Navigating the hundreds of pages of legalese that mandate education services for children with disabilities can be overwhelming. IDEA: Blueprints to Special Education simplifies that process. These sessions cover the legal rights and options that parents, advocates, and educators must know to ensure that students receive the services they need to succeed and thrive in school. Presented by experts in special education law, this workshop provides information on state and federal laws regulating special education, IEP and 504 plans.


 Next Session:

October 21, 2017 (Registration now available!)

Morning session will include:

Building a foundation for the Individualized Education Program (IEP); Identifying and involving the IEP team, and developing the IEP to meet educational standards.

  • Panel presentation
    • Evaluation Process  – How does it get captured in an IEP (what drives services)
    • Eligibility: How is it determined? How old must a child be?  Must a child be identified as a certain category to receive services?
    • The IEP Meeting: What can I expect? What do all the sections mean? Do we need all these people here? How is it authorized, what do I sign? My IEP is Out of Date, what steps can I take to modify it?Involving the IEP team, each person’s role (funding, training, instructional design, therapy recommendations)  
    • It feels One Size Fits All- What program types and related services are Available? How to pursue 1:1 support, ABA, OT, Counseling, SLP, Staff training, other related services.
    • Understanding FAPE (meeting educational standards) & the LRE; Alternative or private placements
    • Emergency Response Protocols – when is it considered seclusion and restraint? What are my child’s rights
    • Transition Planning.  Does academics stop at 12th grade for a student who is going to school through 21?  When does vocational training start, what if all on campus experiences are janitorial? How do I negotiate for meaningful off campus experiences, at what age can it start?
    • What are the steps I can take to resolve disputes with the IEP – Letters to a stranger:  The teacher is ignoring my child’s needs, the principal doesn’t know my child, how do I write a letter to a stranger?)

Afternoon session will include:

Small group discussion with attorneys representing the region including Q&A time, in-depth small group discussion.  There will be an opportunity to attend all sessions. Topics covered may include:

Initial assessments, reevaluations, IEEs  

  • Evaluation Process In Depth – How does it drive programming, what if the school did a cursory eval, what if my child is non-verbal and has challenging behaviors, what if my child is gifted, but has uneven abilities, IEE’s, how do I write a letter asking for one.   

IEPs – special education and related services  

  • Effective education – How do I negotiate for research based and evidence based methodology, how much data can I ask for?  How often can progress be reported, what if the expectation is REALLY low, how can I negotiate for access to general ed. for a highly impacted student, how can I negotiate for access to the gifted program if my child has social & organization needs?
  • How to secure services for high functioning students who don’t present with exceptional needs (needs fall through the cracks)
  • Transition Plans & Vocational Training
  • What does 18-21 look like for higher functioning students – College prep, etc.

Placement & resolving differences; Due Process

  • Placement – Full range of instructional arrangements & supplementary aids & services, how to negotiate for appropriate supports in the least restrictive environment, what if there are no good options in the district, how & when do I negotiate for private placement
  • Resolving differences; “I can’t afford an attorney, my child’s been out of school for 4 months!” Documentation along the way in case you ever need to duke it out!  “Where do I begin?”

Discipline and behavior plans

  • Positive Behavior Supports, safety plans, how to write letters, what information to include.  “I’m worried my 4 year old will be secluded without my knowledge or approval.  How can I  do to protect her?”  What to do if faced with harmful restraint and isolation


WAAA offers full scholarships for this workshop.

Please send an email to for scholarship details.


Workshop Fees


Thanks to a grant from King County this session is being offered free of charge!



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