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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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 Christine Lai, special education attorneys Terry Bedard (Law Offices of Terry Bedard), Meredith Braxton (Meredith Braxton Esq), and Jeff Forte (Forte Law Group) discuss the process of outplacement, different types of placements, approved versus nonapproved schools, and more. 

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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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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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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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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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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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Understanding Outplacement

Special education attorneys Andy Feinstein, Terry Bedard, & Paul Barger discuss legal issues of outplacement in Connecticut & New York.  Moderated by Lara Damashek.

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Understanding Residential Outplacement

Special Education attorneys Piper Paul, Paul Barger, Meredith Braxton, & Gerry McMahon explore legal issues of residential out of district educational placements in Connecticut, New York, & beyond. 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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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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Special Education Law Year in Review

Courtney Spencer (Law Offices of Courtney Spencer), Andy Feinstein (Feinstein Education Law Group), Adrienne Arkontaky (Cuddly Law Firm), and Michael Gilberg (Law Offices of Michael Gilberg) discuss legal trends in 2020-2021 with moderator Christine Lai.

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The Summer Slide: ESY & Beyond

Special education attorneys Jeffrey Forte (Forte Law Group), Piper Paul (Piper Paul Law), and Robin Keller (Law Offices of Robin Keller) discuss legal issues around the summer slide, extended school year, and how parents can advocate for appropriate summer services for their students in special education.

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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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Mental Health, Special Education, & The Law

This webinar features special education attorneys Dana Jonson & Piper Paul, special education advocate Diane Willcutts, and Dr. Adrienne Smaller.  Moderated by Christine Lai, Executive Director of S.E.L.F., this panel explores the mental health epidemic post-pandemic and how schools under IDEA can provide support to these students and their families.


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Preparing for College

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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Therapeutic Special Education Schools

Special education attorney Dana Jonson, Julie Smallwood (The Glenholme School), Dr. Tammy Moscrip (The Spire School), and Lauren Koffler (Shrub Oak International School) discuss therapeutic special education schools, what they provide for the students they serve, and how they differ from “regular” special education schools. Moderated by Christine Lai.

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Special Education Schools During COVID

Moderated by Christine Lai, this panel explores lessons learned by independent special education schools in Connecticut during the COVID-19 pandemic of spring & fall 2020.  This panel features Beth Sugerman (Winston Prep CT), Jeffrey Bravin (American School for the Deaf), Jim Heus (Eagle Hill School, Greenwich), Margaret Gregory (Fusion Academy), and William DeHaven (Villa Maria School).

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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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Exploring Residential Special Education Schools

This webinar features representatives from CT/NY residential special education schools, including Christy Chandler from Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, Kristin Feldman from American School for the Deaf, & Lauren Koffler from Shrub Oak International School as well as special education attorneys Lawrence Berliner and Paul Barger.  Moderated by Christine Lai, Executive Director and Co-Founder of S.E.L.F., this discussion explores residential special education programs from a parents’ perspective.  American Sign Language interpretation services provided by American School for the Deaf.

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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.

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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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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.