Innisfree Special Education Parent Conference

Project Name: Innisfree Special Education Parent Conference
Cost: $10,000
Recurring?: Depends on success
Description: Attorney conferences are easy to find (they’re presented as CLEs), and COPAA’s conferences are excellent resources for non-attorney parent advocates.   We would like to present a program directly to parents of children with disabilities about their legal rights, and how best to access them, with sessions led by Administrative Law Judges, experienced expert witnesses, and a few carefully chosen special education attorneys.

We can’t exactly describe how this conference would go, but a “wish list” would have someone, possibly an attorney with the stature of Rebecca Spar, for example, act as the Conference chair, with freedom to set the programming as she sees fit, and the program would be dominated by ALJ speakers (whose participation perhaps could be obtained with an honorarium, subject to their ethical rules), and perhaps a keynote speech by a federal judge or magistrate. At least one session would be presented by an expert witness who had testified many times in the OAL.

Much of the proposed budget above would be devoted to honoraria. We would also seek sponsors for this program, and provide them with advertising in the program and on signage. This would not be a free event, but we would seek to break even on it, rather than make money, after providing scholarships to parents of children with disabilities based on a showing of need.

Beneficiaries: Parents of children with disabilities.