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February 2015 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


Autism Speaks Putting New Focus on Adults
After prioritizing the needs of children for years, Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization is turning its attention to expanding housing options and supports for adults. Starting as a pilot project in three states, Florida, New Jersey and Illinois, Autism Speaks is working with locally-based disability advocacy groups and policymakers to identify legislative goals and mobilize its own network to push for expanded home and community-based services.


Obama Calls for Boost to Disability Programs
President Barack Obama wants Congress to halt planned cuts under sequestration and increase funding for special education and other programs for people with disabilities. The proposals come in Obama’s $4 trillion budget plan which was released 02/16/15. The budget highlights the president’s priorities for the government’s 2016 fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Included in the plan is an added $175 million in funding for special education services for school-age children with disabilities and $115 million for programs for young kids served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


Internal Revenue Service Guide to Filing Taxes for Persons with Disabilities  (2014) PDF document
The IRS has developed a guide for filing taxes for persons with disabilities. Available in pdf (8 pp).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


PACER Center Workshops for Parents and Professionals

February 19, 2015 - March 31, 2015
In February and March 2015, PACER Center has upcoming many 2-hour workshops, some morning and some evening, in various locations throughout Minnesota, to parents of children with disabilities and the professionals working with families. Workshop topics include areas of interest in special education, including information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) program, early childhood, the area of transition for students 14-21 (housing, post secondary, employment, and community), assistive technology, and many more. The workshops can be attended in person or streamed on-line. Their website provides details of time, location, and registration.

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

February 20, 2015 - May 8, 2015
Monroe Twp., NJ
Eden Autism Services has upcoming four workshops on aspects of teaching students with autism spectrum disorders. “Effective Inclusion for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” February 20, 2015, will cover learning characteristics, strategies and supports, social skills training, token systems, behavior management, and the role of the paraprofessional. “Professional Training in Behavioral Teaching Strategies,” April 16-17, 2015, will cover overview of autism, teaching techniques, principles of reinforcement, functional analysis of behavior, functional communication strategies, curriculum and IEP development, and classroom design and structure. “Teaching Social Skills,” April 24, 2015, will cover setting up a social skills group, assessment and goals, teaching strategies, generalization, and data collection. “Behavior Analyst Certification Board,” May 8, 2015, will provide BCBA required training. The workshops are is offered to professionals, paraprofessionals and parents interested in learning about autism and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
Web-based Event
February 23, 2015 - May 21, 2015
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM   (Eastern)
Think College has upcoming three webinars on topics related to postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. “Participatory Action Research,” February 23, 2015, will discuss how college students with intellectual disabilities are conducting research into their experiences in college using Participatory Action Research strategies. In “Inclusive Campus Communities,” March 24, 2015, TPSID staff and Think College staff engaged in a dialogue related to how to create inclusive campus communities will discuss promising practices that support inclusion. In “Vocational rehabilitation Partnerships that Support College for Students with Intellectual Disabilities,” May 21, 2015, TPSID projects that have developed innovative agreements with Vocational Rehabilitation in their respective states will share details of those agreements and discuss how Vocational Rehabilitation helps support postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities.

Think College Capacity Building Institute
Capacity Building Institute
June 15, 2015 - June 16, 2015
Boston, MA
Think College will host a Regional Capacity Building Institute June 15-16. 2015, to support the development and expansion of high quality inclusive higher education throughout the Northeast region and beyond. It will bring together professionals from the region as well as from each of the national model demonstration projects (TPSIDs) to share strategies and build relationships. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2015
This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the U.S. Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards for fiscal year 2015 and provides actual or estimated deadlines for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts organized according to the Department’s principal program offices and include programs and competitions previously announced as well as those to be announced at a later date.


FY 2015 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


Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation: Grants for Youth with Disabilities
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Grants program is dedicated to helping young Americans with disabilities maximize their potential and fully participate in society. The foundation supports organizations and projects within its mission that have broad scope and impact and demonstrate potential for replication at other sites. A major program emphasis is inclusion: enabling young people with disabilities to have full access to educational, vocational, and recreational opportunities, and to participate alongside their non-disabled peers. Maximum award: $90,000. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations. Deadline for Concept Papers: June 1, 2015.

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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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This page was last updated on November 29, 2017.