Law Practice

Our law practice focuses on disability discrimination in high stakes standardized testing and higher education. Ms. Simon is a frequent speaker on issues related to disability discrimination and has represented hundreds of individuals with disabilities. Her work has been featured in the New York Law Journal , The New York Times , and American Lawyer Magazine, to name a few.

For four years Ms. Simon served as staff attorney at Hofstra Law School’s Disabilities Law Clinic, where she was called upon to provide an accessible environment for clients as well as law students with disabilities. She served as law secretary to Hon. Arthur N. D’Italia, A.J.S.C., New Jersey Superior Court, Hudson County. Ms. Simon is known for her expertise on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, particularly as it relates to higher education and standardized testing procedures. An active member of several bar associations, she was chair of the Committee on Legal Issues Affecting People with Disabilities of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 1999 to 2002.

Ms. Simon currently teaches a Disability Law seminar at Fordham Law School and is a former teacher of the deaf. She is a founding member of the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD), serving on its Board of Directors for many years (1994-2001). She currently serves as its general counsel. She was also awarded the Lifetime Justice Award by the LD Access Foundation and the Women’s History Month Award by State Senator Eric Adams in March 2007.

Selected Presentations

Invited Speaker; “Recent Legal Cases and Discussion of Virginia Tech Fallout,” Fall meeting, New York State Disability Services Council, November, 2007.

Jo Anne Simon named Keynote Speaker at Pennsylvania State Diversity Summit.

Transcript of Jo Anne’s participation in a March 8, 2007 panel on the Bar Exam in The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law.

Presenter; “Seven Myths Surrounding the Accommodations of High Stakes Tests,” 2007 Learning Disabilities Association Conference, with Joan Bisagno, Christy Lendman, Noel Gregg, and Nicole Ofiesh, February, 2007.

Webinar, “Standardized Testing and Students with Disabilities: the Stakes are High and So Is the Anxiety,” University of Georgia Regents Center on Learning Disorders and Project EASI, November 2006.

Invited Speaker; “Time, Timing and Time Management,” 11th Annual Scientific Conference, Washington Lab School, October 2006.

Invited Speaker, “Testing Accommodations, Life After High School,” Center for Learning Differences, October 2006.

Postsecondary Education and Learning Disabilities; a Series of Presentations on Student Transition to Higher Education,” New York Branch-International Dyslexia Association, New York, NY, March 2006.

Developing a § 504 Plan: Academic and Environmental Accommodations for Students with Disabilities,” with T. Foster, P. Ivers, M. Katsive, Legal Services of New York, February 2006.

Disability Issues in The Courtroom: Accommodating Jurors, Lawyers, Litigants & The Public,” with Justice Rosalyn Richter, CLE presented through NYC Corporation Counsel’s office (October 2005); as judicial training through the NYS Supreme Court Lunch & Learn Program (June 2005).

Reasonable Accommodations and Admissions Testing – the Stakes are High and So Is the Anxiety,” Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, March 2006; also presented at the Third Annual Institute on Learning Disabilities in Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania, April 2005.

Top 10 Recent Federal Court Cases – Review of the Most Important Cases in Higher Education and Disability,” Arizona Department of Education & Arizona Postsecondary Education Consortium, joint Transition Services conference, Phoenix, AZ, September 2004.

Three Voices of Equity, Invited Keynote Speaker, with Bartlett, M.J. & Gregg, N.; Multiple Perspectives on Disability, The Ohio State University, April 2004.

Bartlett v. New York State Board of Law Examiners: A Study in High-Stakes Testing, presentation at Education Law Association, Savannah, GA, November 2003

It Takes a Team . . . Four Voices in the Battle for Disability Rights, with Bartlett, M.J., Gregg, N., Hagin, R.A., presentation at Learning Disabilities Association, Chicago, IL, February 2003. Reprise, International Dyslexia Association, New York, NY, March 2003.

The Battle for Disability Rights: Lessons Learned Along the Way,” with Bartlett, M. & Gregg, N., Association on Higher Education And Disability, Arlington VA, July 2002. “Defining Disability under the ADA after Sutton, Murphy and Kirkingberg.” Annual Meeting of the New York State Bar Association, New York, NY, January 2002.

Discrimination Against High-Achieving Adults with Dyslexia: the Clash Between Theory, Research and Public Law Interpretation,” New York Branch – International Dyslexia Association March 2002; International Dyslexia Association, Albuquerque, NM, October 2001 (with Bartlett, M. and Gregg, N.)

Providing Alternate Text to Students with Disabilities by Legislative Efforts,” panel presentation with Gray, B., Sweeney, D., Blosser, R., Association on Higher Education And Disability, Portland, OR, July 2001

Navigating the Legal Issues Regarding Students with Disabilities, Receiving Unsolicited Information and Felony Convictions” Invited Speaker, Association of American Medical Colleges, Student Affairs Conference Atlanta, GA, June 2001.

Fair Housing and Disability Laws: What Residential Developers & Owners Need to Know.” Moderator, Continuing Legal Education Program, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, March 2001

Trailblazing, Pioneering and Innovating: 25 Years of Progress in Disability Law,” Keynote Address, 25th Annual Conference, California Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability, Sacramento, CA, October 2000.

Legal Insights: A Series of Satellite Teleconferences on Legal Issues for Adolescents and Adults With LD and ADHD,” presented by the Distance Learning Link, The Learning Disabilities Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia; October 1997 through October 1998.

Selected Decisions

Bartlett vs. NYS Board of Law Examiners – Second Circuit 1998 Opinion, Second Circuit 2000 Opinion, 2nd Circuit Concurrence, Southern District (S.D.N.Y.) 2001 Decision.

Bucaro vs. Tomas Morales and the College of Staten Island, CUNY.

Publications

Chapters:

The Rights of Individuals with Dyslexia Under the Law,” chapter regarding Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, Birsh, J., Ed. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing, online chapter, 2003.

Making a Law Office Accessible, chapter in Representing People with Disabilities, Third Edition, Albany, NY: New York State Bar Association, 2003.

Supported Education and Psychiatric Rehabilitation: Models and Methods; Chapter on, “Psychological Disabilities & Higher Education: Legal Considerations,” Columbia, MD: International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services, 2001.

Serving Students With Disabilities; H. Belch, Ed., Chapter on Legal Issues in Serving Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Education San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

Special Issues:

Bartlett v. NY State Board of Law Examiners: A High-Stakes Testing Case Study,” Perspectives Theme Issue, Adults with Dyslexia: Legislation, Remediation, Therapy & Work, Baltimore, MD: International Dyslexia Association, Special Issue, Fall 2002.

“Making the Case: Bartlett v. New York State Board of Law Examiners,” Article in “Adults with Learning Disabilities Enter the Professions: Issues of Diagnosis, Education, Accommodations and Licensing,” Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Special Issue; Pittsburgh, PA: Learning Disabilities Association, 2000.

Articles:

The Curse of High Stakes Tests and High Abilities: Reactions to Wong v. Regents of the University of California,” article, Perspectives, with N. Mather & N, Gregg, Baltimore, MD: International Dyslexia Association, Fall 2005.

The IDEA is not the ADA or Section 504: A Quick Refresher Course,” Disability Compliance for Higher Education, Horsham, PA: LRP Publications, May 2002.

Civil Rights Laws: Case of the Vanishing Remedy,” Disability Compliance for Higher Education; Horsham, Pa.: LRP Publications, August 2001.

Law Review Articles

The Use of Interpreters for the Deaf and the Legal Community’s Obligation to Comply with the A.D.A. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Journal of Law and Health (Symposium Issue), Vol 8, Issues 1 & 2, (1993-94).


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