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Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
February 18, 2005

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

About the COPAA Conference


Speakers & Trainers



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Annual Conference of the Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates (COPAA)
Atlanta - March 10-13, 2005

When & Where: The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), a national organization of parents of special education students and their advocates and lawyers, will hold their annual conference at the Sheraton Midtown Atlanta Hotel at Colony Square in Atlanta from March 10-13, 2005.

Who: The COPAA conference will be of most interest to parents, advocates and attorneys who represent special education students. Registration is NOT open to anyone who is employed by, or receives more than 50% of his/her income from, state, local, or intermediate education agencies, or, in the case of an attorney, who represents or has represented such an agency within the past five years.

Why: This conference provides unique opportunities for training and networking with the most experienced and knowledgeable attorneys and advocates on special education issues. Participants will learn about the most recent cases, legislative changes, and the latest disability specific educational interventions from experienced attorneys, advocates and parents.

What: The program includes four intensive Pre-Conference Skills Trainings and 28 topical workshops - all conducted by leading experts in the field of special education law and advocacy!

You will find links to the registration forms at the end of this Alert. Download & distribute this Alert.


Pre-Conference Skills Training: Thursday, March 10 & Friday, March 11, 2005

Four pre-conference skills trainings will be held over two days with a mixture of large group lecture and small group practice sessions. These training programs are:

Track 1: Parents and Advocates Skills Training
Track 2: Due Process Hearings For Attorneys
Track 3: Federal Litigation For Attorneys
Track 4: Orton Gillingham Subscriber Course

Track One for parents and advocates is designed for those who wish to hone their advocacy skills and acquire tools for getting good services for students with disabilities. A lecture format will be mixed with small group practice sessions and a mock IEP meeting. (Limited to no more than 75 participants)

Track Two for intermediate level attorneys (Due Process Hearings For Attorneys) and Track Three for advanced level attorneys (Federal Litigation For Attorneys) will be offered at the 2005 Conference. (Track One for beginning level attorneys, "Survival Guide for New IDEA Attorneys," was provided at the 2004 Conference and will not be repeated this year.) (For attorneys only; limited to no more than 50 participants)

Track Four is an Orton Gillingham Subscriber Course that will provide an introduction to the Orton-Gillingham approach. This course is appropriate for teachers, tutors, attorneys, advocates and parents, or individual with dyslexia who wish to leave about this multisensory approach.

There will be a reception on Friday evening, after the Intensive Skills Training concludes.

Learn about the Pre-conference skills trainings.
Conference at a Glance.

Conference: Friday, March 11 - Sunday, March 13, 2005

The conference begins on Friday, March 11 at 5:00 pm with a Keynote speech by Richard Ellenson. A reception will follow.

On Saturday, March 12, the conference opens with a General Session by Matt Cohen, Esq. who will provide an Overview of IDEA 2004. There will be 18 special education law and advocacy sessions (6 sessions held simultaneously in 3 blocks of time). The day closes with the Annual Case Law Review and optional entertainment activities. Saturday Sessions.

On Sunday, March 13, the day begins with a General Session, followed by 11 special education law and advocacy sessions (5 or 6 sessions held simultaneously in 2 blocks of time). The conference will end at 12:15 pm. Sunday Sessions

There will be Roundtable Discussions from 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm.

Speakers & Skills Trainers

Speakers and trainers include Selene Almazan, Barbara Bateman, Jill Bender, Ed Burke, Jessica Butler, Matt Cohen, W. Alan Coulter, Anne Treimanis, Barbara Ebenstein, Melissa Farrell, Wayne Fisher.

Also, Charlen Gamble, Andrew & Carolyn Gammicchia, William Goode, Naomi Grossman, Judith Gran, Frank Hickman, Elaine Holden, Beth Jones, Scott Johnson, Mark Kamleiter, Sonja Kerr, Margaret Koven, Lisa Krizman, Paul Liles, Leslie Lipson, Claudia Lowe.

Also, Kimberly Mills, Leslie Seid Margolis, Alice Nelson, Linda Karr O'Connor, Michael O'Connor, Dorene Philpot, Kimberly Pisinski, Charlotte Price, Robert Rees, Jane Reid, Stephen Rosenbaum, Jamie Ruppman.

Also, Pamella Settlegoode, Anne Marie Smith, Diane Smith, Torin Togut, Catherine Trapani, Patricia Waldman, Kathleen Whitbread, Peter Wright, Debra Wysong, Theresa Yanen, Jonathon Zimring.

Registration Info

Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Fees vary, depending on days attended and your COPAA membership status. Meals: Included are hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar on Friday, lunch on Saturday, and a continental breakfast on Sunday.

Online Registration l  Register by Mail (14 pages in pdf)

Continuing Legal Education Credit should be available from your state for almost all sessions.

For reservations, call the Sheraton Midtown Atlanta in Colony Square at (404) 892-6000.

Help Get the Word Out
Please distribute this Alert to individuals and groups who may be interested in attending the conference and to appropriate mailing lists of which you are a member. Please feel free to post this information on your web sites, with a link to


The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, §501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates and parents. Our primary mission is to secure high quality educational services for children with disabilities.

COPAA is premised on the belief that the key to effective educational programs for children with disabilities is collaboration - as equals- by parents and educators.

Membership Benefits  l  Online Membership Application  l  Mail-in Membership Application

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Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043

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