Keeping the Needs of Students with Disabilities on the Agenda:
Current Issues in Special Education Advocacy

Symposium Presented By The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law and The Washington College of Law Disability Rights Law Clinic

Friday, February 25, 2011
9:00am - 5:30pm
American University, Washington College of Law, Room 602
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC

While the school house doors have technically been opened to students with disabilities, children, parents, advocates, teachers, and education officials face new challenges in this era of school reform and of difficult financial constraints that states and local school districts are experiencing. As schools and the systems that govern them, in the wake of a financial crisis and in an era of school reform, aim to improve the quality of public education in school districts across the nation, it is more important than ever that the needs of special education students remain on the agenda. Individual advocacy strategies and systemic reform efforts are adapting to take on these new challenges. This symposium provide a forum for academics and practitioners to discuss these and other issues related to special education advocacy in today's times. Expert panelists from across the country will discuss current issues in this evolving field and Sue Swenson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education, will provide a keynote address. The symposium will be free of charge to registered participants.



CALL FOR PAPERS: The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law will publish articles presented or related to this symposium, with preference given to those who both submit papers and attend the conference. Articles may address one of the topics noted above or another topic related to a current issue in special education advocacy. The Journal will consider traditional law review- style articles, as well as recent development pieces and shorter essays. The ideal length for submissions is 25 pages (double-spaced, including footnotes), although both shorter and longer submissions are welcome. Footnotes should be formatted according to the latest edition of The Bluebook. Accepted articles will appear in Volume 19, Issue 3, with expected publication shortly after the symposium takes place. Submissions will be accepted for publication based on both the quality of the article and the Journal's publication restraints. The Journal ultimately reserves the right to make offers of publication to papers submitted. Please note that in order to meet publication deadlines, no articles submitted after January 17, 2011, will be considered for publication. All essays, articles, and questions regarding publication can be emailed to

Hotel Accommodation

We have reserved a block of rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott Chevy Chase, 5520 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 for the night of February 24. This block will be held until 1/24/11. If you would like to take advantage of the special rate of $169 plus taxes, please call Marriott Reservations at 301 656-1500, x 7000. Please say that you are with AU Washington College of Law –Disabilities Conference. Alternatively, please go to, and enter the code “UVQ” in the Corporate/Promotional Code section.


Limited parking is available in the WCL car park immediately adjacent to the main building


  • For those staying at the hotel, it would be easiest to get together and come by cab to WCL – this will take approx. 10 minutes
  • For further information on getting to WCL, metro access, shuttle buses etc., please go to



WCL Alumni, AU & WCL Students, Faculty & Staff – no charge
General Public - No Charge
(registration is required)

For further information, please contact:
Office of Special Events & Continuing Legal Education
American University Washington College of Law
Phone: 202.274.4075; Fax: 202.274.4079; or

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