Last week, two partners of our firm, Diana Gersten and Greg Cangiano, attended the 19th annual conference of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) in Dallas, Texas. The conference was attended by 550 parents, attorneys, and special education advocates from across the country.
We try never to miss the annual COPAA conference; we always want to learn more from our peers about how to better serve our families. We also get a chance to catch up with members of our esteemed bar—not only to compare war stories, but also to discuss developments in special education law and policy. COPAA is a critical national organization, and we have blogged before about why we think special education parents should consider joining its ranks.
As you can imagine, the focus of this year's conference was quite political, and many of the panels focused on how to best support our families in the climate created by the current administration in Washington. We attended relevant and important workshops, such as “School Vouchers and Students with Disabilities: Examining Impact in the Name of Choice,” “The Independent Educational Evaluation- Roadblocks to Getting a Truly Independent IEE,” and “Refusing the Diploma: What to Do When Your Student in Not Ready to Transition to Post-Secondary Life.”
We took a lot of pride in the fact that the “The Top 40 Chart-Topping District Court Decisions of 2016” panel featured a number of winning decisions that were handled by our office. We are always grateful and humbled to be able to contribute to the betterment of students with disabilities by creating good legal precedents. Celebrating our successes is important.
We left with our spirits raised, our curiosities piqued, and our bellies full with good ol’ southern grub.