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IEPs and 504 plans are essential tools to ensure positive learning outcomes for many students. They also have the potential to cause legal issues for schools if they aren't properly planned and carried out. This comprehensive guide will show you how to mitigate legal liabilities in IEPs and 504 plans. Take away valuable information you can use to spot potential issues in your school's IEP and 504 plan processes. Order today!
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JEFFREY E. AMMONS is a member of the law firm of Dickinson Wright PLLC, in Troy. He advises local and intermediate school boards of education, college and university boards of trustees, public school academy boards of directors and other public and private educational entities on various matters, including: state and federal statutes and regulations, constitutional issues, such as free speech, search and seizure, church-state, due process and the regulation of students, social media and on- and off-campus behavior, employee discipline and discharge, student disciplinary hearings and special education issues and hearings. Mr. Ammons earned his B.A. degree from the University of Michigan, his M.A. degree from Wheaton College Graduate School and his J.D. degree from Michigan State University College of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan - District H Character and Fitness Committee, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association and the Michigan Council of School Attorneys.
DEBORA A. BLAKE is a professional education advocate and consultant, and executive director at ACCESS Education. As an education specialist, she provides professional parent/student advocacy, training, case review/evaluation, and facilitation/mediation relating to early intervention, special education, student disciplinary issues, transition, and vocational rehabilitation throughout southern Michigan. Previously, Ms. Blake was a New Hampshire legislative attorney in the areas of education/special education, postsecondary/vocational education, children/youth law, domestic/family law, and disability rights. She was then contracted by the New Hampshire State Department of Education as an administrative law judge and special education hearing officer, where she conducted administrative hearings, issued decisions and provided neutral case evaluation, mediation and facilitation for complaints/disputes related to public school personnel and employment issues; professional certification; student education/early intervention/special education; student discipline; and transition and vocational rehabilitation appeals to the State Board of Education. Ms. Blake resolved more than ninety percent of the special education cases assigned to her prior to the formal due process hearing. As the executive director of InterMediate Resources, LLC, she acted as an attorney-neutral, mediator, facilitator, consultant, and educator/trainer in conflict management and alternative dispute resolution. Certified as a guardian ad litem in New Hampshire Superior, Probate, Family Division, and District courts, Ms. Blake also served as a court-appointed legal advocate and investigator in more than 200 cases involving minor children/juveniles in court proceedings relating to child abuse/neglect/TPR, adoption/guardianship, delinquency/children in need of services, and child custody/visitation/support. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Council of Attorneys and Advocates for Parents (COPAA), and the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC). Ms. Blake earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice administration from Michigan State University and Hawthorne College; and completed her J.D. degree, cum laude, at New England Law School in Boston, Massachusetts.
MELISSA A. EPSTEIN is an attorney with Epstein Legal Service PLLC, where she focuses her practice in the areas of education, employment, housing and estate planning. She is licensed to practice in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Ms. Epstein is a member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association (co-chair, Solo & Small Firm Section), Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy (vice chair, Board of Directors), Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and the State Bar of Michigan. She earned her B.A. degree from Michigan State University in East Lansing, her Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her J.D. degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia.
KATHY HOMAN is the President/CEO of the Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy, a disability rights advocacy nonprofit in Ann Arbor. She has more than 30 years of experience in education advocacy. Ms. Homan is a contracted advocate for Michigan Alliance for Families through the Michigan Department of Education. She has filed and won numerous state and federal complaints again school districts including failure to provide FAPE. Washtenaw ACA is the recipient of Washtenaw County Bar Associations 2017 Liberty Award. The Liberty Bell Award is given each year by local bar associations in conjunction with Law Day to honor outstanding citizens within the local community. The award recognizes outstanding service performed by a non-lawyer citizen who has given of his or her time and energy to strengthen the effectiveness of the American system of freedom under law, in keeping with the spirit of our Constitution. Such service may include activities which promote a better understanding of our form of government, especially the Bill of Rights; encourage greater respect for the law in the courts; educate people in the contrast between totalitarianism and freedom under law; or stimulate the deeper sense of individual responsibility to the end that citizens recognize their duties as well as their rights. Ms. Homan also has personal experience in having two adult children with disabilities; one now a graduate of the University of Michigan and the other a graduation of Michigan State and Columbia universities.
CHRISTINE P. PIATKOWSKI is an attorney at law in Brighton, Michigan. She is licensed to practice law in Michigan and Illinois. Ms. Piatkowski has her own general practice law firm that includes particular concentration in the areas of juvenile law, disability law, family law and school law matters. She has extensive experience in representing schools, individuals with disabilities, parents and children. Ms. Piatkowski is the State Bar of Michigan Children’s Law Section immediate past chairperson; the president of the Oakland County Citizen’s Alliance for the Oakland County Probate and Circuit courts; the former chairperson of the Juvenile Law Committee for the Macomb County Bar Association; the former chairperson of the Oakland County Bar Association Juvenile Law Committee; a member of the American Bar Association and a member of the Chicago Bar Association. Ms. Piatkowski is involved with a number of other private and public agencies and committees devoted to juvenile law, disability law and school law matters.