Morning Workshop Sessions
(A1) Approaching Assistive Technology
Jennifer McDonald-Peltier MS, ATP, AT Specialist, Center for Accessible Technology
Assistive Technology – what is it, how do I think about it, and what do I get for my child? We’ll look at a variety of tools and discuss how to approach Assistive Technology, both as a practical consideration and with regard to IEPs.
(A2) Transition to Adult Services
Representatives from Support for Families, Department of Rehabilitation, The Arc San Francisco, Golden Gate Regional Center, Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco, Jewish Vocational Services, San Francisco Unified School District
Representatives from agencies that provide services to young adults and adults with disabilities will present an overview of their transition programs, including information on eligibility criteria and how to access services for youth ages 14 to 24.
(A3) Bullying: Parents’ Rights and School
Shilpa Ram, Attorney & Brian Lambert, Attorney, Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
Is your child a target of bullying, harassment or threats? Attorneys from Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will present parents’ rights and school districts’ responsibilities under federal regulations regarding harassment by peers or school staff. The workshop will focus on federal civil rights laws that prohibit harassment against students based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability, and what you can do if your child is being harassed or bullied for any of these reasons.
(A4) My Child is Getting Into Trouble at School
Suge Lee, Supervising Attorney, Disability Rights California
Special Education students often have behaviors that are not appropriately addressed by their IEPs. This can lead to behavior referrals, suspensions, expulsions, and attendance problems. At this workshop, we will discuss protections for children with disabilities in discipline processes and provide advice on how to advocate for positive behavior services and supports.
(A5) Digging for Gold! How to Find Hidden Assets to Employment in Children and Youth with Disabilities!
Larry Robbin, Executive Director, Robbin and Associates
This workshop will teach you how to spot hidden assets to employment in children and youth with disabilities so you can have age appropriate conversations about jobs. Children and youth with disabilities often do not see how they fit into the world of work because they lack role models and sometimes focus more on their limitations than their strengths. If you want to help them raise their self-esteem, discover their employability and see themselves as part of the workforce - don't miss this workshop!
(A6) Does My Child Really Need Ritalin? An Integrative Approach to ADHD
Sanford Newmark, MD, Director, Clinical Programs
Head of Pediatric Integrative Neurodevelopmental Program
In this lecture, you will learn the importance of the integrative approach – seeing the child in the context of his or her family, friends, school and community, rather than as a set of symptoms that need to be fixed. Topics will include an overview of the environmental, genetic, and physiological aspects of ADHD. Dr. Newmark will then discuss non-pharmaceutical therapies, including nutrition, food sensitivities, vitamin and mineral supplements, parenting skills, school intervention and other complementary therapies.
(A7) Insurance, Autism & Mental Health: Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid To Ask
Karen Fessel, Dr. PH, Founder and Executive Director; Patricia Gish, JD, MSW, MP, Appeals Specialist, Mental Health and Autism Insurance Project
The workshop will explain different types of health plans (Medi-Cal, fully funded, self-insured), services that are typically covered and those that are not, how to access services, what to do when services are denied, and how to handle inadequate networks. We will go over handy tools available on the internet, and what you can expect to pay for out of pocket. We will do our best to update you on the changing health care landscape. Bring your questions, we prefer an interactive discussion.
(A8) How To Find Autism Information That Will Help You
Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Senior Editor, Thinking Persons Guide to Autism
Evaluating autism information is tricky, especially on the Internet. This session will describe how to differentiate between helpful and harmful information, discuss why questionable autism information can be dangerous, and illustrate why perspectives of people on the autism spectrum are crucial to understanding autism.
(A9) Supported Decision Making, an Alternative to Conservatorship
Clarissa Kripke MD, Director, Developmental Primary Care, UCSF; Melissa Crisp-Cooper,
If you are a parent or supporter for a person with a disability, you may be worried about who will help if you are no longer able to provide the same level of dedicated support. Supported Health Care Decision-Making empowers adults with disabilities to name supporters to help them make medical decisions so they can be directly involved in their own care. It is based on the understanding that people with disabilities have the same right as everyone else to direct their own lives. Research shows that people with disabilities who have more control over their lives have better life outcomes, including improved health, welfare, and independence.
(A10) Self-Determination in California: It’s Almost Here!
Sheraden Nicholau, Regional Manager, CA State Council on Developmental Disabilities; Elizabeth Grigsby, Consumer Rights Advocate, GGRC; Maria Marquez, CA’s Self-Determination Pilot Project Participant; and Peter Mendoza, Chair, Self-Determination Advisory Committee, GGRC and Director of Advocacy and Special Projects, Marin Center for Independent Living
Self-Determination is almost here in California! CA’s Self-Determination Program, signed into law in 2013, is an exciting new option for accessing and managing your regional center funded services and supports. Phase one of this program will be available soon. The Self-Determination Program can offer more control and responsibility for your services and supports, and can help you live your life your way! Learn about the Self-Determination Program, how it works, if it may be right for you or your family member-- AND how to get involved in the roll-out.
(A11) Helping with Homework
Joseph Trum, Founder, Common Sense Special Education
Homework can be a frustrating experience for both children and parents. This workshop gives simple, effective answers to common questions surrounding homework: How can I motivate my child to get homework done? Why does my child do poorly on tests? How do I modify homework assignments for kids with Special Needs? How can I get the teacher to help?
(A12) Planning for a Child with a Beneficiary Upon Turning Age 18?
Kevin Urbatsch, Attorney, The Urbatsch Law Firm P.C.
There are many transitions that occur when a child with a disability becomes an adult with a disability. This program will discuss many of the important decisions that need to be made. This includes whether a conservatorship should be considered, preparing the child’s estate planning, becoming eligible for public benefits, setting up and using ABLE accounts, handling the many difficult decisions that need to be made, and much more.
(A13) SFUSD’s IEP Survey
Laura Savage, Ombudsman, SFUSD
Have you recently had an IEP meeting for your student/child? Is an IEP scheduled to happen soon? In this workshop, Special Education Ombudsperson, Laura Savage, discusses areas covered by the Special Education IEP Survey. Learn what you should be looking for in your IEP meeting to best work with your child's school to support your child's academic success.
(A14) In-Home Supportive Services
Pilar Gonzalez, Attorney/ Client’s Rights Advocate, Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy
This presentation will explain the eligibility criteria for In-Home Support Services (IHSS) and the services available under this program. We will also discuss the self-assessment process and briefly explain how to appeal IHSS decisions.
(A15) Special Needs Trusts and the ABLE Accounts – How They Work Together to Provide Quality of Life
Stephen Dale, Attorney, The dale Law Firm, PC
This session will explore both special needs trusts and ABLE Accounts which are two tools for setting aside funds for a person with a disability. The presenter will demonstrate through case studies how these 2 tools can work together to assist in providing quality of life for a person with a disability for their lifetime. He will also provide attendees with checklists to look at issues that need to be considered when using these tools.