The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
January 8, 1999

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Issue -23

ISSN: 1538-3202

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The Special Ed Advocate is our free online newsletter about special education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, educational methods that work, and Internet links.

We publish this newsletter occasionally, when time permits. Back issues of The Special Ed Advocate are archived at our web site -


As a subscriber to The Special Ed Advocate, you will receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases and other events. Contact, copyright, and subscription information can be found at the end of this newsletter.

1. The 2nd Annual COPAA Conference: Why, Who, What, Where, When, and How

** WHY? **

COPAA is not a conference for theorists to discuss what should be, but for the warriors who will fight battles in the trenches and the generals who will map strategy, knowing what it is and how to do it. Applied techniques, tactics, strategy, war stories – it’s all there at COPAA.

In our July 13th newsletter, we provided subscribers with the location and dates of this Second Annual COPAA Conference. At that time, we created a page on our web site with information about speakers and topics, including the COPAA press release.

In the August 17th issue of the newsletter, we provided more specific information about how to make reservations at the Doubletree Hotel.

In the September 8th newsletter, we updated our COPAA conference page and links to the COPAA site. We reminded you again. Why? Because . . .

Last January, we attended the First Annual COPAA conference in Orlando. COPAA is the most beneficial conference for parents, attorneys, and advocates who seek to improve their skills.

In the April 6, 1998 "alert" to our subscribers and in the April 21, 1998 newsletter we discussed the $600,000 jury trial verdict, issued days before. That case is Whitehead v. Hillsborough County. Information about the Whitehead case has been on our website since last spring. Four months before the huge jury verdict, we met the Whiteheads and their attorney, Laura Whiteside – at the January, 1998 conference in Orlando.

One of the featured speakers was Tom Gilhool. Who is he? Tom Gilhool started the special education movement with the PARC decision – which set the stage for Public Law 94-142.

Meeting those people who are altering and shaping special education law – and improving the quality of services for our children - was an incredible experience.

** WHO? **

Speakers and Presenters include:

Barbara Bateman, Ph.D.

Hollace P. Brooks, Esq.

Mathew D. Cohen, Esq.

Paul S. Dalton, Esq.

Philip T.K. Daniel, Esq.

Nancy Diehl, Advocate

Katherine Dobel, Esq.

Barbara Ebenstein, Esq.

Martha Farris, Advocate

Beth Goodman, Esq.

Judith Gran, Esq.

Stewart R. Hakola, Esq.

Franklin J. Hickman, Esq.

Patricia L. Howey, Advocate

Sonja D. Kerr, Esq.

Howard Klebanoff, Esq.

William Laviano, Esq.

Diane Lipton, Esq.

Anne K. Macleod, AT Information Specialist

Deborah Mattison, Esq.

Brenda McGee, Esq.

Eileen Ordover, Esq.

Diane M. Parent, Esq.

Dean Rivkin, Esq.

Paul Rogers, Esq.

Jennifer P. Rosenberg, Esq.

Jim Rosenfeld, Esq.

Tammy Seltzer, Esq.

Torin D. Togut, Esq.

Valerie Vanaman, Esq.

Lois Weinberg, Ph.D.

Pamela Darr Wright, LCSW

Peter W. D. Wright, Esq.

** WHAT? **

On Friday, JANUARY 29, COPAA sponsors full day sessions about -

IEP Basics; Strategies and Techniques to Use in Negotiating IEPs

Due Process Basics: Case Assessment; Procedures; Hearing Strategies and Tactics; Depositions and Interrogatories; Laying the Base for Appeal; Attorneys’ Fees

Tests and Evaluations: What Tests are Used for; What do Test Scores Mean? Uses and Misuses of Tests; Examination and Cross-examination; Finding and Presenting Experts

On Saturday and Sunday, JANUARY 30 AND 31, COPAA offers sessions about

Major Judicial Decisions

Attorney’s Introduction to IDEA, §504 and the ADA

Delinquency Petitions and Juvenile Status Adjudication's

Assistive and Adaptive Technology – What It Is and Why You Need It

How to Hire and Work with Attorneys and Experts

Transition: An Eclectic Approach

Nuts and Bolts of Small Office Practice

Preparing Parents for an IEP Meetings

Enhanced Delivery of Legal Services -Proposed Model

Attorneys’ Fees - Present and Future

Lessons of Recent Decisions Involving Autism

Major Changes in New Regulations

New Discipline Rules

IDEA and the Medicaid Connection

What is a Functional Behavior Analysis?

Pre-Hearing Strategies - Laying the Base for Settlement or Hearing

Collaboration for FAPE: The Rules Have Changed

** WHERE? **

Doubletree Hotel San Diego Mission Valley
7450 Hazard Center Drive
San Diego, CA 92108
(800)222-TREE; (619)297-5466; FAX (619)688-4088;

The Doubletree Hotel San Diego Mission Valley has a web site. We went to
their site at and this is what we learned:

"Sunny days, sandy beaches and spectacular sight-seeing await you at the Doubletree Hotel San Diego Mission Valley. Just 10 minutes from San Diego International Airport, you’ll be in the heart of Mission Valley’s premier shopping district, near ocean beaches, Old Town, the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Wild Animal Park and Jack Murphy Stadium. The San Diego light rail station stops next door offering direct access to downtown, the Convention Center, Gaslight Quarter, and more."

** WHEN? **

Friday, JANUARY 29 through Sunday, JANUARY 31, 1999

** HOW? **

More program and speaker information at http://www.copaa.net/

If you haven’t made your room reservation and travel arrangements yet, do it now.

Don’t wait – forget – and regret!


Tests and Evaluations: What Tests are Used for; What do Test Scores Mean? Uses and Misuses of Tests; Examination and Cross-examination; Finding and Presenting Experts

Pete and Pam Wright, with Frank Hickman will present a day long session about tests and evaluations and how to use this information in the cross-examination of expert witnesses.

The morning session will focus on specific tests and principles of testing – what the different tests measure and what the test results mean. The afternoon session will focus on cross-examination techniques –how to use school witnesses and school data to prove your case. Frank Hickman will use videos of cross examinations on psychologists as teaching tools. Actual case material will be used to show how to develop the case on cross.

Our article, "Understanding Tests and Measurements" has been a hit from the beginning. The first version was posted several years ago at the LDOnline website. The article "Understanding Tests and Measurements" is consistently one of the top five pages accessed at our website and averages several hundred hits a day.

We receive letters and emails from university professors who tell us that they are using "Tests and Measurements" as a teaching tool in their courses. This article will be used in the morning session.

3. Section 504 and IDEA: Basic Similarities and Differences

Confused about Section 504? What makes Section 504 different from IDEA?

At the Special Ed Advocate, we receive many questions about Section 504 from parents and advocates. This article explains the purpose of Section 504, differences between Section 504 and IDEA, and how Section 504 works.



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