The National Academy for IDEA Administrative Law Judges and Impartial Hearing Officers Established 2002


Special Education Solutions, LLC is excited to announce that registration is now open for the 19th National Academy of IDEA Administrative Law Judges and Impartial Hearing Officers.

This program is exclusively for IDEA Administrative Law Judges, Impartial Hearing Officers, or individuals who have oversight of their state’s IDEA due process hearing system and the cadre of ALJs/IHOs. This conference is not for attorneys or advocates who represent parties before IDEA ALJs/IHOs.
Tuesday, July 11, 2023, through Friday, July 14, 2023
We will offer a one-day basics program on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, for any ALJ/IHO who is new to special education hearings or who would like to take a refresher course. The regular program will commence on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, and conclude by mid-day Friday, July 14, 2023.
The University of Washington School of Law [MAP]
The law school is situated on “The Ave” in the University District of Seattle, just north of downtown Seattle. It is within easy access to restaurants, shops, and boutiques. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is 30 minutes away.
Main Program (Wed. – Fri.) $1450
Basics Program Add-on (Tues.) $200 ($1650 total)
Fees include continental breakfast and lunch per day, except for Friday lunch.

There is a team rate for States who send 6+ attendees. The Regular Program is discounted to $1200 per person ($1400 with Basics Program add-on). To receive the team rate, the team administrator must register the number of individuals who comprise the team and must also make payment. Once payment is received, the team administrator will be notified to direct team attendees to individually register on the Registration Page and select “Team Attendee” under Payment Method.

Payment must accompany registration. Payment can be made by credit card (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover), or check written to Special Education Solutions, LLC. Attendee substitutions can be made at any time prior to June 23, 2023, with no additional cost. (Substitutes must either be an ALJ, IHO, or due process coordinator / supervisor.) Any cancellations must be made in writing to by April 30, 2023. Cancellations received by this date will receive a refund minus an administrative fee of $150. There are no cancellations or refunds after the cancellation date.


The Academy agenda will provide a high-quality program that will allow for ample opportunities for attendees to engage with Academy speakers and their colleagues. Academy sessions will include discussions on who can or should be parties to IDEA due process hearings, discipline, decision writing, evaluation, recent case law developments, and working collaboratively with the State educational agency to provide it the information it needs to fulfill its oversight and monitoring responsibilities.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Lenore Knudtson, Esq.
    Pingora Consulting
  • Judge Annie Lockwood (retired)
    Administrative Law Judge
    Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings
  • Deusdedi Merced, Esq.
    Managing Member
    Special Education Solutions, LLC
  • Judge James R. Mortenson
    Administrative Law Judge
    Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings
  • Frances Raskin, Esq.
    Appeals Officer
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Dr. Melanie Reese
    Program Director
  • Dr. Sara Rich
    Clinical Assistant Professor
    Oklahoma State University
  • Dr. Brit’ny Stein
    Clinical Assistant Professor
    Oklahoma State University
  • Prof. Mark C. Weber
    Vincent de Paul Professor of Law
    DePaul College of Law
  • Parris A. Taylor, Esq.
    Exceptionality Dispute Resolution Coordinator
    Louisiana Department of Education
A full agenda with speakers will be sent out in the coming weeks.

Hotel Accommodations

A limited block of rooms is being held until April 8, 2023, or until all rooms are sold out at the following area hotel:

Residence Inn Seattle University District (0.4 miles from UW School of Law)
4501 12th Avenue N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 322-8887

Group Rate: $309 per night, plus applicable state and local taxes
Book your group rate here.

Other area hotels include (Group rate is not offered at these hotels):

The Graduate Seattle (0.3 miles from UW School of Law))
4507 Brooklyn Avenue N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 634-2000

Silver Cloud Hotel (1 mile from UW School of Law)
5036 25th Avenue, N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 526-5200

Watertown Hotel (0.4 miles from UW School of Law)
4242 Roosevelt Way, N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 826-4242

University Inn (0.4 miles from UW School of Law)
4140 Roosevelt Way, N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 632-5055

Things to Do In and Around Seattle

Events happening during and around the time of the conference in greater Seattle.

Events happening during the week of the conference in and around the University District.

Seattle in general.


If you have any additional questions, please call Deusdedi Merced at (203) 557-6050 or email him at