Saturday, May 28, 2016


Ever get lost with all the acronyms schools throw around at IEP meetings, print this list out and put it in your IEP notebook - the notebook that you should have for your child, and which you take with you to every IEP meeting, RED meeting, pre-MET meeting (ah, more acronyms). For discussion and explanation of some of these terms, visit our website Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC.  

A Autism
AAC Arizona Administrative Code (State regulations)
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADAAA Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADE Arizona Department of Education
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
AHCCCS Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
AIMS Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (now replaced by AZ Merit)
AIMS-A Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards—Alternative
APR Annual Performance Report
ARS Arizona Revised Statutes (State laws)
ASAT Alternative State Achievement Test
ASBA Arizona School Boards Association
ASDB Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
ASVAB Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
AT Assistive Technology
AYP Adequate Yearly Progress
AzEIP Arizona Early Intervention Program
AZ LEARNS Arizona Leading Education through the Accountability and
Results Notification System
AZ READS Arizona Readiness, Early Diagnosis and Intervention,
Accountability, Development of Teacher Expertise, Support
BHS Behavioral Health Services
BIP Behavior Intervention Plan
CAI Computer Assisted Instruction
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CFT Child Family Team
CP Cerebral Palsy
CPS Child Protective Services
CST Child Study Team
CTE Career and Technical Education
DD Developmental Delay
DDD Division of Developmental Disabilities
DES Department of Economic Security
DHS Department of Health Services
DSM-V Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (the most current version)
ED Emotional Disability
EDP Emotional Disability, Private School
ELL English Language Learners
ESS Exceptional Student Services
ESY Extended School Year
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education
FBA Functional Behavioral Assessment
FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
HI Hearing Impairment
IAEP Interim Alternative Educational Program
IAES Interim Alternative Educational Setting
ID Intellectual Disability
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEE Independent Educational Evaluation
IEP Individualized Education Program
IFSP Individualized Family Service Plan
IQ Intelligence Quotient
LD Learning Disability
LEA Local Education Agency (including charter schools)
LEP Limited English Proficient
LRE Least Restrictive Environment
MD Multiple Disabilities
MDSSI Multiple Disabilities with Severe Sensory Impairment
MET Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team
MIID Mild Intellectual Disability
MIPS Medicaid in the Public Schools
MOID Moderate Intellectual Disability
MSW Master of Social Work
NCLB No Child Left Behind
OCR Office of Civil Rights
OJT On-the-Job Training
OI Orthopedic Impairment
OHI Other Health Impairment
O and M (O&M) Orientation and Mobility
OSEP Office of Special Education Programs
OSERS Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
OT Occupational Therapy
OTR Occupational Therapist, Registered
PBIS Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
PEA Public Education Agency (including charter schools)
PHLOTE Primary Home Language Other Than English
PIN Parent Information Network
PINS Parent Information Network Specialist
PLAAFP Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance
PMD Progress Monitoring Data
PSD Preschool Severe Delay
PSN Procedural Safeguard’s Notice (Parent’s Rights)
PT Physical Therapy
PWN Prior Written Notice
RBHA Regional Behavioral Health Authority
RED Review of Existing Data
RTC Residential Treatment Center
RTI Response to Intervention
SAIS Student Accountability Information System
SEA State Education Agency
SELP Survey of English Language Proficiency
SI Sensory Integration
SLD Specific Learning Disability
SLI Speech Language Impairment
SLP Speech Language Pathologist
SLT Speech Language Technician
SSDI Supplemental Security Disability Income
SSI Supplemental Security Income
SST Student Study Team
TA Technical Assistance
TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
USC United States Code
USDOE United States Department of Education
VI Visual Impairment
VMI Visual Motor Integration
VR Vocational Rehabilitation

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Federal District Courts

United States District Courts
There are 11 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal. The U.S. District Courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. Here in Arizona, we are in the 9th Circuit.  

Monday, May 23, 2016


Hope Kirsch will be moderating this esteemed panel of lawyers and judges on June 17, 2016:
This is a great opportunity to find out what goes on behind the scenes of a due process case. We have a panel of parent attorneys, school attorneys, a former Arizona Department of Education State investigator, an Administrative Law Judge and a Federal District Court Judge who hears due process appeals. 
For attorneys, parents, educators and advocates.
You can attend live and you will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Legal Issues in Special Education Disputes

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees all students with disabilities a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). To help implement these federal laws, the IDEA also guarantees parents of students with disabilities procedural safeguards to ensure their child’s rights are fully realized under the law. Among those safeguards are provisions designed to resolve disagreements between parents and schools. A panel of special education parent and school attorneys, a state investigator, an administrative law judge and federal district court judge will present a lively discussion of the IDEA, Section 504, jurisdiction of hearing officers, jurisdiction of OCR, substantive rights and procedural safeguards, how to avoid disputes, common themes and issues in disputes, dispute resolution alternatives, due process litigation, OCR complaints, appeals, types of relief, and concepts including stay-put. Gain insight into the behind the scenes handling of special education disputes by each of these key participants to better prepare you to handle special education disputes with confidence.
Key topics to be discussed:
  • Background of Special Education and the IDEA, including discussion of FAPE, LRE and Rowley
  • Background of Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Differences between the IDEA and 504, including jurisdiction of hearing officers versus OCR and remedies available
  • Dispute Resolution options under the IDEA
  • Dispute Resolution options under Section 504
  • Risks and rewards of Due Process Complaints
  • How parent attorneys evaluate potential cases, factors in determining whether to accept a case, and factors in deciding resolution strategies
  • How school attorneys evaluate and resolve State Complaints, Due Process Complaints and OCR Complaints
  • Factors in deciding whether to appeal
  • How the judges see it

Date / Time: June 17, 2016 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 E Princess Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Phone: (480) 513-6012

Sunday, May 22, 2016


One of our presentations on Bullying in Schools, including:

  • What is bullying?
  • What parents should do if they think their child is being bullied?
  • What parents and schools should do for the student who us bullying?
  • Obligatins schools have regarding bullying.
  • Arizona's anti- bullying law.

Presented by Hope Kirsch and Lori Kirsch-Goodwin of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The ABCs of Special Education

Special education attorneys Lori Kirsch-Goodwin & Hope Kirsch of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, provide a comprehensive overview of the historical background and laws related to special education for school attorneys, parent attorneys, educators, school board members, and attorneys in other practice areas who have an interest in special education law.  In this guide to special education law,  experienced faculty will walk you through the legal ins and outs student eligibility for special education, services, supports and placement of students with special needs, discipline and bullying and harassment of students with IEPs and 504s.  Learn how to handle special education law issues with confidence.
Key topics to be discussed:
  • Background of Special Education and the IDEA, including discussion of FAPE and Rowley
  • Differences between the IDEA and 504
  • Evaluations and Eligibility Process
  • The IEP Process
  • Location vs. Placement
  • Dispute Resolution, including Handling a Due Process Case, and Appeal
  • Discipline of the student with special needs
  • Bullying and Harassment of Students with Special Needs 
The ABCs of Special Education

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Special Education Law: The Ultimate Guide

Upcoming presentation Special Education Law: The Ultimate Guide
by parent attorneys Lori-Kirsch Goodwin and Hope Kirsch of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch
and school attorneys Cathleen Dooley and Erin Walz of Udall Shumway.

Special education legal issues can be confusing for school personnel and attorneys alike. This hands-on legal guide will walk you through legal best practices concerning IEPs, 504 plans, manifest determination reviews and more. It will provide you with the information you need to provide maximum legal protections to special needs students and minimize school exposure to lawsuits.  This training is for educators, attorneys, advocates and parents. 
  1. Essential Special Education Legal Updates You Need to Know
  2. Avoiding Disability Discrimination Complaints: Lessons From Recent Court Cases and Enforcement Actions
  3. Bullying and Harassment: Ensuring Special Needs Students Receive Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE)
  4. Developing Legally Compliant IEPs That Benefit Students: With Examples
  5. Manifestation Determination Reviews (MDRs): Did the Disability Cause the Behavior?
  6. 504 Plan Eligibility and Accommodation Best Practices
  7. English Language Learners (ELLs) and Special Education: Ensuring Legal Best Practices


Thursday, June 09, 2016


9:00 AM - 4:30 PM


Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown3600 North 2nd AvenuePhoenix, AZ 85013 

Arizona IEP Worshop for Parents - Top 10 IEP Tips

Top10 IEP Tips for Parents, an IEP workshop presented by special education attorneys Hope Kirsch, a former special education teacher, and Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, the mother of a young adult on the spectrum  Hope taught special education and was a school administrator for nearly 20 years during which time she attended hundreds of IEP meetings and trained teachers to write IEPs.  Lori is the mother of a young adult on the autism spectrum. She knows first hand how to navigate the IEP process.  Hope and Lori train advocates, educators, related service providers and other lawyers in the IEP process.  This workshop is geared specifically for parents, grandparents and legal guardians. This is an opportunity to learn some valuable tips for your child's next IEP meeting.