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December 2003 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Benefits Planning, Assistance and Outreach (BPAO) Program: Social Security Online
The goal of the BPAO Program is to better enable SSA’s beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed choices about work. BPAO centers across the U.S. provide individualized information about how work or earned income will affect benefits, housing, and other daily living needs. See their state-by-state contact list for information in your area.


New Technical Center for Character Education and Civic Engagement Announced
Secretary Paige announced that the U.S. Department of Education will establish a Technical Center for Character Education and Civic Engagement. The center will provide technical assistance to grant recipients; a Web site clearinghouse with answers about resources and support; publications and seminars on effective character education programs; and internal training for Department of Education staff about implementing character education.

Legislative Announcements


Assistant Secretary Pasternack Resigns
Robert H. Pasternack has resigned, effective January 2, as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, a post he has held since August 2001. In a letter to President Bush, Dr. Pasternack said he feels he "can continue to serve children with disabilities and their families in the private sector while at the same time trying my best to achieve the educational goals that you have set for our country."

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


High Schools of Authentic and Inclusive Learning: Findings of the Research Institute on Secondary Education and Reform for Youth With Disabilities (RISER)  (September 2003)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Transcript of the teleconference call held September 24, 2003. Presenters shared research from RISER, discussing how inclusion and teaching of high intellectual quality can be integrated, and to what ends, for students with and without disabilities; the extent to which authentic and inclusive practices at the secondary level relate to postschool outcomes for students with and without disabilities; the ways in which external standards and assessments influence practices; how schools facilitate career development and postschool planning for students with and without disabilities; and the nature of school organizational capacity in schools with authentic and inclusive practices. Presented by Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, Co-Director, and Bruce King, Principal Investigator, of RISER.


Teaching for Understanding  (November 2003)
NCSET Research to Practice Brief  • Volume  2 ,  Issue  4
While traditional lectures, exercises, and drills may help students memorize facts and formulas and get the right answers on tests, this time-honored style of teaching does not help students achieve the depth of understanding they need to understand complex ideas and apply knowledge in new settings or situations. This Research to Practice Brief outlines research regarding an approach called “teaching for understanding,” which strives to engender in students a depth of understanding on academic topics that enables them to apply the knowledge in various settings. Suggestions and resources for application of this approach are also provided.


Youth Employment  (December 2003)
NCSET NLTS2 Data Brief  • Volume  2 ,  Issue  2
This NLTS2 Data Brief provides a detailed description of employment trends for youth with disabilities documented within the National Longitudinal Study-2. The NLTS2 has recently gathered data on work-study employment and regular paid employment of youth with disabilities, with a focus on hourly pay, disability categories, demographic differences in employment, and individual differences such as gender, age, race/ethnicity, and household income in relation to employment. This brief provides a concise and organized presentation of the results, including descriptive graphs.

Other National Resources


Access to Specialty Medical Care for Children With Mental Retardation, Autism, and Other Special Health Care Needs  (October 2003) PDF document
Over a third of children with autism, over a fifth with mental retardation, and over a fifth with other types of special health care needs had problems obtaining needed care from specialty doctors in the preceding year, according to a national survey of 2,220 families of children with special health care needs in 20 states. Results from this study have been published in the October 2003 issue of the journal, Mental Retardation. The most common problems included getting referrals and finding providers with appropriate training. Children with unstable health conditions, autism, or those whose parent was in poor health were at greater risk for problems. Available in PDF (11 pages).


Boosting Student Achievement: New Research on the Power of Developmental Assets  (October 2003) PDF document
Data collected from several communities revealed that middle and high school students who experienced more positive relationships, opportunities, and personal strengths or, "developmental assets", were more likely to have high GPAs, regardless of their family income, family composition, or race-ethnicity. This relationship is supported by both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Published by the Search Institute. Available in PDF (10 pages).


Disability Employment 101: Learn to Tap Your 'HIRE' Potential  (2003)
The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has released a guide to acquaint business leaders with programs and resources available to assist them in hiring people with disabilities. It includes information about how to find qualified workers with disabilities, how to put disability and employment research into practice, and how to model what other businesses have done to successfully integrate individuals with disabilities into the workforce.


Essentials of High School Reform: New Forms of Assessment and Contextual Teaching and Learning  (September 2003) PDF document
In 2002, IEL's Center for Workforce Development and the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) organized two roundtable meetings on aspects of high school reform critical to helping students develop the range of skills needed to be successful and that take into account the varied learning styles, preferences, and needs of youth today. The summaries of the roundtables, the background papers, and recommendations from the roundtables are available in this publication. Available in PDF (96 pages).


Juvenile Court Statistics: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention  (2003)
Fact Sheets
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has added seven online fact sheets that summarize the most current statistics available on juvenile court cases. The new fact sheets draw on data from the forthcoming OJJDP Report "Juvenile Court Statistics 1999" to present a concise picture of juvenile court activity in 1999 and to highlight key trends during the 1990s. They provide an overview of delinquency cases and address such topics as person offenses, delinquency cases waived to criminal court, placement of adjudicated youth, probation, detention, and drug offenses.


LD Advocates Guide  (2003)
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has published this handbook designed to provide simple, accessible instruction on how to work with government and the media on issues affecting individuals with learning disabilities.


Quality and Fidelity in Wraparound  (2003)
The Fall 2003 Issue of RTC (Research and Training Center) Updates is focused on quality and fidelity in Wraparound services, otherwise known as Individual Service/Support Planning (ISP). The whole issue or individual articles can be downloaded. Each article addresses different aspects of Wraparound services.


Starting Points: An Introduction to Creating Access for People with Disabilities in Community-Based Organizations  (2003)
This document is aimed to help users identify where and how they can begin to make their organization more accessible in the areas of Communications, Facilities, Program, Technology, and Web site. It is intended to be a companion piece to the publication, "Access Aware: Extending your reach to People with Disabilities." Developed by the Alliance for Technology Access.


The First National Study of People with Disabilities Who Are Self-Employed  (February 2001)
The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities conducted a national study of people with disabilities who are self-employed. A 51-question survey of business owners with disabilities was utilized to learn about their experiences in self-employment.


The Review of Disability Studies: A New International Journal  (2003)
In order to address the need for an internationally-focused academic journal in the field of Disability Studies, the Center on Disability Studies (CDS) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa will be publishing The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal. It will contain research articles, essays, and bibliographies relating to the culture of disability and people with disabilities, and will publish forums on disability topics. The Review will be published on the Web and will be produced in a print version. The first two issues will be freely available on the Web, but a subscription is necessary to obtain printed copies. CDS is encouraging individuals to evaluate manuscripts, serve as anonymous peer reviewers, contribute manuscripts, as well as advertise.

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities: Building State and Local Capacity to Link and Align Resources
Teleconference Call
December 16, 2003
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Central)
NCSET teleconference call presentation held on December 1, 2003 on linking and aligning resources to promote more positive postschool outcomes for youth with disabilities. Presenters shared about: (a) recent funding and policies supported by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to promote linking and aligning resources; (b) the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability – Youth, a technical assistance center funded by ODEP; and (c) ODEP’s efforts to assist NCSET with promoting better interagency collaboration and alignment of resources. Presented by Joan Wills, Director of the Institute on Educational Leadership and Kelli Crane, Senior Policy Analyst of TransCen, Inc. Transcript of this call is now available.

Other National Events


Community-Based Instruction
Web-based Event
March 9, 2004
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM   (Eastern)
With so many changes occurring in today's schools, the need for functional and authentic programs for all students, including students with disabilities, remains a high priority for teachers, families, and communities. This seminar outlines the basic components of community-based instruction, offers a systematic approach for implementing community learning into the curriculum, and examines how to assess and generalize learned skills. Participants will understand the fundamentals of community-based instruction and conceptualize how to integrate the basic premises into the operations of their local school program. This Web seminar is sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


4-H provides a variety of opportunities for all youth, including youth with disabilities, to become involved in, enabling them to have fun, meet new people, learn new life skills, build self-confidence, learn responsibility, and set and achieve goals. 4-H provides organized clubs, school-enrichment groups, special interest groups, individual study programs, camps, school-age childcare programs, and instructional television programs. 4-H is the youth education branch of the Cooperative Extension Service, a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
AACTE is a national, voluntary association of colleges and universities with undergraduate or graduate programs that prepare professional educators. The Web site features publications for educators, research about teacher education, and news and information on education issues.


e-Lead: Providing information about how to provide better professional development for principals
e-Lead is a Web site designed to provide easy-to-read, easy-to-access information on the professional development of school leaders through professional development programming, a searchable database of quality programs, and an annotated leadership library. An initiative of the Laboratory for Student Success and the Institute for Educational Leadership.


Healthy & Ready to Work
The Healthy & Ready to Work initiative promotes a comprehensive system of family-centered, culturally competent, community-based care for children with special health care needs who are approaching adulthood and may need assistance in making the transition from pediatric to adult health care and to postsecondary education and/or employment.


Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR)
The government's Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) has created a new Web site to ensure that federal research efforts meet the needs of Americans who have disabilities. Individuals may offer their ideas about access to technology, education, employment, community life, health care, and other issues.


National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (NSLC)
The NSLC supports the service-learning community in higher education, k-12 education, community-based initiatives, and tribal programs, as well as all others interested in strengthening schools and communities using service-learning techniques and methodologies. The NSLC is a project of ETR Associates and is funded by the Corporation for National & Community Service.


New Ways to Work: Building community connections that prepare youth for success
New Ways to Work has been the nation's leading research, training, and consulting organization on workplace practice for over three decades. Over the past 18 years, New Ways has designed, piloted, and field-tested organizational and program strategies that expand access to the workplace for youth enrolled in school and participating in programs offered through local community-based organizations. New Ways helps communities build powerful connections between schools, workplace partners, community organizations, and public institutions.


Project T.E.A.M.S. (Transition, Employment, Advocacy, Mentoring, Self-Determination)
The purpose of this Web site is to act as a central location for resources addressing Transition, Employment, Advocacy, Mentoring, and Self-Determination for assisting Special Education students, their families, and professionals in the field.


Rehabilitation Research & Training Center on State Systems and Employment
The mission of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on State Systems and Employment, from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, is to improve the employment outcomes of people with disabilities through the promotion of responsive, effective, and efficient state service delivery systems.


Waisman Center: University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
The mission of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Wisconsin, is to support the full inclusion and self-determination of people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Center accomplishes this mission through its preservice training programs, clinical and intervention services, continuing education programs, and technical assistance and consultation services.

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Funding Forecast

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Computer Associates Community Grants
Computer Associates awards community grants in support of initiatives and programs for children preK-12. Diversity Grants are awarded in support of initiatives that directly benefit children of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and/or children with developmental disabilities. No deadline specified.


National School and Business Partnerships Award
Created by the Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, the National School and Business Partnerships Award will recognize exemplary partnerships between schools and businesses around the country. Partnerships involving kindergarten through 12th grade public schools and/or school districts and businesses are eligible to apply for the award. The Council will present six awards in the inaugural year. Those selected for the award will receive national recognition and the schools or districts will receive $10,000 to support partnership efforts. Applications deadline: January 29, 2004.


NEA Foundation Innovation Grants
The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE) funds hundreds of grants each year to public educators. All practicing U.S. public school teachers in grades K-12, education support professionals, and higher education faculty and staff at public colleges and universities are encouraged to apply. Innovation Grants fund break-the-mold innovations that significantly improve achievement for underserved learners. Application deadline: February 1, 2004.

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End of Issue

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E-News Disclaimer
The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition disseminates E-News to enhance public access to information about secondary education and transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

E-News was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H326J000005). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, or any of the six partners of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material.

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