in Key Special Education Case to Speak to Autism Group
April 22, 2009
- An attorney who represented a special-education plaintiff in a landmark
Supreme Court case will appear at a Wrightslaw Special Education Law
and Advocacy Boot Camp for parents and professionals May 29 and 30.
Autism Bridges Maui will host attorney Pete Wright and psychotherapist
Pam Wright at the two-day event in Maui Community College's Pa'ina Building.
With cutbacks to the state departments of Education and Health, "we
feel this conference is extremely relevant and important to island families
with special-needs children," an Autism Bridges Maui news release
Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days, with registration at
8 a.m. the first day.
The first day will focus on special-education laws, including an overview
of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004. The second
day will examine "Smart IEPs (Individualized Educational Programs),"
No Child Left Behind and advocacy strategies.
Wrightslaw programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, advocates,
educators, attorneys and health care providers who represent children
Pete Wright, who represents children with special-educational needs,
knows firsthand the issues of overcoming a learning disability. As a
2nd-grader, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia and attention-deficit
(hyperactivity) disorder, also known as ADHD. He graduated from T.C.
Williams Law School at the University of Richmond in 1977.
In 1993, Wright represented Shannon Carter and gave oral arguments before
the U.S. Su-preme Court. In Florence County School District IV v. Shannon
Carter, the high court ruled unanimously in Carter's favor.
Diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, Carter entered high school functionally
illiterate with 5th-grade reading skills. The school district IEP would
have had Carter making four months of progress in one year of special
Carter's parents enrolled her in a private school that specialized in
educating children with language learning disabilities and requested
the school district to pay the tuition. Carter's parents sued the district
after it refused.
The high court ruled that if a public school defaults and a child receives
an appropriate education in a private institution, the parents are entitled
to be reimbursed for the education.
Psychotherapist Pam Wright has worked with children and families since
the early 1970s.
Pam and Pete Wright are adjunct professors of law at William & Mary
Law School, where they teach a course on special-education law and advocacy.
They co-authored "Wrightslaw: Special Education Law"; "Wrightslaw:
No Child Left Behind"; "Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004"; and "Wrightslaw:
From Emotions to Advocacy."
Cost of the course before May 1 is $125 per person or $200 per couple
(two members of the same household); after May, it is $150 and $250.
The fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon refreshments
both days. Those attending will receive "Wrightslaw: Special Education
Law, 2nd Edition" and "Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy,
Registration forms are at Web site www.autismbridgesmaui.org.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 572-8070.