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March 2007 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


How Educators Can Claim $250 Federal Tax Deduction,,id=165640,00.html
The Educator Expense Deduction was reinstated by Congress after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) printed this year’s official tax forms. This means that to claim the $250 deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses, educators will need to follow special instructions issued by the IRS—or file their tax returns electronically, which the IRS recommends. Along with the deductions for educators’ out-of-pocket classroom expenses, lawmakers extended tax deductions for higher education tuition and fees. The IRS has drawn up special instructions for claiming both of these deductions.

Calls to Participate


Advanced Service-Learning Practitioners: Participate in a Professional Development Opportunity
The National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) is offering training in service-learning best practices for advanced service-learning practitioners, through which they can earn graduate credit and a Certificate of Excellent Practice in K-12 Service-Learning. This program is being offered in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) and includes online study and the submission of a portfolio for review by NYLC’s evaluation committee. Potential participants should “pre-apply” to determine their eligibility. Cohorts start May 21, 2007 (pre-application deadline: May 7) and September 17, 2007 (pre-application deadline: August 31). For more information, e-mail or call (651)999-7378.


Nominate a Special Education Teacher for the NASET Outstanding Special Education Teacher Award
The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) Outstanding Special Education Teacher Award is given to educators who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of special education. Full-time certified or licensed special education teachers who are in at least their third year of teaching are eligible for nomination. Anyone involved in the field of special education (colleagues, administrators, parents of children with disabilities, etc.) can nominate a special education teacher for this award. Nomination deadline: May 1, 2007.


Spread the Word: “My Brother” Film
“My Brother” is an inner-city New York story of two impoverished brothers—one of whom has a developmental disability—and the love they have for each other. One brother, trying to get free of oppressing debt, falls prey to ruthless men, setting into motion life-threatening events that test the brothers’ bond. This leads to a decision that only an epiphany, and courage, can overcome. “My Brother” opens March 16, 2007 at selected AMC Theaters.


Submit a Paper Proposal for the National Respite Conference PDF document
The ARCH National Respite Network is seeking paper proposals for the National Respite Conference, to be held October 3-5, 2007 in Huntsville, AL. Proposals should address one or more of the following topics: best practices and model programs, research and evaluation, education for caregivers, advocacy, and lifespan respite implementation. Proposal submission deadline: April 15, 2007. Call for Papers available in PDF (5 pages, 35 KB).


Successful Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities/Mental Illness: Share Your Stories

State of Mine, a youth-run mental health advocacy organization, is seeking recovery/success stories from individuals who have struggled with psychiatric disabilities and mental illness and have gone on to live successful lives, for a forthcoming book. If you are interested in sharing your story or being interviewed for this book, please email

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Employer Engagement  (2011)
NCSET Web Topic
This NCSET Web Topic explores how schools and employers can partner to provide youth with opportunities to learn about work and prepare for future careers. Like all NCSET Web topics, it includes an introduction, frequently asked questions, related research, emerging practices, Web sites, and additional resources.

Other National Resources


A Day with Jonathan Mooney: Concrete Strategies for Teaching & Parenting Outside the Lines
In this 233-minute 2-Disc DVD set, Jonathan Mooney presents four concrete strategies that parents, teachers, and administrators can use to help kids with learning differences succeed. The strategies are entitled: The Myth of Stupid, Crazy, and Lazy; Balancing Remediation and Empowerment; Academic Accommodations and Modifications; and Normal People Suck. Jonathan emphasizes that the goal is not to fix “broken” kids, but to fix broken educational environments and re-draw the lines of what we consider “normal” learning. Available for purchase ($75) from the PEAK Parent Center.


A Parent’s Guide to Response-to-Intervention  (2006) PDF document
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) includes a provision that allows states and school districts to use high quality, research-based instruction in general and special education to provide services and interventions to students who struggle with learning and may be at risk of or suspected of having learning disabilities. The National Center for Learning Disabilities has written this Guide to provide an overview of the Response-to-Intervention process and its implementation and suggest questions that parents can ask about it. Available in PDF (12 pages, 469 KB).


A Systematic Review of the Effects of Curricular Interventions on the Acquisition of Functional Life Skills by Youth with Disabilities  (2006) PDF document
Literature Review
This literature review from the What Works Transition Research Synthesis Project reviewed 50 studies which cumulatively intervened with nearly 500 youth with moderate to severe mental retardation. Findings provide tentative support for the efficacy of the use of functional/life skills curricular interventions across educational environments, disabilities, ages, and genders in promoting positive transition-related outcomes. A series of detailed implications for practice are suggested, and instructions for how to locate more detailed descriptions of how these interventions might be implemented in secondary educational environments are provided.


ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments  (February 2007)
Tool Kit
This Tool Kit, developed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, teaches state and local government officials 1) how to identify and fix problems that prevent people with disabilities from gaining equal access to state and local government programs, services, and activities; and 2) how to conduct accessibility surveys of their buildings and facilities to identify and remove architectural barriers. Chapters include 1) ADA Basics: Statutes and Regulations, 2) ADA Coordinator: Notice and Grievance Procedure, 3) General Effective Communication Requirements Under Title II of the ADA, and 4) 9-1-1 and Emergency Communications Services.


Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z / Los Trastornos del Espectro de Autismo de la A a la Z  (2006)
This book, written by two sisters who are professionals in the field of autism, helps professionals and families understand Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD); how ASD affects their loved one, student, or client; and what they can do about it. Each chapter provides information, guidance, and resources on topics including the process of getting a diagnosis; dealing with its impact; understanding and obtaining in-depth, meaningful assessments; obtaining supports and services; developing individualized programs at any age or stage of life; working effectively as teams to assist families; and transitioning from one phase of life to another. Price: $34.95. Spanish edition available.


Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the Promise to Our Nation's Children  (February 2007)
The Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a bipartisan, independent effort dedicated to improving NCLB. Over the past year, the Commission has traveled across the country, listening to students, educators, parents, administrators, state and district officials, experts, and policymakers in order to develop this report, which outlines specific and actionable recommendations for establishing a high-achieving education system.


Federal Policy Positions of National High School Alliance Partners  (February 2007) PDF document
This brief compares and contrasts National High School Alliance partner organizations’ positions on the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. It also briefly summarizes partners’ statements on other federal legislation, including policies regarding career and technical education and graduation rates. Available in PDF (14 pages, 110 KB).


Higher Education and Web Accessibility: Providing Training and Support for the Future  (2007)
E-Journal Issue
This issue of Access Technologists Higher Education Network (ATHEN) E-Journal focuses on the training needs of distance learning professionals, Webmasters, and other information technology (IT) professionals in postsecondary institutions. Specifically, it examines how we assure that such personnel design products and environments that are accessible to students with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Articles include: Accessible Electronic & Information Technology: Legal Obligations of Higher Education and Section 508, Cultivating and Maintaining Web Accessibility Expertise and Institutional Support in Higher Education, Accessibility Training for Distance Learning Personnel, and Case Studies in Training and Professional Development for Web Accessibility.


Illness and Disability Information from  (May 2006)
Web Page, a Web site of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, was created to help girls ages 10-16 learn about health, growing up, and issues they may face. This page provides definitions of “illness” and “disability,” and links to more information about each.


Preventing High School Dropout: Understanding the Underlying Issues and Useful Strategies to Address the Problem  (December 2006)
Event Materials/Proceedings
On December 13, 2006, the National High School Center hosted this Webinar, which described research on dropout and described state strategies for preventing it. Presenters included Russell Rumberger, Professor and Director of Linguistic Minority Research Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara; Cammy Lehr, Coordinator of the Dropout Prevention, Retention, and Graduation Initiative, Minnesota Department of Education; and Glory Kibbel, Interim Director of Choice and Equity for the School Choice Programs and Services Division, Minnesota Department of Education.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Between Me, You, and Liberation: Starting a Group for Girls with Disabilities

Chicago, IL
This event is a 3-day workshop (to be held in May 2007--specific dates to be announced) for women interested in learning how to build a gender-conscious, disability-proud, safe space for girls. It will cover recruitment, curriculum development, group dynamics, capacity building, and more. It will be presented by the co-coordinators of the Empowered Fe Fes, an ongoing group for girls with disabilities created in 1999. Participation is free, but only 12 participants will be accepted. For more information, contact Susan Nussbaum or Ana Mercado, Voice: 1-800-613-8549 TTY: 1-888-253-7003, or email: or Sponsored by Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago.

District and School-Based Professional Development Approaches for Content Area Literacy Improvement
Web-based Event
March 14, 2007
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
During this interactive presentation from WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative, Diane Waff of the Strategic Literacy Initiative at WestEd and Cathleen Kral, Instructional Leader for Literacy with Boston Public Schools, will describe school and district professional development initiatives that help teachers acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become teachers of other teachers. They will also describe features of effective literacy coaching in a culturally diverse high school and in a large urban school district.

Dropout Recovery: What Cities Can Do to Get Students Back on Track
Teleconference Call
March 22, 2007
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
City efforts to stem the dropout crisis will be the focus of this free audio conference sponsored by the Youth, Education, and Families Institute of the National League of Cities. It will feature municipal leaders who are working to reconnect students who have dropped out of high school to education and support services. Participation is free, but registration is required—send name, title and organization, address, phone, fax, and e-mail to by March 20.

Meeting the Employment and Parenting Needs of Low-Income Families
Web-based Event
March 27, 2007
12:00 PM - 1:00 AM   (Central)
Although many poor families have been involved with both child welfare and TANF programs, neither system is equipped to fully support families with employment, parenting, housing, education, health, or other special needs. This Chapin Hall Center for Children Web conference will explore efforts to integrate welfare-to-work programs, child welfare programs, and other family supports. Panelists will discuss how TANF and child welfare programs can collaborate to prevent the need for intervention by the child welfare system and better support low-income families. Participation is free but registration is required.

Harnessing the Power of Networks: A Guide to Communities of Practice for State and District Leaders
Web-based Event
March 28, 2007
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Eastern)
This Access Center Webinar will provide a broad overview of the concept of Communities of Practice (CoPs) and outline strategies for forming and sustaining CoPs at the SEA, LEA, and building levels. Examples illustrating how cross-divisional communities can spark reform and innovation will be provided. The presenter will be Tolani Adeboye, Senior Associate of Special Education at the Council of Chief State School Officers. She is co-leader of the NCLB-IDEA Collaboration CoP in partnership with the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Participation is free. Informational flier available in PDF (2 pages, 117 KB).

Breaking Ranks 2007 Urban Secondary School Showcase

April 23, 2007 - April 24, 2007
Chicago, IL
This showcase will highlight more than 20 of the nation’s most innovative and successful middle and high schools. Participants will learn the strategies and techniques that have made these schools leaders in secondary education. Presented by the Center for Secondary School Redesign and the National Association for Secondary School Principals.

Charting the Future in Developmental and Learning Disabilities
April 30, 2007 - May 4, 2007
New York, NY
Topics to be featured at this YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities conference include advocacy/self-determination; aging; Autism Spectrum Disorders; clinical issues and practices; day services; dual diagnosis; early childhood; early intervention; employment training; family supports; health care/medical issues; inclusion; legal, ethical, and policy issues; life planning; management/supervision; media/public relations; profound ID/DD; psychopharmacology; quality of life; residential services; sexuality; special education; staff training; technology; transitions; women’s issues; and workforce issues.

Second Annual Symposium: The Role of School Districts in Creating and Sustaining High Performing Urban Schools

May 4, 2007 - May 5, 2007
San Diego, CA
Participants in this National Center for Urban School Transformation symposium will have the opportunity to learn from and converse with leaders from several of the nation’s outstanding urban schools and districts, and will also hear internationally renowned keynote speakers and award-winning superintendents.

Imagine . . . Everybody Works
May 10, 2007 - May 11, 2007
Columbus, OH
This conference will help people engaged in employment for individuals with autism share information, sharpen their skills, and renew their commitment to advancing employment in their own communities. Participants will enjoy quality speakers, productive dialogues, formal and informal networking, and exhibits from vendors of tools and techniques they can utilize to enhance the employment outcomes and the lives of people with disabilities. Presented by the Autism Society of America and APSE: The Network on Employment.

Transition to Meaningful Adult Roles: You Can’t Put a Square Peg in a Round Hole
Web-based Event
May 15, 2007
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM   (Eastern)
This Webcast will be presented by Marilyn Henn, the mother of a daughter with severe autism who is nonverbal and exhibits behaviors such as kicking, biting, screaming, pica, and self-injury. Despite these obstacles, her daughter has held a full-time job in the community with supports and full benefits for over 12 years. She has her own car and lives in her own “Family Consortium.” This multimedia presentation covers the journey that Marilyn and her daughter have made over the past 30 years. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply.

Organizational Change—Examples of Successful Case Studies
Web-based Event
May 22, 2007
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
This Webcast will describe how SEEC of Silver Spring, MD ( transitioned to providing customized employment, including the discovery process that resulted in employment outcomes for individuals with significant developmental disabilities. Registration is required and a registration fee does apply. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities is the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the U.S., dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for the nearly 60 million Americans with disabilities. AAPD works with other disability organizations for the full implementation and enforcement of disability nondiscrimination laws, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Its Web site includes information on leadership development, mentoring, political participation, advocacy, job and internship opportunities, scholarships and awards, and much more.


Office on Disability, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
The Office on Disability (OD) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has completely redesigned its Web site. The new site provides comprehensive yet easy-to-access information on the seven domains identified by the President’s New Freedom Initiative—housing, education, information technology, transportation, health, employment, and community integration—plus information on advocacy, entitlements, and emergency preparedness. It also features information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and OD initiatives. The new site is fully compliant with Sections 508 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.


Shared Youth Vision Federal Collaborative Partnership
In 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) developed a new strategic vision to serve at-risk youth in response to the 2003 White House Taskforce Report on Disadvantaged Youth. It also formed the Shared Youth Vision Federal Collaborative Partnership, whose members include the U.S. Departments of Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Justice, Education, Transportation; the U.S. Social Security Administration; and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Partnership’s Web site includes information on the partners, Youth Vision Activities, and Regional Forums, as well as a Solutions Desk and Resource Materials.


Understanding Educational Equity and Excellence at Scale
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform has launched a Web site aimed to address a crucial issue in education reform: strategies currently in use have created pockets of excellence but have not created equity—they have not lessened large-scale, persistent academic achievement gaps based on race and income. This site provides text-based, audio, and video resources from important voices in education reform to support an ongoing dialogue between the twin goals of educational excellence and equity at scale in urban schools.



Center for Implementing Technology in Education E-News
The bimonthly e-mail newsletter of the Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) includes information for teachers, administrators, technology coordinators, and professional development coordinators, as well as information about upcoming CITEd events.


E-mail Updates from the National High School Center
The National High School Center regularly e-mails information on successful high school practices, research, and upcoming events. You can view past issues of its e-newsletter on its Web site.


North Central Regional Resource Center E-News
E-News is a biweekly e-publication of the North Central Regional Resource Center that delivers the latest news and information about national and regional events and resources for the states in Region 4 (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). E-News is intended for State Department of Education Special Education personnel (e.g., administrators, coordinators, data managers, etc.), Lead Agency personnel, and Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers personnel. If you are interested in receiving E-News, please send an e-mail to with “E-News Registration” in the subject line.


Travel With a Purpose Yahoo Group
The Travel With A Purpose: Disability and International Educational Educational Exchange Yahoo Group is a forum to discuss issues of disability and international education, including study, work, volunteer, research, intercultural, and intern abroad programs. People of any age or disability are welcome to join, as are international exchange and disability organizations. The Group is moderated by the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange.

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Funding Forecast

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Awards
The Turnaround Management Association (TMA) seeks nominations for the 2007 Butler-Cooley Excellence in Teaching Awards. These Awards honor primary- and secondary-level educators who have changed students’ lives and the communities in which they live. Currently licensed, active primary or secondary school teachers with at least five years of teaching experience are eligible for the award. Winners receive $5,000 cash and travel and lodging expenses to the 2007 TMA Annual Convention. Entry deadline: May 1, 2007.


Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes seeks nominations for its 2006 awards to honor youth ages 8-18 who have shown leadership and courage in public service to people and our planet. Ten national winners will each receive $2,000 to support their service work or higher education. Nomination deadline: April 30, 2007.


Kohl’s Kids Who Care Program
A philanthropic program of the Kohl’s Corporation, the Kohl's Kids Who Care program recognizes and rewards young volunteers (ages 6-18) who have transformed their communities for the better. One winner from each age group (ages 6-12 and 13-18) per participating store will receive a $50 Kohl’s Gift Card. Regional winners in each age group will receive $1,000 scholarships, and five national winners in each age group will receive $5,000 scholarships. Kohl’s will also contribute $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on behalf of each national winner. Nomination deadline: March 15, 2007.


My Hometown Helper Grants from Hamburger Helper
Hamburger Helper is looking to lend a helping hand to neighborhoods nationwide with its “My Hometown Helper” grant program. Individuals and organizations can submit an essay of no more than 250 words describing how a “My Hometown Helper” grant of up to $15,000 would improve their community through the supported project. Applications must be sponsored by a municipal or civic organization or public school. Application deadline: May 31, 2007.


Save Our History
The History Channel will honor teachers and students across the country who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to local history through their preservation or history education efforts. A total of 25 teachers and 25 students will each win up to $5,000 based on their creative lesson plans, activities, and/or projects. In addition, one teacher and one student will be named “Teacher of the Year” and “Student of the Year”; awarded an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC; and recognized at the annual Save Our History National Honors Event in May 2007. Application deadline: March 30, 2007.


Staples Foundation for Learning Grants
Staples Foundation for Learning Grants provide funding to programs that support or provide job skills and/or education for all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Application deadline: April 6, 2007.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
You are welcome to copy and paste portions of this E-News issue into your own e-mail newsletter; however, please credit the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition E-News and link to as follows: “Excerpted from NCSET E-News, an electronic newsletter of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), available online at NCSET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.”

Contributing to E-News
If you have information on new products, resources, funding opportunities, and conferences or training events and want to contribute these to a future E-News issue, please e-mail the information to or see Suggest an Item for E-News for more information.

Purpose of the Listserv
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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E-News Disclaimer
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.

Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material.

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