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October 2006 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Department of Homeland Security and National Groups Collaborate to Help Individuals with Disabilities Prepare for Emergencies
On September 6, 2006, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced joint efforts with AARP, the American Red Cross, the National Organization on Disability, and the National Fire Protection Association to help individuals with disabilities prepare for emergencies. These entities have developed a brochure highlighting the key preparedness steps Americans with disabilities and their families and caretakers should take before emergencies occur. For a free copy of the brochure or for more information about emergency preparedness for individuals, families, and businesses, visit the project’s Web site or call 1-800-BE-READY.

Legislative Announcements


ADD’s FY 2003-2004 Bi-Annual Report: The American Dream Belongs to Everyone PDF document
The Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children & Families, has released its 2003-2004 bi-annual report to Congress, the President, and the National Council on Disability. The report describes some of ADD’s grantees and how they have changed lives through technology, new jobs, new opportunities, empowerment training, and protection of rights. Available in PDF (61 pages, 332 KB).


Appointees Sworn In to Serve on President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
On September 14, 2006, members of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID), appointed recently by President George W. Bush, were sworn in by Wade F. Horn, HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. The PCPID acts in an advisory capacity to the President and the HHS Secretary on matters relating to programs and services for persons with intellectual disabilities.


Tom Osborne Federal Youth Coordination Act Passed
On September 30, 2006, Congress passed the Federal Youth Coordination Act (FYCA), renaming it the Tom Osborne Federal Youth Coordination Act after its Congressional champion. The bill now moves on to the President for his signature. Among other things, FYCA will bridge policies and programs across the 12 federal departments and agencies that administer programs for at-risk youth.


Twenty-Sixth Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Twenty-Sixth Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is now available online. Volume 1 focuses on the children and students being served under IDEA and provides profiles of individual states’ special education environments. Volume 2 contains state-reported data tables and appendices.


U.S. Department of Education Announces Partnership with National Urban League
On September 21, 2006, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced a partnership with the National Urban League to increase student enrollment in free tutoring and after-school programs. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, low-income families can enroll their child in such supplemental educational services if he/she attends a Title I school that has been designated by the state to be in need of improvement for longer than one year.

Calls to Participate


Brain Injury Association of America Seeking Interview and Focus-Group Participants for Materials Review
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) is producing new materials for the National Brain Injury Information Center and Brain Injury Awareness Month 2007, and is seeking persons who would be willing to review them. Specifically, BIAA is recruiting persons with brain injury and their families for individual interviews and focus groups. The individual interviews with persons with brain injury will take 30-45 minutes each. Focus-group participants will be asked to review the materials and then participate in a 60-minute teleconference. Each participant will receive $50. Participants cannot be employees of or volunteers for BIAA or its state affiliates.


Comments Sought on Proposed Priorities for Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has proposed funding priorities for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research—specifically, four priorities for Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DDRPs) and seven priorities for Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs). Public comment is being sought on these proposed priorities. Deadline for comment submission: October 19, 2006.


Nominate Your Community for Consideration as One of the 100 Best Communities for Young People
America’s Promise - The Alliance for Youth has launched the 2007 100 Best Communities for Young People competition and invites communities across the U.S. to compete for the honor of having their locality named one of the nation’s great places to grow up. The program showcases communities that do an outstanding job of fostering safe and caring environments that effectively educate youth and help them become productive citizens. The 100 Best Communities receive national recognition; opportunities to participate in national and regional forums to share ideas and best practices; and tools to promote the award locally. Application deadline: November 3, 2006.


Participate in Lights On Afterschool! October 12, 2006
In the U.S. today, 14.3 million children go home alone after school. On October 12, 2006, more than 7,500 communities will celebrate Lights On Afterschool!, a nationwide event organized by the Afterschool Alliance to rally support for afterschool programs. The event calls attention to the importance of afterschool programs and the resources required to keep their lights on and doors open. See the Afterschool Alliance’s Web site for more information about the event, online event sign-up, a directory of events, an event planning kit, and event materials.


Submit a Presentation Proposal for the AAIDD (formerly AAMR) Annual Conference
The American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) (formerly AAMR) is soliciting presentation proposals for its 2007 Annual Meeting, which will focus on supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It will be held in Atlanta from May 21-24, 2007. Sub-themes to be addressed at the conference include: assessment of support needs, family supports, health and wellness supports, housing supports, positive behavioral supports, research to develop and improve supports, self-directed supports, and supports coordination. Proposal submission deadline: November 15, 2006.


Submit a Presentation Proposal for the Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, & Disability Conference
The theme of the Seventh Annual Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, & Disability conference, to be held April 3-4, 2007, in Columbus, OH, is “Rights, Responsibilities, & Social Change.” The conference will bring together a diverse audience to explore disability as both an individual experience and social reality that cuts across typical divisions of education and employment; scholarship and service; business and government; and race, gender, and ethnicity. The ADA Coordinator’s Office at the Ohio State University, sponsor of the conference, is seeking presentation proposals. Proposal submission deadline: October 31, 2006.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


A Blueprint for Change: Improving the System Response to Youth with Mental Health Needs Involved with the Juvenile Justice System  (June 2006) PDF document
The majority of youth involved with the juvenile justice system have mental health disorders. “Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System” (Skowyra & Cocozza, in press) offers a conceptual and practical framework for juvenile justice and mental health systems to use when developing strategies and policies to improve mental health services for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. This Research and Program Brief from the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice summarizes that framework. Available in PDF (12 pages, 451 KB).


A Difficult Passage: Helping Youth with Mental Health Needs Transition into Adulthood  (September 2006)
Developed by the National Conference of State Legislators and the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Youth, this Policy Brief discusses current state strategies for improving outcomes for youth with mental health needs and offers additional policy recommendations.


ADD Update: Special Issue on Emergency Preparedness  (June 2006) PDF document
ADD Update is the newsletter of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration on Children and Families. This issue includes information on emergency preparedness for individuals with disabilities, including tips and lessons learned from a recent conference on the subject; two articles on self-advocacy; project updates; and resources. Available in PDF (17 pages, 203 KB).


An Inventory of Federal and State Law, and Planning Guide Pertaining to Mental-Health Related Services in Special Education  (March 2006) PDF document
Planning Guide
This guide from the Minnesota Department of Education inventories existing laws and regulations that pertain to the provision of mental-health related services for students with disabilities. The guide also includes discussion questions that are intended to facilitate local planning. Available in PDF (56 pages, 841 KB).


Assisting Students Who Enter High School with Poor Academic Skills  (August 2006)
When students enter high school unprepared, what works to help them catch up and avoid dropping out? This brief from MDRC reviews recent evaluations of high school reforms and suggests that intervening in ninth grade, as students are adjusting to high school, is critical. In particular, semester-long intensive “catch-up” courses in reading and math can help get students back on track, and appear to benefit students over time.


From Goals to Results: Improving Education System Accountability  (2006)
This report from the Southern Regional Education Board includes recommendations and an action agenda, “From Goals to Results . . . Making It Happen,” intended to help states develop an education system that aligns K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions, including helping students make smooth transitions to the next education level (especially first grade, ninth grade, and college), building statewide education data systems that can track individual students and teachers over time, and achieving real-dollar growth in state budgets for K-16 education.


Healthy Relationships and Safe Sex: Tips for Self-Advocates PDF document
This handbook by Joe Meadours, an accomplished self-advocate from Alabama, teaches readers how to have healthy friendships and romantic relationships, as well as safe sex. It costs $15. Order form available in PDF (1 page, 45 KB).


How to do Action Research in Your Classroom PDF document
The Teachers Network Leadership Institute (TNLI), a project of Teachers Network, a nationwide, nonprofit education organization, has issued a booklet entitled, “How to Do Action Research in Your Classroom.” It was developed from TNLI’s experience in supporting teachers who were conducting action research in order to make connections among policy, practice, and student achievement. Available in PDF (20 pages, 3.9 MB).


Implementing Graduation Counts: State Progress to Date  (August 2006) PDF document
In 2005, all U.S. state governors signed the Graduation Counts Compact, making an unprecedented commitment to a common method for calculating state high school graduation rates. The governors also committed to leading efforts to improve state data collection, reporting, and analysis; reporting additional indicators of outcomes for students; and reporting annually on their progress toward improved high school graduation, completion, and dropout data. This report from the National Governors Association reports that in 2006, 13 states will report their graduation rates based on the Compact definition, and 39 states will do so by 2010. Available in PDF (18 pages, 1.9 MB).


Making Science Labs Accessible to Students with Disabilities  (September)
This brochure from the DO-IT Center at the University of Washington helps science teachers take steps to make their labs inviting and accessible to students with a wide range of disabilities. It provides an overview of two approaches to making science labs accessible—accommodations and universal design—and also provides links to additional resources on the topic.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


New Approaches to Improving Policies for Youth at Risk
Teleconference Call
October 4, 2006
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
This teleconference for state and local leaders will feature new approaches to improving policies for youth at risk. Howard Davidson, Director of the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law, will explain the ABA’s latest initiative for law, policy, and practice reform related to youth at risk, highlighting policy recommendations. Mala Thakur, executive director of the National Youth Employment Coalition, will discuss findings from NYEC’s recent examination of financing of alternative education pathways for struggling students and out-of-school youth. RSVP to

Using Flexible Technology to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners
Web-based Event
October 11, 2006
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
Making the general curriculum accessible to all students is an important aspect of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. During this free interactive Online Event from Wested’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative, Julie Duffield from WestEd and Lisa Wahl, education and assistive technology consultant, will introduce the Technology to Support Diverse Learners Web site to show how some existing technology resources available at most schools—talking text, Web resources, graphic organizers, and word processors—can be used both to help students access the curriculum and to differentiate instruction. The presentation will include examples from schools and districts using such technologies to differentiate instruction.

National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week

October 22, 2006 - October 28, 2006
Sponsored by the PACER Center and cosponsored by the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education, the National Education Association, and the National PTA, National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week is October 22-28, 2006. See the official Week Web site for ideas for how you can participate in this nationwide observance.

Understanding IDEA 2004 Regulations

October 31, 2006 - December 7, 2006
Special and general educators, administrators, researchers, and consultants are invited to attend these workshops on IDEA 2004, presented by the Council for Exceptional Children. Participants will learn what the regulations say and what they need to do about: highly qualified teachers, identifying students with disabilities, procedural safeguards, IEP and paperwork reduction, monitoring enforcement, reducing disproportionate representation, response to intervention, early intervening, NCLB assessment and accountability, discipline, and more.
October 31, 2006: Orlando, FL
November 6, 2006: Colorado Springs, CO
November 8, 2006: Garden Grove, CA
November 17, 2006: Dallas, TX
November 28, 2006: Seattle, WA
December 1, 2006: Boston, MA
December 4, 2006: Chicago, IL
December 6, 2006: Philadelphia, PA
December 7, 2006: Washington, DC
Registration form available in PDF (2 pages, 104 KB). Online IDEA 2004 seminars to be announced at a later date.

Chronic Illness and Disability: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-Based Care
November 2, 2006 - November 3, 2006
Houston, TX
There is a great need on the part of youth and young adults with chronic illness and/or disability, their families, and their healthcare providers to improve the transition from pediatric to adult-based medical services. At this conference, presented by the Baylor College of Medicine, leading experts in the field will discuss the current state of transition from pediatric to adult-based care, highlighting barriers and proposing solutions to providing this care.

Safe and Healthy Learners Conference: Making Connections: Integrated Strategies for Supporting Youth
November 8, 2006 - November 9, 2006
St. Cloud, MN
This conference, presented by the Minnesota Department of Education, will provide participants with the most accurate, up-to-date information about programs and strategies that identify assets, strengths, and resiliency factors for providing a solid foundation for success of the “whole child”. Anyone who works with children is invited to attend.

Partnering with Parents in Dropout Prevention: The Need and the How
Teleconference Call
November 9, 2006
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM   (Eastern)
In this teleconference presented by EDC, Dixie Jordan and Deborah Leuchovius of PACER Center will summarize research highlighting the role of parents in dropout prevention, describe the need for parents and families to stay involved in the education of their youth, and describe practical strategies that families can employ to help teenagers succeed. Then, Aurelio Montemayor of IDRA will present IDRA’s four dimensions of parent engagement—parents as (1) teachers, (2) resources, (3) decision makers, and (4) leaders and trainers—and how these dimensions are reflected in effective educational policy and parent engagement practice. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply; call 1-800-775-7654 or email for more information.

World Congress & Expo on Disabilities (WCD Expo)
November 17, 2006 - November 19, 2006
Philadelphia, PA
WCD Expo is dedicated to improving the lives of those with developmental and physical disabilities, their families, and professionals who work with them. It includes five comprehensive content tracks—healthcare, family, education, adapted physical activity, and assistive technology—in addition to an expo and disabilities career fair.

People on the Move: Using All Transportation Options (ADA and Beyond…)

November 30, 2006 - April 26, 2007
People on the Move is a two-day “train the trainer” initiative to increase accessible transportation in local communities. Travel trainers, transportation providers, ADA transportation coordinators, eligibility determination professionals, teachers and teaching assistants, transition facilitators, rehabilitation counselors, and human service agency staff are encouraged to attend. The training is free, but participation is on a first come, first-served basis, and an application with a refundable deposit is required. Sponsored by Easter Seals Project Action.
March 19-20, 2007: Austin, TX (Application deadline: February 6, 2007)
April 25-26, 2007: Anchorage, AK (Application deadline: March 2, 2007) ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


CAST UDL Lesson Builder
The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Lesson Builder from CAST provides educators with models and tools to create and adapt lessons that increase access and participation in the general education curriculum for all students. Users can learn about UDL, explore model UDL lesson plans, and create, save, and edit their own UDL lesson plans.


Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd)
CITEd’s Web site includes content for teachers, administrators, technology coordinators, and professional development coordinators; a Learn Center, Action Center, and Research Center; and a database of products that support math or reading. Users can also request technical assistance from CITEd.


DB-Link: The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness
The Web site of the National Information Clearinghouse on Children who are Deaf-Blind provides “information to nurture, empower, and instruct children who are deaf-blind,” including information about deaf-blindness, news and announcements, publications, research, and people and programs. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Data
This Web site from Westat provides public access to the most recent data about children with disabilities served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These data are collected annually by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs in accordance with Section 618 of IDEA. They are provided on this Web site in the form of tables produced for the Annual Reports to Congress (see



“Alternatives” Newsletter on A.T. and UDL from the TRE Center
The Technology Resources for Education (TRE) Center in New York State sends out bi-weekly e-mail newsletters with information on Assistive Technology, Universal Design for Learning, and other educational news and resources.


Self-Employment for People with Disabilities Listserv
This listserv was established by Diversity World to promote the development of self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities. It is intended to be a networking forum for entrepreneurs with disabilities and individuals or organizations who have an interest or role in hiring people with disabilities. Members are invited to post comments and questions and promote related events, publications, organizations, and resources.


Supported Employment Works!
Supported Employment Works! is the quarterly e-mail newsletter of the Supported Employment Consultation & Training Center. It covers topics related to supported employment and entitlement management, such as best practices, work incentives, legislative changes, and welfare reform.


This Week’s News: Youth in Transition
This blog, from the Youth Transition Funders Group (YTFG), has been active since November 2005. You can have the YTFG Newsfeed e-mailed to you.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


EdTech Online
Ed-Tech Online is a free, comprehensive, and easy-to-use grant directory that State and Local Education Agencies (SEAs and LEAs) can use to learn about U.S. Department of Education technology grants for states, districts, and local schools. It lists U.S. Department of Education technology grants in one place and includes strategic objectives, appropriations, contact names, and telephone numbers, as well as direct links to the government agencies offering specific grants. It also features "Grants at a Glance" synopsis tables, and a useful summary of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Titles I-X.

Federal Grant Opportunities


Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) Projects PDF document
The purpose of this program from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research is to provide research training and experience at an advanced level to individuals with doctorates or similar advanced degrees who have clinical or other relevant experience. ARRT projects train rehabilitation researchers, including individuals with disabilities, with particular attention to research areas that support the implementation and objectives of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and that improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Act. Application deadline: November 20, 2006.


Refining and Testing Mental Health Interventions and Services for Youth with Mental Illness who are Transitioning to Adulthood
The National Institutes of Health is soliciting research proposals aimed at refining and testing innovative interventions and service delivery models for youth with severe mental illnesses who are transitioning to adulthood. Care for individuals in this age range is complicated by the unique developmental context; the multi-problem nature of behavioral health conditions; the lack of evidence-based interventions and services adapted for this age group; and various discontinuities in service systems and health care financing. Responsive applications will propose research to address gaps in available intervention and service delivery strategies for this age group. Application deadline: November 28, 2006.


Research Fellowships Program
The purpose of the Research Fellowships Program from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research is to build research capacity by providing support to enable highly qualified individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to conduct research about the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. Only individuals who have training and experience that indicate a potential for engaging in scientific research related to the solution of rehabilitation problems of individuals with disabilities are eligible. Application deadline: November 27, 2006.


Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities--Research on Technology Effectiveness and Implementation for Children with Disabilities: Web-Supported Instructional Approaches
The purpose of this program is to: (1) improve results for children with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support educational media services activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom setting to children with disabilities; and (3) provide support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom setting. State educational agencies; local educational agencies (LEAs); public charter schools that are LEAs under state law; institutions of higher education; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated states; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations are invited to apply. Application deadline: November 13, 2006.


Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities Program
The purpose of this program is to ensure that parents of children with disabilities receive training and information to help improve results for their children. Parent organizations are invited to apply. Application deadline: November 13, 2006.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


VFW National Citizenship Education Teachers’ Award
The VFW's National Citizenship Education Teachers' Award recognizes the nation's top K-12 teachers (judged in the following divisions: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America's history and traditions. Winning teachers will receive a $1,000 cash award for professional development; a $1,000 cash award for their school; and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary National Community Service Conference in Washington, D.C. Teachers who win first place in each category will be invited to conduct a workshop at the conference. Nomination deadline: November 1, 2006.


William T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellows Program
The William T. Grant Foundation is soliciting applications for its Distinguished Fellows Program for mid-career researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. The program supports researchers to spend extended time working in a practitioner/policymaking setting, and practitioners/policymakers to spend extended time working in a research setting. The Program’s goal is to increase the supply of, demand for, and use of high-quality research in the service of improved youth outcomes. Proposal submission deadline: November 3, 2006.


Youth Garden Grants from the National Gardening Association
The National Gardening Association awards Youth Garden Grants to schools and community organizations with child-centered, outdoor garden programs. Programs should emphasize one or more of these elements: education or curricular/program integration; nutrition or plant-to-food connections; environmental awareness/education; entrepreneurship; and social aspects of gardening such as leadership development, team building, community support, and service-learning. Treatment facilities, camps, schools, community centers, clubs, youth groups, and intergenerational groups are eligible to apply, as long as they involve at least 15 children between the ages of 3-18 in their gardening project. Winning programs will receive educational materials from NGA and a Home Depot gift card. Application deadline: November 1, 2006.


Youth Leaders for Literacy to Awards Grants for Student-Led Projects
Youth Leaders for Literacy is an initiative of the National Education Association and Youth Service America (YSA) to help youth develop and implement reading-related service projects to begin on NEA’s Read Across America Day, March 2, 2007, and culminate on YSA’s National Youth Service Days, April 20-22, 2007. Proposed service projects must include a scheduled activity (e.g., read-aloud session, trip to the library, book-making, etc.) for each week of the project period. Twenty grants of $500 will be awarded. Applicants can apply either as individuals or groups and must be under age 22. Application deadline: November 24, 2006.

Scholarships and Awards


Harris Wofford Awards for Service and Service Learning
Youth Service America and the State Farm Companies Foundation are seeking nominations for the 2007 Harris Wofford Awards, which recognize youth (ages 12-25) for working toward “making service and service-learning the common expectation and common experience of every young person” by demonstrating commitment to involving their peers in service, youth voice, service-learning, or civic engagement activities. Nominees should be active volunteers at the local, state, or national level. Self-nominations are permitted. Finalists will be honored at the National Service-Learning Conference. The winner will receive $500 for him/herself and $500 for the nonprofit organization of his/her choice. Nomination deadline: October 19, 2006.

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End of Issue

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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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