families of students with disabilities. He received his B.A degree summa cum laude from Dartmouth College; an M.Sc. degree with distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a J.D. degree summa cum laude from the University of Virginia School of Law. Mr. O’Meara has been involved with the ACLU of Maine since 1987 and with COPAA since its inception. As part of his civil litigation practice, he regularly represents families of children with disabilities in disputes arising under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Maine Human Rights Act. Mr. O’Meara is a past president of the Board of Disability Rights Maine, the state’s federally-funded protection and advocacy agency, and a member of COPAA’s Amicus Curiae Committee.

 

Rachel Sears is an associate attorney at the law firm of Murray, Plumb & Murray. Her practice is centered on representing students with disabilities and their families. Rachel received her J.D. from the University Of Maine School Of Law in 2014. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University.


2.4 What Special Education Advocates Need to Know About the Unauthorized Practice of

Law

 

Presenters:

Denise Marshall

COPAA Executive Director

Denise@copaa.org

 

Barbara J. Ebenstein

Attorney at Law

53 Pengilly Drive

New Rochelle, New York 10804

(914) 409-5761

bjeslaw@aol.com

www.barbaraebenstein.com

 

 

Intended  Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

Advocate

 

Brief Session Description:

This interactive session explores the issue of the Unauthorized Practice of Law as it applies to Special Education Advocates.   Participants discuss what constitutes the practice of law; applicable provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and guidance from the Department of Education.  Also discussed are examples of state statutes and relevant cases.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Denise Marshall has been the Executive Director of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) since 2005. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Science. Denise has over 40 years’ experience in the field of disabilities in a variety of support, management, and advocacy capacities. She has a wealth of non-profit association management experience and is a dynamic trainer, experienced in leading sessions for participants of diverse abilities and experience levels. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of COPAA Denise was the Director of Training and Educational Outreach for the national organization TASH from 1995-2005, the Program Manager and trainer for Maryland Leaders in Disability Policy; and a Positive Behavior Support specialist and Director of the National Training Center for The Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland among other consulting and management positions.  Denise's specific areas of interest are civil right to quality education, positive behavioral supports, prevention and reduction in the use of restraints, abolishment of seclusion and aversive techniques, family supports, grassroots advocacy, self-advocacy, and experiential learning.

 

Barbara J. Ebenstein is an attorney whose law practice focuses on the representation of parents in special education and disability matters in New York State. Barbara is an adjunct associate professor at New York University where she teaches the graduate course in Education Law. BJ served as a member of the Disability Policy Committee of the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, and she served as one of the surrogates speaking on disability issues on behalf of the campaign. She also serves as an impartial hearing officer in New York City and Long Island, and as a Vocational Rehabilitation hearing officer in New York State. Barbara has extensive experience conducting CLE for attorneys and workshops for parents, advocates, school personnel, physicians, and other professionals from Hawaii to New Hampshire. She served as the lead instructor for the New York pilot site of the federally funded SEAT Project (Special Education Advocacy Training) and she served as an attorney skills trainer for the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). Barbara has authored articles on special education law from the parents’ perspective for numerous national publications. She served as Chair of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) from 2005 to 2006. Barbara J. Ebenstein holds a J.D. from Pace University Law School, a M.A. in Education from Teachers College of Columbia University, and a B.A. cum laude from Boston University.


2.5 Autism Under Arrest: How to Navigate the Juvenile Justice System for Children

and Youth with ASD

 

Presenters:

Marlies Spanjaard, Esq.

Director of Educational Advocacy

The EdLaw Project

44 Bromfield Street, Second Floor

Boston, MA  02108

Office: (617) 910-5841

Mobile:  (781) 589-4500

Fax: (617) 988-8488

Email: mspanjaard@publiccounsel.net

 

Eileen T. Crehan, PhD

Assistant Professor, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Studies and Human Development

Tufts University

105 College Ave

Medford, MA 02155

Office: (617) 627-3393

Fax: (617) 627-3503

Email: Eileen.crehan@tufts.edu

 

Intended Audience:

Novice/Intermediate

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

Autistic individuals are overrepresented in the legal system compared to their neurotypical peers. This session focuses on ways to preemptively educate local law enforcement relating to autism spectrum disorder as well as on advocacy strategies for when an autistic child becomes involved in the legal system.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Marlies Spanjaard is the Director of Education Advocacy for the Youth Advocacy Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, the statewide public defender agency in Massachusetts.  In this role, Marlies leads the EdLaw Project, which provides education advocacy to court-involved children and youth across the state and technical assistance and training on student rights to court-appointed attorneys representing children and youth.  Marlies joined the EdLaw Project in 2001 and gained valuable experience first working as a staff attorney directly representing students in school disciplinary hearings, special education team meetings, and administrative hearings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals before becoming the director in 2008. As the foremost expert on the intersection of juvenile justice and education rights in Massachusetts she regularly presents to audiences of parents, youth workers, students, and lawyers in the Commonwealth and across the country.  Marlies currently serves as an adjunct professor at Boston College School of Education and has previously served as an adjunct instructor at Wheelock College in the Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy Department.  She earned her J.D. and her M.S.W. at Washington University Law School and George Warren Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Dr. Eileen Crehan is an assistant professor at Tufts University and a clinical psychologist. Her research focuses on social development and healthy outcomes for autistic individuals across the lifespan. Prior to her position at Tufts, Dr. Crehan was the associate clinical director of the Autism Assessment, Research, and Treatment Services Center (AARTS) at Rush University Medical Center. She has provided a number of trainings on autism spectrum disorder to juvenile justice system employees, hospitals and mental health facilities, parent groups, and school districts. She also works both professionally and clinically to offer sexuality education programming for autistic individuals who have been charged with sexually-related crimes. Clinically, Dr. Crehan conducts psychological testing for forensic cases where autism spectrum disorder or developmental delay is suspected. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Vermont, her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Alabama Medical Center and Sparks Center, and postdoctoral fellowship in autism spectrum disorders at the AARTS Center.

 

2.6 Significant Disproportionality: A Win For Students

 

Presenters:

Selene Almazan, Esq.

COPAA Legal Director

selene@copaa.org

 

Seth Galanter

Attorney, Senior Director, Legal Advocacy

Primary Office: Washington D.C.
sgalanter(at)youthlaw.org

 

Laura Kaloi
Stride Policy Solutions
Washington, D.C.

lkaloi@stridepolicy.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

On March 7, 2019 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) had engaged in an “illegal delay” of the 2016 Equity in IDEA regulations. Those regulations, which were supposed to go into effect on July 1, 2018, implement the IDEA requirements relating to significant racial disproportionality. The federal court’s ruling requires those 2016 final regulations to immediately go into effect.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Selene A. Almazan, Esq., Legal Director, Selene has been a member of COPAA since its inception in 1998. Selene was on the Board of Directors from 2003-2014 and has contributed to COPAA as a volunteer in many substantial ways. Selene is a long time Co-Chair of the Amicus and Conference Committees. She led the Strategic Plan workgroup (2007) and the Litigation Workgroup (2012). As a member of the Board of Directors Selene has been Vice Chair, Chair, Treasurer and Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee since 2005. Selene has also been a trainer for COPAA Conference and webinars for a number of years beginning in 2004. Since becoming COPAA's Legal Director in 2014, Selene continues her work on the Conference Committee and Amicus Committees. As an Amicus member Selene has been involved in nearly every COPAA brief submitted, (and written at least three amicus briefs for COPAA in the 4th, 5th and 9th Circuits) as well as involved in a number of governmental affairs issues: the Reauthorization of 2004; Restraint Seclusion; ESEA (and its precursor NCLB); Charter Schools; Burden of Proof and expert witness fees. Selene, through a private practice, represents families at IEP team meetings, state complaint proceedings, mediations, due process hearings, suspension/expulsion proceedings and federal court proceedings, including matters involving violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. From 1992-2015 Selene was Co-Executive Director and Director of Advocacy at the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education where she represented families in inclusion cases. Selene is a former Supervising Attorney for the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland where she represented children in the foster care system, including representation in special education matters. She has extensive experience training families, teachers, school administrators, attorneys and advocates on legal issues related to special education law as well as disability discrimination issues.

 

Laura Kaloi is COPAA’s public policy consultant and is an accomplished senior level executive who cares deeply about advancing policies and best practices so that more children ‐‐ especially those atrisk and those who struggle ‐‐ have access to a high quality education as well as the supports and services needed so that they can achieve their full potential and live independent, meaningful lives in today's global economy and modern world. With her COPAA hat on, Laura is a co-chair of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities Education Task Force and engaged with the education task force of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and led our efforts on ESSA.  Laura leads client strategic planning and implementation in: funder research and fund development; government affairs; communications; research and analysis; grassroots advocacy; as well as the development and implementation of largescale and minicampaigns targeting the U.S. Congress, the White House, federal agencies, key states, the media and grassroots advocates. Highlights of issues and areas of focus include: education, civil rights, special education, early intervention, literacy, assessment, system accountability, accessibility, employment, social/emotional learning, atrisk youth, disability and health. She recently wrote a report for the SWIFT center on Braiding and Blending of federal/state dollars for the SWIFT Center.  Prior to joining Washington Partners, Laura was public policy director for The National Center for Learning Disabilities; public affairs director, American Health Quality Association; communications director, HealthInsight; and, legislative associate, Congressman James V. Hansen. Laura is also the parent of three great children, including her teenage son who has dyslexia and dysgraphia.

 

Seth Galanter is an attorney who litigates on behalf of vulnerable children, across diverse areas, including education, juvenile justice, child welfare, reproductive health, and commercially sexually exploited children at NCYL. Before joining NCYL, Seth worked in the Obama Administration in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in a variety of roles, including as Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. In those positions, Galanter oversaw the development of policy, administration of enforcement, and the collection of the Civil Rights Data Collection with regard to race, sex, and disability discrimination in education. Prior to that, Galanter was a Of Counsel at Morrison & Foerster where, among other things, he argued two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and was named Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year (2008) by the District of Columbia Bar. And in his first job, Galanter served in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he argued more than 40 cases in the federal courts of appeals. Galanter holds a B.A. from Columbia College (1990) and a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School (1993). After law school, Galanter clerked for the Honorable Dolores Sloviter on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and then served as a Bristow Fellow at the Solicitor General’s office at the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

2.7 Trauma and Learning:  The Impact and How To Effectively Advocate For The Student’s

Needs

 

Presenters:

Sondra Kaplan, LCSW Clinical Social Worker—Private Practice

4510 Redstart St.

Houston, Texas 77035

Cell-281-782-7755

Email: skaplan.therapist@gmail.com

 

Louis H. Geigerman, President and Founder of National ARD/IEP Advocates

4510 Redstart St.

Houston, Texas 77035

Office: 281-265-1506

Cell: 281-744-8442

Email: nationalardadvocates@gmail.com

 

Intended Audience:

All Levels of Experience

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

School shootings, natural disasters, and abuse at home and school have become a common occurrence in our daily media exposure. Our children and the adults who help them are ill- equipped to cope with these traumatic events.  This presentation examines trauma and the student’s needs and effective interventions required under Section 504 and IDEA.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Sondra Kaplan, LCSW has been privileged to have the opportunity as a clinical social worker to help individuals and their families create more fulfilling lives through reaching their potentials. She is a well-respected national and international public and media speaker and instructor. Sondra has enjoyed teaching professionals and volunteers in educational, legal, law enforcement, medical, mental health, social work, and public health in academic, clinical, and community settings through her lively presentations on a wide variety of topics. Her major clinical interests have included helping children, adolescents and adults through grief and loss, effective treatment for people of all ages with anxiety disorders, sexuality through the life span, psychotherapy and social skills for children, adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. She created an original program for parents and their children going through loss and grief from divorce, and taught parenting seminars for over 20 years. She is a former psychotherapist for the C.L.A.S.S. (Changing Lives through Autism Spectrum Services) Clinic, at University of Texas McGovern Medical School, Houston. Presently, she is private practice. She is proud to be the first recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award of the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.  In her passion for social justice she has been an activist and spokesperson for those who seek equal rights and individual liberties, including those who have been abused, living with mental illness or neurological differences, and others who have long been silenced and marginalized.

 

Louis H. Geigerman has been a professional advocate since 1995 when he founded National ARD/IEP Advocates.   Louis has logged over 1250 hours in IEP and Section 504 meetings and over 400 hours in mediations and resolution sessions.   He is a charter member of the Council of Parents, Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA).   In 1995, he underwent training conducted by the Texas Association of Section 504 Coordinators and Hearing officers and received certification as a Section 504 hearing officer.   He has spoken to a variety of groups regarding special education services including The ARC of Houston,  The Texas State Autism Conference, COPAA,  The Learning Disability Association of Fort Bend County, ASPIE of Houston, Future Horizons, The Houston Young Lawyers Association and The Northwest Houston Chapter of the Autism Society of America.  In the summer of 2007, he was featured in a chapter on advocacy in the book by Scott Teal, "Defending and Parenting Children Who Learn Differently: Lessons from Edison's Mother" by Praeger Publishing.  In 2014 he co-founded a lecture series entitled the Benjamin J. Geigerman Lecture Series through the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston in memory of his deceased son to address the vocational needs of high functioning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. He is frequently requested to provide expert testimony in federal court regarding harassment of students protected under Section 504, IDEA, Title IX and Title VI.  In 2015, he assisted in the successful effort in passing legislation in the Texas Legislature to mandate the installation of surveillance cameras in self-contained, special needs classrooms.  In July 2015, he began hosting a weekly radio show entitled "The Special Ed/Section 504 Radio Hour".   He is the proud parent of Benjamin that passed away in July 2011 and Kayla who is currently employed by a major software company.

 

2.8 The ADAAA of 2008 Intended to Make It Less Burdensome for Individuals with

Disabilities To Qualify For A 504 Plan, But Is It Happening?

 

Presenters:

Heidi Goldsmith, Esq.

Bradley Goldsmith Law

Founding Partner

1290 Broadcasting Rd, Suite 118

Wyomissing, PA 19610

610-750-5565

Heidi@bradleygoldsmithlaw.com

 

JoAnna J. Barnes, Esq.

Learning Disabilities Association of America

Co-Chair, Public Policy and Advocacy Committee

308 Sunset Creek Circle

Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Cell – 919-260-4672

joannajbarnes@hotmail.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Novice

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 provides that the definition of disability “shall be construed in favor of broad coverage” intending to make it less burdensome to qualify for protections under the Act. Yet, burdensome obstacles still exist for students, especially for twice-exceptional students, to qualify for a §504 Plan. This session discusses these obstacles and how to respond. 

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Heidi Goldsmith has been serving the needs of children and families in the area of special education for 20 years. Prior to founding Bradley Goldsmith Law, Ms. Goldsmith practiced law at McAndrews Law Offices. During her 19 years at McAndrews Law, Ms. Goldsmith became a Shareholder of the firm and was Supervising Shareholder of the Special Education Department for almost 10 years. Ms. Goldsmith is the Parent Attorney Representative to the Stakeholders Council of the Office for Dispute Resolution and has recently been appointed to the Professional Advisory Board of the Learning Disabilities of America. Ms. Goldsmith has frequently spoken at National and State-Wide Special Education Conferences including the LDA, Arthritis Foundation, COPPA and PBI.

 

JoAnna J. Barnes is a member of the Board of Directors of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) and serves as Co-Chair of its Public Policy & Advocacy Committee.  Ms. Barnes is also President of the Learning Disabilities Association of North Carolina.  Ms. Barnes is the parent of two adult children (ages 25 and 22) with dyslexia who were each identified in early grade school.  She practiced law from 1986 to 1999 in Maryland and D.C.; her legal experiences include federal and state administrative law, real estate law, not-for-profit law, finance, and constitutional law. Since 1999 Ms. Barnes has focused her legal skills and energies on community service and in the last decade has been active advocating on issues that affect those with disabilities.  Ms. Barnes lives in Chapel Hill, NC, holds a B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University, and is a member of the Maryland and D.C. Bars.


2.9 Restraint and Seclusion: A Blueprint for How Parents, Attorneys and Advocates Can

Influence Change

 

Presenters:

Guy Stephens

Parent/Advocate

Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint 338 Sachem Drive

Lusby, Maryland 20657

(443) 975-1166

guystephens@gmail.com

 

Heather Luke, MA, BSW

Lead Parent Educator/Military Outreach Coordinator The Parents Place of Maryland

802 Cromwell Park Drive Suite Q Glen Burnie, MD 21061

(410) 768-9100

heather@ppmd.org

 

Leslie Seid Margolis Managing  Attorney

Disability Rights Maryland 1500 Union Ave, Ste. 2000

Baltimore, MD 21211

(410) 727-6352

lesliem@disabilityrightsmd.org

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

Students with disabilities are subjected to restraint and seclusion at a disproportionate rate. This session will focus on one parents experience with restraint and seclusion, to demonstrate that parents can enhance their ability to advocate for their children by working work with established legal, advocacy and support organizations to promote systemic policy change at the local, state and federal levels.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Guy Stephens is the parent of two children, a daughter Audrey and his son Cooper who is on the autism spectrum.  Guy is an involved advocate for his son and has completed the Parents' Place of Maryland’s LEADers training and the Maryland Coalition of Families Family Leadership Institute.  Guy became involved in advocacy efforts related to the use of seclusion and restraint after his son was inappropriately restrained and secluded.  He has been working to influence change on a local, state and federal level.  He recently participated in the Calvert County Restraint and Seclusion Workgroup, which developed an updated policy to reduce and eliminate restraint and seclusion in the county.  He currently manages The Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint, which has a mission to raise awareness about the issue of seclusion and restraint.

 

Heather Luke is a Parent Educator working with families in Central Maryland.  Heather is fluent in American Sign Language as her youngest child is Deaf.  She is also the parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum and a child who is in college at James Madison University. She previously worked for the Anne Arundel County Infants and Toddlers Program as the Family Support Coordinator. Heather has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and holds a Masters degree from the University of Notre Dame of Maryland. Her husband has been in the Navy for over 20 years.  Heather advocates nationally to raise awareness about the use of Restraint and Seclusion in public schools.  She has been featured in Propublica, NPR, Associated Press, and the Washington Post about the issue.

 

Leslie Seid Margolis is a managing attorney at Disability Rights Maryland (DRM), Maryland’s protection and advocacy agency, where she has worked since 1985.  In her practice at DRM, she handles individual special education cases and engages in special education policy work at the local, state and national levels, and has extensive experience with systemic urban school reform litigation, having co-counseled the 28 year Baltimore City Vaughn G. case for many years.  Ms. Margolis is a frequent presenter at local, state and national trainings and conferences, and has published technical assistance documents, manuals, and articles. She has been a member of several national boards, including TASH, the Epilepsy Foundation and COPAA, and currently sits on several Maryland-based boards. In 2014, Ms. Margolis was the co-recipient of COPAA’s Diane Lipton Award for Outstanding Advocacy. She received the Outstanding Advocate of the Year award from The Arc Maryland in 2017.

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