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June 2004 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


National Center for Accessible Transportation Established
A new research center on accessible public transportation has been established at Oregon State University through funding from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The National Center for Accessible Transportation will explore improving access to inter-city modes of travel (air, rail, and bus) for people with mobility, agility, and hearing disabilities. The Center’s research will include a focus on wheelchair transfer in confined spaces, such as aircraft aisles, and a survey-based study on existing and potential access solutions.


U.S. Department of Education Announces New Program to Help States Establish and Enhance Funding for Charter School Facilities
The U.S. Department of Education has announced a new grant program that will enhance the school choice options under No Child Left Behind by helping states with their charter school facilities costs. The State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program competition is designed to encourage states to develop and expand per-pupil facilities aid programs and to share in the costs related to the management and operation of charter schools.

Legislative Announcements


Health and Human Services Identifies States for Demonstration of New, Less Restrictive Homebound Definition
On June 3, 2004, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced that Medicare will conduct a demonstration project involving a new definition of “homebound” in three states: MO, MA, and CO. Current rules used to determine who qualifies for Medicare payment of services at home require that any time away from home must be “infrequent or of short duration.” The demonstration project removes a limitation based on actual time spent away from home, eliminating the concern among many homebound persons that they will lose their home-based care benefits if they attempt to take advantage of activities outside the home.


New Staff Member at the White House

Tracy R. Justesen recently joined the White House staff as Associate Director for the Domestic Policy Council. He will handle the President’s New Freedom Initiative and issues important to individuals with disabilities. He comes to the White House after serving as an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, a technical advisor to the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education, and President and Chief Executive Officer of one of the nation’s premier centers for independent living. He may be reached by e-mail at


Parental Involvement: Title 1, Part A PDF document
On April 29, 2004, the Education Department issued non-regulatory guidance to assist State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), and schools in administering the parental involvement provisions of Title I, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act. This guide answers questions about and clarifies aspects of the law that have been brought to the attention of the U.S. Department of Education. Available in PDF (61 pp.).


President Bush Nominates John H. Hager for Assistant Secretary of Education for OSERS
President Bush has nominated former Virginia Lt. Gov. John H. Hager to be assistant secretary of education for special education and rehabilitative services, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige has announced. Press release dated June 2, 2004.

Calls to Participate


Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) Seeks Applicants
EPFP is a ten-month in-service professional development program designed to prepare mid-level leaders in public and private organizations to exercise greater responsibility in creating and implementing sound public policy in education and related fields. EPFP participants hold full-time positions in diverse organizations at the local, state, and national levels. The program currently operates at sites in CT, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NY, NC, PA, SC, DC; a NJ site will open fall 2004. Application deadline is August 2004.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Increasing Rates of School Completion: Moving from Policy and Research to Practice  (May 2004)
NCSET Essential Tool
This cutting-edge manual for educators, administrators and policymakers describes eleven proven interventions for increasing school completion among youth with disabilities. The interventions selected are only those that include research or evaluation designs and were published between 1988 and 2003. Also included are reproducible handouts containing current statistics and information on dropout, a concise literature review, and information on related Web sites, journal articles, publications, and organizations. Available in HTML and PDF formats (74 pp.). Also available for purchase from the Publications Office, Institute on Community Integration. Call 612-624-4512 or e-mail for more information.


Supporting Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities to Transition and Participate in Postsecondary Education  (March 2004)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Presenters of this NCSET national teleconference call discussed: (1) The benefits of postsecondary education for individuals with intellectual disabilities; (2) Barriers to transition and postsecondary education for individuals with intellectual disabilities; and (3) Programs, approaches, and supports that will enhance transition and postsecondary access for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Presenters included Robert Stodden, Ph.D., University of Hawaii at Manoa; Meg Grigal, Ph.D., University of Maryland; and Debra Hart, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Other National Resources


Accessing Skills Toward Successful Writing Development  (2004) Word document
This brief for teachers, administrators, and professional development providers gives information on writing development for children with disabilities, discusses the complexity of writing and the skills needed for successful composition, and describes the particular challenges that writing may pose for students with disabilities and what areas should be the focus for remediation. Available as a Microsoft Word document (10 pp.).


Analysis of WIA Section 188, Methods of Administration Plans, from a Disability Perspective  (April 2004)
This paper provides examples of state-based policies, procedures, and other recommended steps included in state Methods of Administration documents (MOAs) to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I programs and activities. Written by Bobby Silverstein of the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Adult and the Disability Policy Center.


Assistive Technology (AT) Journal: The Latest News and Resources in Assistive Technology
The AT Journal is published twice a month by the AT Network and California Assistive Technology Systems.


Cultural Competency in Working with Latino Family Caregivers  (2004)
Fact sheet
This monograph, published by the Family Caregiver Alliance, offers advice for health and human service practitioners on how to work with Latino families and informal caregivers. It uses case studies to illustrate how specific cultural characteristics, such as language, customs, and religion, can impact caregiving situations, and offers suggestions on ways cultural competency can be improved at organizational and policy levels. Available in PDF (31 pp).


Customized Employment Strategies for Individuals with Disabilities Webcast Series  (2003)
CD Set
This 4 CD set contains 8 Webcasts with national speakers on topics related to customized employment of individuals with disabilities. Webcast topics include: Self-Determination, Agency Perspective on Customized Employment Strategies, What Parents Need to Know about Community Integrated Employment, Private/Public Partnerships, Technology in the Workplace, Customized Employment Strategies, Marketing and Job Development – The Business Side of the Process, and Dispelling the Myths of Conversion. Each Webcast includes a 45-minute lecture, PowerPoint presentation, handouts, and other resources. The CD set is available for $150 (one license) or $475 (unlimited licensing). Offered by Training and Technical Assistance Program for Providers, a collaborative effort of the Virginia Commonwealth University and the Institute for Community Inclusion.


Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities: An Interagency Seminar of Exchange for Federal Managers  (December 2003)
This report summarizes the proceedings of the seminar hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy on December 2-3, 2003 that brought together more than 200 federal managers and experts in the areas of disability, emergency preparedness, and workplace safety. Attendees had the opportunity to exchange ideas and share information related to the development, implementation, and maintenance of emergency preparedness plans that involve people with disabilities.


Encyclopedia of Basic Employment and Daily Living Skills  (2002)
This encyclopedia, for special education students of all ages, includes 541 lessons/objectives in 80 different subject areas. Curriculum sections include basic skills, skills for independence, work adjustment, sheltered employment, competitive employment, and leisure time. The encyclopedia may be purchased in its entirety or by section. It is published by Phillip Roy, Inc.


ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education  (2001)
Web page
This Web page on Disabilities and Gifted Education, provided by ERIC Clearinghouse, offers FAQs, digests, fact sheets, mini-bibliographies, discussion groups, links, and projects—searchable by location—that relate to gifted children, including gifted children with disabilities.


Improving Educational Outcomes for Students with Disabilities  (May 2004) PDF document
The National Council on Disability (NCD), a non-partisan independent federal agency that makes recommendations to the President and Congress on issues affecting Americans with disabilities, recently released a report looking at the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on postsecondary opportunities for students with disabilities. The report, written by the American Youth Policy Forum and the Educational Policy Institute, was commissioned by NCD to assist policy leaders and stakeholders in identifying, disseminating, and aligning evidence-based outcome producing practices consistent with the federal government’s commitment to leaving no child behind in the attainment of a free appropriate public education. Available in PDF (91 pp.).


Money Smart  (2004)
Educational Course
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has launched a free training program called Money Smart to teach adults outside the financial mainstream better money and banking skills. The program, which consists of 10 instructor-led modules on basic financial topics, can be a tool for organizations which train persons with disabilities, since one of three Americans with disabilities lives at or below the poverty level.

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


Highly Qualified Teachers Under No Child Left Behind
Teleconference Call
June 29, 2004
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Central)
NCSET teleconference call held on June 29, 2004 to discuss the teacher quality provisions under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and their implications for secondary special education teachers. Improving teacher quality is a critical and immediate national goal. To be deemed highly qualified under NCLB teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, be state certified/licensed, and demonstrate that they know the subject they teach. But what are the specific requirements for “highly qualified” secondary school teachers under NCLB? How does that apply to special education teachers at the middle school and high school levels? Presenters addressed these issues, and staff from South Carolina discussed that state’s approaches and strategies in meeting the highly qualified requirement under NCLB as it relates to secondary special education teachers. The teleconference is co-sponsored by the Center for Improving Teacher Quality.

Other National Events


The Initiative for Self Determination and Transition's Summer Institute
June 23, 2004 - June 24, 2004
Chelsea, MI
Sponsored by the Initiative for Self Determination and Transition at Wayne State University, this Institute will focus on practical strategies to support self-determination throughout the lifespan. The keynote speaker will be Dr. David Myers, professor of psychology at Hope College and author of several books related to positive psychology. Participants will select from one of three intensive training strands: “Linking Self-determination to Individualized Education Plans, Educational Development Plans and the Core Curriculum,” “Co-active Coaching: A Model to Promote Self-determination in Adolescents,” and “We All Win: Building Self-determination and Resiliency for Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers and the Adults Who Care for Them.” ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites
Special education teachers across the country use to legally purchase copyrighted material for students with visual impairments. The digital service enables students to download titles which can then be listened to with text-to-speech software, viewed with magnifying screen readers, or uploaded into Braille readers. People with visual or other print disabilities can also legally share scanned books through the site.


Character Education and Civic Engagement Technical Assistance Center
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools recently unveiled its new Web site for the Character Education and Civic Engagement Technical Assistance Center (CETAC), or CETAC Online. CETAC provides state program administrators, local educators, and the public with information on character education and civic engagement, as well as strategies that support academic goals and other reform efforts. This center will also provide support and information for and about schools involved in character education and civic engagement across the country.


Informacion General Sobre el Autismo
The Autism Society of America recently announced the launch of a Spanish-language section on its award-winning Web site, responding to the ever-growing need of the Hispanic community for bilingual information on autism spectrum disorders.


National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
The NCIL is a membership organization that advances the independent living philosophy and advocates for the human rights of and services for people with disabilities to further their full integration and participation in society.


Pathways Mapping Initiative
The Pathways Mapping Initiative is a Web site where community coalitions, providers of services and supports, and policymakers can find information about what works in social programs and policies to increase children’s readiness for school and families’ economic success. Site information is sorted into two Pathways: what communities can do to improve School Readiness, and what communities can do to encourage Family Economic Success. The Pathways Mapping Initiative is supported by the Harvard Medical School and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


Tutors for Kids
The American Institutes of Research’s Supplemental Educational Services Quality Center has launched a Web site to help parents of children attending public schools “in need of improvement” take advantage of free tutoring opportunities provided by the No Child Left Behind Act. provides information and tools to help eligible children get the academic help they need. The site provides basic information about supplemental educational services (SES); detailed guidance on SES for parents, program providers, educators and policymakers; state-by-state profiles of SES implementation; national trends data on SES implementation across states; and links to tools and resources on SES.



Intersection E-Newsletter: Navigating the Road to Work
This free electronic newsletter for and about workforce development system and working with youth with disabilities is available through the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) Web site. This Web site also includes useful information for youth with disabilities, families of youth with disabilities, workforce development professionals, youth service providers, employers, and policymakers.


World Institute on Disability (WID) EQUITY E-Newsletter
The WID publishes the EQUITY E-Newsletter, which covers asset-building strategies, including Individual Development Accounts, and disability access issues for the asset-building community. While there are no statistics on how many people with disabilities participate in poverty reduction programs, WID says we can reasonably speculate that a large number do. People with disabilities permeate social service programs because of the high level of poverty in this population. EQUITY provides the connection between the two communities. For those unfamiliar with asset-building, EQUITY includes educational and inspirational articles. For seasoned asset-builders, EQUITY includes advice on how to better serve participants with disabilities.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Parent Public Policy Fellowship Program 2005
The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation invites parents or close family members of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (mental retardation) apply for a one-year fellowship in Washington, DC, to learn how legislation is initiated, developed, and passed by Congress or how programs are administered and regulations promulgated by federal agencies. Candidates should have solid policy experience in state-level advocacy, education, development of community supports and services, or similar areas, beyond activities undertaken to benefit their own children. Application deadline is September 1, 2004.

Federal Grant Opportunities


National Center on Secondary, Transition, and Postsecondary School Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
The purpose of this program is to produce and advance the use of knowledge to improve the results of education and early intervention for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities. Application deadline: July 19, 2004.


Research and Innovation to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities
This priority supports research to improve results for infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities through early intervention, education, transition, postsecondary, or related services. Proposals for three types of research will be accepted for this competition: (1) Innovation Research, (2) Model Development, and (3) Replication and Scale-up. Application deadline: July 9, 2004.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports policy analysis, research, evaluation, and demonstration projects. Projects may be initiated from within many disciplines, including health services research, economics, sociology, political science, public policy, public health, public administration, law, and business administration. Funded projects should provide public and private decision makers with usable and timely information on healthcare policy and financing issues. Application deadline: Ongoing.

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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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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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