Laws Respecting and Protecting Individuals with Disabilities

March 2, 2017
Hosted by Dr. Sean Surfas, Ph.d, BCBA, LEP

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Episode Description

On this show we will discuss a brief history of special education law and laws relating to individuals with disabilities. As a guest we will have Mark Woodsmall a Special Education Attorney.Later on the show we will talk with both Mark and Eva Woodsmall about their home life as they are parents of a child with autism.Mark and Eva will discuss their challenges and successes and what they believe are benefits tools for parents living with exceptional individuals require.

Solutions and Strategies with Dr Sean: Living the Challenge

Thursday at 8 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

Our program promotes a solution-based problem solving focus for individuals with disabilities, Parents, family members and professionals living or assisting individuals with exceptional needs. Individuals and families can become stronger together. You’ll feel a validation of the problems, find commonality and universalization with others that have the same challenges and questions and together we’ll find solutions. Topics discussed will include Parenting, School Issues, working with individuals on the Autism spectrum and those with Asperger’s Syndrome. We’ll discuss sibling concerns, challenges in home and school, professional responsibilities to the world of exceptional needs, academic difficulties and solutions for students and we’ll hear from parents, teachers and individuals with exceptional needs, Autism Spectrum Disorders or other developmental disabilities. Tune in to Solutions and Strategies with Dr. Sean, Thursdays at 8 AM Pacific on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness.

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Dr. Sean Surfas, Ph.d, BCBA, LEP

After 30 years of being part of the education and human services world, I try and offer an approach that is solution oriented and respectful of the autonomy of individuals. Often individuals in the Field of Applied Behavior Analysis or Psychology are called “consumers” by government agencies meaning that they “consume” resources and exist as a funding liability. We have never felt that this is an acceptable nor respectable description of individuals where it might be acceptable to other professionals.

In 2015 I was awarded Outstanding School Psychologist of the Year by the California Association of School Psychologists. I have had the opportunity to be published in peer reviewed journals for my work with individuals who have autism and/or special education needs. I have been published also to discuss counseling techniques specifically to be used with individuals with autism or communication challenges. I have been asked to sit on several advisory Boards including CASP: The California Association of School Psychologists (as Ethics Chair and Licensed Educational Psychologist State Specialist), Pasadena Unified School District Special Education Task Force, Los Angeles County Office of Education Autism and Developmental Delay Task Forces and have been asked to advise several Special Education Local Planning Areas. Also, I am currently an Adjunct Asst. Professor at the Charter College of Education at California State University Los Angeles.

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Episode Directory

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

  • 3/30/2017: Part 2 of Special Education Supports Listen Now
  • 3/23/2017: Special Education Programs and Supports Listen Now
  • 3/16/2017: In home programs and behavioral services Listen Now
  • 3/9/2017: Building good programs to help families and individuals with disabilities Listen Now
  • 3/2/2017: Laws Respecting and Protecting Individuals with Disabilities Listen Now

February 2017

Amanda Albuerz


My name is Amanda Alburez. I have worked with children with special needs and their families for 26 years this November. As Director of a Children's group home for the first 17 years of my young adult life. I currently work as the Director of Community Integration Services at Sierra Madre Learning Center TOTAL Programs for 12 years this November. This experience taught me to be patient and understanding with children in general. It then became my calling to explore how to better serve children with special needs. I attended Mt. San Antonio College and completed my studies in Early Childhood Education. I received my Bachelors in Teaching with a Specialization in English and my Masters in Education with a Specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis. At Azusa Pacific University In my personal life path, I am a single mother figure to my three nieces and one nephew. 15 years later all four are successful young adults. I look forward to helping others thrive in their community. View Guest page

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Rakhi Bhowmick


Rakhi Bhowmick has been in the field of working with children and adults with developmental disabilities for the past 10 years. She is part of TOTAL Programs for the past several years. She is currently the director of behavior respite services and dedicated in ensuring that families receive their optimal support. Rakhi has worked directly with parents, group homes and other members developing behavior modification plans. She continues to strive in the direction of helping others in need of appropriate services and advocates the effectiveness in applying strategies of applied behavior analysis for all populations. View Guest page

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Leeann Brown


Ms. Brown has worked with children for over 30 years in a variety of roles and places. She has worked in both private and public school settings and with young and older students. Ms. Brown has spent the last decade securing and building the special education program supports at TOTAL Program and is a Board Certified Asst. Behavior Analyst View Guest page

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Randy Campbell Rh.D BCBA-D


Dr. Randy V. Campbell earned his doctorate in Rehabilitation in 1988 from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He has been Full Professor in the Counseling Program with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis at California State University, Los Angeles, since 1991. Dr. Campbell is a current member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and the California Association for Behavior Analysis. He has been a National Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2000. He has provided consultation services locally and internationally. View Guest page

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Reginald Caruthers


Reggie Caruthers has worked for TOTAL Programs the last seven years as a Senior Specialist that supervises staff who provide Community Integration and Adaptive Skills Services with families in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. He has worked with developmental disabled clients of all ages since starting professional work in 1976. Reggie has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with additional coursework completed in Applied Behavior Analysis at Cal State University Los Angeles. His Bachelor Degree in Speech and Hearing/Psychology was completed at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana where he met his wife in 1971. He has 2 married daughters and 2 recently born granddaughters. Work experience includes: Parent Advocate, Expert Witness, Career Counseling, Psychometric Assessments, Work Evaluations, Job Placement, Sheltered Workshop Contract Procurement, Job Coaching, Community Development, Public Relations, Marketing, Adaptive Skills Training, Community Integration. View Guest page

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Lindsey Grizzle


Ms. Grizzle holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Ms. grizzle has worked with TOTAL programs for the last 10 years and has developed many of its in home behavioral programs. Ms. Grizzle teaches classes and workshops in applied behavior analysis and enjoys program evaluation and parent training. Ms. Grizzle is also the mother of 3 children and is quite in tune to the needs of mothers and fathers. View Guest page

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Heidi Holmblad


Heidi Holmblad is the executive director of the California Association of School Psychologists, a professional association that represents the more than 5,200 school psychologists and Licensed Educational Psychologists in the state. Ms. Holmblad was formerly the association’s director of communications before taking the helm in 2013. Ms. Holmblad represents CASP on the Pupil Services Coalition and as a stakeholder before several state agencies. A former newspaper reporter, Ms. Holmblad worked in public relations on new home, environmental and educational campaigns. View Guest page

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Augi Jimenez

David Liston


Founder, CEO David is the Founder and CEO of BB360. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is NSCA Certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist and has been working in the field of health and wellness, exercise and nutrition for over 18 years.David has trained and provided nutrition counseling for children, adults, and seniors as well as amateur and professional athletes and has a passion for helping people live strong, healthy, and balanced lives. He is also the Co-Owner of Stadium Fitness and Stadium Fitness Yoga.In 2011, David was voted the San Gabriel Valley’s “Best Fitness Trainer” by the readers of the Pasadena Star News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, and Whittier Daily News. Also in 2011, David’s fitness program, Stadium Fitness, was voted Pasadena’s “Best Fitness & Weight-Loss Program” by the readers of Pasadena Weekly in the Best of Pasadena Issue. In 2012, he was named to the Ambassador program at Lululemon Athletica Pasadena View Guest page

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Jodi Liston


Founder, Director of Operations Jodie grew up in North Andover, MA where her participation in sports began at age 5. From childhood through high school, she played soccer for one of the state’s top programs and also excelled as a sprinter for the indoor and outdoor track teams. Jodie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire and moved to Southern California after graduation. Here, she has enjoyed success in several other areas of the sports and fitness arena including an 8-page feature article in Shape Magazine – Building a Gym Body at Home, On-air sports reporting for KTLA-5 and now as an Co-Owner and Fitness Coach for Stadium Fitness & BB360. She is also the Co-Owner and Director of Operations for Stadium Fitness Yoga and in 2013 was named to the Lululemon Athletica Ambassor program in Pasadena. View Guest page

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Tom Sopp


Tom Sopp is the president of the California Association of School Psychologists. He has been a school psychologist for 15 years and currently a practicing school psychologist with the Long Beach Unified School District. Serving on CASP board positions and committees for the past 6 years, he has experience advocating for students and School Psychologist at the school site-level, State level and Federal level. View Guest page

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Michelle Wallace Ph.D BCBA-D


Dr. Michele Wallace earned her doctorate from the University of Florida in 2000 in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. She is a Full Professor and the ABA program coordinator at California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Wallace is on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and is a current member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and the California Association for Behavior Analysis. She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in the State of Florida since 1993 and a National Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2000. Dr. Wallace provides consultation locally, across the United States, and internationally and is a co-director of a behavioral agency (BrainFIT). Dr. Wallace is one of the authors of a premier textbook in behavior analysis (Behavior Analysis for Lasting Change) and is the co-author of a new RBT textbook (Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis for Behavior Therapist and other Practitioners). View Guest page

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Eva Woodsmall


Eva Woodsmall is an Educational advocate and works in the LAw Firm of Woodsmall LawGroup
In 2014 Mr. & Mrs. Woodsmall formed the Spero Project, a 501C3, non profit organization dedicated to work training opportunities for young adults (16 to 25 years of age) with developmental disabilities. Mark & Eva Woodsmall are parents of a child with autism. “If I only had the courage, the patience, the strength he does, I would be a remarkable person. Each and every day he works harder than any of us to speak, to share his hopes and dreams, to prove to others that his intelligence is not defined by the words he has but by the words he holds within, and to change the world for the better.” ?- Eva Woodsmall, 2009 View Guest page

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Mark Woodsmall


Mark Woodsmall is the founder of Woodsmall Law Group, PC a law firm based in the San Gabriel Valley area. The firm practices exclusively in the areas of Special Education, Regional Center Matters, Special Needs Trust Planning and Conservatorship.
In 2006, Mr. Woodsmall joined the faculty of the USC Gould School of Law as a Professor Adjunct, teaching in the area of special education law. He also served as the teaching attorney in the Special Education Advocacy Training Project – Los Angeles. The SEAT Project, an innovative nationwide advocacy training project, is funded under grant from the US Department of Education and administered through COPAA, The Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates and the USC Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles). Mr. Woodsmall sits on the UCLA Center for Autism Research & Treatment (CART) Community Advisory Committee. View Guest page

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