ASA's 37th National Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders (July 13-15, 2006)

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Friday, July 14, 2006: 3:30 PM-4:45 PM
554 A-B
#1793- Accessing Services Through the Courts
This presentation will describe the means through which many families have petitioned their state and federal courts to acquire services for their child or adult with autism. The presenters have decades of experience in the law and forensic psychology which enables them to understand the unique processes necessary to be successful in litigation. Examples will be drawn from cases involving: the appropriateness of educational placement; residential placement for educational purposes; adult employment and related services; and adult residential services.

Presenters:david l. Holmes, Ed., D., BCFE, BCAP, Lifespan Services, LLC, Chairman/ CEO - Dr. David L. Holmes, Chairman and CEO of Lifespan Services, LLC, is a Board Certified Forensic Examiner in Behavioral Science and Psychology; He is immediate past president and founder of The Eden Family of Services and Chairman of the Panel of Professional Advisors of the Autism Society of America. He serves on the psychology faculty of Princeton University. He has been a featured guest on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” and on CNN’s “House Call”. Dr. Holmes is a national award winning author of numerous books, book chapters and articles, most notably, Autism through the Lifespan-The Eden Model.

ira Fingles, esq., hinkle and fingles law offices, partner - Ira Fingles began his career in the office of the public advocate. His area of expertise then was developmental disabilities. After serving for the public advocate he joined the law offices of Herbert Hinkle, Esq. a leading disability attorney in the midatlantic states. He continued in his practice of litigating for appropriate services for people with disabilities and has expanded his practice to include life planning and estate planning. Currently, Mr. Fingles lectures widely on the rights of individuals with disabilities and argues their cases in state and federal courts.

This presentation will review case law that has resulted in achieving appropriate services for children and adults with autism. Examples will be drawn from experiences the presenters have had as litigators and expert witnesses. The unique roles of each participant in successful litigation for services will be described.

The presenters represent decades of advocacy on behalf of individuals with autism. They have successfully litigated/advocated for employment services- from secure employment to supported and competetive employment; residential services- from group homes to supervised apartments;educational service- from infant and toddler services to preschool through secondary education and related support services; and, residential services for children and adolescents for educational reasons as well as for health and safety.

At the conclusion of the presentation it is expected that the attendees will understand how to use the courts and expert witnesses to get the services that they or their sons and daughters with autism need and are entitled to have under the statutes and regulations in IDEA; Sec. 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1974; The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); Medicaid and each state's related laws and regulations.

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