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Advocate Academy
Discipline and Students with Disabilities:
Key Concepts and Strategies for Advocates

Conducted March 19, 2009

Catherine A. Holahan, Esq.

Jane R. Wettach
Catherine Holahan, Esq.

Catherine A. Holahan, Esq., is an attorney with Connecticut Legal Services, Inc. In this position, she advocates through individual legal representation and systemic advocacy on behalf of low-income families with children with disabilities to gain access to special education and behavioral health services. Her experience includes representing individual clients in state and federal court, expulsion hearings, special education due process hearings, mediations and complaints, and systemic advocacy through legislative advocacy, class litigation, outreach and education. Attorney Holahan developed the CLS Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline Project in Waterbury which focuses on providing civil legal representation to students with disabilities who are subject to school-based arrests or court referrals and school discipline for disability-related behavior.
Attorney Holahan received a J.D. with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2001 and an M.S.W. in Policy and Planning from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work in 2000. She earned a B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1994. Attorney Holahan is admitted to the Connecticut State Bar, the Federal District of Connecticut and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association Education and Federal Practice Sections. Prior to joining CLS, Attorney Holahan served as a law clerk in the Connecticut Appellate Court to the Honorable Ellen Ash Peters, Chief Justice Retired.

Webinar Archive and Materials

Webinar Archive*: This is the recording of the live Webinar conducted on March 19, 2009. The recording is 1 hr, 29 minutes in length. You can start, stop, pause, fast forward or rewind the recording using the controls on the ReadyTalk player. (Note: Playing the archive requires FLASH Player to be installed on your computer.)

Webinar PowerPoint Presentation Handout*: This is the Handout for the Webinar presentation on Discipline and Students with Disabilities: Key Concepts and Strategies for Advocates. (PDF, 9 pgs.)

Additional Resources:

Advocate Academy Webinar Archive: Behavior Intervention Planning: Beyond Legal Mandates available for purchase here.

IDEA 2004 Close Up: Disciplining Students With Disabilities: Article written by The Advocacy Institute for available here.

Discipline @ NICHCY: A host of resources on discipline and students with disabilities available at the National Dissemination Center on Children with Disabilities.

Disciplining Students with Disabilities: The legal implications of managing these pupils: Article published in District Administrator magazine, March 2009.

IDEA Discipline Provisions Tool: A free web-based tool designed to help you understand how IDEA's discipline rules apply to specific situations. You provide the situation, and the tool tells you what rules apply and what must, may, and may not be done. Provided by attorney Matthew Stowe.

Suspending Disbelief: Moving Beyond Punishment to Promote Effective Interventions for Children with Mental or Emotional Disorders: A publication of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, recommended during this Webinar, is available for purchase here.

* PLEASE NOTE: These materials are for the exclusive use of purchasers of Advocate Academy Webinar live events and archives. Please do not distribute or provide others with access to these materials. Thank you.

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