Audio CD + Course Book

Special Education Law From A to Z

Audio CD + Course Book

Copyright Date:

December, 2017

Product ID#:


Audio + Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • CA CLE - 12.00
From Event: Special Education Law From A to Z, held December 2017.

Program Description

The laws governing special education interact in confusing and sometimes contradictory ways, yet it is crucial that schools have a firm understanding of them in order to protect the rights of students and avoid legal difficulties. This comprehensive overview lays out all the legal requirements surrounding IEP development, discipline procedures, due process hearing requirements and more. It also highlights the mistakes other schools have made, so you can ensure your school properly delivers legally appropriate special education services that help students succeed - order today!

Course Content

Day 1

  1. Unravelling Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) Complexities
  2. Evaluation and Eligibility for Special Education Services
  3. Developing and Implementing Defensible IEPs
  4. Fulfilling Critical Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and Placement Decision Obligations
  5. Essential Components of a 504 Plan

Day 2

  1. Managing Behavioral Issues: Avoiding Critical Mistakes
  2. Discipline and Expulsion Essentials for Special Needs Students
  3. Manifestation Determination Reviews (MDRs)
  4. Special Education Records: Handling Difficult Situations
  5. Due Process Rights: Ensuring Appropriate Practices During Disputes

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 12.00 CA - Credit Approval Expiration 12/11/2019

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

Day 1

  1. Unravelling Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) Complexities
    9:00 - 10:15, Valerie Vanaman
    1. Definitions of FAPE: IDEA vs. Section 504
    2. Definitions of Disabilities Under Each Law
    3. What Services and/or Accommodations Must be Provided?
    4. Who is Protected?
    5. When is Bullying a Denial of FAPE?
    6. Q&A Session
  2. Evaluation and Eligibility for Special Education Services
    10:30 - 11:45, Michelle A. Becker
    1. Procedural Safeguards for Parents, Students and Schools
    2. Documenting Parent Input
    3. Evaluations: Timelines, Testing and Best Practices
    4. Defensible Classroom Observations
    5. Determining Eligibility: Need for Services, Adverse Impact, etc.
    6. Q&A Session
  3. Developing and Implementing Defensible IEPs
    12:45 - 2:00, Michelle A. Becker
    1. Team Meetings: Ensuring all Members are Present
    2. Components of a Legally Defensible IEP
    3. Implementing IEPs: Monitoring, Documenting and Reporting
    4. Amending IEPs
    5. Q&A Session
  4. Fulfilling Critical Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and Placement Decision Obligations
    2:00 - 3:00, Mark E. Woodsmall
    1. LRE, Mainstreaming and Inclusion: What Must Schools Provide?
    2. Continuum of Alternate Placements
    3. Placement Decision Requirements
    4. Factors That Can and Cannot be Considered
    5. Changes in Placement: Necessary Procedures and Review
    6. Q&A Session
  5. Essential Components of a 504 Plan
    3:15 - 4:30, Miho Murai
    1. How 504 Plans Differ From IEPs
    2. Substantial Limitations and Major Life Activities: What are They?
    3. Curriculum Modification and Specially Modified Instruction
    4. Ensuring 504 Plan Accommodations are Reasonable
    5. How to Successfully Implement a Section 504 Plan
    6. Q&A Session

Day 2

  1. Managing Behavioral Issues: Avoiding Critical Mistakes
    9:00 - 10:15, Tania L. Whiteleather
    1. Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs): Who Should be Involved?
    2. Creating Useful Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIPs)
    3. Handling Disagreements with Parents
    4. Restraint and Seclusion: Current Legal Perspectives
    5. Q&A Session
  2. Discipline and Expulsion Essentials for Special Needs Students
    10:30 - 11:45, Surisa E. Rivers
    1. Legal Rules Governing Removal or Expulsion
    2. Providing Services During Disciplinary Removal
    3. Handling Disciplinary Changes in Placement
    4. Multiple Suspensions and Denial of FAPE
    5. Q&A Session
  3. Manifestation Determination Reviews (MDRs)
    12:45 - 1:45, Tania L. Whiteleather
    1. Ensuring Proper Timelines and Procedures for MDRs
    2. Essential Documentation for MDRs
    3. Determining the Cause of Misbehaviors: Disability, Failure to Implement the IEP or Neither?
    4. Proving or Disproving Schools Followed IEPs, FBAs and BIPs
    5. Q&A Session
  4. Responding to Requests for Special Education Requests
    1:45 - 3:00, Miho Murai
    1. Who is a Parent and What Can They Access?
    2. What is and isn't an Educational Record: IDEA, Section 504, and FERPA
    3. Testing Protocols as Educational Records
    4. Retaining, Amending, and Destroying Educational Records
    5. Q&A Session
  5. Due Process Rights: Ensuring Appropriate Practices During Disputes
    3:15 - 4:30, Valerie Vanaman
    1. Due Process Overview and Statutes of Limitations
    2. Notice Requirements and Timing Issues
    3. Informal Dispute Resolution: Mediation, Resolution Sessions and Negotiation
    4. How to Prepare for a Due Process Hearing
    5. Appealing Decisions
    6. Q&A Session

MICHELLE A. BECKER is a sole practitioner with an office in Pasadena, where she represents families in special education law and immigration law. Her special education practice includes ensuring children have the proper assessments and educational programs or behavior support plans, providing counsel if children faces suspension or expulsion, filing a compliance complaint, and requesting and attending due process hearings. Ms. Becker also provides pro bono services to the Los Angeles County Children's Court as a court appointed 317(e) attorney, as well as the Alliance for Children's Rights and CASA, Los Angeles, both of which are child advocacy groups dedicated to serving the foster children and youth in Los Angeles County. She is a proud member of Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates. Ms. Becker earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine and her Juris Doctor degree from Concord Law School.

MIHO MURAI is a solo practitioner in Los Angeles, California, where she represents families in special education law, immigration law, adoptions, guardianships, juvenile delinquency, and dependency (children in foster care). Her passion and commitment to these vulnerable youth derive from her experiences as a bilingual teacher and as a community activist. Ms. Murai has worked and externed at numerous non-profit organizations, including Legal Services for Children, National Center for Youth Law, Asian Law Caucus, Sacramento Child Advocates, and Public Counsel Law Center, as well as the San Francisco Public Defender's Office. Ms. Murai has been representing families of children with disabilities through participation in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and Section 504 meetings, and filing due process complaints and state compliance complaints since 2008. She has represented families at resolution sessions, mediations, and due process hearings, and has successfully settled almost all of her cases in her clients' favor. Ms. Murai is a board member of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance and is the membership coordinator and treasurer for the California Association for Parent-Child Advocacy. She is a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, the Southern California Special Education Task Force, and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates. From 2010 to 2014, she served as an appointed member of the Office of Administrative Hearings, Special Education Advisory Committee. Ms. Murai is a member of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court Education Panel, where she is regularly appointed to represent students with disabilities who are in the foster care system or who have an active juvenile delinquency case. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. degree from the University of California Hastings College of Law.

SURISA E. RIVERS is the senior special education attorney and founder at Rivers Law Office, where she helps students with disabilities to fully access and enjoy their education. Ms. Rivers has devoted the majority of her career to advancing the educational rights of students with disabilities. She has successfully represented hundreds of students with disabilities against school districts all over Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and Ventura counties. Ms. Rivers earned her undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University and her J.D. degree from Rutgers University School of Law.

VALERIE VANAMAN has been an attorney specializing in representing students with disabilities since the passage of the Individuals With Disabilities Act in 1974. In 1981, Ms. Vanaman left legal services work to open her own firm, Newman Aaronson Vanaman. Since that time, the firm has been a leader in providing representation in a wide range of education matters for students and families. The work of the firm includes securing for their clients a basic education, protecting rights under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as protecting the rights of consumers under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act. Ms. Vanaman earned her B.A. and J.D. degrees from The Ohio State University. She is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal District Courts for the Central District of California; the State Bar of California; and the Ohio State and Massachusetts bar associations. Over the course of her career, Ms. Vanaman worked for various public interest law firms, including the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Children’s Defense Fund.

TANIA L. WHITELEATHER is the principle of the Tania L. Whiteleather Law Offices in Lakewood. Since 1989, she has practiced in the areas of special education law, family law, probate, and estate planning. Ms. Whiteleather earned her B.A. degree from California State University at Long Beach and her J.D. degree from Western State University School of Law.

MARK E. WOODSMALL is the founding attorney of Woodsmall Law Group, PC, practicing exclusively in the areas of special education, regional center matters, special needs trust planning and conservatorship. In 2006, Mr. Woodsmall joined the faculty of the USC Gould School of Law as a professor adjunct, teaching in the area of special education law. He also served as the teaching attorney in the Special Education Advocacy Training Project - Los Angeles. The SEAT Project, an innovative nationwide advocacy training project, is funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and administered through COPAA, the Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates and the USC Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles). Mr. Woodsmall sits on the UCLA Center for Autism Research & Treatment (CART) Community Advisory Committee. Mr. Woodsmall is a national lecturer on parents' rights under the IDEA, Section 504 and the Lanterman Act. Mr. Woodsmall was an invited presenter at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 COPAA conferences (national conference of student attorneys) in Florida, New Mexico and California. Mr. Woodsmall has been recognized for his work in the field in 2012 as the recipient of the National Ambassador for the Children Award from Casa Colina and in 2013 with the prestigious Stanley I. Greenspan Humanitarian Award. In 2014 Mr. & Mrs. Woodsmall formed the Spero Project, a 501(c)3, non-profit organization dedicated to work training opportunities for young adults (16 to 25 years of age) with developmental disabilities. Mr. Woodsmall earned his B.A. degree from Pepperdine University and his J.D. degree from Southwestern University School of Law.

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Accreditation Details:

Continuing Legal Education

CA CLE: 12.00 Credit Approval Exp
This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California and may qualify for up to 12.0 hours of self-study credit, of which 0.0 hour will apply to legal ethics self-study credit. NBI, Inc. certifies this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education. NBI, Inc. is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider - #53.

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