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Workshop Descriptions 

 Workshops are 90 minute training sessions focusing on specific disability rights topics and led by an expert(s) in the field. Workshops and times are subject to change as planning continues. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Session A: 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Charter, Voucher, and Virtual Schools  

P&A clients increasingly attend various forms of “school choice” settings such as voucher, homebound, virtual/on line, and charter schools, whether by choice or not. How can P&As best represent students with disabilities in these environments? This workshop will provide some answers.   

Opportunities for VR Systemic Litigation

Systemic litigation is an important component of disability related advocacy. This session will discuss keys to determining when systemic litigation may be the prudent approach as well as how such approaches have been particularly effective for people with disabilities in Ohio. 

Outreach to Native American Populations

Outreach to potential clients is always a challenge; as one must balance community engagement with P&A capacity. Add a minority or historically marginalized population into the efforts and outreach often becomes more complex. This workshop will focus on one such population: Native Americans.

P&A Orientation 

Are you new to the P&A/CAP system? Is this your first TASC conference? This workshop is an opportunity to obtain information about the P&A system, including its history, and also ask questions and network with peers. It also introduces participants to TASC training and technical assistance resources, and provides an opportunity to hear from an experienced P&A executive director about life within a P&A.

Supreme Court and Circuit Court Round-up

Participants will get an overview of Supreme Court and Circuit Court decisions that impact people with disabilities and their access to the courts. To be discussed are two education cases, Fry v. Napoleon School District and Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. In addition, Moore v. Texas is a case involving the standards used to decide if an individual has an intellectual disability. Note, there are separate Year-in-Review sessions on Education Law Decisions and Court Decisions in the Criminal Justice/Juvenile Justice & School to Prison Pipeline.

Using the ADA to Decarcerate 

P&As often advocate for clients who assert a right to reasonable accommodations to prevent incarceration in the first instance, and to prevent long term segregation and appropriate mental health care within the prison system. Learn how to plead and prove ADA prison cases. 

 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

General Session : Stolen Lives - The Trafficking of People with Disabilities



Session B: 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

A P&A’s Efforts to Increase Access to Housing

This session will focus on Disability Rights Maryland’s actions and remedies in its systemic cases against the Baltimore City Housing Authority, Baltimore County Office of Housing, and Prince George’s County Housing Authority. The cases focus on the lack of accessibility and/or opportunity for fair housing and integrated, accessible  housing. Each case involved multiple clients, prolonged negotiations and goals for policy reforms.    

Access Issues Update (Part 1)

P&As continue to face both routine and unique challenges to P&A access authority.  This session will provide an update on P&A litigation, discuss emerging challenges, and consider some common barriers raised against the ability of a P&A to access locations, individuals, and records.  Access issues related specifically to schools, prisons, juvenile justice centers, and residential treatment programs will be addressed in part II of this two part session.

Continuing Issues in VR (Part I)

A variety of issues repeatedly emerge during the vocational rehabilitation (VR) process. This two-part session discusses some of the year’s “hot topics” as identified by the presenters. Participants will interact with the presenters to discuss problematic issues and learn ways to address them.

Special Session: Hate Crimes

An opportunity for P&A staff to talk with advocates and community partners working to investigate and prevent hate crimes against people with disabilities. The session will introduce P&A/CAPs to the Communities Against Hate project and the database of incidents against people with disabilities. The discussion will then move into how P&A/CAPs can assure our clients are protected by the enforcement of the Federal Hate Crimes statute. This special session will be a facilitated discussion with ample time for participants to ask questions about this emerging area of P&A advocacy.

Integrating P&A Values and Principles into Our Work

As advocates, we use multiple strategies to promote rights enforcement, independence and inclusion of people with disabilities. This workshop is designed to take a step back from our day-to-day activities and think about how we can keep our values and principles central to our work. It will offer practical examples of how several P&As strive for this balance.

Making the Case for Community Integration

This Institute will explore some of the methods pro-institution advocates and lawmakers are using to slow or stop progress toward community integration and how P&As can counter these efforts with accurate information about the meaning of “choice” and the requirements of the HCBS rule and Olmstead. Speakers will discuss: 1) the approach of the new Administration to the HCBS Rule; 2) opportunities for joint advocacy with the direct care provider community; and 3) advocacy and legal arguments the Illinois P&A has used to counter the messages of a well-funded, organized pro-institution group.

Self-advocates and P&As Working Together

P&As and self-advocates are natural allies. However, there is often difficulty in operationalizing an effective symbiotic relationship.  Come explore ways P&As and self-advocates can work together revving up the impact of P&A work while empowering the client.

Session C: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Access Issues Update (Part 2)

As P&As expand the use of P&A access authority to schools, prisons, juvenile justice centers, and residential treatment programs for children, specific challenges have arisen in accessing these facilities.  This session will explore ideas for negotiating access to these locations, individuals served at these locations, and the records held by these service providers.

Continuing Issues in VR (Part 2)

As P&As expand the use of P&A access authority to schools, prisons, juvenile justice centers, and residential treatment programs specific challenges have arisen in accessing these facilities.  This session will explore ideas for negotiating access to these locations, individuals served at these locations, and the records held by these service providers.  A discussion of a number of other access issues outside the context of the above type of providers will occur during part I of this two part session.

Direct Threat in the Workplace

Direct threat is a defense employers can raise under the ADA when they believe employees with disabilities pose a danger to the health and safety to themselves or others. This session will review the ADA and its regulations, EEOC guidance, and recent case law on direct threat. It will also discuss the role of reasonable accommodation to address the perceived threat.          

Legal Projects Management

 Utilizing good legal project management techniques can improve communications at all levels of your organization, maximize resources, and allow you to keep track of project direction, continuity, progress and results.

Medicaid Home Health Regulations & Medical Equipment 

This session will explain the key elements of the 2016 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicaid Home Health Regulations as they relate to funding of medical equipment, supplies, and appliances. Then, using case scenarios, participants will discuss impact of new regulations on durable medical equipment cases. This session will get the audience thinking about how the new regulations provide ammunition that can help them win assistive technology cases.

Olmstead and Medicaid Year in Review

This session will review the most prominent Medicaid and Olmstead federal court decisions from the prior year, including related agency decisions and guidance. There will be time given to discuss the implications of these cases and to suggest other cases of interest.


Wednesday, June 14

Session D: 8:30 am - 10:00 am 

Interviewing Clients and Staff Regarding Inpatient Abuse

The ability of P&As to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect is a unique aspect of the P&A system which requires essential interviewing skills. P&A staff need to avoid the re-traumatization of the patient subject to abuse or neglect or who witnessed the event while objectively seeking facts about the allegations. P&A investigators also need to develop the ability to interact with and interview facility staff about allegations of abuse or neglect. Learn techniques that address these interviewing skills in the context of inpatient facilities, and discuss related issues such as retaliation, potential for allegations to be a manifestations of the patient’s symptom, and attorney ethical considerations when interviewing staff.

Preventing Segregation and Subminimum Wage

An interactive discussion about new challenges that may be brought to the payment of subminimum wages and new methods to ensure that individuals with disabilities are paid appropriate wages, have access to reasonable accommodations, and opportunities for advancement, promotion, and integration.

Public Policy Review (Part 1)

In 2016, the political world went through a great upheaval as a result of the elections. This session will review 2017 legislative and regulatory actions that affect the P&A and CAP Network as well as people with disabilities that have occurred in the first few months of the Trump Administration. We will also look forward at other legislation and regulations that could be occurring over the remainder of 2017. 

Responding to Medicaid Service Cuts and Waiting Lists

When states change the functional assessment tool they use to determine Medicaid service needs it is not uncommon for large numbers of beneficiaries to have their services reduced overnight, despite the fact that there have been no change in their circumstances or diagnosis. Our first speaker will discuss the design and weaknesses of some of the more common functional assessment tools. Our second speaker will discuss ADA and Medicaid claims a P&A might be able to raise when individuals experience a reduction in service for the reason discussed above, or other common reasons, such as long waiver waiting lists or the inability to find direct care staff. 

Update from Federal Partners

 It has been a year of change in the administration of P&A federal programs. Join the staff of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in a discussion about changes in the programs. The workshop will provide ample opportunity for interaction with program officers.

Using the ADA as an Alternative to the IDEA

Several P&As have brought education cases raising the ADA and Section 504, without raising the IDEA. This has allowed them to take advantage of the differences between the statutes. Learn more about how to plead and try these cases, including such issues as exhaustion of administrative remedies and quality of service standards

Session E: 10:30 am - 12 noon

Coordinating Efforts for Cross-Border Investigations

This session will offer information about how P&As have begun to coordinate issues that cross state borders, and discuss new avenues to increase P&A collaboration and resource sharing to prevent abuse and neglect in any jurisdiction.

Public Policy Review  (Part 2)

This workshop will discuss different strategies to educate policymakers at both the state and federal level. The session will also provide practical examples of these strategies in action. Some strategies that will be discussed include, collaborating with self-advocates or advocates from other advocacy areas and the use of reports to demonstrate the P&A’s and CAP’s work.

Meet with RSA

Jim Doyle (Rehabilitation Services Administration) will provide an update on several CAP/VR-related issues. Topics will include a discussion of WIOA and implementing federal regulations.

Rock the Vote

Want to rock the disability vote?! Search no further. Rock The Vote (the national leader in exciting, innovative voter outreach for youth) is expanding their efforts. Meet RTV staff and learn how P&As can partner with RTV’s voter education efforts and ensure inclusive outreach to young voters with disabilities.

The DOJ and ADA Title II Enforcement

Update on cases challenging the U.S. Department of Justice's ability to enforce ADA Title II and a discussion of how this limitation currently alters P&A collaboration with DOJ on enforcement of the ADA Integration Mandate.

Utilizing P&A Monitoring Tools and Standards

Best results are achieved when the right tools for the job are used. This statement is true when it comes to building and/or utilizing P&A monitoring tools. Using the P&A monitoring standards as a background this session will focus on the aspects of proven monitoring tools. Participants of this session will get examples of existing tools and see how the data collected from these tools has impacted various P&A projects. 

Session F: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Bottom Dollars

Participants will view “Bottom Dollars,” an hour long documentary that exposes the workplace exploitation of people with disabilities through personal stories and expert interviews. It also presents clear employment alternatives with competitive wages and community inclusion. The documentary will be followed by a discussion.

Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice and School to Prison Pipeline Year in Review

This session provides an update of major work completed and cases/complaints filed in the network, and outside, within the last year. Participants will learn about new developments impacting individuals with disabilities in juvenile justice, and criminal justice litigation and advocacy.

Effective Outreach for CAPs

The purpose of CAP is to assist clients through the complex maze of the VR system. But, in order for CAPs to be effective, these clients must know about the CAP program. This session will discuss various methods and approaches designed to improve your CAP outreach efforts.

Expanding your PAAT Practice

Many P&A agencies have narrow assumptions of what meets the definitions of AT device or AT service. Additionally, many P&As have a limited view of the substantive issues or funding sources that might be involved in a PAAT case. The result is that some P&As do not have significant PAAT caseloads or do not involve attorneys or advocates working under other grants to join forces with PAAT on bigger cases. The session will also discuss the benefits of partnering with state AT grants.

Investigation Aftermath: Ensuing Protection

A number of strategies are available to P&As to obtain a remedy for the violations once the existence of abuse or neglect is established after an investigation. Join fellow P&A investigators and advocates to discuss the pros and cons of private reports, public reports, negotiations, follow-up monitoring, litigation, and other methods to respond to abuse and neglect, and how the choice of remedy affects the direction of the investigation.

Strategic Planning for your PAIMI Advisory Council

The PAIMI Advisory Council exists to advise the P&A on issues dealing with lived experience. PAIMI Council members are tasked with spreading the word about the P&A. What if it is time to go to the next level? Strategic planning is the process to do just that. Attend and listen to firsthand experience(s) of how the Council and the P&As made their relationship even stronger.

Session G: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Developing an Organizational Diversity Plan   

This session will explore alternatives to individual case-by-case advocacy to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Given the lack of a federal statute, we will hear about efforts to enact state laws or policies. We will also hear about the use of OCR complaints as alternatives to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion.

Employment Under WIOA: A New Perspective

This session will discuss the changes to WIOA involving the intersection of pre-employment transition and supported employment services, particularly for individuals with the most significant disabilities. Strategies and approaches to assist VR agencies in more effectively engaging potential employers of people with disabilities will also be discussed. programs.    

Structured Negotiations

Attorney Lainey Feingold pioneered the use of structured negotiations to resolve a range of accessibility problems of people with disabilities without litigation while still obtaining attorneys fees. This session will describe how she has done that, discussing both the nuts and bolts and they types of scenarios where structured negotiations has worked.

Using Social Media to the Max

Social media is a powerful community organizing tool that allows for direct communication between your P&A and your supporters, the media, lawmakers, and self-advocates. This workshop explores how you can use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media tools to position your P&A as the disability rights leader in your state.

Strategies for Mentoring & Training Attorneys
You have recruited and hired a talented, motivated and diverse staff of attorneys who have successfully completed law school and are licensed to practice. But their professional development as a lawyer has just begun. Discover training and opportunities for mentoring crucial to comprehensive onboarding, development, and retention of P&A attorneys.

Reducing Restraint and Seclusion in Schools    

This session will explore a number of alternatives to individual case-by-case advocacy to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Given the lack of a federal statute, we will hear about efforts to enact state laws or policies. We will also hear about the use of OCR complaints, P&A access authority, and structured negotiations as strategies to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion.

Thursday, June 15

Session H: 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Conducting Meaningful Performance Reviews

Performance reviews provide an important opportunity for step away from routine interactions to review accomplishments and challenges of the past year and look forward to developing goals for the year to come. But how can you ensure that performance reviews are meaningful in allowing both for the development of professional goals while also meeting organizational objectives ? This session will explore the components in developing and conducting meaningful performance reviews.

Employment First

Do you know the difference between Employment First and Work First?  Similar phrases often have different meanings and words on a paper need more than acknowledgement.  Learn what it means to be an Employment First state and how true partnerships make or break the success of the initiative.    

Fire Safety

An opportunity for P&A staff to talk with advocates and community partners working in the area of fire safety. This special session will be a facilitated discussion with ample time for participants to ask questions about this emerging area of P&A advocacy.

Shaping a Systemic Initiative

Are you frustrated with bringing the same type of individual case over and over? This session will discuss a model for organizing your policies and practices, including intake and case acceptance policies, to take a more strategic look at the types of cases that are coming in to the office and to develop a more systemic approach to handling those cases.

Special Education Year in Review

This session will review the most prominent special education decisions from the prior year, including circuit court cases, OCR decisions and guidance, and OSEP policy letters. There will be time given to discuss the implications of these cases and to suggest other cases of interest.

Using ABLE Accounts to Fund AT

This session will review the basic requirements for ABLE accounts. It will cover the SSI implications, particularly the ability to continue to receive SSI despite account balances up to $100,000 and the use of account to pay housing costs without affecting SSI. It will then review how the ability to maintain SSI and use of ABLE-related SSI policies will help leverage other services, such as VR agency need-based services, Medicare Savings Plans, 1619(b) Medicaid, Medicaid Buy-In, and SSI’s PASS. The session will use case scenario(s) to walk through how ABLE accounts are best used in conjunction with other funding sources to ensure that AT is funded. 

Voter Outreach Through Self-Advocacy Partnerships

Voters with developmental disabilities often face unique barriers when heading to the polls. Hear from the Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) Voter Project and experienced P&As regarding opportunities for PAVA projects to work with self advocates in their states, improving voter access for people with cognitive disabilities.



 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

General Session : General Session: Disability Rights: Protecting our Progress in a New Era


 Session I: 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm   

 #ProtectOurVote: Assist Voters While Building Data 

Until polls close, a P&A’s work is not done. Voting machines may be purchased and voters registered, but it’s ultimately all about voters privately and independently casting their ballots – a simple act signifying realization of HAVA’s central promise. Explore P&As’ role in protecting voter rights on Election Day.

Discerning and Issue-spotting TBI Claims

PATBI – is the Smallest of the Federal P&A Programs however an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually. The number of people with TBI who are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care is unknown. Disabilities resulting from a TBI depend upon the severity of the injury. Individuals with TBI are likely utilizing all P&A programs. This session will focus on identifying individuals with TBI and strategies for effectively communicating with them to achieve satisfactory outcomes.

 Ethical Implications for Maintaining the Client-Lawyer Relationship

The mission, philosophy, and mandates of the P&A System place P&As at the forefront of providing zealous advocacy services and representation to people with disabilities. This workshop will explore the application of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in managing conflicts of interest when one P&A constituent raises allegations against another.

Exploring our MOU with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Do you have veterans in your state who need assistance with job training, employment accommodations, job skills? Do you find yourself working with veterans stuck in the myriad of veterans’ service systems? Join us to learn how the MOU signed by NDRN and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment division of the VA can help enhance P&A/CAP work with veterans.

Responding to an RFP

A primer on how to effectively respond to a request for proposal.

Working with Language Interpreters

All interpreters are not created equally.  Do you know the legal underpinnings of both sign language and foreign language translation? How about the difference between terms translation, interpretation, transliteration, and limited English proficiency? This session will help you understand when and how to use the proper interpreter and what do if there are complaints about their services.

Session J: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Access for Voters with Visual Disabilities

Technology is advancing at the speed of light and creating opportunities for people with visual disabilities to participate in the voting process like never before…if implemented with accessibility in mind. Discover how systems are currently equipped to serve voters who are blind/low vision and how to advocate for access.

Criminal Procedure 101

P&As do not directly represent youth in criminal matters, but P&A clients are often implicated by other youth, pressured to confess by adults knowledgeable about their disabilities, and/or participate in searches at school and in the community. A clear understanding of the shifting sands of criminal procedure can assist in advising youthful clients effectively.

Maximizing Employment and Economic Self Sufficiency

Work is more than a daytime activity – it improves the quality of life and is a step out of poverty.  Yet paternalistic attitudes persist which keep expectations low.  We all have a role to play. Learn what advocate can do to improve attitudes and outcomes of people with disabilities.