This panel discussion will address the issue of bullying of students with disabilities. A special education and disability rights law attorney, an attorney representing school districts, and a family peer advocate will share their experience and perspectives on how schools can best address these issues and support students and their families.
Amanda Nickerson, PhD
Professor and Director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention
University at Buffalo
Michael Gilberg, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Michael Gilberg is a Special Education Attorney and Autistic self-advocate first diagnosed at age 18. He devotes his legal career to representing children with disabilities to ensure they get the appropriate education that they are entitled to under the law, which he was denied. Michael serves on numerous Boards and committees including Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), the Autism Society of America’s Panel of People on the Spectrum, Westchester County Advisory Council on People with Disabilities, Autism Spectrum News Editorial Board, Parents United Learning the Special Education System of the Mid-Hudson Valley NY (PULSES), New York State Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board’s Self Advocate Committee and Hillels of Westchester. Michael also has years of political and policy experience in government and advocating for disability in public policy in New York State and Westchester County.
Tara L. Moffett, Esq.
Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C.
Tara Moffett, concentrates her practice in the area of education law with a focus on special education. She is experienced in the field of special education, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. She is a frequent presenter on special education law and current issues affecting students with disabilities. Ms. Moffett provides guidance and training to school districts on general education matters such as confidentiality of student records, residency issues, bullying and discipline.
Ms. Moffett is a member of the Executive Board for the New York State Special Education Task Force, and is a member of the Capital Region Special Education Task Force. She is the immediate past chair and current member of the Committee on Disability Rights for the New York State Bar Association, and is on the School to Prison Pipeline Task Force for the State Bar Association.
Credentialed Family Peer Advocate, Northern Rivers Family of Services
Steve has worked in the field of Human Services for over 34 years, including supervisory work in residential care and case management in a family homeless shelter. But it was his role as a parent which led him to his most rewarding work in the field: as a Family Peer Advocate supporting parents with children that have mental health needs. This work began in the year 2000, with his toddler son at the time. Steve has much experience and training, and is respected by his colleagues as having a passionate yet balanced and pragmatic approach to his work as an advocate. He has supported many families with his expertise in educational advocacy in many of the local school districts near his home and work in the Capital Region. He believes very strongly in empowering families on their journeys through the complicated maze of systems of care.