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T-1 To IEP and Beyond: Using Your Advocacy Skills & Tools Before, During and After the IEP


One Day Session

Thursday, March 8th

9:00 am - 5:00 PM


Audience Category: Advocate  *New optional offering, an advanced advocate certificate program.  Attend this pre-conference and one of the identified Friday pre-conference OR Two day: Representing Parents in Impartial Hearing and then select sessions of interest to you on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You will receive an advanced advocate training certificate for 24 hours of training.  Must have at least 5 years of advocacy experience to participate in certification program. 

Audience Level of Expertise:


Brief Session Description:

This one-day session provides advanced advocates with skills and tools to further information learned in past trainings on issues involved in advocacy throughout the IEP process and beyond.  The session includes direction instruction as well as opportunities for the class to discuss issues that advocates face on a daily basis including: working with parents before an IEP meeting; using the Endrew F. decision in IEP development; working with the IEP team to write measurable goals; and, how to resolve conflicts after the IEP.  Please note, this session includes minimal discussion of due process as one of several ways to resolve a conflict but this session is not intended to provide participants with preparation for representing clients in due process hearings.  New this year - take this session as one of the required conference sessions to obtain a COPAA Advanced Advocate Certificate of Training (see full Brief Session Description for requirements).



Mandy Favaloro
A2Z Educational Advocates
881 Alma Real, Suite 309
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
PH: 310-573-1430


Carolina Watts
A2Z Educational Advocates
881 Alma Real, Suite 309
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
PH: 310-573-1430
EM:  mandy.favaloro@gmail.com


Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Mandy Favaloro is an attorney at A2Z Educational Advocates.  Mandy 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.  While at Pepperdine, Mandy participated in the Special Education Advocacy Clinic, where she worked with families involved in the IEP process.  Since joining A2Z Educational Advocates Mandy 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. Mandy 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.  Mandy is an active member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).   She currently serves on the Board of Directors, as the Co-Chair of the Conference Committee and the Secretary, and previously taught SEAT for five years. Mandy has presented at previous COPAA conferences and in webinars on a variety of special education topics, and has given presentations for other organizations.  


Carrie Watts graduated from the University of Georgia with Bachelor's Degrees in English and Speech Communications.  She then moved to California to attend law school at Pepperdine University School of Law, where she obtained a Juris Doctor, as well as the Strauss Institute's Certificate in Dispute Resolution.  Carrie has a background working in child welfare and conducting oversight investigations of child protective services cases and foster care cases, and published an article on the liability of social services workers in cases involving child abuse related deaths.  Carrie participated in the Pepperdine Special Education Advocacy Clinic in law school, where she worked with parents on preparing for and attending IEP meetings for their children.  Following that experience, she pursued her passion for special education law and children's rights, joining A2Z Educational Advocates. While at A2Z, she has assisted hundreds of parents of students with disabilities in school districts throughout Southern California, working with the A2Z team of special education attorneys and advocates to represent parents throughout all stages of the process, from IEP meetings to Due Process hearings.  She has also been actively involved in research and writing for A2Z's cases at the Federal District Court and 9th Circuit levels.   Carrie is a frequent speaker on topics related to special education, and has presented a several prior COPAA conferences.  Carrie is also an active COPAA member, and has served on its Board of Directors since 2011 and is a prior Chair of COPAA.  

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