February 2012 E-News
The latest news and information from around the country.
Calls to Participate
2012 Southwest Conference on Disability Seeks Proposals
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The 2012 Southwest Conference on Disability seeks proposals on the theme “Access For All: To Boldly Go Where Everybody Else Has Gone Before,” with emphasis on: Access To Health, Physical Access, Access To Employment, Access To Technology, and Access To Behavioral Health Through High-Quality Service Partnerships. The conference will be held October 9-12, 2012. Deadline for proposals: May 11, 2012.
The Resource Zone
Other National Resources
A National Update of Case Law 1998 to the Present under the IDEA and Section 504/ADA
The National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) has a new resource on its Web site, “A National Update of Case Law 1998 to the Present under the IDEA and Section 504/ADA,” a compilation of special education decisions under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for students from pre-K through grade 12 from 1998 to mid-2011. It focuses on issues of concern to both educators and parents: eligibility, free appropriate public education (FAPE), least restrictive environment (LRE), and the remedies of tuition reimbursement and compensatory education.
America’s Promise Report: Jobless Want Opportunities
“Opportunity Road: the Promise and Challenge of America’s Forgotten Youth,” a survey and research report released by America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Peter D. Hart Research Associates, shows that 73% percent of 16- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school, are not employed and do not have a college degree are confident that they will be able to achieve their goals in life. The survey sought to better understand how these youth became detached from school and work, and the challenges they face in trying to reconnect to society. The report discusses the benefits to the nation of re-engaging these young people and how to get them back on track.
Centers for Youth with Disabilities, Parents, and Professionals Working in Transition and Employment Planning
This VR Research in Brief, prepared by PACER, summarizes current research findings on Rehabilitation Services Administration Parent Training resources. Parent involvement is an essential part of the critical period when youth with disabilities transition from the public education system to adult services and the adult world. Available in pdf (290 KB, 3 pp).
Common Core State Standards Collection
The Common Core State Standards are a national initiative to provide a clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so that teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The final standards were released on June 10, 2010. Many states have adopted the standards and are beginning to implement them. New standards will require new large-scale assessments. This comprehensive collection of materials and resources helps parents, educators, and other stakeholders to better understand the common core standards.
Department of Education Issues ADA Amendments Act Dear Colleague Letter to Provide Guidance Under Amended Legal Standards
The Department of Education's (Department) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague letter concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (Amendments Act) and an accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) to provide additional guidance on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) in elementary and secondary schools, given the changes to those laws made by the Amendments Act of January 1, 2009, which amended the ADA, as well as the Rehabilitation Act. The letter and FAQ discuss obligations of school districts such as the requirement to evaluate students for disability and provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, as well as the changes made by the Amendments Act.
Disability and Health Data System
The Disability and Health Data System (DHDS) is a state-level disability surveillance tool designed to assist partners, researchers, advocates, and the general public in the assessment of the health and wellness of people with disabilities. The DHDS was developed by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Division of Human Development and Disability (DHDD) at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). It features three types of data: disability, psychological distress, and disability-associated health care expenditures. The data are presented in formats that include standard- or high-contrast interactive maps and data tables that can be customized or downloaded.
Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of High School and What Can Be Done About It
The vast majority of youth in developed nations finish high school, many more than in the United States, where the national high school graduation rate is about 70%. In this Forum Brief, reporting the November 18, 2011 forum presented by The Forum for Youth Investment, Jobs for the Future, and YouthBuild USA, Russell Rumberger offered a comprehensive overview (based on his book “Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of High School and What Can Be Done About It”) of the dropout crisis in America, including the fundamental questions of who drops out, why they do, and what happens when they do. Rumberger identifies challenges in current reform efforts, including insufficient targeting of dropout “factories,” inadequate funding, and lack of attention paid to the cost, sustainability, and scalability of interventions. Following his presentation, a panel of education leaders provided insights for policy reform at the federal, state, and local levels to reduce the incidence of high school dropouts.
Future of Children: Transition to Adulthood
Too many adolescents drop out of high school and then struggle with high rates of unemployment, incarceration, drug use and non-marital births, with high costs both to teens and to society. The start of a new journal, “Transition to Adulthood,” from the Future of Children project, was celebrated with an event focused on describing and analyzing second-chance programs that aim to help high school drop-outs, and featuring presentations by and discussions among researchers, community program operators and Obama administration officials.
Helping Students with Disabilities Transition to Postsecondary Education
“Transition of Students with Disabilities to Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators,” from the Office for Civil Rights, highlights differences between the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities in high school and in postsecondary education. Besides a set of answers to FAQs, suggestions are provided that high school educators can share with students to help them transition to postsecondary education.
Improved Federal Enforcement Needed to Better Protect Students' Rights to Testing Accommodations
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Standardized tests are often required to gain admission into postsecondary schools or to obtain professional certifications. Federal disability laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require entities that administer these tests to provide accommodations, such as extended time or changes in test format, to students with disabilities. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined: the types of accommodations individuals apply for and receive and how schools assist them, factors testing companies consider when making decisions about requests for accommodations, challenges individuals and testing companies experience in receiving and granting accommodations, and how federal agencies enforce compliance with relevant disability laws and regulations. GAO recommended that the Department of Justice develop a strategic approach to enforcement by analyzing its data and updating its technical assistance manual, and Justice agreed with GAO’s recommendation.
Other National Events
Assistive Technology & UDL in a Multi-Tiered System of Supports
February 9, 2012
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern)
This webinar will share the work of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports Project at the University of South Florida (funded by the FLDOE) and the project’s Technology & Learning Connections: AT & UDL Team. Consisting of a team coordinator, five regional technology coordinators, and five AT/UDL resource librarians, the TCL Team is responsible for the development of an MTSS Framework for technology that includes accessible instructional materials, assistive technology, instructional technology, UDL, and virtual instruction/assessment.
Core Vocabulary: Why Use It?
February 15, 2012
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern)
This webinar provides introductory information about core vocabulary. It explains the difference between core vocabulary and extended vocabulary and addresses the top five reasons people give for not providing core vocabulary to individuals with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) needs. It addresses the issue of representing core vocabulary with pictures, along with strategies for organizing core vocabulary for maximum production of generative language. It is an introductory presentation for people new to the field of AAC.
Consultation, Collaboration and Coaching: Tools for Providing Meaningful AT Support
February 23, 2012
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern)
Effective assistive technology (AT) service providers use a variety of strategies, including direct service to students, consultation to teachers, and collaboration with team members, in their work to integrate AT into the everyday routines and activities of students with disabilities. This webinar will address each of these strategies and discuss the benefits of coaching to improve AT services. Training in specific coaching strategies will be provided as well as practice opportunities. Participants will receive forms to help organize and document their practice, and resources to help develop new consultation, collaboration and coaching skills.
More than a Nice Thing to Do: Using Practice-Based Evidence for Outcome Evaluation in Native Youth Programs
February 24, 2012
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (Pacific)
This webinar will describe the activities and results of a Practice-Based Evidence project designed to develop a culturally responsive evaluation framework for agencies serving American Indian and Alaska Native youth.
Into Adulthood: Transition to Work for Individuals with Autism
February 27, 2012 - April 10, 2012
On-line Training Course
Careful transition planning from secondary education is critical for young people with autism spectrum disorders to be successful as they transition to higher education, work, and community life. The Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research & Training Center (VCU RRTC) offers a six-week online training course, “Into Adulthood: Transition to Work for Individuals with Autism” to help educators and other personnel involved with the transition of youth with autism assist them in their transition. The next course starts on February 27, 2012. Each week a lesson will be posted on Mondays at 9:00 am Eastern time. Once activated, the weekly lesson’s course documents will be accessible 24 hours a day and will remain available until the end of the course. Individuals who complete the course may earn 4.5 CEUs or 45 CRCs. Additionally, a certificate of completion will be issued to all participants who complete all course assignments.
GraduateFIRST: The Dropout Prevention Destination
February 28, 2012
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (Eastern)
Schools often find addressing the challenges associated with improving graduation rates to be difficult, but for students with disabilities, the challenges can be even more complex. Georgia's GraduateFIRST initiative is designed to help students with disabilities and other students who are struggling stay in school and graduate. Funded by Georgia's State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), GraduateFIRST is based on a data-driven intervention framework developed by the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities. This webinar will highlight how school-based teams and team leaders diagnose causes of dropout and develop site-specific plans and strategies. Schools participating in GraduateFIRST are having success using tools and resources for monitoring and supporting students at-risk for dropping out. School teams are supported with on-going coaching, training, and technical assistance. GraduateFIRST results, best practices, challenges, and lessons learned will be shared.
Common Core State Standards: An Integration of Systems and a Culture of Change with Comprehensive Local Assessments
February 29, 2012
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM (Pacific)
Joe Sassone, Director of Integrated Services at the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd, will present this webinar on how districts can think about the new rigor required in building a local comprehensive assessment system that reflects the Common Core State Standards. WestEd technical assistance staff, a district representative, and an assessment specialist will share their perspectives.
Autism Works National Conference 2012
March 6, 2012 - March 7, 2012
St. Louis, MO
Sponsored by the University of Missouri Health System, the Autism Works National Conference will be held in St. Louis, MO.
Using Data to Drive Innovation and Improve Services: Workforce Development in Chicago
March 8, 2012
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Central)
During the recent recession, cities and towns across the United States experienced high levels of unemployment. Now they are striving to ensure their workforce development system is meeting the needs of struggling individuals seeking employment. Policymakers and practitioners need reliable data and information about how to improve workforce programs and services, as well as to understand which workforce development programs are successful, helping better direct resources within the system. This forum will focus on exemplary workforce programs in Chicago that use data to pursue innovative efforts to provide training and place people into employment, and will also examine the current workforce development landscape, describing some of the national and local workforce policies aimed at providing services to job seekers and recent research on the factors that influence success among community-based workforce programs.
National Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Symposium
March 12, 2012 - March 14, 2012
The National Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Symposium, sponsored by the AD National Network, will be held in Orlando, FL. The updated 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and Title II Regulations become effective March 15, 2012. These updates affect businesses, local governments, and covered employers. The Symposium sessions will discuss the new standards and regulations, and how the changes affect businesses and communities.
Building a Grad Nation Summit
March 18, 2012 - March 21, 2012
The Building a Grad Nation Summit is free and open to the public. The Grad Nation campaign has two specific goals: to increase the national graduation rate to 90% by 2020 with no school graduating less than 80&, and to regain America’s standing as first in the world in college completion. The summit brings together community organizations, educators, local and state leaders, national nonprofit organizations, businesses, youth and others to share progress and catalyze additional action. America’s Promise Alliance hosts the Summit in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. Premier Sponsors for the Summit are Grad Nation Presenting Sponsor State Farm, AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Target. Signature Sponsors are Casey Family Programs, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ford Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Lumina Foundation and Pearson Foundation.
ASCD 67th Annual Conference
March 24, 2012 - March 26, 2012
The ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show is a professional development event for education, where attendees can explore new ideas in education, examine developments in content areas or grade levels, stretch their professional development learning into new areas, and focus on issues of concern to examine in depth.
Disability Policy Seminar
April 23, 2012 - April 25, 2012
Hosted by the Arc of the United States and held in Washington, DC, this annual conference agenda of those in the movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is a forum for the exchange of information about issues and preparing for face-to-face meetings with elected officials on Capitol Hill. From self-advocates to family members, caregivers, and organizations serving individuals with I/DD, this is a large bloc of advocates who have the potential to change how the government views and interacts with people with disabilities.
Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth
May 3, 2012 - May 4, 2012
The “Breakthrough Strategies to Teach and Counsel Troubled Youth” workshop will look at 200 answers to turnaround problems like delinquency, violence, apathy, truancy, defiance, ADD, school failure, bad attitudes, and poor motivation, with a special focus on children with challenges and disabilities. The workshop is sponsored by Youth Change Workshops and is intended for teachers, youth workers, counselors, psychologists, court workers, social workers, justice workers, foster parents, and school administrators. (The workshop will also be presented October 11-12, 2012, in Portland, OR.)
2012 National Transition Conference: College and Careers for Youth with Disabilities
May 30, 2012 - June 1, 2012
The National Transition Conference: College and Careers for Youth with Disabilities will provide a forum for developing an action agenda, bring together partners in the transition community to exchange ideas and approaches, share knowledge gained from policy implementation, discuss transition practices and research findings, and promote the development of networks and relationships. It will bring together youth and young adults, family members/advocates/caregivers, educators, vocational rehabilitation professionals, employment and training professionals, researchers, state and federal officials, leaders in the transition community, disability service staff, student development personnel, and behavioral health professionals.
PEPNet 2.0 Training Institute
July 9, 2012 - July 14, 2012
New Orleans, LA
The PEPNet 2.0 Training Institute (PTI) will be held in conjunction with the Association of Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD) 2012 Conference in New Orleans, LA, July 9-14, 2012 and focus on issues related to enrolling, retaining, and instructing students who are deaf or hard of hearing and their varying communication needs and methods used, such as oral transliteration services, cued language transliteration services, sign language transliteration and interpreting services, and transcription.
Improving Children’s Mental Health Care in an Era of Change, Challenge, and Innovation
July 25, 2012 - July 29, 2012
The National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development is offering Training Institutes on improving mental health services for children and adolescents with or at risk for mental health challenges and their families. The biennial Training Institutes are organized in partnership with the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch of the federal Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. The 2012 Training Institutes will focus on innovative approaches, and how lessons learned from systems of care can guide efforts to improve children’s mental health service delivery.
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All Children Can Read, Given the Right Tools
This Web site of the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness provides strategies, examples, and resources to expand literacy learning opportunities for children with combined vision and hearing loss, multiple disabilities, and other complex learning challenges.
High School Matters
The National High School Center shares resources for improving high schools on their website, including their High School Knowledge Database, Early Warning System Middle Grades (EWS MG) Tool, enhanced Early Warning System High School (EWS HS) Tool, EWS Community of Practice, High School Events Calendar, archives of their EWS Webinar Series, and information on relevant new articles.
Individualized Learning Plan Web Page from NCWD/Youth
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) has launched a webpage on Individualized Learning Plans, featuring publications and resources for understanding and using Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs, with information about research, policies, and practices. An ILP is a tool that students in secondary school use, with support from school counselors and parents, to define their personal interests and goals related to their career and postsecondary education and to plan what courses to take and what activities to participate in during high school to further their interests and achieve their goals.
Next Generation Learning Challenges
The Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Web site offers information about designing student success, and the NGLC grants and events.
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Bullying can happen anywhere: face-to-face, by text messages or on the web. It is not limited by age, gender, or education level. It is not a phase and it is not a joke. Bullying can cause lasting harm. This website looks at bullying in relation to children, teens, young adults, parents, educators, and the community, with information on news, references, and resources.
Federal Grant Opportunities
FY 2011-2012 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.
FY 2012 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.
Additional Funding and Award Opportunities
Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE): Cliff Weiss Essay Award
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is sponsoring an essay contest in memory of former ACTE Senior Director of Communications, Cliff Weiss (1951-2004). This year, students will be asked to respond to the question, “How do you feel CTE prepares individuals, including yourself, for a future career?” Concrete examples of the student’s classroom, CTSO participation, and job training (if applicable) experiences as they relate to the student’s career exploration and preparation should be included. The essay should be a maximum of 1,200 words. Maximum award: $150 and publication in ACTE’s Techniques Magazine. Eligibility: secondary or postsecondary students enrolled in at least one career and technical education course. Deadline: March 9, 2012.
Caring Institute: 2012 Caring Awards
The Caring Institute is accepting nominations for its annual Caring Awards. Nominees should exemplify caring and serve as worthy role models for others. Award criteria include length of service, scope and impact of work, challenges overcome, and imagination and innovation. Maximum award: All winners are honored at a special ceremony, and young adult winners receive funds for college. Eligibility: individuals 9-99 years old. Deadline: March 1, 2012.
George Washington University’s Youth Transition, Career, and Vocational Services: A Distance Education Master of Arts Program Financial Aid
George Washington University seeks applicants for the summer semester of its on-line Youth Transition, Career, and Vocational Services Master's degree program. The first course in the program's sequence, SPED 236: Introduction to Vocational, Career, and Transition Services, will be offered summer 2011, along with SPED 235: Employment Models for Individuals with Disabilities. Students are expected to register for at least 2 courses (6 credits) per semester. This will enable them to be eligible for a range of financial aid programs. For more information about the degree program, email Bridget Green at email@example.com or Dr. Michael Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline: April 15, 2012.
Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors young leaders who have focused on helping their communities and fellow beings and/or on protecting the health and sustainability of the environment. Maximum award: $2,500. Eligibility: youth 8-18. Deadline: April 30, 2012.
Humane Society of the United States: Education Mini-Grant
The Humane Society of the United States is accepting applications for the 2012 Humane Education Mini-Grant, to fund innovative humane education opportunities in K-12 classrooms. Maximum award: $1,000. Eligibility: all certified K-12 teachers in the U.S. Deadline: November 30, 2012.
Kohl’s Corporation: Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program
Kohl’s annually rewards young volunteers across the country for contributions to their communities. Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility: legal U.S. residents of a state in which a Kohl’s store is located, between the ages of 6 and 18 and not yet a high school graduate as of March 15, 2012. Deadline: March 15, 2012.
McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation Announces 2012-13 Academic Year Grants and Scholarships
The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, to cultivate the skills and creativity of K-12 educators and pioneering approaches to teaching, has announced a call for applications for its 2012-13 Academic Enrichment grants, Teacher Development grants, and Student Teaching scholarships. Deadline: April 15, 2012
Next Generation Learning Challenges Announces Wave III Funding Opportunities to Improve College Readiness and Completion
Next Generation Learning Challenges is a collaborative, multi-year grant program aimed at increasing college readiness and completion through applied technology, particularly for low-income young adults. Wave III of NGLC funding was launched in October 2011, and focuses on the development of new blended learning models. The selection process involves two steps: An initial application and a longer, more detailed, full proposal from selected applicants. Initial applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 8, 2012.
What can YOU do?” Campaign for Disability Employment Announces Nationwide Video Contest
The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) is launching a “What can YOU do?” Video Contest to promote the talent and skills that people with disabilities bring to America’s workforce and economy. CDE is looking for creative, fun, compelling videos of all genres that reflect the diversity of skills that people with disabilities offer, challenge misconceptions about disability and employment, and/or highlight employers’ inclusive employment programs and practices. CDE will recognize winners in up to three categories (General Public, Youth and employer), and the public will be encouraged to select a People’s Choice winner. CDE is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and managed in collaboration with seven leading disability and business organization. Deadline for entry: March 30, 2012.
Youth Service America Invites Young Change-Makers to Apply for Disney Friends for change Grants
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A program of Youth Service America and Disney, the Disney Friends for Change Grants program offers young change-makers in the United States funding to help make a lasting, positive change in their communities and the world. The program seeks to support volunteer projects serving a wide range of needs that highlight the creativity and commitment of young people working to meet the needs of others and that demonstrate how “even small actions can add up to big changes.” Youth between the ages of 5-18 in all fifty states and the District of Columbia are eligible to lead a project and apply for a $1,000 grant to fund it. (Applicants younger than 13 years of age must have an older person submit the application on their behalf.) Deadline: April 29, 2012
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