Special Education Consulting
Special Education Expert Witness
Dr. Steve continues to serve as a Professor of Special Education at Rhode Island College. He has served in that capacity for more than 45 years. He has served as a consultant to state agencies, school departments and attorneys for 45 years. He conducts independent educational evaluations, serves parents as an advocate for students with disabilities and has served as an expert consultant and witness for cases in many states. He has published several articles in national journals and magazine, has given many national, regional and state conferences and has held national office in his field.
Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs)
An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a qualified professional or group of professionals who are not employed by the local educational agency (ie. school district). Under federal regulations, the parent, not the school district selects the person(s) who will conduct the IEE. The school district may have a list of evaluators, however, the evaluator(s) selected by the parents do not need to be on an “approved list.” Under federal policies from the Office of Special Education (OSEP), the list must exhaust all qualified evaluators within the geographic area. Districts may not exclude evaluators arbitrarily.
Providing services for parents, school departments, and attorneys, Dr. Imber conducts Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) with a detailed review of case records and often with school observations. When needed, he conducts cognitive and educational evaluations for students with disabilities at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels.
Dr. Imber has provided his forensic expertise in matters of personal injury, family court disputes involving the education of the minor child/children, issues of wrongful death, matters of criminal defense where a defendant is a person with disabilities and matters of school safety. He has testified in federal court, superior court, and family court in due process hearings.
Dr. Imber’s practice in recent years has focused on work with attorneys who practice personal injury cases (physical and sexual abuse), family or probate court matters that involve school preference issues, and special education due process hearings.
The personal injury cases involve school safety, proper or inadequate school supervision, and personal injury matters including wrongful death.
He has been retained by plaintiffs and defendants. His perspective is that he has been willing to work with attorneys who represent school departments as long as his investigation does not represent a significant violation of child or parental rights. He has been employed by various attorneys representing school departments in several states.
Dr. Imber initiated his service as an expert witness in a matter pertaining to children and youth with Autism, eventually expanding to all children with emotional disturbance in federal court before Judge Raymond Pettine. His testimony, along with other experts, resulted in the closing of the O’Rourke Children’s Center in Rhode Island. Subsequently, he was employed to improve significantly the adolescent program at the Institute for Mental Health and Retardation at the Institute for Mental Health in Rhode Island under orders from Judge Pettine. He worked with Rhode Island Department of Education officials to gain state-approved status for the adolescent program and served as special education director and consultant for four years.
Dr. Imber is methodical in his practice. He is thorough, timely in communication, highly motivated, and open to various attorney, school, and parent perspectives. However, he is highly ethical in his conduct and his decision-making.
Dr. Imber is certified as a teacher of students with disabilities at the elementary and secondary levels with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities. He is also certified as a school psychologist and as a director of special education.
Throughout his 45+ year career, he has adopted the philosophy of his mentor, Dr. A. J. Pappanikou, Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Education at the University of Connecticut. “He is not on the side of the parent. He is not on the side of the school district. He is on the side of the child.”