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April 2009 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Technology Counts 2009: Breaking Away From Tradition
Education Week has published its annual report, “Technology Counts 2009: Breaking Away From Tradition.” The print version of this report is still days away from being released, but the report is online, plus Web-only content, tables, and graphics at the Web site.

Calls to Participate


Beach Center Re-Launches Family Support Community
This Community of Practice is re-launched with discussion boards addressing various disability topics.


DCDT 2009 Call for Papers: "From Cobblestones to Cornerstones, Revitalizing Transition Outcomes in 2009"
DCDT is accepting presentations for its 15th International Conference, "From Cobblestones to Cornerstones, Revitalizing Transition Outcomes in 2009" to be held at The Westin Savannah Harbor in Savannah, Georgia, October 29-31, 2009. The deadline is April 24.


ICDR Seeks Recommendations on Emerging Disability Research Topics
The federally mandated Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) is using a Web-based approach this year to collect online disability research comments to assist in developing a federal disability and rehabilitation 2010 research agenda. Recommendations can be submitted from March 27-April 17. Additionally, registered participants will be invited to review all comments submitted and vote on their top ten concerns in each topic area from April 22-29. Public comments from stakeholders are the focal point of the disability research recommendations in the ICDR Annual Report to the President and Congress.


Making Cents International Seeks Proposals for the 2009 Global Youth Enterprise Conference
Making Cents International seeks proposals for its 2009 Global Youth Enterprise Conference, which will be in Washington DC, September 29-30, convening 350 leaders in youth enterprise, employment, education and health to share promising practices for helping youth develop the necessary skills and opportunities for quality employment. Proposal deadline: April 17, 2009.


What Kids Can Do: Speech Contest 2009
As Graduation Day approaches, What Kids Can Do invites students to raise their voice and let others know what matters most to them now and in the years ahead. This year’s theme: “Crisis and Hope in These Trying Times.” Maximum award: $100 gift certificate from Eligibility: anyone from age 12 to 19, writing in English. Deadline: May 18, 2009.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


2009 OSEP National Parent Center Conference Materials Available Online  (2009)
Presentation Materials
PowerPoint presentations and other materials from presentations made at “High Expectations, Endless Possibilities,” the January 2009 OSEP National Parent Center Conference, are available online at the Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers web site. A number of conference sessions focused on issues of importance to transition-age youth and their families.


2009 Red Book – A Guide to Work Incentives  (April 2009)
The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors serving people with disabilities.


A Guide to Federal Sources for Asset-building Initiatives  (January 2009) PDF document
This guide aims to help policymakers and initiative leaders identify federal funding sources to support asset-building initiatives for low-income families, individuals with disabilities, youth, and others at the state, local, and community levels. In addition to profiling federal funding sources, the guide reviews the funding landscape for asset-building initiatives, describes the types of federal funding, and presents federal funding strategies including strategies to maximize federal funding and build partnerships. Available in pdf (123 pages, 1.42 MB).


AccessSTEM/AccessComputing/DO-IT Longitudinal Transition Study (ALTS)  (January 2009)
The current results of DO-IT’s longitudinal tracking study are now available online. Project staff have so far tracked the progress of 212 students with disabilities through critical junctures to degrees and careers. All of the ALTS respondents have participated in at least one DO-IT program since 1993.


Determinations of LEA Compliance with IDEA: Strategies and Resources Used by States  (February 2009)
Policy Analysis
This brief policy analysis presents IDEA 2004 language requiring states to make annual determinations about each local education agency. Findings from a survey to which 45 state directors of special education responded are discussed, including processes states use in making determinations, resources used, enforcement actions taken, and benefits and challenges encountered in making determinations. Available in pdf (10 pages, 157 KB).


Digest of Education Statistics, 2008  (March 2009)
The 44th in a series of publications initiated in 1962, the Digest’s purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. The Digest contains data on a variety of topics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, and federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons. The Web site has links to pdf files of the full report (732 pp., 9.88 MB) or of its individual chapters.


Edutopia Tips on Getting Free Donations of Classroom Supplies  (March 2009)
Rather than reach deeper into their own pockets, some educators are waging grassroots fundraising efforts. In this Edutopia article, educators share tips for stocking up – without reaching into their own wallets. Some strategies are controversial, but all are worth considering.


Every Student Counts: The Role of Federal Policy in Improving Graduation Rate Accountability  (March 2009) PDF document
This Alliance for Excellent Education brief describes how federal policy has progressed from early attempts to simply calculate an agreed-upon high school graduation rate to present-day efforts aimed at using commonly defined rates as part of a refined accountability system to drive school improvement. The brief, Every Student Counts: The Role of Federal Policy in Improving Graduation Rate Accountability, includes a national and state-by-state analysis of the impact of the graduation rate regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education in October 2008. Available in pdf (14 pages, 537 KB).


Finding Help for Children with Mental Health Needs  (2009)
This guide to systems of care for families, from the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, provides information on how to seek care for children with mental health needs. The content and format were determined by families across the country.


Getting the Most Out of Your Dropout Summit – Guide  (May 2008) PDF document
The America’s Promise Alliance is supporting 50 state and at least 50 city Dropout Prevention Summits to be held by 2010. The primary purpose of these summits is to increase public awareness of the dropout and college-readiness crisis. This guide, written by the Forum for Youth Investment and the Ready by 21 National Partners, provides cities and states that will be hosting summits over the next two years with steps to getting started. Available in pdf (16 pages, 525 KB).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Ready by 21 Webinar: Using a Results Framework for Child & Youth Outcomes
Web-based Event
April 7, 2009
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM   (Eastern)
Considering the heightened focus on data-driven decision making, this latest webinar in the Ready by 21 Webinar Series will explore the latest developments in tracking youth indicators and outcomes, will look at best practice examples from states, and highlight new and proven ways to develop a balanced range of both positive and negative youth indicators.

Getting Creative: Developing Hands-on Literacy Materials for Students with Severe Disabilities
Web-based Event
April 21, 2009
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM   (Mountain)
“Getting Creative: Developing Hands-on Literacy Materials for Students with Severe Disabilities,” will be presented by MaryAnn Demchak, Ph.D., of the University of Nevada-Reno. The webinars are sponsored by the Idaho Project for Children and Youth with Deaf-Blindness, Center on Disabilities and Human Development, University of Idaho-Boise and the Idaho State Department of Education, Special Education Section.

Making Progress on Essential Standards and Assessment Reforms
Web-based Event
April 21, 2009
As part of a series of WestEd-sponsored webinars related to education goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Stanley Rabinowitz, Director of the WestEd/CRESST Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center, will describe innovative state-level strategies to define, develop, and benchmark (nationally and internationally) rigorous college/career-ready core standards. These strategies include considerations for English learners, students with disabilities, and low-performing students.

Accessing the World through International Exchange

May 1, 2009
New York, NY
People in the U.S. disability community are invited for this one-day seminar and luncheon in New York City for a discussion of the “Who, What, Where and Why” of international exchange, including overseas cultural, educational, professional and volunteer programs, for U.S. students, teachers, professionals and others with disabilities. It is co-sponsored by Mobility International USA, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education. Registration Deadline: April 17, 2009.

Thirty-Fifth National Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI) Forum

May 8, 2009 - May 9, 2009
Arlington, VA
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration and others, this Forum will present the results of studies in rehabilitation.

CREATE a Culturally Responsive Environment Conference
June 29, 2009 - July 1, 2009
Green Bay, WI
Formerly known as the Summer Institute on Addressing Disproportionality, this conference is designed to enhance educators’ understanding and application of research-based and culturally responsive policies, procedures, and practices. The CREATE grant was awarded to address the achievement gap between diverse students and to eliminate race as a predictor of participation in special education in the state of Wisconsin. Participation is limited to educators who reside and practice in Wisconsin.

20th National APSE Conference on Integrated Employment
June 30, 2009 - July 2, 2009
Milwaukee, WI
This conference is the only national annual meeting that focuses exclusively on cutting-edge employment practices for individuals with severe disabilities. The break out sessions this year will tackle the tough issues of achieving success with business, changing public policy and identifying funding solutions. Sponsored by APSE: The Network on Employment (formerly the Association for Persons in Supported Employment).

National Forum on Education Statistics/NCES Summer Data Conference
July 27, 2009 - July 31, 2009
Bethesda, MD
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), will sponsor the 2009 National Forum on Education Statistics and the NCES Summer Data Conference at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda Hotel in Bethesda, MD. The Forum will be held July 27-29, 2009, and the NCES Summer Data Conference July 29-31, 2009. National Forum members from local, state, and federal education agencies and national associations will share their work on tools for improving education data through best practice guides on longitudinal data systems, data ethics, metadata (and its importance), and collecting and managing data on displaced students. Information on state data system initiatives and policy affecting data collection and use will be presented.

Realizing the Dream: Promoting Financial Opportunity in All Communities
August 31, 2009 - September 1, 2009
San Antonio, TX
Sponsored by the National Community Tax coalition, this conference brings together community tax practitioners, financial services representatives, researchers, policymakers, advocates, government officials and others to discuss Building Prosperity for Working Families. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Association of Travel Instruction Web site
ATI’s Web site promotes transportation independence.
Book scans can now be shared through a special exemption in the U.S. copyright law that permits the reproduction of publications into specialized formats for persons with print disabilities. The Web site has information about this new resource, providing access to books that are stored online as well as books added to the collection. Free memberships for qualified students with disabilities are currently being funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Bookshare also offers more than 45,000 digital books, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals and assistive technology tools.


HEATH Resource Center
The George Washington University HEATH Resource Center has updated its Web site. New modules on the reconfigured site include 14 training modules for high school students with disabilities preparing for transition from high school to college, a module for parents, and a module for college/university professionals.


Racial Equity Tools
Racial Equity Tools is a Web site designed to support people and groups who are working for inclusion, racial equity and social justice. The site includes ideas, strategies and tips, as well as a clearinghouse of resources and links from many sources.



Achieve’s Perspective E-Newsletter
Perspective is a free e-newsletter issued by Achieve, Inc., a bipartisan, non-profit organization founded by the nation's governors and CEOs to help states raise standards, improve assessments and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary education, careers and citizenship.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Financial Aid On Disabilityinfo.Gov
This Web site includes links to scholarship applications for students with various disabilities for graduate and undergraduate as well as vocational studies.


Got Grants?
Successful education grant writers offer advice on how to access teacher-learning funds.


Michigan State Library of Financial Aid
Michigan State’s comprehensive list of financial aid resources for students with disabilities can be found at their Web site.


Project Vision
Project Vision lists scholarships available specifically for students with disabilities, including nearly 50 that have their application deadlines in March, April, and May.


Scholarships4students’s Web site includes a list of scholarships for students with disabilities, by disability category.

Federal Grant Opportunities


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2008-2009
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 2008-2009 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 2007-2008 Discretionary Grant Application Packages
This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open.


FY 2008-2009 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


Do Something Offers Grants for Community Action Projects
Over the course of 2009, Do Something will award fifty-two grants of $500 each to help young people implement or expand a community action project, program, or organization. Applicants must be no older than 25 and a U.S. or Canadian citizen. Do Something grants cannot be used to fund travel costs, individual sponsorships, shipping costs, individual school fees, or fundraising expenses. Do Something grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Grants will be awarded on a weekly basis. Deadline: Rolling.


Dollar General Accepting Applications for Youth Literacy and Back-to-School Grants
The Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help with the implementation or expansion of literacy programs for students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading, with grants of up to $3,000 each. The Dollar General Back-to-School Grants provide funding to assist schools in meeting some of the financial challenges they face in implementing new programs or purchasing new equipment, materials, or software for their school library or media center, with grants of up to $5,000 each. Applicants must be located in Dollar General's 35-state operating territory and must be within twenty miles of the nearest Dollar General Store. (A store locator is available at the Dollar General Web site.) Deadline: May 22, 2009.


Lemelson-MIT InventTeam Awards for High School Teachers and Students
Grants of up to $10,000 will be given to teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors who invent technological solutions to real-world problems in many fields, from assistive devices to environmental technologies and consumer goods, especially solutions to the needs of the world’s poorest people (those earning $2 or less per day). Up to 35 finalists will be selected from the initial pool of applicants to continue to the next level. Up to 15 teams will be selected from the finalists to receive grants of $10,000 each for the 2009-10 academic year. Grant funds may be used for research, materials, and learning experiences related to the project. Any teacher who facilitates an extracurricular project may allot up to $2,000 of an InvenTeam grant toward a teacher’s stipend. Science, math, and technology teachers at public, private, and vocational high schools are eligible to apply. An InvenTeam can be composed of a small group of students as an extracurricular activity or an entire class. The optimal size for teams is considered to be 5-15 students. The teacher, assisted by students, is required to apply for the grant. The teacher also recruits students, monitors funds, and supports students through the process. Deadline: April 24, 2009.


McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation: Academic Enrichment Grants
The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation offers Academic Enrichment Grants to develop in-class and extra-curricular programs that improve student learning for low-income children. The foundation considers proposals that foster understanding, deepen students’ knowledge, and provide opportunities to expand awareness of the world around them, with awards of up to $10,000 for enrichment programs. Eligibility: educators working with students pre-K to 12 from low-income households. Deadline: May 1, 2009.


Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation National Grant Program to Support Young People With Disabilities
Grants will be awarded to U.S. nonprofits working to provide access for young people with disabilities to educational, vocational, and recreational opportunities in the company of non-disabled peers. MEAF’s National Grant program provides funding to nonprofit organizations working toward the full inclusion of young people (newborn to early 20s) with disabilities in society. Proposed projects should be national in scope and have the potential to be replicated at multiple sites. Priority will be given to communities where Mitsubishi Electric U.S. companies are located; preference is given to organizations and projects that reflect collaboration among groups, and those that actively involve people with disabilities in program planning and implementation. Grant amounts vary based on nature of project/organization and duration of proposed activities. Funding is available for both project costs and operating support, and is open to both disability-specific organizations and those that serve the general population. Concept papers should be submitted by June 1 to be considered for funding in the following year. If the concept paper is approved, the organization will be invited to submit a full proposal. Deadline: June 1, 2009.


NCTE: Early Career Teacher of Color Award of Distinction
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Early Career Teacher of Color Award of Distinction supports English teachers of color as they build accomplished teaching careers as active NCTE members. Early career teachers of color gain a national forum for professional collaboration and development by attending the NCTE convention (year one) and by presenting an NCTE convention session (year two). Maximum award: two years of support from a mentor. Eligibility: practicing pre-K to university-level literacy educators of color in the first five years of a paid teaching career, who aspire to build a career in literacy education. Deadline: May 1, 2009.


Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s FY 2009 Tribal Youth Program
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention seeks applicants for its FY 2009 Tribal Youth Program. The program supports and enhances tribal efforts to prevent and control delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system for American Indian/Alaska Native youth. Eligible applicants are limited to federally recognized tribes. Applicants must register with the Office of Justice Programs’ Grant Management System prior to applying. Deadline: May 28, 2009.


Save Our History Community Education and Preservation Projects
A total of $250,000 will be awarded to history organizations that partner with schools or youth groups on preservation projects that engage school-age children in learning about, documenting, and preserving the history of their communities. Eligible applicants are required to be nonprofit 501(c)(3) history organizations such as a museum, historical society, preservation organization, historic site, library, or archive. Other eligible applicants include local government agencies such as a parks and recreation commission, historic commission, department of local history, or other local government agency that owns and/or operates a historic site or property. Applicants must be located in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Applicants must partner with local elementary, middle, or high school(s), or organization(s) that provides educational programming for children of similar ages to design a historic education and preservation project. Deadline: June 5, 2009.


State Farm/National Youth Leadership Council: Project Ignition
State Farm and the National Youth Leadership Council are sponsoring Project Ignition, which funds programs that give high school students and their teachers the chance to work together to address the issue of teen driver safety, with awards of up to $10,000 for teen-driver safety efforts. Eligibility: students grades 9-12. Deadline: June 30, 2009.


The Joshua O’Neill and Zeshan Tabani Enrichment Fund
The Joshua O'Neill and Zeshan Tabani Enrichment Fund offers financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome who wish to enrich their lives by enrolling in postsecondary programs or taking classes that will help them gain employment, independent living skills, life skills, or others. Up to five grants will be awarded, each grant not to exceed $1000, and the grant may be used to pay for the tuition for a course or postsecondary program at a local college, educational institution, learning center or employment training program. Deadline: July 17, 2009.

Scholarships and Awards


Education Grawemeyer Award
Awards of $200,000 each will be awarded to professional educators, educational institutions, editors, and publishers in the fields of music, political science, psychology, education, and religion, in recognition of their ideas, initiatives, and reports concerning the advancement of teaching and learning that have potential to bring about significant improvement in educational practice and advances in educational attainment. The award is designed to recognize a specific recent achievement rather than a lifetime of accomplishment. The program seeks entries of ideas, policy proposals, technological advances, program initiatives, and research reports that present a well-articulated approach to the advancement of teaching and learning. Nominations will be judged on originality, creativity, feasibility, and scope of potential applicability. The awards program invites nominations from around the world by professional educators, educational institutions and organizations, and editors and publishers of journals, books, and software. Self-nominations will not be considered. Nominees may be individuals or nonprofit organizations. Deadline for nominations: April 30, 2009.


Heartspring Award in Special Education
Heartspring’s $1,000 Award if for innovative professionals working with students with special needs and using creative measures. New ideas create results that matter, and educators who are outstanding innovators are the right applicants for this award. The application format must be creative, take risks, and explain in a unique way how the applicant executes the program to get results. Deadline: April 20, 2009.


National Scholarship Providers Association
The National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) web site offers information on NSPA scholarships for Latino students and for students formerly in foster care. A new NPSA product, the Scholarship Data Standard, allows students to complete an online scholarship application and then re-use the information with other scholarship providers without retyping their data.


Rosetta Stone: Communicate and Connect
The Rosetta Stone Communicate and Connect Scholarship invites high school seniors who have learned English as a Second Language to write about discovering the world of possibilities that learning the English language opened up to them. Sample essay topics include how learning English enabled excellence in other courses, such as mathematics or science; a personal memoir about how getting cast in a play because of English-speaking abilities awakened a desire to perform and to create; and an examination of how learning English transformed your perspective of life in the United States. Maximum award: $3,000 scholarship for continuing education purposes. Eligibility: high school seniors graduating in spring of 2009 who learned English as a second language. Deadline: May 15, 2009.


Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars helps increase scholarship opportunities for students with disabilities. The Washington Center will complement students’ professional experience with solid academic training for credit from highly qualified instructors. In addition, students will be exposed to community, national and international leaders through workshops, seminars, lectures, embassy visits and networking events held throughout the course of each semester. Deadline for Fall 2009 applications: June 12, 2009.

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End of Issue

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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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