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February 2002 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


AccessIT at University of Washington
The University of Washington has been awarded a $3.5 million federal grant to establish the National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education (AccessIT). AccessIT's purpose is to coordinate a nationwide effort to assist educational and governmental institutions to make education-based information technology accessible to all students and employees, including those with disabilities. The new center's focus will be broad, extending from K-12 schools through universities and other post-secondary educational institutions. AccessIT will provide training and technical assistance, working primarily through the national network of 10 NIDRR-funded Disability Business Technical Assistance Centers, established in response to mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The five-year renewable grant, awarded on a competitive basis, comes from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).


DO-IT Brings High School-High Tech to Seattle
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $50,000 grant to the DO-IT program at the University of Washington to develop High School-High Tech in the Seattle area. High School-High Tech is a national network of programs that involve high school students with disabilities in work-based learning experiences in high tech fields. Activities include internships, job shadows, and mock interviews with potential employers. The ultimate goal is to improve the postsecondary academic and career outcomes for young people with disabilities. For information about how you can be involved, contact Sara Lopez at

Legislative Announcements


Bush Administration Issues Olmstead Report
On December 21, 2001, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson submitted to the President the first report of agency efforts to meet Executive Order No. 13217, "Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities," signed in June, 2001. The report, entitled "Delivering on the Promise: Preliminary Report of Federal Agencies' Actions to Eliminate Barriers and Promote Community Integration," sets forth a summary of the actions that federal agencies propose to take in several key areas, including health care structure and financing, employment, housing, and personal assistance. The complete report is available on the Heath and Human Services Web site.


Bush's Special Ed Commission Makes a Plan But Needs More Time
The President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education laid out its plan to evaluate the successes and failures of special education in the U.S. recently. But with six task forces each needing to gather input from the special education community and meet publicly at least once, the commission says it will not make President George W. Bush's aggressive April 30 deadline for a final report.


Supreme Court Narrows Reach of the ADA
In a January 8, 2002, ruling that may affect millions of workers, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the reach of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The justices said a lower court used the wrong standard in determining whether an impairment that prevents an employee from doing a specific, job-related manual task qualifies as a disability under the federal law. In the high court's opinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the proper test instead involved whether the impairments prevented or restricted an individual from performing tasks "that are of central importance to most people's daily lives." O'Connor said the law clearly precluded impairments that interfere in only a minor way with performing manual tasks. She said the impact of the impairment must also be permanent or long term. The ruling may affect millions of U.S. workers who suffer repetitive strain injuries or similar impairments that leave them partly disabled.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Creating Youth Development Systems that Include Youth with Disabilities  (October 2001)
NCSET Institute Proceeding
Proceedings summarizing this two-day institute, highlighting expert sessions and group dialogues. The institute was an opportunity for key community stakeholders in education, workforce development, and disability services to examine how to better align the various youth development investment systems so that all youth, including those with disabilities, are better prepared for promising careers and postsecondary options.


Transition, Secondary Education Reform, and Access to the General Education Curriculum  (October 2001)
NCSET Institute Proceeding
Proceedings summarizing the one-day institute highlighting expert sessions. The institute was an opportunity for key stakeholders to examine policies and innovative strategies in the field. Panel discussions focused on current practices and emerging trends affecting: access to the general education curriculum; high school reform; professional development/teacher training; high stakes testing; and practitioner advocacy at the local level.


Universal Design for Learning: Improved Opportunities for Access, Participation, and Progress  (December 2001)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Transcript of NCSET Teleconference held December 11, 2001 and presented by Chuck Hitchcock, Director of the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum; and Grace Meo, Director of Curriculum and Practice at the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum.

Other National Resources


Communities at Work: Strategic Interventions for Community Change  (2001)
This guidebook outlines six interventions identified by the Public Education Network (PEN) as essential for community investment in public education. It provides the following strategies as ways to connect individuals, businesses, families, and communities in an effort to create lasting change for the public education system and all its students: community dialogue, constituency building, engaging practitioners, collaboration with districts, policy analysis, and legal strategies.


Developing Legally Correct and Educationally Appropriate IEPs  (2001)
This article examines the relationship between the IEP and a free, appropriate education, with special attention to the IEP process. It highlights the procedural changes and new requirements mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, including information from due process hearings and court cases that involve IEPs as illustrations of the mistakes school districts often make in the IEP process. Guidelines are provided to assist schools in developing legally correct and educationally meaningful IEPs. Written by Erik Drasgow, Mitchell Yell, and T. Rowand Robinson and published in Remedial and Special Education.


Planning for the Future: A Workbook to Help Young Adults with Disabilities, Their Families, and Professionals to Plan for Living, Working, and Participating in the Community  (1995) PDF document
This workbook is intended to help students, their families, and professionals to plan for life after high school. The workbook uses a person-centered approach and several worksheets to help the student, family, and transition team identify student strengths and facilitates a problem-solving approach to develop a plan of action and a vision for the future. Developed by Mary E. Morningstar at the University of Kansas Department of Special Education. Available in PDF.


The Faculty/Staff Guide: Optimizing the Learning Environment for Students with Disabilities
This guide was produced by Montgomery College Disability Support Services (DSS) through Project JOBTRAC, a federally funded three-year grant to increase faculty and staff awareness about the needs of students with disabilities. Topics covered include: teaching and accommodating students with disabilities, optimizing learning, strategies for interacting with people with disabilities, disability support service, frequently asked questions, rights and responsibilities, and more.

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What's Happening

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Get Wired!

Web Sites


ADA Watch: Advancing the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities
A nonprofit informational online network designed to activate the disability community's grassroots in response to threats to civil rights protections for people with disabilities. The ADA Watch Web site educates and informs people with disabilities, disability advocates, members of the general public, the business community, policy makers, and the media regarding threats to civil rights protections for people with disabilities. Includes news bulletins and opportunities for people to become involved in the campaign to defend the civil rights of people with disabilities.


Autism Today: Everything You Need to Know About Autism
The online source for Autism and Asperger's Syndrome resources and information. Geared to provide the most efficient and effective tools and resources available to individuals with Autism, parents, teachers, and community members, it includes articles, news updates, opportunities for discussion, a showcase of creative talent, and much more. Sign the Autism Today guest book and receive a free monthly newsletter, which provides the latest news, resources, articles, documentaries, and treatments available.


Faculty Room
The Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) program at the University of Washington is currently marketing The Faculty Room Web site, a comprehensive online resource for faculty, staff, and administrators who work with students with disabilities in postsecondary education. Detailed information available on the Web site includes: Academic accommodations for students with disabilities; Universal design of instruction; Computer technology and web accessibility; Legal rights and responsibilities; and Resources.


LD OnLine
A service of The Learning Project at WETA in association with the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities, LD OnLine is a comprehensive web site that includes basic and in-depth information about learning disabilities, articles, research findings, political news, audio clips of learning disabilities experts, bulletin boards, "Ask the Expert," a comprehensive listing of national and state organizations and agencies, an LD Calendar, personal essays, a newsletter, and more.


Work Support
This Web site provides a gateway to information, resources, and services regarding the employment of people with disabilities. Nationally recognized for methods and materials of disseminating new knowledge to a national audience, the Web site includes self-paced training modules, notices of teleconferences and Web trainings, newsletters, fast facts on workplace supports, and more. It also offers information on regional and national conferences.



EDInfo E-Mailing List
Offered by the U.S. Department of Education, EDInfo is a listserv providing 1-2 e-mail messages a week describing federal teaching and learning resources and ED funding opportunities.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN)
An online clearinghouse of funding opportunities, including federal and private foundation grant competitions. Allows for customized searches by application date, deadline, funding source, topical interest, and more. Includes an automatic notification feature that sends e-mail messages informing of new funding opportunities as they arise. New grant announcements are updated daily.

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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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