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January 2009 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Achieve’s Web-based Toolkit on Postsecondary Connection
With support from the Lumina Foundation, Achieve created a Web-based toolkit, Postsecondary Connection, providing tools, data, and strategies to help higher education leaders link high school preparation and college success. Achieve seeks public input, ideas, materials, and links to help make the Web site an essential resource for postsecondary leaders, institutions, and systems. Contact Nevin Brown, Achieve’s Director of Postsecondary Initiatives, at with questions and ideas.


New National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families
The new National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families has been announced by “Through the Looking Glass,” a non-profit organization. The Center will focus on four priority areas for families of children with disabilities: custody, family roles and personal assistance, paratransit, and intervention with parents with cognitive disabilities and their children. This National Center is funded by NIDRR, U.S. Department of Education.

Legislative Announcements


Job Accommodation Network
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 became effective January 1, 2009. Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has not completed regulations for the new legislation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has developed a publication and a resource page regarding the Act. The new publication is JAN’s Accommodation and Compliance Series: The ADA Amendments Act of 2008. It will be periodically updated as additional information is made public.


U.S. Secretary Of Education Announces Guidance In Establishing Uniform High School Graduation Rate PDF document
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has announced the release of non-regulatory guidance to implement a uniform and accurate measure of the high school graduation rate that is comparable across States. The high school graduation rate non-regulatory guidance is available in pdf (38 pages, 577 KB).

Calls to Participate


Call for Proposals for International Conference on Self-Determination PDF document
The International Conference on Self-Determination, sponsored by the Center for Self-Determination, will be held May 3-5, 2009, in Winston, SC. Proposals for presentations on Self-Determination are due January 16, 2009.


VSA arts and CVS Caremark Announce National Call for Children's Art
The theme, “Celebrating Who I Am,” invites young people with and without disabilities across the United States to create visual art about their interests, talents, and dreams. All artwork submitted before the deadline will be included in an online art gallery. One piece of art from each state and the District of Columbia will be displayed during summer 2009 at Union Station in Washington, DC, as part of a children's art exhibition. Ten representatives of the exhibition will be selected to travel to Washington to be honored at a reception on Capitol Hill. New to the program this year, teachers who submit their students' artwork are eligible to receive one of five $1000 cash awards for use in their classroom. Deadline: March 6, 2009.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


A National Profile of the Health Care Experiences and Family Impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children in the United States, 2005-2006  (2008)
In this article from PEDIATRICS the authors use data from the 2005-2006 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) to examine impacts on families of children and adolescents with ASD and to investigate whether having access to a medical home is associated with less impact on the family.


Abilities on YouTube Project::Report  (June 2008)
In partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, YouTube hosted Project:Report, its journalism competition, which aimed to provide non-professional, aspiring journalists the opportunity to produce a video about an underrepresented community. The winning video explores the lives of the residents of Camphill, California. Camphill is a life-sharing community where adults with developmental disabilities live, learn, and work together. Residents experience a range of disabilities including but not limited to Fragile X syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy and Down's syndrome. Videographer Arturo Perez worked with Camphill residents to use the camera to document their own lives.


Disclosure Resources for Youth: “The Why, When, What, and How of Disclosure in an Academic Setting, After High School”  (January 2009)
Fact Sheet
This fact sheet, the newest in a series for youth with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them, is available on the Web site of the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. The fact sheets provide guidance and explore issues related to disclosing one's disability.


Education Week: Quality Counts 2009  (January 2009)
Quality Counts 2009 is an annual nationwide “report card” on the continual push for K-12 school improvement. The focus of the 2009 report is how English-language learners are putting schools to the test. Topics include how immigration transforms communities challenged by changing demographic patterns, straining the capacity of school districts; how English-learners pose a policy puzzle for states and school districts in trying to boost student achievement overall; the rights of English-language learners as the case law and statutes to provide them quality education evolve; and more.


Expanding Options: State Financing of Education Pathways for Struggling Students and Out-of-School Youth  (2008)
Policy Profile
The National Youth Employment Coalition's state policy profiles examine how various education options are accessing public funds in Indiana, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, including examples of how state policy affects programming at the local level.


Groups Call for Education Overhaul Based on International Benchmarks  (December 2008) PDF document
Three organizations representing governors and state educators have issued a report on ways states can help rebuild the U.S. education system, reports U.S. News & World Report. The National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers , and Achieve Inc. have released “Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-Class Education,” recommending that states adopt common practices linked to the best international teaching practices from high-performing countries, and use them to improve textbooks, recruit better teachers, and increase school accountability. Available in pdf (52 pages, 2.8 MB).


Homeless and Special Education Administrative Collaboration: Recommendations  (October 2008) PDF document
This policy forum proceedings document from the National Association of State Director’s of Special Education’s Project Forum discusses the unique challenges that administrators face in supporting implementation of services for children with disabilities who are homeless. It includes findings from a virtual forum in the areas of policy and practice issues and recommendations for change, with Forum participants’ recommendations on developing policies and practices for expediting enrollment and provision of services and coordinating programs and services, as well as contact, process and policy information and sample forms. Available in pdf (44 pages, 380 KB).


National Consortium on Leadership and Disability/Youth New Publications  (2009)
“Learning to Lead?: A Self-Assessment for Youth” and “Are They Learning to Lead?: A Self-Assessment for Staff” are resources for those working to improve youth development and leadership experiences for youth with disabilities in both generic, and disability specific programming.


PACER Project PRIDE New Handouts  (2009)
“Start Now to Chart Your Youth's Career Path After Graduation” looks at a variety of options available to young adults after high school, such as employment, postsecondary training or education and self-employment. “Help Your Young Adult Learn About Accessing Accommodations After High School” discusses methods to advocate for accommodations in postsecondary education and training, employment and for independent living. Both are produced by Project PRIDE, a parent information and training project funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.


Report of the Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergraduate Admission  (September 2008)
The role of the ACT and SAT in college admissions is hotly debated. To address public concern about standardized admission tests, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) convened a Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergraduate Admission, and it has released a report on its findings which found that although many colleges find benefit in using admission tests in undergraduate admission decisions, a “one-size-fits-all” use of standardized tests is not appropriate for all colleges and universities. The report is available in pdf (56 pages, 488 KB).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Cognition and Student Learning
Web-based Event
January 30, 2009
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will host a webinar to discuss research funding opportunities in its Cognition and Student Learning grant programs. In the webinar, IES staff will provide an overview of the Cognition and Student Learning research programs, the IES goal structure, and peer review process. This session is intended for researchers unfamiliar with the Cognition and Student Learning research program. It will highlight IES's interest in supporting cognitive research to improve instruction in special education.

Response to Intervention: Online Professional Development Modules and Resources for Implementation
Web-based Event
February 4, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
This free webinar, sponsored by WestEd's SchoolsMovingUp, the IRIS Center, and the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd, will feature online professional development modules and resources on Response-to-Intervention (RTI) provided by the IRIS (IDEA ’04 and Research for Inclusive Settings) Center for Training Enhancements. In “Response to Intervention: Online Professional Development Modules and Resources for Implementation,” Silvia DeRuvo, Senior Program Associate at the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd; and Naomi Tyler, Co-principal Investigator for the IRIS Center; along with Kathy Strunk, Director of Response-to-Intervention for Tennessee; and Debbie Williams, Program Specialist, Hardeman County, TN, will discuss how these resources are effective teaching tools for professional developers, district and site administrators, and teacher trainers involved in RTI implementation.

Easter Seals Project ACTION: Start-Up and Expansion of Transportation Services
Teleconference Call
February 10, 2009
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
As part of Easter Seals Project ACTION’s Distance Learning Seminar Series, Kelly Shawn, technical assistance specialist, Community Transportation Association of America, and Helen Thornton of the East Texas Center for Independent Living, will share tips on how to start up transportation service and expand existing transportation programs in rural areas. Resources related to the presentation will be posted and linked from the web page. It is not necessary to download the resources for the presentation, but the materials are intended to provide more in-depth information. Registration is open until February 3, 2009.

Sibling Support
Web-based Event
February 18, 2009
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM   (Central)
Siblings who have a brother or sister with a disability have unique experiences, not always recognized. Because they typically have the longest, latest relationship with their brothers or sisters with disabilities, it is important to include them in discussions about future planning, family support, service options, and advocacy. Though not always considered as key players, siblings can become leaders in the advocacy movement. Sponsored by the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, this session will give background and research on the sibling experience, with tips for supporting siblings from parents and professionals, and information on resources for siblings across the lifespan, including Sibshops, future planning, the Sibling Leadership Network, and others. Deadline for registration: February 11, 2009.

Students with Disabilities in Foster Care: What Special Education Advocates Need To Know
Web-based Event
February 18, 2009
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
Sponsored by the Advocacy Institute, this webinar will focus on the challenges facing students who interface with both foster care and special education.

Response to Intervention: Online Professional Development Modules and Resources for Implementation
Web-based Event
February 18, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
This free webinar sponsored by WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp, the IRIS Center, and the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd, “Response to Intervention: Online Professional Development Modules and Resources for Classroom Assessment,” will showcase online professional development resources to support the validated practice of monitoring students’ progress and curriculum-based assessment. Silvia DeRuvo, Kimberly Skow, Project Coordinator of The IRIS Center, and Debbie DeBerry, practicing School Psychologist in Hardeman County, TN, will discuss how these resources have been used to assist teachers in the essential RTI practice of progress monitoring.

Learning Disabilities Association 46th Annual International Conference
February 25, 2009 - February 28, 2009
Salt Lake City, UT
Sponsored by the LDA the conference will be held in Salt Lake City, UT, and focus on recent research and findings in learning disabilities. More information is on the website.

Special Needs Planning
Web-based Event
February 25, 2009
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM   (Eastern)
Sponsored by EPLiveOnline and Merrill Lynch, this webinar will focus on the financial, legal and social challenges faced by families of individuals with disabilities.

Family Literacy – Family Progress, 18th Annual National Conference on Family Literacy
March 1, 2009 - March 3, 2009
Orlando, FL
Presented by the National Center for Family Literacy and held in Orlando, FL, this conference for family literacy professionals and advocates will feature presentations on recent research and findings.

Celebrating the Legacy, Shaping the Future
June 10, 2009 - June 14, 2009
Washington, DC
Sponsored by Mental Health America and held in Washington, DC, the conference will celebrate Mental Health America’s Centennial, a century of achievement, and discuss upcoming steps to take for mental health. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Disability Scoop
Disability Scoop is a news web site for the developmental disability community.


The Children’s Bureau has a new, updated Web site, the Children’s Bureau Express (CBX). The content reflects Children’s Bureau priorities, including messages from the Children’s Bureau Associate Commissioner, news from the Children’s Bureau Training and Technical Assistance Network, Quality Improvement Centers, and grantees, as well as other federal, state, local, and tribal child welfare news. Other features include tools and strategies, the latest research, and other resources to help child welfare professionals in their work.


Resources in Spanish on the Child Welfare Information Gateway
The Child Welfare Information Gateway recently launched a “Resources in Spanish” section on its Web site, including a glossary of English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English child welfare terms, as well as resources on: child abuse and neglect; preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect; supporting and preserving families; out-of-home care; and adoption.


The HEATH Resource Center
The HEATH Resource Center provides online, web based resources on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Grantseeker Training Institute
From February 23-27, 2009, the Foundation Center, in Washington, DC, will hold a training institute, with instructors to help attendees develop strategies to sharpen their fundraising focus, learn to articulate their funding requests more powerfully, and network with peers and colleagues from the nonprofit world.

Federal Grant Opportunities


$2.2 Million for Safe Schools/Healthy Students Program
The Safe Schools/Healthy Students program supports integrated, comprehensive community-wide plans that create safe and drug-free schools and promote healthy childhood development. Deadline: March 4.


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2008-2009
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 2008-09 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 2008-2009 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2008-2009 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


Do Something Offers Grants for Community Action Projects
Grants of $500 each will be awarded to people age 25 and younger working to launch or expand community action projects, programs, and organizations. Applicants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens. Do Something grants cannot be used to fund travel costs, individual sponsorships, shipping costs, individual school fees, or fundraising expenses. Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and grants will be awarded weekly. Deadline: Rolling.


Hewlett-Packard: Innovations in Education Grants PDF document
The 2009 HP Innovations in Education grants provide funding for secondary school districts to launch innovative pilot initiatives that support the administrators and teachers responsible for student success in math and science in middle schools and/or high schools. Maximum award: $270,000. Eligibility: any public or accredited private school district or school system that serves at least 2000 secondary school (grades 6-12) students. Deadline: March 30, 2009. Further information is available in pdf (11 pages, 317 KB).


Igniting Creative Energy Prize Trips to Washington DC for Students
Four grand prize trips to Washington, DC, to share ideas with government and energy leaders, will be awarded to three K-12 students and one teacher who have worked to encourage students to learn more about energy and the environment. Student entries should demonstrate an understanding of what an individual, family, or group can do in their home, school, or community to conserve energy and help the environment. Students may choose to express their ideas in any creative format such as science projects, essays, stories, artwork, photographs, music, videos, Web based applications, multimedia projects, etc. They may also submit recent service projects. Deadline: March 13, 2009.


Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program Offers Support for Public-School Teachers
Grants to be used for project-related expenses will be awarded to K-12 teachers or paraprofessionals in the U.S. working with students to improve academic achievement through student engagement, student-teacher relationships, and/or building the capacity of teachers. Student involvement in the proposal design is encouraged. Applicants must be public school teachers or paraprofessionals working with students in grades 1-12. At least 50% of the school’s student population must be eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch programs at the time of application. Grant funds may be used for project-related expenses, e.g., materials, supplies, equipment, transportation, costs related to field trips, software, and other items required to implement and evaluate the project. Deadline: April 15, 2009.


Legacy Project: Listen to A Life
The Legacy Project Listen to A Life Contest connects generations through oral history. To enter, a young person must interview an older person (about his or her hopes and goals throughout life, how he/she achieved goals and overcame obstacles, or how his/her dreams may have changed along the way) and then write a 300-word essay based on the interview. Maximum award: a Lenovo ThinkCentre, iPod Classic, and $800 worth of Orchard Software; the winner’s school receives $25,000 worth of Orchard Software. Eligibility: each team must consist of a young person 8-18 years and a grandparent or grandfriend 50 years or over (co-entrant cannot be a parent; he or she can be a grandparent, older friend, mentor, neighbor, nursing home resident, etc.). Deadline: March 30, 2009.


Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant program Accepting Applications for Spring 2009 Grant Cycle
Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to parent groups associated with nonprofit public K-12 schools working to make improvements through facility enhancements and projects encouraging parent involvement. Any nonprofit school or parent group associated with a nonprofit public K-12 school is eligible to apply. Parent groups must provide an independent tax ID number as proof of official 501(c)(3) status; groups without nonprofit status should apply through their associated schools. Applicant schools must be more than two years old. Pre-schools are not eligible at this time. Priority is given to projects that promise permanent impact, such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor), or that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit. Deadline: February 13, 2009.


Motorola Foundation Calls for Innovation Generation Grants Applications
Grants of up to $75,000 will be awarded to organizations and teachers working to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education for pre-K and K-12 students in the United States, with a focus on girls and underrepresented minorities, and to teachers in STEM programming. Eligible programs include afterschool and summer science enrichment programs, activities that promote innovative technology use, and teacher-training initiatives. Priority will be given to pioneering programs that engage students and teachers in innovative, hands-on ways; teach innovation and creative problem-solving skills; engage Motorola employees as volunteers; take place in communities in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas where Motorola has an employee presence; have nationwide and/or online reach; demonstrate measurable outcomes; and are less than two years old. Grants will be for one year of project work, starting after June 2009. Deadline: February 15, 2009.


PeaceJam, Penguin, and Pearson Foundation Announce Global Call to Action Challenge
The new initiative encourages young activists to launch social justice and environmental service projects in their communities and will provide assistance in publishing their projects online and in print. The Global Call to Action Challenge encourages young people to document these projects in digital film and in writing. To enter, young people can create a short video (3-5 minutes) or write a magazine-style story (500-1500 words) about their project. The profiled project does not have to be completed, but has to have made real progress toward its goals. The project must be registered with the Global Call to Action and must address one of the ten GCA issues. Project leaders must be at least 13 years old in order to register the project. The challenge winners will be announced in April 2009. Deadline: March 1, 2009


Women Helping Others Foundation Invites Applications for Education/Literacy Grants
Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to nonprofits in the U.S. and Puerto Rico working to expand education and/or literacy programs for low-income children of all ages. In order to qualify for funding, an organization must have a 501(c)(3) status in their name (no affiliates accepted) and must have been incorporated for a minimum of three years prior to application. Preference will be given to organizations with an operating budget of $3 million or less, those not dependent upon government grants, and those with greater organizational program costs than personnel costs. Suggested funding requests include healthy snacks, books, educational field trips, etc. The foundation does not provide funding for salaries. Deadline: March 17, 2009.

Scholarships and Awards


Horace Mann Companies College Course Scholarship for K-12 Educators
K-12 educators with at least two years' experience in U.S. public or private schools will receive scholarships of up to $5,000, paid to the college or university where they take classes. Applicants must be K-12 educators currently employed by a U.S. public or private school and planning to enter a two- or four-year accredited college or university. The college must be a public or private, not-for-profit institute. Applicants must have at least two or more years of teaching experience. Scholarship applicants will be judged on a written essay and school and community activities. (Applicants who have all educational expenses paid through other scholarships and/or grants are ineligible. The program is not open to residents of Hawaii, New Jersey, and New York.) Deadline: March 12, 2009.


Through the Looking Glass 2009 College Scholarships for Students with Parents with Disabilities
Through the Looking Glass and its National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families are pleased to announce new scholarships specifically for high school seniors and college students who have parents with disabilities. These scholarships have different application procedures than in the past. There are two separate scholarship awards, with separate eligibility requirements. High School Seniors: to be eligible, a student must be a high school graduate (or graduating senior) by Summer 2009, be planning to attend college in Fall 2009 and have at least one parent with a disability. College Students: to be eligible, must be currently enrolled in a college or university, be 21 years of age or younger as of March 16, 2009, and have at least one parent with a disability. Five $1000 awards will be given in each category in Fall 2009; individuals may submit only one application per award period. Selection criteria include academic performance, community activities and service, letters of recommendation, and an essay describing the experience of growing up with a parent with a disability. Deadline: March 16, 2009.

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End of Issue

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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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