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December 2002 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Disabled Students and Multiple Policy Innovations in Higher Education PDF document
A research project based in the United Kingdom at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, this study involves a review of research and legislation relating to higher education and disability, interviews, a survey of higher and further education institutions, and case studies of institutions and students with disabilities.


On-Campus Outreach Project
The Department of Special Education at the University of Maryland has received a three-year (2002-2005) OSEP funded outreach grant designed to support personnel serving students ages 18-21 with significant disabilities in postsecondary settings. This project, On-Campus Outreach, will provide access to resources and information, create web-based training modules, pilot a Guide for Transition Services in Post-secondary settings, produce and distribute products, training, and information on practices and evaluation methods for supporting students with significant disabilities in post-secondary settings.


Study of State and Local Implementation and Impact of the IDEA
This five-year study, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs to study the impact of IDEA on districts, schools, families, and children/youth with disabilities, will address the issues of (a) improving performance for students with disabilities, (b) supporting students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, (c) facilitating the use of positive behavioral supports, (d) increasing positive parent involvement, and (e) promoting successful transitions for young children to school and young adults to post-school life.


Voluntary National Standard For Accessible Digital Instructional Materials To Be Developed
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $199,911 to the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC) at the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) in Wakefield, Mass., to develop a voluntary national file format for the electronic transmission of instructional materials for students who are blind and students with other disabilities. The creation of a standard file format is of significant importance to students, educators, publishers, technology specialists and advocacy groups, according to Robert H. Pasternack, assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services.

Calls to Participate


2nd Annual National Inclusive Schools Week
The 2nd Annual National Inclusive Schools Week will be celebrated December 2-6, 2002, in classrooms, schools, and communities throughout the country to highlight the nation's progress in providing a quality education to an increasingly diverse student population. National Inclusive Schools Week, which involved tens of thousands of participants in more than 2,000 schools and school districts in nearly all 50 states in 2001, is sponsored by the National Institute for Urban School Improvement, a project of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs.


Reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act
The Carl D. Perkins Act expires on October 1, 2003. OVAE has spent 2002 studying issues relating to this legislation, engaging teachers, school leaders, students, and policymakers in a dialogue. They will use this valuable input to help the Department of Education frame its proposal for career and technical education that will be transmitted to Congress in 2003. A key feature of this web page is to provide opportunities for educators, parents, students, and policymakers to discuss and comment on the current review of career and technical education, high schools, and community colleges.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Addressing the Transition Needs of Youth with Disabilities Through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) System  (December 2002)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  6
This brief discusses strategies for including work-based learning and youth development opportunities sponsored by the Workforce Investment Act in students’ IEPs. The brief also addresses youth development, youth employment, and how One Stop career centers can be accessed to support students with disabilities in their career development. Additional resources are included.


Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR): Improving Reading Comprehension Skills  (September 2002)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Secondary students with disabilities who participate in mainstream content-area classes are better able to succeed if they have adequate reading comprehension skills. Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) is a reading comprehension practice that combines modified reciprocal teaching with cooperative learning. Participants in this call will learn about the elements of CSR, how CSR is taught to students and used in the classroom, and the impact of CSR on students with disabilities. The transcript of this call is now available.


Creating Mentoring Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities: Issues and Suggested Strategies  (December 2002)
NCSET Issue Brief  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  4
This brief addresses the need for expansion of mentoring opportunities for youth with disabilities. Specifically, the brief a) outlines some of the benefits of mentoring for youth, b) defines the issue of the need for expanded mentoring opportunities for youth with disabilities, and c) presents strategies for including youth with disabilities in mentoring programs.


Integrating Service Systems at the Point of Transition for Youth with Significant Disabilities: A Model that Works  (December 2002)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  4
This brief focuses on coordination and integration of various services (e.g. education, vocational rehabilitation, developmental disabilities) so that youth with disabilities receive continued support to maintain and expand their employment and independent living outcomes throughout adulthood, in addition to accessing other community activities. This brief describes a “blended” service model that addresses this concern. It features a case study example, and discusses implications for implementing similar models in individual schools and developmental disabilities service systems. Additional resources are included.


Supporting Youth with Disabilities to Access and Succeed in Postsecondary Education: Essentials for Educators in Secondary Schools  (December 2002)
NCSET Issue Brief  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  5
This brief outlines the differences in assistance determination and provision encountered by youth with disabilities as they transition into postsecondary environments. It offers related recommendations on improving the transition process for youth with disabilities and addresses the importance of student inclusion in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.


Universal Design for Learning: A Strategy to Support Students' Access to the General Education Curriculum  (December 2002)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  3
This brief describes principles of Universal Design and provides information about Universal Design resources. Universal Design refers to the design of flexible classroom materials and activities, including use of technology, to facilitate the achievement of learning goals by students with widely varying abilities.


What Works Transition Research Synthesis Project  (December 2002)
NCSET What Works Data Brief  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  1
This introductory What Works Data Brief provides information about the project, its goals, and what readers can look forward to in terms of future reports and presentations.


Youth with Disabilities and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998  (December 2002)
NCSET Policy Update  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  2
This brief contains an overview of the Workforce Investment Act, workforce investment system management structures, and the One-Stop service system. It focuses on youth programs within WIA, and includes information about (a) funding structures and eligibility for youth activities, (b) Youth Opportunities Grants, (c) youth services and activities, (d) performance accountability, and (e) non-discrimination. This brief discusses implications for youth with disabilities in transition from school to work, and the wider benefits to workforce investment systems of effectively serving youth with disabilities.

Other National Resources


Business Leaders Gather to Increase Employment Among Disabled Americans  (November 2002)
Business leaders from around the country gathered in Washington D.C., November 18-19 to discuss ways to better incorporate Americans with disabilities into the workforce. What resulted was a summary of the Business Leadership Network’s fifth annual summit to learn how to access the vast pool of workers with disabilities.


Effective College Planning
The 8th edition of "Effective College Planning" is available in print and online. The comprehensive planning guide for students with disabilities who are contemplating post secondary education is published by the WNY Collegiate Consortium of Disability Advocates.


Every Child a Graduate: A Framework for an Excellent Education for all Middle and High School Students  (2002)
This report from the Alliance for Excellent Education focuses on the nation's 6 million most at-risk secondary school students who are most likely to leave school without a diploma or to graduate unprepared for a productive future. The report also includes recommendations on how to improve educational outcomes for these students.


High Tech Tools Lower Barriers for Disabled  (October 2002)
Information on how the latest generation of assistive technology is helping people with disabilities.


Impact: Feature Issue on Paraeducators Supporting Students with Disabilities and At-Risk  (2002)
This issue of IMPACT from the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, explores the growing role of paraeducators in our schools, describing some of the challenges of that role and offering guidance and success stories in the areas of training, teamwork, supervision, and professional development.


Latest Findings in Children’s Mental Health: Children’s Use of Mental Health Services Doubles, New Research – Policy Partnership Reports  (2002) PDF document
Report on results from a recent large-scale survey that examines access to services as well as quality and outcomes for youth. This new research focuses on service inequalities among children of different races, ages, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, and diagnoses. Available in PDF (156k, 4 pages).


Mental Health Referral in Juvenile Justice  (2001) PDF document
There is growing recognition within systems of care that youth involved with juvenile justice have high needs for mental health services that are often unmet. This study describes variables associated with mental health referral among 206 pre- and post-adjudicated youths (ages 10-18) who received mental health treatment during a six-month period at a Southern California juvenile correctional facility in 1995.


Public Alternative Schools and Programs for Students at Risk of Education Failure: 2000-01  (2001) PDF document
About 12 percent of the children enrolled in "alternative schools and programs for at-risk students were special education students with Individualized Education Programs", according to statistical data presented in a September 2002 report by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Available in PDF (550k, 92 pages).


The California Workforce Inclusion Act  (November 2002)
California has recently enacted a law that significantly expands the role and mandates of the One-Stop system regarding services for people with disabilities. This law could potentially serve as a model for other states. The article below also links to highlights from workforce laws from across the country.


Using NCLB to Improve Student Achievement: An Action Guide for Community and Parent Leaders  (2002) PDF document
Public Education Network has developed an indispensable guide for community leaders, parents and educators on how to use the No Child Left Behind law to advocate for improved public education. The guide cuts through education jargon and explains the law's new requirements for states, districts, and schools in clear terms. The guide is now available for free download. Single hard copies are free.

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


Expanding the Circle: Respecting the Past, Preparing for the Future — A Summer Program and Curriculum to Support American Indian Students in Transition
Teleconference Call
December 18, 2002
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Central)
NCSETS teleconference call held December 18, 2002 to describe “Future Bound,” a three-year federally funded project. The US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) funds this project, which at the time was in its third and final year. Two key components of the project model were described in detail: a new curriculum (published in September 2002) entitled, “Expanding the Circle: Respecting the Past, Preparing for the Future,” and an intense summer program model. Presenters discussed the components of the curriculum, why this curriculum is unique to American Indian youth, and various ways the curriculum has been implemented based on community and student need. Presented by Jean E. Ness, Ed.D., Project Director and Jennifer S. Huisken, MSW, Project Coordinator of Future Bound Project at the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota. The transcript of this call is now available.

Improving Adult Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities: Mapping and Aligning Resources
Teleconference Call
January 29, 2003
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Central)
NCSET teleconference call held on January 29, 2003 to focus on how various communities can engage in mapping strategies to better align services and supports for youth. Presented by Mary Mack, Associate Director of NCSET, University of Minnesota; Richard G. Luecking, President of TransCen, Inc.; and Kelli Crane, Program Manager of TransCen, Inc. The transcript of this call is now available.
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Get Wired!

Web Sites


Autism Information Center
This online information center, hosted by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, focuses on the activities of federal and federally funded programs and the resources produced by these programs. It includes: information about autism spectrum disorders; activities of the CDC and other federal agencies; state activities funded by the CDC; education, services, and research resources; and activities to help children use the Internet to learn more about autism spectrum disorders.


Division on Career Development and Transition, Council for Exceptional Children
The Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT), a division of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), is a membership organization for persons and families interested in career and vocational issues for students with disabilities. DCDT has evolved into a powerful force in the youth development field through its high quality publications, its active participation in policy development and implementation, its provision of effective national and regional conferences and its interdisciplinary approach to issues affecting children, youth, and adults of all exceptionalities.


Law, Health Policy, & Disability Center
The Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center is a leader in law, technology, education, and research, focused on improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities. Based at the University of Iowa College of Law, with a satellite office in Washington, DC, the Center concentrates on public policy and its impact on persons with disabilities, with an emphasis on self-determination and self-sufficiency. The Center helps expand, improve, and modify disability policy and other more general policies in order to improve the employment status of Americans with disabilities and increase their independence.


Special Education News
The Special Education News Web site and newsletter are journalistic publications centered on the news of the special education field. The Web site is also designed to offer unique resources to special education professionals in one convenient place, including places for educators and other to exchange their views, find links to important information at other sites on the Web, and keep track of news and events across the country. The web site also has a link for families.


TransQual Online: Improving Student Transitions to Life after High School
A Web-based assessment tool derived from New York State Education Department's Transition Quality Indicators Self-Assessment. TransQUAL Online assists district-based assessment teams to determine baseline needs, assess current performance, develop plans, and evaluate outcomes. Provided by Cornell University's Program on Employment and Disability and the New York State Education Department.



Forum Flash E-Newsletter from the Forum for Youth Investment
The Forum for Youth Investment is dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of youth investment and youth involvement by promoting a “big picture” approach to planning, research, advocacy and policy development among the broad range of organizations that help constituents and communities invest in children, youth and families. Its bimonthly e-newsletter, Forum Flash, highlights the latest work of the organization and the field.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


International Research and Studies Program - CFDA#: 84.017A
Provides grants to conduct research and studies to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields. Announced: September 26, 2002. Reopening and correction: November 8, 2002. Deadline: January 17, 2003.


National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)-Secondary Analysis Program – CFDA#: 84.902B
The purpose of the program is to encourage the preparation of reports that would not otherwise be available and that apply new approaches to the analysis and reporting of the NAEP and NAEP High School Transcript Studies data. Analyses and reports prepared under this program should potentially be useful to the general public, parents, educators, educational researchers, or policy makers. Deadline: February 7, 2003. Available in PDF (84k, 2 pages).


Vocational Rehabilitation Service Projects for American Indians With Disabilities - CFDA#: 84.250D
Purpose of the program is to provide vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near Federal or State reservations, consistent with their individual strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and informed choices, so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership. Announced: November 15, 2002. Deadline: March 31, 2003.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


2003 Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program
A unique opportunity for U.S. primary and secondary school teachers and administrators to participate in a fully funded three-week study visit to Japan. Sponsored by the Government of Japan since 1997, this program has enabled 3,100 educators to travel to Japan and study the Japanese culture and educational system. This year, 600 more American educators will be selected to participate in the FMF program. Application deadline: December 10, 2002.


Anne Ford Scholarship
The Anne Ford Scholarship is a $10,000 award given to a high school senior with an identified learning disability (LD) who is pursuing an undergraduate degree. Financial need will be strongly considered. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply. Only U.S. citizens are eligible. The ideal candidate is a person who has faced the challenges of having a learning disability and who, through perseverance and academic endeavor, has created a life of purpose and achievement. Application deadline: December 31, 2002.


Character's Cool Contest
The second annual Character's Cool Contest is an opportunity for U.S. secondary school students to help stop school violence by practicing ethical behavior and, to win prizes. The Character's Cool Contest is actually three contests in one: students can fill out an online survey to be entered in a drawing to win prizes for themselves, schools with the most participation win prizes, and individuals can enter an essay contest to win cash prizes. All U.S. middle and high school students (ages 11-18) are eligible to participate. Contest entries will be accepted January 1 through January 31, 2003.


NEA Fine Arts Grant Program
Sponsored by the National Education Association Foundation, the NEA Fine Arts grants are awarded, through local NEA affiliates, to enable fine arts teachers to create and implement fine arts programs that promote learning among students at risk of school failure. Programs must address the arts (e.g., painting, sculpture, photography, music, theater, dance, design, media, or folk arts). Ten grants will be awarded in the amount of $2,000. Grant funds may be used for resource materials, supplies, equipment, transportation, software, and/or professional fees. Application deadline: February 3, 2003.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
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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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