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NCSET: Creating opportunities for youth with disabilities to achieve successful futures.

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Current Issue
February 2015

  • 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.

Legislative Announcements


Autism Speaks Putting New Focus on Adults
After prioritizing the needs of children for years, Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization is turning its attention to expanding housing options and supports for adults. Starting as a pilot project in three states, Florida, New Jersey and Illinois, Autism Speaks is working with locally-based disability advocacy groups and policymakers to identify legislative goals and mobilize its own network to push for expanded home and community-based services.


Obama Calls for Boost to Disability Programs
President Barack Obama wants Congress to halt planned cuts under sequestration and increase funding for special education and other programs for people with disabilities. The proposals come in Obama’s $4 trillion budget plan which was released 02/16/15. The budget highlights the president’s priorities for the government’s 2016 fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Included in the plan is an added $175 million in funding for special education services for school-age children with disabilities and $115 million for programs for young kids served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

View Past Legislative Announcements...

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Partner Resources


NCEO on Graduation Policies for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities Who Participate in States’ AA-AAS  (December 2014) PDF document
“Graduation Policies for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities Who Participate in States’ AA-AAS,” a report from the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO), found that nearly 70% of states’ policies indicated that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who participate in alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) can receive a regular diploma, but the criteria for doing so in these states were extremely varied, from those that have the exact same requirements to those that allow the IEP team to set the criteria. In states with policies that indicated that students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who participate in the AA-AAS could not receive a regular diploma, all but one state indicated that other end-of-school documents (e.g., certificates, special diplomas) were available to these students. States had wide variation across states in their graduation policies for this population. Available in pdf (48 pp).

View Past NCSET Partner Resources...

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Other National Resources


Internal Revenue Service Guide to Filing Taxes for Persons with Disabilities  (2014) PDF document
The IRS has developed a guide for filing taxes for persons with disabilities. Available in pdf (8 pp).

View Past Other National Resources...

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What's Happening

Other National Events


PACER Center Workshops for Parents and Professionals
February 19, 2015 - March 31, 2015
No Location Specified
In February and March 2015, PACER Center has upcoming many 2-hour workshops, some morning and some evening, in various locations throughout Minnesota, to parents of children with disabilities and the professionals working with families. Workshop topics include areas of interest in special education, including information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) program, early childhood, the area of transition for students 14-21 (housing, post secondary, employment, and community), assistive technology, and many more. The workshops can be attended in person or streamed on-line. Their website provides details of time, location, and registration.


Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
February 20, 2015 - May 8, 2015
Monroe Twp., NJ
Eden Autism Services has upcoming four workshops on aspects of teaching students with autism spectrum disorders. “Effective Inclusion for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” February 20, 2015, will cover learning characteristics, strategies and supports, social skills training, token systems, behavior management, and the role of the paraprofessional. “Professional Training in Behavioral Teaching Strategies,” April 16-17, 2015, will cover overview of autism, teaching techniques, principles of reinforcement, functional analysis of behavior, functional communication strategies, curriculum and IEP development, and classroom design and structure. “Teaching Social Skills,” April 24, 2015, will cover setting up a social skills group, assessment and goals, teaching strategies, generalization, and data collection. “Behavior Analyst Certification Board,” May 8, 2015, will provide BCBA required training. The workshops are is offered to professionals, paraprofessionals and parents interested in learning about autism and Applied Behavior Analysis.


Think College Capacity Building Institute
Capacity Building Institute
June 15, 2015 - June 16, 2015
Boston, MA
Think College will host a Regional Capacity Building Institute June 15-16. 2015, to support the development and expansion of high quality inclusive higher education throughout the Northeast region and beyond. It will bring together professionals from the region as well as from each of the national model demonstration projects (TPSIDs) to share strategies and build relationships.

View Past Other National Events...

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Get Wired!

Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2015
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 2015 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 2015 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

View Past Federal Grant Opportunities...

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Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


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, 2015.

View Past Additional Funding and Award Opportunities...

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
You are welcome to copy and paste portions of this E-News issue into your own e-mail newsletter; however, please credit the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition E-News and link to as follows: “Excerpted from NCSET E-News, an electronic newsletter of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), available online at NCSET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.”

Contributing to E-News
If you have information on new products, resources, funding opportunities, and conferences or training events and want to contribute these to a future E-News issue, please e-mail the information to or see Suggest an Item for E-News for more information.

Purpose of the Listserv
E-News features resources, activities, products, and funding information from around the country. E-News is dedicated to assisting youth, parents, educators, service providers, and administrators to stay connected and informed about secondary education and transition issues.

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E-News Disclaimer
The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition disseminates E-News to enhance public access to information about secondary education and transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention. E-News was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H326J000005). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, or any of the six partners of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, and no official endorsement should be inferred. Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material.


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This page was last updated on April 23, 2013.