Montana Association of School Nurses
Stay Connected

504 and IDEA Training with OCR and Disability Rights Montana hosted by Montana Empowerment Center

Posted 4 months ago by Lisa Flanagan in Education

The Montana Empowerment Center, Inc with Disability Rights Montana is excited to bring The Office for Civil Rights to Montana for a joint training on 504 and IDEA.  

Both OCR and DRM will be addressing school nursing under both.

The first link is the in-person training and the second is the virtual.

When: April 23, 2024

Join us for a better understanding of the civil rights of students with disabilities, and the responsibilities of schools to meet these students’ individualized needs under 504 and IDEA.

Helena - Great Northern Hotel

835 Great Northern Blvd. | Helena, MT 59601


  • 8:30 Doors open - registration
  • 9:00 OCR training begins 
  • 11:30 break for lunch on your own
  • 1:00 DRM Training begins
  • 3:30 - 4:00 wrap-up questions 

ASL Interpretation will be on site.



Ellen Chestnut is a civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  As a civil rights attorney at OCR for almost 30 years, and in private practice for five years prior to her career at OCR, Ellen is an expert in Section 504 and Title II and an accomplished mediator of complex complaints, at OCR.  Ellen has enjoyed presenting to both large and small audiences locally, nationwide, and in tribal communities, regarding disability, sex, and race-based discrimination. 


Emily Hazen is a civil rights investigator with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  In her 20+ years of experience with OCR, Emily has investigated and resolved numerous complaints under the federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age.  She also enjoys leading training and informational presentations for diverse audiences.  Emily is passionate about helping school communities across the West understand their rights and responsibilities with regard to students with disabilities, and all students. 


Serving K-12 Students with Disabilities: Rights and Responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 This 2.5 hour presentation and Q&A session is for you if you’re a: parent or guardian, school administrator, special education teacher, school professional serving students with disabilities, advocate for students, school attorney, or interested in the education of students with disabilities or who may have a disability.  Presenters from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, will cover hot button issues relevant to students in Montana, such as who decides what help a student with a disability will receive, what needs to happen to evaluate a student for a suspected disability, examples of accommodations students may receive, what must happen when a student with a disability is disciplined, and protections for students with disabilities against different treatment.     


Tal Goldin is a Helena, MT based civil rights attorney.  He is currently the Director of Advocacy at Disability Rights Montana (DRM), where he leads the programmatic work of the State’s federally mandated civil rights Protection and Advocacy organization for people with disabilities.  Tal previously held various leadership positions at DRM including supervising DRM's Education, Employment, Benefits, Core Services, and Discrimination work units. Tal was previously the Director of Advocacy at Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA), a state-wide LSC funded legal aid organization, where he co-lead a team of over 20 public interest lawyers addressing the civil legal needs of low-income Montanans.  Tal began his legal career in private practice representing individuals and businesses in a wide variety of civil litigation and transactional matters. 


Tal has taught Special Education Law, Policy, and Practice at the University of Montana, Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, served as an adjunct professor at the University of Montana School of Law, and presented throughout Montana and nationally on the civil rights of students with disabilities.   He is a member of the national Board of Directors of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (the leading national organization advocating specifically for K-12 students with disabilities), co-chairs COPAA’s membership committee, and serves on COPAA's amicus committee. Tal is admitted to practice law before Montana state and federal courts, Washington state courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a member of the Order of Barristers, the American Association for Justice, and the Montana Trial Lawyers’ Association.


Michelle Weltman is a lawyer and social worker and has been an advocate for education access issues in Montana, Missouri, and Illinois for the past ten years. In 2022, shortly after finding her way to Missoula, MT, she joined Disability Rights Montana, and is now the Supervising Attorney for Education. Michelle has dedicated her career to individuals with the greatest need and least access to legal representation. She has focused her advocacy on education rights, domestic violence, and other civil rights issues. Previous to DRM, she worked at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation (SO IL), on matters of special education, residency, discipline, homelessness, and efforts to disrupt the ‘school to prison pipeline.’ Michelle has presented on educational access issues and the how-to’s of IEP meetings to groups varying from the National Legal Aid and Defender’s (NLADA) Conference, to Missouri’s state-wide CASA Conference, to a cohorts of mothers staying in a homeless shelter.


Register now for this in-person training. There will be a limited virtual option, register soon space is limited.


Virtual registration link