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February 2007 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Effective January 1, 2007, the American Association on Mental Retardation, a 130-year-old association representing developmental disability professionals worldwide, officially changed its name to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).


Researchers to Create Autism Databank
Scientists at the University of Michigan and 10 other universities will use a $10 million gift from a New York-based foundation to create a databank of DNA samples from 3,000 autism patients that they hope will help them identify different kinds of autism and develop treatments.

Legislative Announcements


Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act
This report from the U.S. Department of Education sets forth the policy proposals of Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings for reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act. Proposals relating to high schools include steps to improve graduation rates and promote rigor, and increased funding for schools serving low-income students.


Special Education Official Leads Data-Collection Push
Beginning next month, states will have to report more information on their students with disabilities to the federal government than they have ever been required to under previous incarnations of federal special education law. The data-collection effort is not only a challenge for state officials—it is also one of the first major activities to be entirely overseen by Alexa Posny, who took over as Director of the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs last April.

Calls to Participate


Best Practices for Retention/Recovery of At-Risk Latino Male High School Students Sought
The Latino Male High School/College Achievement Program at Arizona State University’s Center for Community Development and Civil Rights is identifying and cataloging best practices relating to the retention and recovery of at-risk Latino male high school students. They invite anyone working with intervention, retention, and prevention programs for at-risk students or parenting teens to contribute ideas and information. Contact Robert Soza at or 602-496-0440 to participate or to refer an expert practitioner.


DCDT 2007 Call for Papers: Building Castles, Building Dreams: The Magic of Transition PDF document
The Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition is seeking proposals for its 2007 conference, to be held October 18-20 in Orlando. Suggested topics include self-determination and student involvement; community partnerships; family partnerships; postsecondary education; personnel preparation/professional development; student diversity and multicultural approaches; program evaluation and data-based decision-making; aligning transition-focused education, standards, and school reform; legislation and policy; employment-focused education and business strategies; K-8 transition education; transition approaches for specific disability groups; skill requirements in the new economy; and assessment. Proposal postmark deadline: February 7, 2007. Call for papers available in PDF (1 page, 137 KB).


Emerging Educators: Apply for a Fellowship to Teach at Eagle Rock School
Eagle Rock is a tuition-free residential high school in Estes Park, CO that serves diverse young people (ages 15-21) from across the country who have not succeeded in conventional schools. The Public Allies Fellowship Program is seeking emerging educators with college degrees from diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences to work and live at Eagle Rock. Fellows will gain skills that will make them effective teachers, leadership trainers, and youth workers. Application deadline: February 23, 2007.


Parents of Young Adults with Significant Intellectual Disabilities who have Transitioned Successfully: Seeking Your Wisdom

The Beach Center on Disability, University of Kansas is looking for families who have successfully set up supports for their young adult child (age 19+) with a significant intellectual disability. The child, with family support, should have control over at least some of his/her Medicaid budget and should be able to decide whom to employ and how much to pay them. The family should have found creative solutions to the complexities of community living, including having a home, job, friends, hangouts, and/or transportation. If you know of or are a member of such a family, please contact Ann Turnbull at or 785-864-7608.


Researchers, Policy Analysts, Practitioners: Apply to Attend SEELS Database Training Workshop
From March 7-9, 2007 in Washington, DC, the University of Maryland, in collaboration with SRI International and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education, will sponsor an advanced training workshop on using national study databases, including those of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) and the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS). There is no fee to attend this workshop and support for travel and lodging will be provided to accepted applicants. Application deadline: February 19, 2007.


Secondary and Postsecondary Students in Career and Technical Education: Enter an Essay Contest
Secondary or postsecondary students enrolled in at least one career and technical education (CTE) course are invited to enter an essay contest. The question to be answered is, “How will what you learned in CTE help the American economy in five years?” Secondary students must submit an essay no more than 500 words in length; postsecondary students must submit an essay at least 500 words in length. One entry in each category, secondary and postsecondary, will receive an award of $250. Entry deadline: March 30, 2007.


Secondary Special Educators and Rehabilitation Personnel: Apply to The George Washington University’s Transition Special Education Certificate Distance Education Program
The George Washington University will offer its Transition Special Education Certificate program through distance education again this fall. The program provides secondary special educators and rehabilitation personnel with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to assist youth as they transition to postsecondary opportunities. It will begin with SPED 236.DE: Introduction to Career, Vocational, and Transition Services, to be offered this fall.


Young Leaders with Disabilities: Apply to Participate in the 2007 Youth Transit Talk
Young leaders with disabilities (ages 16-28) with an interest in improving access to public transit are invited to apply to attend the National Youth Transit Talk, to be held July 27-28, 2007 in Washington, DC. Participants will discover how to work within their communities, find out how to identify and resolve local transit issues, learn transit rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), share ideas for improving access to public transit, and network with past and future leaders from across the country. Application deadline: March 1, 2007.


Young Playwrights With and Without Disabilities: Enter VSA’s Playwright Discovery
The VSA arts Playwright Discovery Program invites middle and high school students with and without disabilities to examine how disability affects their lives and others’ lives and express their observations through playwriting. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a group or class of students. The selected script will be professionally staged or produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The award recipient will receive up to $2,000 and a trip to Washington, DC to see their work performed. Application deadline: April 13, 2007.


Youth with Ongoing Health Needs: Take a Survey
14-21 year olds who have a chronic health condition that has lasted at least a year are invited to take this Web-based survey. Information from the survey will be used to help other youth with chronic health conditions learn to become more independent in taking care of their health. Survey ends April 15, 2007.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


“Making Tracks to Transition” Program Resources  (October 2006)
This page lists resources from Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, which has designed supports for transition-age youth with disabilities and their families. Its three-stage program creates a “medical home” for youth, creating relevant goals and working with schools and community agencies to meet objectives. Resources include an initial assessment form, checklists for three areas of development (medical, psychosocial, and independent living), a parent checklist, and a bibliography.


A Child’s Day 2003 (Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being)  (January 2007) PDF document
This report from the U.S. Census Bureau provides data on children’s living arrangements and their family characteristics, early childcare experiences, daily interaction with parents, extracurricular activities, academic experiences, and parents’ educational expectations. Available in PDF (22 pages, 677 KB).


Aging Out of Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT): Issues for Young Adults with Disabilities  (January 2007) PDF document
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) coverage offered through the Medicaid program has played an important and unique role for low-income children with disabilities. This Issue Brief from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation discusses the implications for youth with disabilities when they become adults and lose their EPSDT benefits and how recent changes to the Deficit Reduction Act give states an opportunity to increase the availability of services that allow people with disabilities to lead as normal a life as possible as they move into adulthood. Available in PDF (14 pages, 490 KB).


Career Academies: Preparing Students for the World Beyond High School  (December 2006)
Web Page
Among the high school reform initiatives studied by MDRC, the Career Academy model is most clearly oriented toward helping students prepare for a productive future by giving them work-based learning opportunities while in high school. This Web page describes Career Academies and shares some findings from MDRC’s Career Academies study.


Community and Family Engagement: Principals Share What Works  (October 2006)
Informed by the work of principals, these documents from the Coalition for Community Schools describe six keys to community engagement that help school leaders engage families, staff, partners, and the larger community in the life of the school. Documents available: Report, Executive Summary, Six Keys to Engaging Stakeholders, and Principal Leadership Resources.


Confronting Ableism  (February 2007)
An ableist perspective asserts that it is preferable for a child to read print rather than Braille, walk rather than use a wheelchair, and spell independently rather than use a spell-checker. This Educational Leadership article by Thomas Hehir in examines the purpose of special education and describes what happens when ableist assumptions become dysfunctional.


Disability Statistics with a Caveat
Web Page
This issue of Consultant’s Corner, a project of the Job Accommodation Network, discusses how statistics, especially those conveying disability-related information, can sometimes be inconsistent. It identifies some sources of disability data and provides a five-step process to help you find the disability statistic that meets your need.


Field Notes from the International Youth Foundation  (December 2006)
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) has created a publication series that promotes best practices and innovative approaches in youth development. Field Notes is a 4-page report targeting practitioners, donors, and policymakers, drawn from IYF-supported activities around the globe. Six Field Notes have been published to date: Developing an E-Mentoring Initiative, Conducting Media Outreach, Engaging Alumni, Influencing the National Youth Agenda, Technology and Life Skills Education, and Implementing Life Skills for Employability.


Health Guide for Adults Living with Spina Bifida
The Spina Bifida Association’s “Health Guide for Adults Living with Spina Bifida” provides information and resources to help adults with spina bifida manage their health and prevent complications. Special discounted bulk-rate pricing is available until March 15, 2007.


Hispanic Education in the U.S.  (January 2007) PDF document
Statistical Brief
Hispanics have become the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the U.S. While there has been some improvement in the status of Latino education over the past decade, the data continue to show that Hispanic educational attainment does not match that of non-Hispanics. This statistical brief from the National Council of La Raza summarizes the key data concerning Latinos in the U.S. education system. Available in PDF (16 pages, 131 KB).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


The Big Four: A Framework for Improving Instruction that Leads to School Completion
Teleconference Call
February 13, 2007
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM   (Eastern)
This presentation from the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities will describe a framework, The Big Four, which professional developers, coaches, and other educators can use as a starting point for improving instruction. The Big Four Framework of (a) Classroom Management, (b) Content Knowledge, (c) Direct Instruction, and (d) Formative Assessment provides a simple yet sophisticated way of analyzing critical variables in teaching and identifying next steps for improving teaching practices. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Learning Disabilities Association 44th Annual International Conference
February 14, 2007 - February 17, 2007
Pittsburgh, PA
Adults with learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), parents of children with LD and ADHD, special education and general education teachers, principals, administrators, counselors, social workers, researchers, medical and mental health professionals, education policy advocates, and college student support personnel are invited to attend the 44th Annual Conference of the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Participants will learn about the latest LD research, learn effective teaching techniques and strategies, hear from leading experts in the LD field, learn about critical policy issues, and more.

Getting Kids in Sync: A Sensory Processing Approach to Challenges Associated with Autism, ADHD, Learning, and Behavior Disorders

February 20, 2007
Chicago, IL
This seminar will teach participants the basics of sensory processing and ready-to-use strategies to support learning, attention, social and emotional relationships, and behavior in children with autism, ADHD, and learning and behavior disorders. Parents, therapists, and other professionals are invited to attend. Sponsored by

Accessing Alliances: Disability Studies Across the Curriculum

February 22, 2007 - February 23, 2007
Washington, DC
In recent years, Disability Studies has increasingly influenced scholarship across the university, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. Displacing a singular medical model for understanding disability, Disability Studies attends to the multiple ways that bodies, abilities, and disabilities have been represented culturally. This symposium will generate ongoing conversations about how to build Disability Studies alliances between Disability Studies faculty, professionals in disability support services, and students. Sponsored by The George Washington University and the Association on Higher Education And Disability.

Transition from School to Careers for Youth with Disabilities
Web-based Event
February 27, 2007
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM   (Eastern)
All young adults need to transition to postsecondary or vocational training or graduate with a job. This Webcast from will explore the value-added roles that providers can play in the transition from school to careers, including information on networking with business, taking an active role with high schools, completing benefits planning, and continuing education. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

The Fourth International Conference on Positive Behavior Support: The Expanding World of PBS: Science, Values, and Vision
March 8, 2007 - March 10, 2007
Boston, MA
This conference, presented by the Association for Positive Behavior Support, will provide families, professionals, support providers, researchers, and school personnel with innovative positive behavior support (PBS) skills and the latest research findings on a variety of topics related to PBS, including school-wide applications, early intervention, autism, family, and individual supports for adults with disabilities.

The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Project SEARCH Program—An Innovative Employment Program
Web-based Event
March 20, 2007
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
Ten years ago, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center partnered with Great Oaks Institute of Technology to create an on-site business-based yearlong transition program for young adults age 19+. The program includes 3-4 internships at the organization, employability curriculum taught on and off the job, and on-site staff, including special education instructors and job coaches. Project SEARCH has since grown to include other business settings and has expanded throughout Ohio and across the country. This Webcast from will share why the project is so successful and if it could work in your community. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability Annual Conference: Rights, Responsibilities, & Social Change
April 3, 2007 - April 4, 2007
Columbus, OH
This conference, presented by the ADA Coordinator’s Office at The Ohio State University, aims to catalyze positive change and provide a springboard for collaborations with education, business, the public sector, and social service. It will bring a diverse audience together to discuss the full spectrum of disability issues and experiences. Its workshops will provide a forum for individuals and organizations to expand their knowledge and perspectives, and an opportunity to increase community resources through collaboration.

Disability Studies in Education Conference: Disability Studies and Inclusive Education: Implications for Practice?
April 7, 2007 - April 9, 2007
Chicago, IL
Disability Studies in Education (DSE) is a special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. The annual DSE conference attracts researchers, professors, teachers, and other individuals who actively seek to change traditional theory and practice around disability within the fields of education and rehabilitation services.

Mobilizing New Mentors . . . Through Faith- and Community-Based Collaborations

April 11, 2007 - April 13, 2007
Nashville, TN
This training will assist and challenge mentoring programs in exploring avenues for finding and recruiting new mentors, particularly through faith- and community-based collaborations. It is hosted by, a division of National Network of Youth Ministries; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice; and The Corporation for National and Community Service.

Employment for Individuals with Disabilities with Criminal Records
Web-based Event
April 16, 2007
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM   (Eastern)
This Webcast will discuss barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities who have criminal records, and supportive interventions that have worked for job placement, development, and retention for such individuals. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

CEC’s 2007 Annual Convention & Expo
April 18, 2007 - April 21, 2007
Louisville, KY
The Council for Exceptional Children’s 2007 Annual Convention & Expo, the largest conference on special and gifted education in the world, will feature the latest information on topics in special and gifted education, including the new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations, identifying students with learning disabilities with response-to-intervention, assessment and accountability, evidence-based practice, the 2 percent flexibility option, autism, preparing students for transition, effective strategies to teach content, and the newest resources for students with disabilities.

Meeting the Nation’s Need for Personal Assistance Services: State of the Science
April 27, 2007
Washington, DC
Participants in this conference, sponsored by the Center for Personal Assistance Services, will discuss the current research and policy implications for personal assistance services (PAS) in the home, community, and workplace; and identify the potential future directions for research and policy regarding PAS. Agenda items will include PAS: A Public Policy Challenge; Need and Unmet Need for PAS, Its Consequences, and Costs; and Trends in the PAS Workforce. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Healthy & Ready to Work National Resource Center
For the first time in this country, there is a generation of youth with special healthcare needs, chronic health conditions, and disabilities who have survived beyond their diagnosis/prognosis. These youth must optimize their health potential by understanding their health needs, becoming involved in their healthcare decision-making, and transitioning smoothly from child-centered to adult-oriented systems of care. In response to these issues, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau has funded model Healthy & Ready to Work state programs focused on children and youth with special healthcare needs. This Web site provides related information and connections to health and transition experts.


Hire DisAbility Solutions Career Site, a leading global online careers and recruitment resource, and Hire Disability Solutions, LLC, which brings together top companies and job seekers with disabilities, have created a co-branded career resource section on’s site. This joint initiative makes Monster job search tools, career content, and resume posting capabilities more accessible to individuals with disabilities.


National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Through a national network of cooperating libraries, the National Library Service administers a free library program of Braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers by postage-free mail. On this Web site, you can learn who is eligible, what is available, where participating libraries are located, and how to sign up; and find books and magazines in Braille or audio.


National Research Center on Learning Disabilities
The National Research Center on Learning Disabilities (NRCLD) conducts research on the identification of learning disabilities; formulates implementation recommendations; disseminates findings; and provides technical assistance to national, state, and local constituencies. NRCLD’s Web site includes information on topics in learning disabilities, including Responsiveness to Intervention, as well as downloadable publications and presentations.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Building and Sustaining a Vibrant Local Education Fund
This handbook from the Public Education Network provides step-by-step information on how to establish and run a local education fund, including organizing a 501(c)(3); creating a strong board of directors; writing a mission statement; building partnerships; managing budgets; and raising funds. Cost: $13 plus shipping.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation aims to provide youth with the educational opportunities and support systems they need to become knowledgeable and productive citizens. It encourages new solutions to the countless problems that impede educational systems and supports existing programs that work. The Foundation supports innovative K-12 public school programs, teacher development programs, and smaller projects dealing with specific activities in K-12 classrooms. Its Board of Directors reviews funding recommendations quarterly.


Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams
Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams is a national grants initiative to foster inventiveness among high school students. Teams composed of high school students, teachers (of math, science, or technology), and mentors collaboratively identify a problem that they want to solve, research the problem, and then develop a prototype invention as a class or extracurricular project. Grants of up to $10,000 support each team’s efforts. Application deadline: April 27, 2007.


Red, White, & Green Climate Change Grant
Youth Service America and the Civil Society Institute announce the Red, White, & Green Climate Change Grant of $500 to support service-learning projects about climate change. All U.S. youth ages 15-25 and organizations that engage them are invited to apply. Applicants are expected to develop and implement a service-learning project about climate change that engages their community and candidates running for election in 2007 and 2008. Projects where youth work in partnership with adults are welcome, but projects should be youth-led. The service must take place between May 1 and October 1, 2007. Application deadline: March 9, 2007.


RGK Foundation
The RGK Foundation’s primary interests within education include programs that focus on formal K-12 education (particularly mathematics, science, and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education. Foundation staff reviews electronic Letters of Inquiry on an ongoing basis. Most grants awarded by the Foundation are under $25,000.


W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports projects that: 1) mobilize youth, families, and communities to inform policies that affect learning and achievement for vulnerable children and youth; and 2) forge partnerships between educational institutions and communities to promote learning, academic performance, and workforce preparation among vulnerable young people. Its overall goal is to support healthy infant, child, and youth development by mobilizing, strengthening, and aligning systems that affect children’s learning. The Foundation accepts and reviews proposals on an ongoing basis. Amount awarded is based on the amount needed for the specific project based on the scope of work and expected outcomes.

Scholarships and Awards


Community Schools National Awards for Excellence
The Coalition for Community Schools’ national awards program highlights the expansion and effectiveness of community schools, which it defines as any school or initiative that is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources, whose integrated focus on academics, youth development, family support, health and social services, and community development leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities. Winners receive recognition on Capitol Hill. Individual community schools and community-wide initiatives that have been operating for at least three years are eligible to apply. Application deadline: March 22, 2007.


ING Unsung Heroes Awards: Funds for Inspirational K-12 Teachers
The Unsung Heroes Awards from ING Financial are given to K-12 educators (teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff members) at accredited public or private schools with creative and innovative projects they have initiated or would like to pursue. 100 finalists will receive $2,000 awards. Of these 100 finalists, 3 will be selected for additional awards: $25,000 for first place; $10,000 for second place; and $5,000 for third place. Application deadline: April 30, 2007.


Scholarships for Foster Youth
The Orphan Foundation of America and the Casey Family Scholars Program award $1.5 million in scholarships annually to help foster youth attend college or training programs. Eligible applicants have been in foster care for one consecutive year at the time of their 18th birthday or high school graduation OR have been adopted or taken into legal guardianship out of foster care after their 16th birthday OR have lost both parents to death before the age of 18 and not been subsequently adopted. Application deadline: March 31, 2007.

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End of Issue

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E-News features resources, activities, products, and funding information from around the country. E-News is dedicated to assisting youth, parents, educators, service providers, and administrators to stay connected and informed about secondary education and transition issues.

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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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