The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
February 14, 2000

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Issue - 61

ISSN: 1538-3202

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1. Guest Column: A Discovery Mission By Wayne Steedman, Esq.

2. 3rd Annual COPAA Conference, Adams Mark Hotel, Houston, 
Texas (March 3-5, 2000)

3. Free Books Offer - Act Now!

1. Guest Column: A Discovery Mission By Wayne Steedman, Esq.

Many special education attorneys and advocates know that LRP Publications has sponsored a series of workshops around the country called "Building a Blueprint for Defensible Autism Programs."

Several parent attorneys -- including Pete -- attended these seminars. Attorney Wayne Steedman agreed to write this first guest column, and describe what he learned about "defensible autism programs:" 

"I am an attorney who represents children with disabilities and their families exclusively. 

My purpose in going "behind enemy lines" was to learn about new strategies that school systems might use to avoid providing these children with the services they need." 

"The instructors for 'Building a Blueprint for Defensible Autism Programs' were Melissa Genaux, educational consultant, and Melinda Maloney Baird, Esq., attorney. Both Genaux and Baird work exclusively for school systems." 

"Because the workshop focused on "defensible" (not "effective") autism programs, I assumed that the workshop would teach public school employees how to defeat parents at due process hearings, while providing minimal services to children with autism."

To find out what Wayne learned during his "discovery mission," visit the Wrightslaw site.

WRIGHTSLAW NOTE: Wayne Steedman is a member of COPAA. 

COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates and parents established to improve the quality and quantity of legal assistance for parents of children with disabilities.

2. 3rd Annual COPAA Conference, Adams Mark Hotel, Houston, 
Texas (March 3-5, 2000)

This year's COPAA Conference is a winner! Great speakers, great topics.

Here are some highlights from the Schedule -- 


"Introduction to IEP Basics" and "Strategies and Techniques to Use in Negotiating IEPs" by Barbara Bateman, Ph.D. 

"What Tests are Used for What Purpose; What do they Mean?" by Franklin J. Hickman, Esq.; Joan K. Honeycutt, ED.D., J.D.

"A Parents' Introduction to IDEA and §504" by Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright.

"Matula and the Recovery of Damages Under §1983" by Rebecca Spar, Esq.

"Basic Legal Research for Parents and Advocates" by Brice Palmer.

"Using the New IDEA Regulations to Maximum Advantage" by Howard Klebanoff, Esq. and Ann Terezakis, Esq.


"Review and Discussion of Major Judicial Decisions" by Judith Gran, Esq. and Tom Gilhool, Esq.

"Preparing a Case for Due Process" by Katherine E. Dobel, Esq. and Valerie Vanaman, Esq. & Panel

"Preparing Parents for an IEP Meeting" by Pat Howey and Martha Ferris.

"Representing Students with Traumatic Brain Injury" by Torin D. Togut, Esq.

"A Blueprint for Assuring Your SEA Does Its Job" by Mary E. Broadhurst, Esq.

"Access to and Disclosure of Education Records" by Jane F. Reid, Esq.

"Presenting a Case in Due Process" by Mark S. Kamleiter, Esq.; Laura L. Whiteside, Esq. & Panel

"ADR Options to Resolve the 'Real' Problems Underlying Disputes" by Lynwood E. Beekman, Esq.

"How Parents & Advocates Should Use Computers and Related Technology" by Sarah R. Peterson

"Litigation Approaches to Special Education Issues" by Leslie Seid Margolis, Esq.; Diane Lipton, Esq.; Selene Almazan, Esq.


"Lay Advocacy and the Arons Decision" by David Vladeck, Esq.; Panel: Sonja Kerr, Esq.; Dean Rivkin, Esq.; Brenda McGee, Esq.

"Why Parents Need an Advocate" by Trea Graham and Catherine M. Fitzgibbons Scott 

"Ethical Considerations of Lay Advocacy" by Matthew D. Cohen, Esq.

"Advantages, Pitfalls and Economics of Mediation" by Howard Klebanoff, Esq. and Ann Terezakis, Esq.

"Special Education Law Office: Fees, Retainers and Other Practical Considerations" by Barbara J. Ebenstein, Esq.

"Positive Behavior Supports: IEP and Discipline Considerations" by William L.E. Dussault, Esq.

"Granted, the Law on Discipline is a Mess - So, Let's Get Practical - an Exchange of Tips and Strategies" by Moderators: Lynwood E. Beekman, Esq. and Matthew D. Cohen, Esq.; William L.E. Dussault, Esq., Howard Klebanoff, Esq., and others.

To get a copy of the Full Conference Schedule, go to



Registration is easy -- you can register by email, fax or mail. For registration information and forms, go to


BONUS: This Conference is Texas CLE approved (15.75 participatory; 1.25 ethics)!

3. Free Books Offer - Act Now!

If you plan to take advantage of the WRIGHTSLAW FREE BOOKS OFFER, ACT NOW! 

Our publisher is shipping out books by the ton to meet demand from this Promotion. We understand that bad weather is causing Ingram (book wholesaler) to run about 2 weeks behind. 

Harbor House is shipping out free copies of WRIGHTSLAW: SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW and the TACTICS & STRATEGY MANUAL. 

For details about the WRIGHTSLAW FREE BOOKS OFFER, go to



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Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2019, by Pam and Pete Wright
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Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
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Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
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Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
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