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February 2010 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Universal Design for Learning  (2010)
NCSET Web Topic
This NCSET Web Topic is about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a flexible teaching approach that uses a variety of materials and teaching methods to accommodate a wide range of learners in an individualized way. Like all NCSET Web topics, it includes an introduction, frequently asked questions, related research, emerging practices, Web sites, and additional resources.

Other National Resources


2010 Edition of Social Security’s Red Book  (January 2010)
reference booklet
The Red Book is a general reference source on the employment related provisions of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs, including a general description of our disability-related policies. It is primarily for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals and counselors who serve people with disabilities, but it can also serve as a self-help guide for Social Security applicants and beneficiaries. It is available in Spanish ( as well as English.


A Coherent Approach to High School Improvement: A Needs Assessment Tool  (December 2009) PDF document
Building on the National High School Center’s “Eight Elements of High School Improvement: A Mapping Framework,” this tool is designed to help districts and schools assess current high school education policies and practices, identify areas of strengths and limitations, and implement coherent and sustainable school reform initiatives. (Available in pdf, 974 KB, 14 pp.)


Curriculum on Networking Skills: Paving a Way to Jobs and Careers  (August 2008)
Teaching Manual
This curriculum is designed for professionals working with school-to-work transition-age youth; however, it has broad applicability to others with limited work experience. Its goal is to help job seekers become engaged in career and job exploration through networking. The curriculum gives students opportunities to practice and use networking skills such as: identifying their own network, approaching people, talking about their skills and interests, learning what employers look for, exploring careers and job options, and exhibiting good business etiquette. Activities within the manual vary to accommodate diverse learning styles, and trainers can select lessons that fit the needs of their groups.


Handbook on Effective Implementation of School Improvement Grants  (January 2010)
This handbook provides practical and useful guidance on the models and strategies required and recommended for use in applying for School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds. It also includes references to the underlying research and connections to useful resources. Developed by the Center on Innovation and Improvement, at the request of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Secondary and Elementary Education, this resource includes contributions from the National High School Center, the Center on Instruction, the Assessment and Accountability Center, and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.


Identifying Students Eligible for SSI Pass Plans at IEP Meetings  (2009)
Many transition-aged students with disabilities are receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a financial benefit available to families who meet income and resource requirements and who have a child with a disability. SSI has several Work Incentive programs that could provide resources to eligible students to assist them in obtaining, advancing, or maintaining employment. Plans for Achieving Self Support (PASS plans) are one such work incentive program.


Institutional Innovation in an Era of Change  (January 2010)
Policy Brief
As part of its “2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning” initiative, the Knowledge Works foundation has released a series of policy briefs to address issues facing traditional education institutions. The first brief in the series, “Crafting Policy for Emerging Educational Futures,” examines two drivers of change: (1) the interaction of bio-engineering and environment, bio-engineering promising cognitive and physical enhancement, while at the same time our biological, ecological, and built environments show signs of stress; and (2) the current economy, where large-scale production is shifting to bottom-up design and manufacturing. The second policy brief, “Amplified Policymaking,” explores skills needed to handle the ubiquity of data, along with implications for using those skills to extend individual and organizational capacity. The third brief, “Building Policy Platforms for Resilience,” calls on policymakers to bring new strategies in response to disruptions in our geopolitical, economic, environmental, and social systems. The final brief, “Transforming Urban Education: Implications for State Policymakers,” explains the process for state-level policymakers interested in transforming urban education.


Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation Takes an In-Depth Look at Challenges Youth with Severe Disabilities and Their Families Face  (September 2009)
journal article
Youth who receive benefits from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, the largest federal program providing cash payments to low-income youth with severe disabilities and their families, face challenges transitioning to adulthood. Highlights from six articles in the September 2009 issue of Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, by researchers from Mathematica Policy Research, TransCen Inc., and the Social Security Administration, include the public cost of child dependence on SSI , the high number of SSI students at age 18 who are not working or in school, and how parents of these youth often face difficult tradeoffs between providing child care and entering the work place.


Leveraging Resources to Create Alternative Pathways to Education and Employment Training for Disconnected Youth  (December 2009)
Forum Brief
“Leveraging Resources to Create Alternative Pathways to Education and Employment Training for Disconnected Youth” offers comprehensive reform on strategies to serve disconnected youth. The Forum discussants profiled successful efforts at the city-level to leverage funding streams at federal, state, and local levels, private dollars, and resources within the community, to create a comprehensive portfolio of options; and offered recommendations to the federal government on policies and strategies to leverage resources more effectively to serve disconnected youth.


Quality Counts 2010 Presents “Broad Perspective” on Common-Standards  (January 2010)
Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) has released its 14th edition of Quality Counts, an annual report card on public education as measured by states’ education policies and outcomes, focusing this year on the national debate over common academic standards. EPE conducted a 50-state survey that found solid foundations for a unified approach to standards, since many states already look beyond their own borders for guidance.


The Best Journey to Adult Life  (2009) PDF document
“The Best Journey to Adult Life for Youth with Disabilities” is a model that represents the developmental process of a young person's life course, with the transition to adulthood depicted as an important “journey.” Best Practice Guidelines for the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities have been written using the words of youth, parents, community members, service providers, educators, and researchers in Ontario, Canada. The Guidelines are organized into six themes: Collaboration, Capacity-building, Navigation, Education, Information, and Research. Available in pdf (90 pages, 990 KB).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


It’s Not Crazy Making: Helping Youth with Mental Health Needs Avoid Transition Cliffs
Web-based Event
Youth with educational and career challenges, such as those with mental health needs, too often fall off the cliff between youth and adult systems or get sent down an inappropriate service tunnel based on considerations given by the system rather than the youth’s wants and needs. This webinar will provide information on the incidence of mental health needs in youth, and on strategies and services that might benefit youth with mental health needs. It will discuss support services needed for youth with mental health needs entering the workforce and include information on developing practical and effective policies, suggestions for creating greater collaboration among programs, and strategies for developing an improved transition and workforce development system for youth, including youth with mental health needs.

Least Restrictive Environment: The Intersection of Research and Law
Web-based Event
February 3, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
The Council of Parent Attorney and Advocates (COPPAA) is sponsoring this webinar about how IDEA 2004 requires the use of “peer reviewed research to the extent practicable.” This session provides an overview of the requirements of IDEA for peer reviewed research and the most recent qualitative and quantitative research on inclusive educational practices for students with disabilities; as well as an overview of recent case law on least restrictive environment (LRE) and the intersection of research and the courts.

Informed Consent and Meaningful Participation under Idea
Web-based Event
February 9, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
IDEA has included since its initial passage the right of informed consent. This presentation examines the origin, meaning and application of this right, as well as the use of the right of consent in evaluations, reevaluations, IEP development, placement and access, with suggestions for managing these issues and obtaining access to all relevant information for a parent’s right of decision making. This webinar will be presented by Jon Zimring, Esq., and sponsored by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).

Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) 47th Annual International Conference
February 17, 2010 - February 20, 2010
Baltimore, MD
Sponsored by the LDA of America, the LDA Conference is the largest meeting on learning disabilities in the world, featuring over 300 workshops and exhibits presenting the latest in LD research, effective teaching techniques and strategies, and critical policy issues, with opportunities to network with experts in LD and colleagues, and to make new friends and earn graduate or continuing education credits (CEUs). The 2010 Conference is in Baltimore, at the Baltimore Marriot Waterfront.

Strategies for Running a Successful Youth-driven Event: Experiences from the Portland National Youth Summit
Web-based Event
February 23, 2010
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
This webinar will discuss what it takes to host a youth-driven event, highlighting the experiences of planning, organizing, and running the day-long Portland National Youth Summit held in June 2009. Youth Summit advisory board members and participants will share their experiences and provide webinar attendees with strategies for planning and hosting a successful event that elicits meaningful youth participation.

Can’t Ask, Afraid to Tell: Disability Inquiries and Disclosure in the Workforce Development System
Web-based Event
February 24, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
As workforce development professionals seek to better include youth with disabilities, there is often a fine line between reaching out and intruding. Join this webinar to hear legal guidelines and practical strategies for disability questions, as well as if, when, and how to disclose a disability. Participants will receive a copy of “The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth” and learn about free resources they can use when making decisions and developing program policies for their work. The event will be recorded and available after the live event.

Not Just Any Workplace: Planning for Work Experiences and Jobs
Web-based Event
March 10, 2010
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM   (Eastern)
What are some of the most effective ways to help youth plan and prepare for successful work experiences and jobs? What are useful ways to gather information and learn about youth skills, interests, and need for support and accommodation? Participants will learn the essential strategies to guide youth to relevant work experiences, how to use a positive profile of the youth to identify potential work experiences, and how to develop an effective job search plan.

Locked Up but Not Locked Out: Serving Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System
Web-based Event
March 10, 2010
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
For many at-risk youth, the juvenile justice system is a dead-end. A former national reentry project director and a current workforce development specialist will discuss effective ways to work with the juvenile justice system and the characteristics of all court-involved youth, including those with disabilities. Participants in this webinar will receive “Making the Right Turn: A Guide to Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System,” based on the Guideposts for Success, but adapted to meet the diverse and complicated needs of youth in the Juvenile Justice System. This interactive webinar provides proven strategies and resources for workforce development professionals and policymakers, including promising prevention, intervention, workforce development, and reentry practices.

Everybody Learns, Everybody Works: Creating Inclusive Workforce Development for Youth with Learning Disabilities
Web-based Event
March 24, 2010
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
“Learning disability” is one of the most common disabilities that workforce development professionals come across. Large numbers of youth, with both diagnosed and often undiagnosed learning disabilities, are transitioning into young adulthood, to the worlds of work and postsecondary education, and experiencing significant difficulties. What exactly does this mean and how does it affect your workforce development process with youth? This webinar offers resources and practical strategies for: recognizing and identifying a learning disability; properly assessing a disability; and providing supports and accommodations for this growing population of youth. Participants will receive the latest research and information from our upcoming learning disabilities guide for workforce development professionals and policymakers.

Using the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2) Database for Research and Policy Discussion

April 13, 2010 - April 15, 2010
Washington, DC
The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, will sponsor a 3-day advanced studies seminar on the use of the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2) database. The NLTS2 is designed to support research on a wide range of topics pertaining to youth with disabilities as they move from secondary school into adult roles. This seminar is open to advanced graduate students and faculty members from colleges and universities nationwide and to researchers, education practitioners, and policy analysts from federal, state, and local education and human services agencies and professional associations.

Disabilities Awareness Conference
April 15, 2010
Piscataway, NJ
The Disabilities Awareness Conference, held by Rutgers University, invites those involved in the field of secondary and postsecondary education, disability professionals, returning veterans, parents, students, and interested others to a one-day conference addressing disabilities on campus and in the workplace. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Wise Young, who is a leader in the field of spinal cord injury research, Founding Director of the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience, and the first person to hold the Richard H. Shindell Chair in Neuroscience at Rutgers University.

Council for Exceptional Children 2010 Convention and Expo
April 21, 2010 - April 24, 2010
Nashville, TN
The Council for Exceptional Children Convention and Expo is the largest professional development event dedicated to special and gifted education. It will be held in Nashville, TN, at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center. Advance registration rates will be available until April 2, 2010.

Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability
April 27, 2010 - April 28, 2010
Columbus, OH
Sponsored by Ohio State University and held at the Columbus Campus, the Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability conference is intended to serve as a catalyst for positive change and a beginning point for collaborations with partners in education, business, public and social service. Each year a series of workshops provides a forum for individuals and organizations to expand their knowledge and perspectives, and an opportunity to increase community resources through collaboration. The workshops bring a diverse audience together to discuss the full spectrum of disability issues and experiences. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


KnowHow2GO Web site
Young people in all socio-economic groups have college aspirations. Despite their aspirations, low-income students and those who are the first in their families to pursue higher education are severely underrepresented on college campuses. Studies show these students often lack the guidance they need to prepare for postsecondary education. To turn these students’ college dreams into action-oriented goals, the American Council on Education, Lumina Foundation for Education and the Ad Council launched the KnowHow2GO campaign in January 2007.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Kohl’s Kids Who Care Scholarship Program
The Kohl’s Kids Who Care® Scholarship Program recognizes and rewards young volunteers (ages 6-18) whose efforts have made a positive impact on their communities. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Kohl’s Kids Who Care Scholarship Program, and in that time they have recognized more than 11,000 kids and awarded more than $2.2 million in scholarships and prizes. Kohl’s plans to recognize an additional 2,100 kids with prizes ranging from $50 Kohl’s Gift Cards to $1,000 or $10,000 scholarships. Deadline: March 15, 2010.


The Grantseeker’s Checklist
The Grantseeker’s Checklist provides 20 key areas to check when applying for grants. CD Publications has been guiding readers through the maze of public and private funding for over 40 years, and this brief “safety check” reflects their experience in the field. This publication will be offered free for a limited time. It has a flexible copyright which permits a reader to print and circulate up to five copies for other staff.

Federal Grant Opportunities


FY 2009-20010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2009-2010 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Advocates in Disability Award
The HSC Foundation is accepting applications for its 2010 Advocates in Disability Award, which recognizes a young person between the ages of 14 and 26 in the Washington DC Metropolitan area who is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities. Applicants will be evaluated on their current and previous work that impacts people with disabilities, as well as their ideas for a new or extended project that would benefit individuals with disabilities. The winner will receive $10,000, and will use $7,000 of the winnings to implement the project that was outlined in his or her application. Deadline: March 4, 2010.


Corporation for National and Community Service Announces Availability of Funding to Support Service-Learning
Grants of up to $120,000 will be awarded to Indian tribes and U.S. territories working to engage school-age youth in service-learning projects that simultaneously support student development and meet community needs. The grants will fund programs that focus on: supporting high-quality service-learning sponsored by Indian Tribes and U.S. Territories and enhancing the infrastructure in schools and communities to support on-going service-learning programming; promoting healthy communities and healthy youth, increasing student civic, academic and leadership skills and those that support Indian Tribes and U.S. Territories working with schools to expand service-learning into more tribal communities that will involve students in service-learning projects. Deadline: March 9, 2010.


Jenzabar Foundation: Student Leadership Awards
The Jenzabar Foundation Student Leadership Awards will honor 10 student-led campus groups or activities that have made a significant impact serving others through service and philanthropic activities beyond their own higher education institutions. This year, the awards will include a new Social Entrepreneur of the Year category, which will recognize one outstanding leader or organization committed to tackling social issues and promoting social entrepreneurship. Deadline: March 31, 2010.


Motorola Foundation: Innovation Generation Grants
The Motorola Foundation Innovation Generation Grants will support targeted STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education programs for U.S. pre-school through 12th grade students and teachers. Funding priority will be programs that engage students and teachers in innovative hands-on activities, teach STEM as well as develop innovative thinking and creative problem-solving skills, focus on girls and minorities that are currently underrepresented in STEM disciplines, and take place in communities with Motorola employees. Maximum award: $50,000. Eligibility: U.S. non-profit organizations, schools, or school districts. Deadline: March 1, 2010.


Siemens/NSTA: We Can Change the World Challenge
In the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, teachers, mentors, or other adults work with and supervise teams of eligible students in the creation of a contest entry identifying an issue in the community that needs to “go green” and providing a plan to positively impact that issue and further “green living” in their community. Each team’s entry should include: choosing a topic, writing a problem statement, doing background research, writing a hypothesis, developing a plan, collecting data, drawing a conclusion, reporting the results and explaining how to replicate this project. Deadline: March 15, 2010.

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End of Issue

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