Special Education Law Symposium
Tentative 2021 dates: June 20-25

Section 504 Coordinators Institute
Tentative 2021 dates: June 24-25

Modality of the 2021 event is to be determined, depending in part upon COVID-19 conditions.


Distance Learning:

Lehigh University will offer the 2020 Symposium via distance learning (via a secure password), consistent with the university’s encouragement of the alternative of remote technology so that important events can continue during the COVID-19 pandemic without jeopardizing public health and safety. Access the entire symposium on your home computer.

The symposium sessions will also be recorded for registrant password access.

We have always valued face-to-face interactions, a hallmark of our conferences. However, the current national emergency challenges us to be innovative and flexible. Just as we encourage our students with and without disabilities to see challenges as opportunities, it’s our time now to model that spirit.

We have a full complement of attorneys (both sides) who will deliver the content as advertised for the 2020 Symposium. Likewise, the Symposium will post all attorney outlines (including legal citations) and other materials on-line with password access.

Reduced Rates:

Please note the following reduced rates, as we pass along savings from expenses (e.g., meals) that the Symposium will not incur in this distance learning format.

  • Full-week fee: $925 (reduced from $995)
  • Per day fee: $245 (reduced from $295)
  • Section 504 Institute two-day fee: $495 (reduced from $545)
  • Sunday Keynote: $65

Recorded Sessions:

The symposium sessions will also be recorded for registrant password access until September 15, 2020.


Dr. Perry Zirkel, Lehigh University professor emeritus of education and law, will offer a special session on Friday, June 26 to address the latest legal implications of the pandemic for students with disabilities: COVID-19 Issues under the IDEA and Section 504.  Click on National Case Law Update for further information.

The symposium begins on Sunday evening with a Keynote Address and Q & A provided by Laurie VanderPloeg, Director, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education. Director VanderPloeg will address from the federal perspective the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic on special education.

The symposium will again overlap with a separable two-day (June 25-26) Section 504 Coordinators Institute, designed to provide both a conceptual framework and “nuts and bolts” implementation guidance for school personnel designated to implement this emerging non-discrimination statute. Click on Section 504 Coordinators Institute for more information.

Twenty-three accomplished special education attorneys will present eight new “hot topics” in three- hour sessions. Click on Legally Experienced Track Hot Topics for descriptors. A Legally Basic track will concurrently offer foundation topics under the IDEA and Section 504. See the Schedule (at the top of the page in the brown banner).

The experienced attorneys (both sides) will lecture, take questions from remote registrants to the extent feasible, and provide detailed lecture outlines with case law citations: Hope Blackburn (New Jersey), Maria Blaeuer (Maryland), Mary Ann Carroll (Rhode Island), Gina DeCrescenzo (New York), Craig Goodmark (Georgia), Rachel Hitch (North Carolina), Peter Maher (Connecticut), Isabel Machado (New Jersey), Thomas Mayes (Iowa), Dr. Anne McGinnis (New York), Catherine Michael (Indiana), Michelle Moor (Massachusetts), Claire Raj (South Carolina), Sharon Ramage (Texas), Michael Stafford (Delaware), Parris Taylor (Louisiana), Julie Weatherly (Alabama), and Pennsylvania attorneys Tanya Alvarado, Andrew Faust, Brian Jason Ford, Dennis McAndrews, Brooke Say, Liliana Yazno-Bartle, and Dr. Perry Zirkel.

Attend the full week or per day, depending upon registrant interest. Earn three Lehigh University graduate credits, Act 48 credits for PA educators, or enroll for non-credit professional development.