Life After High School:
Practical (and Legally-Defensible) Transition Planning for Students with Special Needs

Presenter:

Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq.

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Description of Program:

Transition planning is not just a right of passage or technical legal obligation… for students with disabilities, it means moving from an insulated and highly-supportive and protective system where students had no need to understand or think about their disability-related needs to a world where they will largely be required to seek out their own disability-related assistance. While public K-12 schools are legally obligated to identify, evaluate, and assemble a specialized team dedicated to programming for the needs of students with disabilities, recognizing ineffective interventions, and sometimes even addressing attendance and motivation issues, most of those protections end abruptly at high school graduation, often without the student realizing just how supported they were. Are schools teaching students the crucial skills that students will need to bridge the gap?

In this session, attorney and nationally-recognized speaker and professional development trainer, Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq., highlights this important and often-overlooked issue of truly transitioning a student with special needs from high school to college, employment, and everyday adult life. She identifies the disability laws and rights that are available in college, employment, and general life, with which every special education teacher, administrator, parent, and student should be familiar. She compares Section 504 rights at the K-12 and post-secondary levels, outlines basic employment-related ADA Title I disability rights and procedures, identifies the ADA Title III accessibility obligations available for public accommodations, and explains how all of this information is a crucial part of the transition process for students with disabilities and their parents.

About the Presenter:

Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq., is the Executive Director of EdLaw Interactive, which specializes in legal training for educators and school administrators.  An experienced speaker both nationally and in her home state of Pennsylvania, Erin currently serves as the Board of Directors of NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys and President of the PSBA Solicitors Association.  She provides legal consulting and training services to schools, education-related organizations in the areas of special education; development of legally-defensible policies and procedures; trending legal issues regarding technology and education; nursing and school health services; truancy prevention; child abuse prevention and mandated reporting; educator evaluation and discipline; and many other school law topics. 

Elected by her peers as a "Rising Star Attorney" for 5 consecutive years, Erin began her career as a public high school English teacher, and she served for several years at the PA Department of Education’s Office of Chief Counsel.  She was selected as the Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education's (CASE) "2018 Distinguished Speaker."  In 2017, she served as the legal consultant for the desk reference "Legal Issues in School Health Services,” and she is the author of a handbook on health-related special education issues for LRP Publications, which is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2019.