Foundation To Address The Needs And Rights Of Special Education Students And Their Parents

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NEW BRUNSWICK—The New Jersey State Bar Foundation will address the needs of students with disabilities and their parents when it presents a free public seminar dealing with special education on Wednesday, March 17, 7-9 p.m. at the New Jersey Law Center, One Constitution Square off Ryders Lane in New Brunswick. Admission is free but registration is required.

Everything You Always Wanted to Ask About Special Education: Parents’ & Schools’ Rights and Responsibilities will take a personalized view of special education with dialogue among the panel, comprised of three experienced special education law attorneys, and the audience.

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The seminar will cover eligibility criteria for special education services, how parents request an evaluation, parents’ right to an independent evaluation when they disagree with the school district’s evaluation, how to determine if a child is receiving a free appropriate education, what it means to be educated in the least restrictive environment, and the interface of special education with intervention and referral services. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, its eligibility criteria and availability to school-age children will also be on the agenda. In addition, the discussion will cover procedural protections available to parents, including complaint investigations, due process hearings and mediation.

Speakers for the seminar will include Rebecca Spar of Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard, Hackensack; David Giles, a solo practitioner in South Orange; and Staci Greenwald of Sussan & Greenwald-in Cranbury and a Certified Teacher of the Handicapped.

Spar is a frequent lecturer and author and has represented parents and children in several precedentsetting educational cases. She is on the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Tourette Syndrome Association, a former chair of the NJSBA’s Children’s Rights Committee and School Law Committee and currently serves on the Education Law Center’s Board of Trustees. She holds degrees from the University of Kansas, the University of Minnesota, Pace University and Rutgers Law School-Newark.

Giles has represented parents and students in school-related matters, including special education and school discipline cases, since 1989. He originally practiced law in California, where he worked for nine years with California Rural Legal Assistance and East Palo Alto Community Law Project. Subsequently he worked for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. In 2001 he joined the Education Law Center, a non-profit, Newark-based law office with a statewide practice dedicated to helping New Jersey children receive a thorough, efficient and appropriate education. Since 2003 Giles has maintained a private education law practice.

Greenwald was a special education teacher before attending law school. She has a degree in speech pathology and is a Certified Teacher of the Handicapped. She represents the disabled in various forums from the Office of Administrative Law to the Federal courts. Besides special education issues, she offers advocacy in matters involving the Division of Development Disabilities and guardianship.

The seminar is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is required. To register or for more information on Foundation seminars, programs and publications, visit the Foundation online at www.nisbf.org or call 1-800-FREE-LAW.


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