- Announcements: New projects, legislative alerts, calls to participate, and more
- The Resource Zone: NCSET and other national resources, including publications, videos, pocket guides, and more.
- What's Happening: Upcoming NCSET and other national events.
- Get Wired!: Web sites and listservs.
- Funding Forecast: Federal and other grant opportunities, as well as funding resources.
The latest news and information from around the country.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Youth Employment Rate Numbers for March 2014
Employment data for youth with and without disabilities is obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and reported in the March 1914 “Youth Employment” statistics.
Disability.gov PSAs Challenge Assumptions about People with Disabilities
Disability.gov recently released public service announcements (PSAs) in support of the message that people are not defined by their disabilities. Each of the eight PSAs features one of Disability.gov’s “No Boundaries” participants. Each PSAs participant chose several words to describe him or herself to paint a broader picture of who they are. The PSAs are downloadable from the Disability.gov site.
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Calls to Participate
2014 Southwest Conference on Disability Call for Proposals
The 2014 Southwest Conference on Disability will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 7-10, 2014, and the conference is soliciting proposals on the following themes of: “Disability, Diversity and Social Justice: Looking to the Future Through a Common Lens,” “Life After a Brain Injury: Pathways to Increasing Quality of Life,” and “Increasing the Quality of Life of Youth in Transition: Breaking Down Barriers.” The deadline for proposals is June 15th, 2014.
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The Resource Zone
NCSET Partner Resources
Institute for Community Integration Releases Policy Research Brief on Community Living
Policy Research Brief
Employment First policies are spreading across the country as a mechanism to improve employment support systems and outcomes for people with disabilities. The Policy Research Brief, “RTC on Community Living,” published by the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota, uses an online, interactive design to show how states are adopting Employment First policies and connects readers with the actual policies and additional resources to advance employment.
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Other National Resources
7 Steps for Success
The Council for Exceptional Children has released “7 Steps for Success,” a book on the transition from high school to college. This transition is challenging for any student, but for young adults with disabilities, it can be even more difficult. In addition to increased academic demands and less structure and support, students have to navigate a disability services system very different from the one they knew in high school. This practical guide describes how the system for accommodations works and students’ rights and responsibilities within that system, uses the voices of actual professionals and college students to explain the skills and strategies students should develop while they are in high school to ensure success in college, and answers questions students with disabilities frequently ask about disclosing their disability in the admissions process.
Simply Said: Introducing Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Planning for employment and post-secondary education is an important step in preparing young adults with disabilities for life after high school, and it’s never too early to begin the planning process. In this short “Simply Said” video, youth with disabilities will learn how their local Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) counselor can help them be successful at school, at work, and in the community.
Supportive School Discipline Series
Continuing the efforts of the Federal Supportive School Discipline Initiative, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education hosted a Supportive School Discipline (SSD) Webinar Series in 2013-2014. The Series is designed to increase awareness and understanding of school disciplinary practices that push youth out of school and many times into the justice system, and provide practical examples of alternative approaches that maintain school safety while ensuring academic engagement and success for all students.
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Other National Events
Guiding Principle 3: Equity and Continuous Improvement in School Discipline and Climate
April 29, 2014
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern)
The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education will present “Guiding Principle 3: Equity and Continuous Improvement,” on April 29, 2014, the final webinar in their 2013-2014 Supportive School Discipline (SSD) Webinar Series. It will review Guiding Principle 3, as outlined in “Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline” from the school discipline guidance package, a product of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative. The Webinar will identify Guiding Principle 3 action steps for eliminating discriminatory school discipline policies and practices and explore how to implement each step.
Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity
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May 17, 2014 - May 21, 2014
The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014. This year’s theme is, “Learn from Yesterday. Live for Today. Envision Tomorrow,” May 19-20, 2014. Speakers will discuss topics such as inclusive design for accessibility, advocacy, technology, and education. Pre-conference events will include an “International Forum on the Human Rights of People with Disabilities” May 17, and an “Anniversary Reception” May 18, 2014; post-conference May 21 will include workshops on applying ADA requirements and “Classification of Functioning, disability, and Health.”
Huff Post Teach Plus Web Site
The Huff Post Teach Plus Web Site covers education news. The most recent entry (March 17, 2014) is “The Role of Assessments in Special Education.” In February 2014, Teach Plus published a report "The Student and the Stopwatch: How Much Time is spent on Testing in American Schools." A major finding of the report is that urban students spend an average of only 1.7% of the school year taking state and district-required tests. In this series, Teach Plus teachers comment on assessments and the impact they have on their students and teaching practice.
The MiddleWeb Blog features discussions of the middle grades. The most recent posting (March 29, 2014) is “Building Rapport with Inclusion Students Requires Extra Steps,” on the importance of and strategies for building rapport with inclusion students.
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Federal Grant Opportunities
Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2014
This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the U.S. Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards for fiscal year 2014 and provides actual or estimated deadlines for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts organized according to the Department’s principal program offices and include programs and competitions previously announced as well as those to be announced at a later date.
FY 2014 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.
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Additional Funding and Award Opportunities
ING Unsung Heroes Program Invites K-12 Educators to Apply for 2013 Class Project Awards
The ING Unsung Heroes awards program annually recognizes K-12 educators in the United States for innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence the children they teach. Educators are invited to submit grant applications describing class projects they have initiated or would like to pursue. Each year, one hundred educators are selected to receive awards of $2,000 each to help fund innovative class projects. At least one award is granted in each of the fifty United States, provided one or more qualified applications are received from each state. Three of the one hundred finalists will be selected for additional financial awards. First place: $25,000; second place: $10,000; and third-place: $5,000. All awards must be used to further the projects within the school or school system. All K-12 education professionals are eligible to apply. Applicants must be employed by an accredited K-12 public or private school located in the U.S. and be a full-time educator, teacher, principal, paraprofessional, or classified staff member working on a project with demonstrated effectiveness in improving student learning. Previous recipients of ING Unsung Heroes awards are not eligible to apply for another award. Deadline: April 30, 2014.
Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation: Grants for Youth with Disabilities
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Grants program is dedicated to helping young Americans with disabilities maximize their potential and fully participate in society. The foundation supports organizations and projects within its mission that have broad scope and impact and demonstrate potential for replication at other sites. A major program emphasis is inclusion: enabling young people with disabilities to have full access to educational, vocational, and recreational opportunities, and to participate alongside their non-disabled peers. Maximum award: $90,000. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations. Deadline for Concept Papers: June 1, 2014.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Announces Fiscal Year 2014 Mentoring Funding Opportunities
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has announced its fiscal year 2014 mentoring funding opportunities: The National Mentoring Programs support the implementation, delivery, and enhancement of mentoring services to improve outcomes for at-risk, high-risk, or underserved youth. The 2014 programs include: High-Risk Youth Mentoring Research (Deadline for applications: May 12, 2014); and the Multi-State Mentoring Initiative, supporting qualified, established mentoring programs as they expand services for underserved at-risk and high-risk youth and enhance services to implement additional research- and evidence-based mentoring practices. (Deadline for applications: May 27, 2014).
Target Accepting Applications for 2013 K-12 Arts Education Programs
Arts, Culture & Design in Schools, a charitable initiative of national retailer Target, is accepting applications from schools and nonprofit organizations for programs that bring arts and cultural experiences directly to K-12 students. The company awards grants of $2,000 for programs that enhance the classroom curricula with in-school performances, artist-in-residency programs, workshops, and so on. Programs must take place between September 2014 and August 2015.
Grants are restricted to K-12 educational institutions and organizations with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Deadline for applications: April 30, 2013 (grant awards announced in September).
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