Watch & Learn

Gain knowledge about special education related issues


Upcoming Webinars

S.E.L.F offers education webinars. Watch our webinar series & learn about special education related issues & topics from experts in education, law, and advocacy.

Attorneys & Advocates

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Mediation & Due Process

Join Special Education Legal Fund as we discuss mediation, due process hearings, and conflict resolution in the special education process with special education attorneys Andrew Feinstein (Feinstein Education Law Group), Jeff Forte (Forte Law Group), and Jennifer Laviano (Laviano & Gagne), moderated by S.E.L.F. Executive Director & CoFounder Christine Lai. 

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Back to School: Ask the Advocates

Moderated by S.E.L.F. Executive Director and CoFounder Christine Lai, this panel features special education advocates Dani Cohen (Law Offices of Robin Keller), Jill Chuckas (CT Education Advocacy), Allene Grafman (ABC Advocacy) and Stacey Tié (The Law Offices of Laura Heneghan) to discuss how to prepare for your student’s return to school, tips for working with your new teachers and team, and how to monitor your child’s progress through the new school year.

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What is a State Complaint?

State complaints are an important procedural safeguard in IDEA, but what exactly is a state complaint? How should parents and other organizations utilize state complaints in dispute resolution? How do state complaint procedures differ by state? How do individual states, particularly Connecticut, view their complaint obligations? What should parents know before filing a state complaint? When should a parent utilize a state complaint as opposed to filing for due process? Watch this special presentation featuring COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates) Chris Roe and special education attorney Andrew Feinstein, moderated by S.E.L.F. Executive Director Christine Lai. 

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What is Outplacement?

Moderated by S.E.L.F. Executive Director and CoFounder Christine Lai, this panel features special education attorneys Meredith Braxton (The Law Offices of Meredith Braxton) and Courtney Spencer (The Law Offices of Courtney Spencer) to discuss outplacement, whether it is appropriate for your child, and navigating the outplacement process with your school team and district.

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IEP vs 504 Plan

Moderated by Lara Damashek (Early Insight Advocacy), special education advocates Virginia Blum (CT Education Advocacy) and Diane Willcutts (Education Advocacy LLC) join special education attorneys Piper Paul (Piper Paul Law) and Dana Jonson (Law Offices of Dana Jonson) to discuss the differences between Individualized Education Plans and 504 Plans from a parent’s perspective, including the legal differences between the plans, which plan may be right for your child, and remedies available under each plan.

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Special Needs Planning with Wealthspire Advisors

Moderated by Wealthspire’s Michael Delgass, special education attorneys Adrienne Arkontaky (Cuddy Law) and Marion Walsh (Littman Krooks) join Rich Yam (Wealthspire Advisors) to discuss educational and financial planning for families of children with special needs.  

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What is an IEE?

Moderated by Christine Lai, Dr. Adrienne Smaller (Yale Child Study Center), special education advocate Julie Swanson (Life Skills Lady), and special education attorneys Penelope Petzold (Law Office of Penelope Petzold) and Melissa Gagne (Laviano-Gagne Law) discuss the Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). Topics covered include what is included in an IEE, what an IEE is used for in the outplacement process, and how to secure an IEE with your school-based team.

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The New Connecticut IEP

Moderated by Christine Lai, special education attorneys Jeffrey Forte and Jill Hornig from Forte Law Group present a review and analysis of the new Connecticut IEP which was implemented as of 7/1/22.  

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A Life Plan for Special Education Advocacy 

Special Education advocates Jill Chuckas, Virginia Blum, Anne Munkenbeck, and Diane Willcutts discuss how advocates can help parents establish a life plan for their child’s special education through an understanding of the advocacy process.  Moderated by Lara Damashek.

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How to Read an IEP

Moderated by Lara Damashek (Early Insight Advocacy), special education advocates Stacey Tié (The Law Offices of Dana Jonson), Anne Munkenbeck, and Dani Cohen (Law Office of Robin Keller) discuss how to read and understand the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) from a parent’s perspective.

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Attorneys & Advocates: What’s the Difference?

Special education attorney Jennifer Laviano and special education advocates Julie Swanson & Diane Willcutts discuss the differences between special education advocates and attorneys, and when you might need one versus the other.  Moderated by Christine Lai. 

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Special Education Advocacy 101

Special Education Advocates Diane Willcutts, Julie Swanson, Anne Munkenbeck, and Virginia Blum discuss special education advocacy basics and how advocates help families understand and navigate the special education process. Moderated by Lara Damashek.

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 How to Find Hire & Keep the Right Special Education Attorney

Lakshmi Mergeche (The Law Offices of Neal Rosenberg), Greg Cangiano (Skyer Law), Dana Jonson (the Law Offices of Dana Jonson), and Meredith Braxton discuss how to find the right special education attorney for your student and family, and maintain that relationship through proactive communication strategies. Moderated by Lara Damashek. 


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Preparing for College

Join us for an important online event that explores how to prepare for college for students with IEPs or 504 Plans. If you are a parent/caregiver of a student with a 504 Plan, IEP, or who is enrolled at an independent special education school, this webinar is for you! Our panel of experts includes educators like Stephanie Zabar from Winston Prep School in Norwalk, Amanda Sylvester from Fusion Academy Fairfield, and Danielle Meyer from the Harvey School in Katonah, as well as attorney Marion Walsh from Littman Krooks will explore college prep course selection, accommodations in high school, standardized tests, accommodations in college, and more! Together with moderator & S.E.L.F. CoFounder Christine Lai, our panel will examine how to best prepare high school students with special education needs for college.

Anxiety & Mental Health at School

Join us for an important online event that explores educational supports for students with anxiety, depression, school refusal, and other mental health concerns. If you’re a parent, caregiver, or education professional, this event is perfect for you. Our expert speakers include special education attorney and parent Dana Jonson, Spire School head Dr. Tammy Moscrip, and Dr. Adrienne Smaller from the Yale Child Study Center. Together with moderator & S.E.L.F. CoFounder Christine Lai, our panel will examine how to best support students with anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges in an educational setting, sharing their knowledge and experiences. 

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Supporting Students with Autism

Join Special Education Legal Fund Executive Director & CoFounder Christine Lai and special education attorney Melissa Gagne, special education advocate Julie Swanson, Kathryn Crosby from the Pinnacle School, and Gina Apicella from Chapel Haven Schleifer Center as we discuss supporting students on the autism spectrum throughout the life cycle.

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Preparing for College: A Parent’s Guide

Your student is leaving for college! But what’s a parent to do? What legal forms do I need for my student in college in state or several states away? How does my student (and I) navigate the college accomodations process? And what happens if my student needs more support than their college can provide them with?  Moderated by Christine Lai, this panel features attorneys Marion Walsh (Littman Krooks) to discuss college accommodations, Alessandra Messineo Long(Law Offices of Alessandra Messineo Long, Esq) to discuss legal documents every college student and parent should have, and Tabitha Mancini (Winston In College) to discuss what to do if your student needs more support than what’s available at their college or university.

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Supporting Students with Executive Function Needs

Executive functions are specific skills and actions that we use to manage ourselves effectively, often in pursuit of specific goals. They involve planning, problem solving, self regulation, flexibility, organization, and time management – among other things. Many students of all learning profiles struggle with executive functioning, but how do we support those deficits in the school and the home environment? Moderated by Christine Lai, this webinar features Beth Sugerman (Winston Preparatory School), Bill DeHaven (Villa Maria School), Maggie Gregory (Fusion Academy), Jeannette Glover (Eagle Hill School), Ellen Levenson (The Waverly Group) and Dr. Lauren Riordan (the Waverly Group).

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Schools & Evaluations: Goals, Planning, & Beyond

Moderated by Christine Lai, representatives from special education schools including American School for the Deaf (Paula Morabito), Winston Preparatory School (Beth Sugerman), Villa Maria School (Bill DeHaven), Shrub Oak International School (Lauren Koffler), and Chapel Haven Schleifer Center (Christy Chandler) discuss evaluations and how independent special education schools utilize evaluations in assessing students both before and during enrollment.

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Exploring Post-Secondary Transition

This webinar, moderated by S.E.L.F. Executive Director Christine Lai, discusses post-second transition programs and features John Civita (Winston Transitions), Christy Chandler (Chapel Haven ASAT), and Lauren McBeth (Westport College Prep).

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Approved vs Nonapproved Schools

This panel, moderated by S.E.L.F. cofounder Christine Lai, features Jamie Williamson (The Windward School), William DeHaven (Villa Maria School), Tammy Moscrip (The Spire School), Christy Chandler (Chapel Haven Schleifer Center), and Paula Morabito (American School for the Deaf) and explores issues related to approval status at special education schools in Connecticut and New York. This is a must-watch for any parent considering independent special education school placement for their child.

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Finding the Right School: A Professional’s View

This webinar features education consultants Elaine Morales-Thomason (Emile Educational Consulting) and Katie Conroy-Ciervo (Harris Kramer Liston) as well as special education advocate Diane Willcutts and BCBA Alisa Rohdie.  Moderated by Chiristine Lai, this panel explores how parents can identify, evaluate, and select the appropriate educational program for their student.

Lunch & Learn

Lunch & Learn is a five-part series featuring special education advocate Virginia Blum. Topics covered include the special education referral process (½), prior written notice & IEP language (3), present levels of performance (4), and preparing for the annual review meeting (5).

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Lunch & Learn 1: The Referral Process

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Lunch & Learn 2: Special Education Eligibility 

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Lunch & Learn 3: Prior Written Notice & IEP Language

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Lunch & Learn 4: Present Levels of Performance 

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Lunch & Learn 5: Preparing for the Annual Review Meeting 


Are you a parent or professional looking for a special education school in Fairfield County? Join S.E.L.F. for our School Showcase series! Moderated by Christine Lai, this series will introduce special education schools in Connecticut & beyond through a virtual tour, presentation, and live Q&A with senior staff and leadership This webinar series is a must for any parent, professional, or provider looking to explore independent special education schools for a child or student in the Connecticut or Westchester region of New York.

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Winston Prep Connecticut

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Villa Maria School

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Pinnacle School

Spire School

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center

Winston Transitions

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These webinar recordings are presented for informational purposes only. These webinars are intended as a resource for families who are navigating the special education system in Connecticut or New York. These webinars are NOT intended to provide legal support, advice, or assistance to any particular individual, nor is it intended to replace the advice and counsel of a qualified special education attorney. Families in need of legal advice, support, or assistance should contact a special education attorney licensed to practice in Connecticut or New York to discuss the specific needs of their individual student. These webinars should not be construed as an endorsement by Special Education Legal Fund or any of its representatives of any of the participants. Opinions expressed represent the opinion of the presenter or panelist and do not reflect the thoughts, sentiments, or intent of Special Education Legal Fund, its representatives, or its Board of Directors.