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March 2002 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


The Alliance Project
The Alliance Project is funded by the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and addresses the increasing demand for qualified personnel from historically underrepresented groups in special education and related services. The project focuses its work on faculty members in departments of general and special education, allied health and health sciences, school psychology, and counseling at: Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, and other institutions of higher education whose enrollment includes at least 25% of students from historically underrepresented groups. This includes Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, and people with Asian ancestry. Through its Alliance Centers, the project provides a comprehensive range of research, training, and service projects, and promotes quality education with an emphasis on cultural pluralism.


The High School/High Tech Program
The High School/High Tech Program provides opportunities for students with disabilities to explore exciting careers in science, mathematics and technology. The Program is one of several initiatives of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The programs' Web site contains their High School/High Tech Program Guide, a resource for planning, establishing, building, and managing a High School/High Tech project in your community.

Legislative Announcements


President Lays Out FY 2003 Federal Budget
President Bush laid out his $2.12 trillion budget plan for FY 2002 in February with major increases proposed for defense, homeland security, and biomedical research, while limiting funds for many domestic programs. The most significant recipient of the limited funds is the Department of Labor. The President would cut discretionary spending by 7 percent, including a $600 million cut in job-training programs. Several employment programs under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services have been eliminated from the budget or consolidated. The Supported Employment State Grants and Recreational programs are completely zeroed out. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B state grants, on the other hand, would receive a $1 billion increase. The budget and appropriations process is now in full swing as Congress uses the President's budget as a base from with to begin work on a congressional budget resolution. All of the President's budget documents are available online.


Social Security Administration (SSA) Issues First "Tickets to Work"
In early February, 2002, SSA Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart delivered the first tickets in the nation as part of Social Security's new Ticket to Work Program. The program, enacted as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, is designed to help people with disabilities go to work. Under the program, Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income disability beneficiaries will receive a ticket that may be redeemed to obtain vocational rehabilitation, job training, and other support services from a network of employment service providers. The program has started in 13 states and will be implemented nationwide by January, 2004.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Accommodations for Students with Disabilities in High School  (January 2002)
NCSET Issue Brief  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  1
This brief addresses the issue that fewer students with disabilities in middle schools and high schools use accommodations than students with disabilities in elementary schools. The brief reviews research findings, legal considerations, and needs for further research.


Introducing the NLTS2  (January 2002)
NCSET NLTS2 Data Brief  • Volume  1 ,  Issue  1
This introductory NLTS2 Data Brief is the first in a series that will highlight the major findings and results of this transition study of youth with disabilities. This issue describes the NLTS2 project.

Other National Resources


Beyond Traditional Job Development: The Art of Creating Opportunity  (June 1994)
Written by Denise Bissonnette, this book offers a compilation of inspirational anecdotes, powerful insights, and practical strategies for people who are entrusted with the task of helping others find their way to employment. Includes step-by-step instructions on how to envision and create job opportunities. The book comes with a one-hour audiocassette of the author's overview and summary. Cost: $30.00.


For Love of Julian  (2002)
A personal documentary about multiply handicapped, profoundly brain injured children. Using candid, in depth interviews with parents and professionals along with striking visual documentation, a window is opened into these young people's worlds. A powerful teaching and learning tool in the schools or in your community. Narrated by Susan Sarandon.


Medicaid: Parent Consent Issues  (January 2002) PDF document
This document is a discussion of important issues related to parental consent for accessing Medicaid benefits, and includes a brief reference list. Information was gathered through telephone interviews and document review. Produced by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE). Available in PDF.


Minority Students in Gifted and Special Education Programs  (2002)
This report examines the disproportionately high numbers of ethnic and racial minorities in special education classes for students with disabilities, as well as minorities' underrepresentation in programs for gifted students. Includes recommendations for early intervention and general education, as well as for changes in referral and assessment processes. Edited by M. Suzanne Donovan and Christoper T. Cross at the National Research Council Available to read online at no cost, or for purchase at $35.96.


The High School/High Tech Program Guide  (July 2001)
The High School/High Tech Program provides opportunities for students with disabilities to explore exciting careers in science, mathematics and technology. The Program is one of several initiatives of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). This High School/High Tech Program Guide, available from the Program's Web site, is a resource for planning, establishing, building, and managing a High School/High Tech project in your community.

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What's Happening

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Get Wired!

Web Sites


Back to School, Moving Forward: What No Child Left Behind Means for America's Families
The U.S. Department of Education has developed a new Web site to share information about what the Bush Administration's 2001 "No Child Left Behind Act" means for states, families, educators, and communities. Includes policy information on the state, local, and family levels, an introduction from President Bush, and detailed information about the Act's impact on testing, accountability, and more. A wonderful resource for understanding the most sweeping reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).


Learning First Alliance: Strengthening public schools for every child
The Learning First Alliance is a permanent partnership of 12 leading educational associations that have come together to improve student learning in America's public elementary and secondary schools. This Web site includes news and policy updates, publications, job and internship opportunities, and serves as a forum to share success stories and encourage collaboration. An excellent Web resource for people at all levels of the education system.


PCS Edventures! provides great resources for managing and facilitating fun, project-based learning activities that prepare students for the future and address technological literacy standards. Perfect for technology educators, as well as general and special education classrooms. The Web site also includes special segments for parents and kids.


Rural School and Community Trust
A non-profit educational organization dedicated to increasing student learning and improving community life by strengthening relationships between rural schools and communities. This Web site includes a wide range of publications, the Rural Policy Matters newsletter, links to other organizations, and ways to get involved in strengthening your area's school and community relationships.



CADRE Caucus: E-Newsletter on Dispute Resolution in Special Education
The Caucus periodically shares information on new features and resources found at the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) Web site and in the world of special education conflict resolution. You can subscribe to the Caucus on the left-hand side of CADRE’s homepage.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


Special Education: State Program Improvement Grants Program - CFDA#84.323A  (2001)
The purpose of this program, authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997, is to assist State educational agencies and their partners referred to in section 652(b) of IDEA with reforming and improving their systems for providing educational, early intervention, and transitional services, including their systems for professional development, technical assistance, and dissemination of knowledge about best practices, to improve results for children with disabilities. Granted by the US Department of Education (DOE). Grant deadline: April 29, 2002.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


NEC Foundation's Education and Technology Grants
The NEC Foundation of America makes cash grants to U.S. nonprofit organizations and programs with national reach and impact in one or both of the following areas: science and technology education, and/or the application of technology to assist people with disabilities. Grants range from $1,500 to $75,000. Proposals may be submitted at any time; those received after a deadline will be held for the following cycle.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
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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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