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Navigating Special Education, Civil Rights, and Legal Environments for Mental Health Providers
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When: Friday, July 20, 2018
9 AM - 4:30 PM
Where: Quest Conference Center
8405 Pulsar Place
Columbus, Ohio  43240
United States
Contact: Carolyn Green
614.224.0034 ext.11

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6 CE psychologists, social workers, counselors and marriage & family therapists

Registration Information: (Continental breakfast, lunch and snacks are included.)

Registration deadline is July 11, 2018.

Save $20 by registering on or before June 25, 2018 with the Early Bird Discount!

OPA Member Fee: $150 | OPA Student Member Fee: $100 | Non-OPA Member Fee: $180  

Program Description:

Community-based psychological providers have tremendous opportunities to support children and families as each have compulsory interactions with educational systems. Among the primary role and functions of these opportunities are consultation, evaluation, and expert witness testimony. Unfortunately, many child clinical or other psychological specialists do not have background knowledge about educational law, school-based disability law, and the various avenues in which children access supportive services within the educational arena, particularly as diagnostic nosology and treatment methodologies differ from customary behavioral health practices. In addition, understanding child risk assessment in the schools, customarily used assessment measures, and forensic applications in education are all unique and specialized areas of knowledge. This workshop will seek to provide participants with working knowledge about these discrete areas and teach how to add educational work to their existing work roles.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Review organizational features of public versus private educational K-12 systems, including essential elements of basic educational law and various personnel actors available in such environments. 
  2. Identify key similarities and differences between IDEIA and Section 504 towards providing student supports in education. 
  3. Demonstrate working knowledge of special education evaluations and IEPs, including diagnostic classifications and nosology differences from DSM and ICD. 
  4. Describe essential elements of eligibility and accommodation available under Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act. 
  5. Review child risk assessment procedures to conceptualize child maltreatment, suicide and threat assessments within the educational environment.
  6. Identify customarily used assessment measures and how their application is both consistent and perhaps different within educational practice, including nuances of sharing assessment information with school-based teams. 
  7. Explain how students access comprehensive student supports and the various roles that community-based psychological practitioners can offer their expertise.


About the speaker:
Dr. Erich Merkle concentrates his work on consultation, evaluation, and intervention for students with severe social-emotional and behavioral health needs that have resulted in substantial educational disciplinary sanctioning, expulsion, placement into residential facilities, or the judicial system. Dr. Merkle serves as a central office consultant on disability and civil rights law in education, individual risk assessment, and forensic school psychology practice. Separately from these activities, Dr. Merkle provides professional development on myriad school psychological topics and is a frequent media interviewee on school psychology. Dr.Merkle has committed himself towards lifelong scholarship, accumulating over 700 hours of collegiate coursework, including a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in psychology from Heidelberg University, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in community counseling, a Master of Arts (M.A.) in human development, an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in educational administration, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in school psychology during his tenure as a graduate student at Kent State University. He holds educational licensure as both a school psychologist and PreK-12 administrator as well as national certification as a school psychologist (NCSP). In addition, Dr. Merkle previously served as a clinical mental health counselor with professional competencies in marital/family therapy and comprehensive mental health assessment. Dr. Merkle commits himself to service within the professions of psychology and education, serving on the governance boards of numerous professional and community agencies, including the Ohio Psychological Association Board of Directors, as the OSPA/OPA Liaison, and the Ohio School Psychologists Association Executive Board, where he was also the Association President 2014-15. In 2017, Dr. Merkle was recognized as the Public Sector Psychologist of the Year by OPA, and in 2018, he received their President's Award.


Literary References:

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub. L. No. 93-112, 87 Stat. 394 (Sept. 26,
    1973), codified at 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq
  • Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (2004)
  • Harrison, P & Thomas, A. (2004). Best practices in school psychology, 6th ed. National Association of School Psychologists: Washington.


Overnight Accommodations: Hotels listed below are within walking distance of the conference center.

Hampton Inn & Suites Columbus Polaris | 8411 Pulsar Place | Columbus, Ohio 43240 | 614.885.8400

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Columbus Polaris | 9000 Worthington Road | Westerville, Ohio 43082 | 614.568.0770

Four Points by Sheraton Columbus - Polaris | 8505 Pulsar Place | Columbus, Ohio 43240 | 614.844.5888

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