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January 2007 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


President Bush Signs the Combating Autism Act of 2006
On December 19, 2006, President Bush signed the Combating Autism Act of 2006. It authorizes expanded activities related to research on and prevention and treatment of autism spectrum disorder through FY 2011. There are more than 1.5 million cases of autism in the U.S.


U.N. General Assembly Adopts the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
On December 13, 2006, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( Once the Convention is adopted, signed and ratified by national governments, it will have an impact on national laws that will transform how people with disabilities can live their lives and offer a way forward to ensure that those with disabilities enjoy the same human rights as everyone else—in education, employment, access to buildings and other facilities, and access to justice.

Calls to Participate


Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities: Create or Join a Next Chapter Book Club
The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) provides adolescents and adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to read and learn to read, talk about books, and make friends in a fun community setting. NCBCs meet weekly in local bookstores and cafés across the country to read and discuss books of their choosing. NCBC members range from those who read well to those who do not read at all. On this Web site, you can sign up to be a member, facilitator, host site, or sponsor organization of an NCBC.


Children and Youth with Learning Disabilities: Enter the “30 Voices of LD” Competition
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is seeking works of art, photography, poetry, videos, essays, short stories, websites, blogs, etc. that express what life is like for individuals with learning disabilities. From the works submitted, NCLD will select 30 entries to showcase on its Web site and at its benefit dinner in April. In addition, NCLD is offering a grand prize of $500 for outstanding works from each of the following age groups: children (ages 4-13), teens (ages 14-17), and adults (ages 18+).


Educators and Former Educators: Apply to New Leaders for New Schools
New Leaders for New Schools (NLNS) is a non-profit organization that trains individuals from within education, as well as former educators, to become urban public school principals in Baltimore, California’s Bay Area, Chicago, Memphis, Milwaukee, New York City, and Washington, DC. NLNS is currently seeking applicants for its 2007-08 cohort of trainees. Applicants should have an unyielding belief in the potential of all children to achieve academically, a record of success in leading adults, and demonstrated instructional knowledge (with a minimum of two years of K-12 teaching experience). Application deadline: March 1, 2007.


Secondary Special Education Professionals: Apply to the KU Online TransCert Program
University of Kansas (KU) TransCert is a project providing online graduate training for secondary special education professionals through a 12-hour block of online graduate courses plus a 3-hour culminating experience. The program provides a comprehensive approach to preservice transition training and an opportunity for current special education professionals to increase their instructional strategies in transition service and delivery. Applicants for Fall 2007 are now being sought. Student stipends are available. Application deadline: March 16, 2007.


Submit a Paper Proposal for Building on Family Strengths Conference
The RTC on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health is seeking paper proposals for its Building on Family Strengths Conference, to be held May 31-June 2, 2007 in Portland. Suggested paper topics include effective programs/practices; culturally competent services/supports; family- and youth-driven services/supports; proven and promising approaches for promoting resilience and empowerment and building child and family assets; strategies for research in underserved communities; family/youth/professional collaboration in research and evaluation; lessons from education, special education, child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, and wraparound services; and using research and evaluation for program and systems change. Proposal submission deadline: January 26, 2007.


Teachers, Share Your Alternate Assessment Administration Experiences
The National Alternate Assessment Center (NAAC) is gathering stories about effective and/or ineffective practices in administering alternate assessments. Share your administration stories to help NAAC identify successful alternate assessment administration practices used across the nation.


Youth: Apply to Participate in Oxfam International Youth Partnerships
Oxfam International Youth Partnerships (OIYP) is a global network of youth (ages 18-25) working with their communities to create positive, equitable, and sustainable change. Selected youth will have the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge, and understanding, and to meet other like-minded youth. OIYP is open to young people of any nationality or ethnicity and any level of education. Indigenous and marginalized youth are especially encouraged to apply. Application deadline: January 31, 2007.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Models of Collaboration and Cost Sharing in Transition Programming  (January 2007)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  6 ,  Issue  1
This brief describes two funding tools that are increasingly used in collaborative relationships. Both blended funding and braided funding pool financial resources to maximize outcomes. These tools can help maintain and sustain effective relationships in transition programming.


Programs and Practices for Special Education Students in Alternative Education Settings  (January 2007)
NCSET Research to Practice Brief  • Volume  6 ,  Issue  1
This brief shares some findings from the University of Oregon’s descriptive study, "What do they do there? Examination of alternative education schools, programs, and practices for special education students."

Other National Resources


2005 Census Data Regarding People With Disabilities  (December 2006)
Information Bulletin
This Information Bulletin from Steve Gold, a disability rights attorney, provides a summary of the 2005 American Community Survey data regarding people with disabilities, including disability prevalence, employment of persons with disabilities, and socioeconomic status of persons with disabilities.


Addressing America’s Dropout Challenge: State Efforts to Boost Graduation Rates Require Federal Support  (November 2006)
This report from The Center for American Progress and Jobs for the Future shows that although high school graduation rates are far lower than previously understood, federal action could significantly close the graduation gap. These two organizations recommend that Congress pass the proposed Graduation Promise Act of 2007, which would establish a federal commitment to partner with states, districts, and schools to raise graduation rates. It would seed and scale up effective strategies and school designs for student retention and achievement, and would put these proven strategies to use immediately in the nation’s worst-performing high schools.


Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood: Rethinking the Safety Net for Vulnerable Young Adults  (October 2006)
Event Materials
This Web page provides links to PowerPoints and audio files from this conference of the Chapin Hall Center for Children, held October 18-19, 2006, which brought together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to offer a comprehensive picture of early adulthood for youth without family support or for those whose physical, mental, or behavioral problems create special barriers to independence. Panel topics included Youth with Health and Mental Health Needs, Youth Involved in the Criminal Justice System, Youth in the Child Welfare System, Youth with Disabilities, and Immigrant Youth.


Analyses of State Performance Plan Data for Indicator 1 (Graduation) and Indicator 2 (Dropout)  (April)

The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD) was assigned the task of analyzing the information that states provided about their performance and activities related to Indicator 1 (Graduation) and Indicator 2 (Dropout) in the 2005-2010 State Performance Plans (SPPs), which were submitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs in December 2005. These reports summarize NDPC-SD’s findings. Available in PDF: (20 pages, 95 KB) and (20 pages, 87 KB).


Charter High Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap  (December 2006)
This guide from the U.S. Department of Education profiles eight charter secondary schools that are making headway in meeting the achievement challenge. It describes common themes among these schools: they are mission-driven, focus on college preparation, teach for mastery, provide wraparound student support, value professional learning, and hold themselves accountable.


Education Map of the Decade  (2006)
This map from the KnowledgeWorks Foundation depicts the forces affecting education and the economy. It is structured as a grid that presents the intersection between six key drivers of change/trends and five critical impact areas which represent key areas of activity where the major trends are revealed from different perspectives. Each intersection is marked by one or more specific trends likely to affect education. Together, these multiple intersections suggest an emerging future landscape of issues, concepts, and phenomena that will shape the broader context for education and its stakeholders. Available in PDF (2 pages, 499 KB).


Family-to-Family Fact Sheets in Spanish  (December 2006)
Fact Sheets
The Parent to Parent of New York State–Family to Family Healthcare Information and Education Center has developed fact sheets in Spanish to assist the parents they serve. Fact Sheet titles include HCBS Waiver Programs, Medical Appointments, Medical Information on the Internet, Prescription Medications, Record Keeping, and Relieving Stress. A 34-page Care Notebook in which families can keep a complete record of a child’s medical history is also available in Spanish.


National Survey on Service-Learning and Transitioning to Adulthood Final Report  (November 2006)
The final report for the National Youth Leadership Council’s “National Survey on Service-Learning and Transitioning to Adulthood” is now available. This nationally representative survey of over 3,000 young adults, which was conducted on behalf of NYLC by Harris Interactive, reveals service-learning’s significant impact on the youth-adult transition.


Proactive Culturally Responsive Discipline  (November 2006) PDF document
This Exemplar from the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems discusses several problems with the ways that schools tend to intervene with students’ challenging behavior. Available in PDF (9 pages, 326 KB).


Research-to-Practice Books from DO-IT: Creating an E-Mentoring Community, and Creating a Transition Program for Youth  (2007)
These research-to-practice books from DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) provide guidelines, respectively, 1) for creation of an e-mentoring community, with sample messages and materials to train and support mentors and protégés, and 2) for designing and implementing a transition program for teens that includes technology access, summer study, mentoring, peer and neer-peer support, college preparation activities, and work-based learning. Both books are available online.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


LD and the Juvenile Justice System: Understanding At-Risk Behavior and Ensuring Effective Services and Supports
Web-based Event
January 23, 2007
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
Youth with learning disabilities (LD) are at increased risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. During this live online discussion, Peter Leone and Lili Garfinkel, two experts on this topic, will answer questions and describe specific behaviors that place youth with LD at-risk. They will also provide information about how parents, schools, mental health providers, juvenile justice professionals, and others can provide options, appropriate treatment, solutions, and resources. Sponsored by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Participation is free.

Response to Intervention (RtI) and the Connections to Neurodevelopment
Web-based Event
January 23, 2007
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
This interactive presentation from WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp Initiative will showcase the connections between response to intervention (RtI) and neurodevelopment by highlighting several programs and their potential impact on student learning. Each program discussed will be viewed through a neurodevelopmental lens. The event will also highlight how RtI is being used in several states and how each of the highlighted programs complement a neurodevelopmental understanding of learning variation among struggling learners. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Parent Center Leaders United: Common Experience, Uncommon Commitment
January 24, 2007 - January 26, 2007
Washington, DC
The national conference will provide an overview of topics that affect parents and professionals. Participants will network, learn leading strategies, and gain ideas from experts from across the country. Sessions will be offered on Leadership and Management, Outcomes for Children, Technology, and more. Sponsored by the Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers.

National Organization for Law Students with Disabilities Planning Conference
January 27, 2007 - January 28, 2007
Washington, DC
Law students are invited to attend this conference, where they will help create a new national organization for law students with disabilities. Conference participants will identify the needs of a diverse student population, define organizational goals, draft a mission statement, create a structure and draft bylaws, and elect officers. Conference attendance is free and travel stipends are available. Co-sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law, and the Law Student Division. Flier available in Word (1 page, 33 KB).

Key Steps for Cities: Using Strategic Assessment to Serve Disconnected Youth
Teleconference Call
January 31, 2007
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
This Municipal Network for Disconnected Youth teleconference will focus on strategic assessment as a key step for cities concerned about disconnected youth. Participants will hear from representatives of three cities supported by the Youth Transition Funders Group which are wrapping up two-year strategic assessment and planning efforts. Boston, Portland, and New York City will report on the benefits of taking a comprehensive look at the circumstances of out-of-school youth and struggling students and developing and implementing cross-system plans and strategies to better meet their needs. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Resource Allocation to Support Student Achievement
Web-based Event
February 14, 2007
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
Some school funding dollars carry restrictions on their use while others may be used for many purposes. Planning how to spend each of these dollars to maximize the impact on student achievement and meet the goals and objectives of No Child Left Behind is critical, and can only be achieved when resources are used strategically to support fundamental changes in educational practice over time, changes that address specific identified needs at the school or district level. This session from Wested’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative will provide information on funding opportunities and demonstrate how to align resources to school improvement needs. Participation is free, but registration is required.

NASSP’s 91st Annual Conference and Exposition: Advocate, Lead, Achieve
February 23, 2007 - February 25, 2007
Las Vegas, NV
The 2007 National Association of Secondary School Principals conference will provide attendees—including middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and aspiring school leaders—the opportunity to improve and meld their advocacy and leadership skills with the end of raising student achievement.

Mobilizing New Mentors . . . Through Faith- and Community-Based Collaborations

February 26, 2007 - February 28, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
This training will assist and challenge mentoring programs in exploring avenues for finding and recruiting new mentors, particularly through faith- and community-based collaborations. It is hosted by, a division of National Network of Youth Ministries; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice; and The Corporation for National and Community Service. seeks to enlist, encourage, equip, and empower adults in the church and community to become mentors to youth.

Stand Up for Public Education: The National Conference on Education
March 1, 2007 - March 4, 2007
New Orleans, LA
Speakers at this conference will include Sandra Day O’Conner, John P. Kotter, Terrence E. Deal, David Berliner, and Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness. Program sessions to be offered fall under the following topics: Instruction, Assessment, and Data Management; Leadership; Policy and Politics; Public Engagement; and Systems Thinking.

Disability Policy Seminar

March 4, 2007 - March 6, 2007
Washington, DC
The 2007 Disability Policy Seminar will bring together state and local executives and affiliates, self-advocates, families, providers, and others for two days of in-depth policy discussions focused on issues affecting people with disabilities and their families. On the final day, participants will visit Capitol Hill to deliver a unified message that the federal government cannot continue dismantling the benefits and services important to the disability community. Co-hosted by The Arc of the U.S., United Cerebral Palsy, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Association of University Centers on Disability, and the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities.

Access to Community Living: Promoting Independence and Choice: The 2007 New Freedom Initiative Conference
March 5, 2007 - March 7, 2007
Baltimore, MD
“Choice and Independence” is a key ingredient of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) vision for a person-centered long-term services and supports system for the future. This conference will focus on the policies, programs, and tools—including opportunities authorized by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2007—available to shape and carry out that vision. Presentations will present CMS’s Roadmap for Reform and provide perspectives from consumers and advocates. Sessions will address components of programs that promote independence and choice. Participants will have opportunities to meet with CMS officials to discuss the roadmap and available options and offer recommendations for reform.

23rd Annual Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities
March 12, 2007 - March 13, 2007
Honolulu, HI
The Pacific Rim Conference is one of the top-rated international educational offerings for persons with disabilities, family members, researchers, service providers, policymakers, and professionals in the various disciplines in the diverse field of disabilities. Pac Rim provides opportunities to learn from one another; share resources and ideas that support quality of life, community inclusion, and self-determination for all persons with disabilities and their families; and help shape our world community.

18th Annual National Service Learning Conference
March 28, 2007 - March 31, 2007
Albuquerque, NM
The National Service Learning Conference is the largest gathering of youth and practitioners from the service-learning movement: nearly 3,000 participants from all 50 states and 12 countries, including more than 900 youth. More than 200 workshops will be offered, in addition to showcases of service-learning projects and keynote speeches from internationally recognized experts. Those unable to attend can also participate in the conference “virtually.” Presented by the National Youth Leadership Council. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE): Teaching and Learning Resources from Federal Agencies
This Web site from the U.S. Department of Education is a clearinghouse of teaching and learning resources from federal agencies in the following subject areas: Arts & Music, Health & Physical Education, History & Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, and Science.


Genetics Home Reference: Your Guide to Understanding Genetic Conditions
This Web site from the National Institutes of Health includes extensive information on genetic conditions, genes, and chromosomes, as well as tools including a handbook, glossary, and information on how to find a genetics professional in your area.


Google Accessible Web Search for People with Visual Impairments
Accessible Search is a Google Labs product designed to identify and prioritize Web search results that are more easily usable by blind and visually impaired users. Regular Google search helps you find a set of documents that is most relevant to your tasks. Accessible Search goes one step further by helping you find the most accessible pages in that result set. Google Accessible Search examines the HTML markup on a Web page and favors pages that degrade gracefully—pages with few visual distractions and pages that are likely to render well with images turned off.


National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
This Web site from the National Institutes of Health includes information on health and human development topics and clinical trials, information on NICHD research, and information on funding from NICHD for research and training.



E-mail Updates from the National Youth Leadership Council
The National Youth Leadership Council offers three e-mail update lists: NYLC News Flash (updates from NYLC), The National Service-Learning Conference Bulletin (updates on the annual conference), and The NYLC Leader, NYLC's quarterly newsletter, which includes new from NYLC and developments in the field of service-learning.


Forum For Youth Investment: Forum Flash, Youth Policy Action Center Alerts, CFK Weekly
You can now subscribe to three e-mail newsletters from the Forum for Youth Investment in one place. Forum Flash ( provides updates on the work of the Forum for Youth Investment. Youth Policy Action Center Alerts ( provides opportunities to take action from organizations in the child and youth field. CFK Weekly ( provides updates from organizations in the child and youth field.

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Funding Forecast

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


K-12 HP Technology for Teaching Grant Initiative
The K-12 HP Technology for Teaching grant initiative is designed to support innovative and effective uses of technology in the classroom. HP will grant at least 130 awards to K-12 public schools using a collaborative, team-based approach to implementing technology integration projects. School teams consisting of five teachers will receive the equipment, professional development, and support they need to effectively integrate technology into their instruction. Based on the outcomes of those projects, some recipients may receive additional, larger grants from HP in 2008. Application deadline: February 15, 2007.


Promoting Academic Success of Boys of Color Grants

The Promoting Academic Success Initiative (PAS) of the FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill ( will award five-year grants to public school districts to promote the academic success of boys of color ages 3-8. PAS works to mobilize and support partnerships among Head Start, public schools, families, and community agencies to improve the academic and social development of boys of color; and to identify, evaluate, and disseminate the most promising multi-systemic (family, school, community) interventions that foster such development. Application deadline: February 15, 2007. Please email Crystal Smith at to request an application.

Scholarships and Awards


Best Buy Scholarship Program
The Best Buy Scholarship Program awards scholarships to high school seniors who are entering a U.S. college, university, or technical center in the fall immediately following their senior year. Recipients are selected based on academic achievements and volunteer work. Application deadline: February 15, 2007.


National School and Business Partnerships Award
The National School and Business Partnerships Award recognizes exemplary partnerships between K-12 public schools and/or school districts and businesses across the country. Award winners award receive national recognition and the schools/districts receive $10,000 to support partnership efforts. Sponsored by the Council for Corporate & School Partnerships. Application deadline: January 30, 2007.


William Diaz Impact Award
The Disability Funders Network’s William Diaz Impact Award honors grantmakers who have a positive impact on the disability community and whose work encourages the foundation community to be more inclusive of disability. The Network presents the award to a funder who has awarded grants that have significantly enhanced and/or supported programs that break down physical and attitudinal barriers that keep people with disabilities from full participation in their communities and whose work encourages the foundation community to promote inclusion, integration, and equal rights for this population. Nomination deadline: January 12, 2007 (extended).

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End of Issue

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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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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.

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