Who trains special education due process administrative law judges (ALJs) and impartial hearing officers (IHOs) across the country?
For the first time, Lehigh University’s College of Education does.
Lehigh recently vaulted into a leadership role by offering an ambitious two-day ALJ/IHO Institute on June 26-27 as part of its annual week-long Special Education Law Symposium, webcast to 12 states and territories in the College of Education’s first webinar, produced by Lehigh’s Distance Education department.
The states included California, New York, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Colorado, Indiana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and the Virgin Islands.
Joining an estimated one hundred judges who participated in the training in their home states, fifteen hearing officers, representing additional states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, constituted an on-campus audience, engaging in lively discussion with nationally recognized teachers who served as lecturers, including Professor Perry Zirkel. Remote participants “text chatted” with lecturers.
The Lehigh Special Education Law Symposium, now in its fifteenth year, met June 22-27, featuring a keynote address by Michael Yudin, the country’s top special education administrator in the U.S. Department of Education. The 82 attendees represented over 20 states and territories from as far away as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
According to Dr. James Newcomer, co-director, the attendees are in the front lines of providing appropriate services to students with disabilities, serving as special education directors, school psychologists, parent advocates, and school principals. School attorneys and parent attorneys provided a balanced perspective in lectures and discussions on this vital topic of special education litigation.
|Deusdedi Merced lectures at the inaugural ALJ/IHO Institute (June 26-27), part of the Special Education Law Symposium (June 22-27), the Institute webcast to administrative law judges and impartial hearing officers nationwide.||Panelists from left: J. Bernard McClellan (MD) and Barry Moscowitz (NJ) join Merced at ALJ/IHO Institute discussion on "Prehearing Conference Issues"|
|Deusdedi Merced||McClellan and Moscowitz|
|Judge Edward Bauer (FL) discusses "Remedies" with Symposium students||Parent attorney Maria Blaeuer reacts to Bauer lecture in class discussion|
|School attorney Michael Stafford (DE) lectures on Section 504 at symposium||Formerly a 500 page manual, now the contents of a small flash drive|