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June 2005 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


IDEA Public Meetings Nationwide
John H. Hager, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Department of Education, is pleased to announce a series of public meetings to be held during calendar year 2005 to receive comments on the proposed rules to implement programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. These meetings will be held from 1:00-4:00 p.m. & 5:00-7:00 p.m. in various locations around the country. June 17, 2005: Nashville, TN June 22, 2005: Sacramento, CA June 24, 2005: Las Vegas, NV June 27, 2005: New York, NY June 29, 2005: Chicago, IL July 7, 2005: San Antonio, TX July 12, 2005: Washington, DC


Kame’enui Named Department of Education’s Commissioner for Special Education Research
Edward Kame’enui, an international authority on learning problems and special education, has been named the nation’s first Commissioner for Special Education Research. He will lead the National Center for Special Education Research, a newly established office within the Institute of Education Sciences, the research, evaluation, and statistical branch of the U.S. Department of Education.


RSA Monitoring Redesign Initiative
John H. Hager, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Department of Education, has announced a redesign of the OSERS, Rehabilitation Services Administration system for monitoring state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies. The monitoring system is used to determine whether state VR agencies are complying with their state plans and to evaluate their performance using the standards and indicators in Section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act. This page provides links to an overview of the redesign, news and events regarding the redesign, and information about the redesign steering committee.


Spellings Announces New Special Education Guidelines, Details Workable, “Common-Sense” Policy to Help States Implement NCLB
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings recently announced the details of a new No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policy designed to help states better assist students with disabilities, and pledged to continue working with states to ensure that they have the flexibility needed to raise student achievement. The new guidelines reflect the latest scientific research, which shows that students with disabilities—which comprise approximately two percent of all students—can make progress toward grade-level standards when they receive high-quality instruction and are assessed with alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


“What Will I Do This Summer?” Lesson Plan on Volunteering  (2005) PDF document
Lesson Plans
MindOH! has created a two-part lesson plan to help educators in grades 7-12 encourage their students to volunteer during summer break. The lesson plan includes discussion prompts and questions; asks students to find out about volunteer opportunities and share that information with their classmates; and encourages students who have volunteered to share their experiences with their classmates. Available in PDF (2 pgs).


Disability Self-Assessment Checklist for Businesses  (2005)
The Independent Living Institute has created a checklist to help businesses and organizations assess their ability to accommodate employees and trainees with disabilities. The checklist is comprised of 15 questions, such as: 1) Does your company have a disability policy and an action plan, as integral part of its general plan, to safeguard equal access for customers, employees and trainees with disabilities regarding premises, operations, products and services? 2) Does your company have a budget for the action plan, a coordinating office and/or designated officers in charge of its implementation throughout the company system?


Fun and Leisure: Summer Camps 2005
Online Directory
The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability Web site provides published camp guides and online camp search engines to assist individuals in finding the camp that fits their interests, needs, and goals. The individual camps listed are only a sample of what is offered across the country for adults and children with disabilities. The camps range from day to overnight camps and offer various opportunities from sports to arts and crafts.


Improving the Health of Adolescents and Young Adults: A Guide for States and Communities  (2004)
The National Adolescent Health Information Center at the University of California, San Francisco has published the official companion to the Healthy People 2010 “21 Critical Health Objectives” (available at This new document (available in PDF) offers guidance and resources for national, state, and local leaders in adolescent health to undertake the initiatives related to the 21 Critical Health Objectives.


Remaking Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century: What Role for High School Programs?  (April 2005)
Basic questions about career and technical education are part of the policy debate on how to reform K-12 education, particularly high schools. This report (available in PDF) from Jobs for the Future and the Aspen Institute Education and Society Program summarizes what we know and don’t know about the value of high school career-focused education and proposes a reform agenda for high school career and technical education. Registration is required (free) to access this report.


The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities  (2005)
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth has produced “The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities” designed for youth and adults working with them to learn about disability disclosure. This workbook (available in PDF and MS Word) helps young people make informed decisions about whether or not to disclose their disability and understand how those decisions may impact their education, employment, and social lives. Based on the premise that disclosure is a very personal decision, the Workbook helps young people think about and practice disclosing their disability.


What Counts: Defining & Improving High School Graduation Rates  (2005)
Recent research on high school graduation rates has revealed a startling array of difficult issues and confusing calculations. This report (available in PDF) from the National Association of Secondary School Principals strives to bring clarity to the issue of high school graduation rates and outlines some key policy recommendations for improving graduation rate calculations and outcomes.


Youth with Disabilities: The State of Transition  (April 2005)
Webcast Archive
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has archived their April 27 Web cast, “Youth with Disabilities: The State of Transition,” which featured David R. Johnson, Director of NCSET, and David L. Shreve, Senior Committee Director of NCSL. The Webcast gave legislators and legislative staff the opportunity to learn about and discuss problems and solutions related to education issues that affect youth with disabilities. It also provided an overview of testing and key federal and state legislation and their relationship to successful transition. (Viewing the Webcast archive seems problematic on Macintosh browsers and some PC browsers. Proceed with caution.)

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


Live Demonstration of

July 12, 2005
NCSET Web-based Event
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM   (Central)
See a live demonstration of The Youthhood Web site ( from your own computer during one of these interactive Web conferences. is NCSET’s new interactive Web-based curriculum developed to help young adults plan for life after high school. NCSET personnel leading the development of this site will show you the power of this interactive and dynamic Web site using Web conferencing software (participants will need to test their computers prior to joining the event). Space is limited and RSVP is required by July 8, 2005.

Other National Events


Service Learning: Creating Community and Developing Citizens

June 21, 2005
TV Broadcast
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM   (Eastern)
The June 2005 broadcast of “Education News Parents Can Use” will provide information on service learning and share resources to help children become engaged citizens. Researchers, educators, and community partners will address numerous questions, some of which are: What do meaningful, comprehensive service learning programs look like? What is the latest research on service learning programs and how can citizenship be effectively taught in schools? How can service learning be a strategy for advancing academic achievement, especially with disadvantaged or at-risk students? Registration is required. Contact or 800-USA-LEARN with questions.

What’s New in the New IDEA: Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers

June 30, 2005
Web Seminar
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
The Council for Exceptional Children is offering a series of Web seminars on the policy changes in IDEA 2004’s provisions. In this seminar, Deborah Ziegler and Daniel Blair will present an overview of the policy changes in IDEA 2004’s provisions on highly qualified special education teachers. They will discuss the requirements to be a highly qualified special education teacher as outlined in the law and regulations and how special education teachers may meet those requirements, and will discuss the HOUSSE process. Participation cost is $250.

What’s New in the New IDEA: Discipline

July 19, 2005
Web Seminar
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
The Council for Exceptional Children is offering a series of Web seminars on the policy changes in IDEA 2004’s provisions. In this seminar, Deborah Ziegler and Daniel Blair will present an overview of the policy changes in IDEA 2004’s changes to provisions on discipline, including manifestation determination, stay put, student code of conduct, and interim alternative educational settings. Participants in this Web seminar will be able to identify IDEA’s statutory provisions related to discipline, potential changes in practice based on new policy, and proposed regulatory changes for implementing the discipline provisions in IDEA. Participation cost is $250.

What’s New in the New IDEA: Early Intervention, Assessment, Identification, and IEPs

July 26, 2005
Web Seminar
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM   (Eastern)
The Council for Exceptional Children is offering a series of Web seminars on the policy changes in IDEA 2004’s provisions. In this seminar, Deborah Ziegler and Daniel Blair will present an overview of the policy changes in IDEA 2004’s provisions on early intervening, participation in assessments, parental consent, alternate assessments, and universal design; identification of learning disabilities; and changes to IEP content, IEP team attendance, and multi-year IEPs. Participation cost is $250. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Discover Camp: Considerations for Sending Your Child with a Disability to Camp for the First Time
The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability and the National Center on Accessibility have created the Discover Camp Web site as a resource for parents of children with disabilities selecting a camp for their child for the first time. Site sections include Preparing for Camp, FAQs for Camps, Mailbag, After Camp, and Resources, as well as information about the project, site accessibility, and Letters from Camp.


MindOH! Cyberbullying, Bullying, School Violence Prevention Tips and Tools, and Conversation Starters
MindOH! has created free online tools for parents and teachers to help prevent cyberbullying, including family activity sheets, worksheets for kids, tips for cyberbullying prevention, school lesson plans, and more. Registration required (free) to download PDFs.
My Summer Camps is a comprehensive, easy to use summer camps directory which includes listings for 289 special needs camps in the following categories: asthma, autism, blood disorder, burn, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, developmental disabilities, diabetes, epilepsy, hearing impaired, HIV and AIDS, learning disabilities and ADHD, mainstreaming, mental retardation, muscular dystrophy, physical disabilities, speech impaired, spina bifida, substance abuse, Tourette’s syndrome, visually impaired, and other disabilities. Frequently Asked Questions on Disability, the U.S. Government’s official Web portal, has updated its Frequently Asked Questions section. Searching the section for “disability” yields answers to 109 questions such as: What type of assistance is available for the disabled? How do I contact the Americans with Disabilities Act’s Information Line? What are the accessibility guidelines for the disabled? What Educational Assistance is available for the disabled? What housing assistance is available for the disabled? What assistance is available for a disabled person seeking employment? What Social Security benefits are available for retired or disabled workers and their families?



Government E-Mail Newsletters (, the U.S. Government’s official Web portal, offers 48 free newsletters on a variety of subjects, including business and finance; defense; education, employment, and benefits; environment and agriculture; foreign affairs; health, safety, and consumer protection; taxes; and travel.


OH!News (MindOH!)
MindOH!, a socially responsible company that creates character-based, interactive computer modules that teach students problem-solving techniques and communication skills, reinforcing universally held virtues such as respect and responsibility, offers two monthly electronic newsletters. 1) OH! News usually includes news such as business milestones, recommended reading, upcoming events, and subject matter expert articles. 2) In addition to select business news, OH! News for Educators includes industry-specific information such as grants, contests, and other education news. Subscription information is available in the upper right-hand corner of this Web page.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


Youthbuild Program
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announces funding for the Youthbuild program, the purpose of which is to assist disadvantaged young adults ages 16-24 in distressed communities to: 1) Complete their high school education; 2) provide on-site construction training experiences which result in the rehabilitation or construction of housing for homeless persons and low- and very low-income families; 3) foster leadership skills; 4) further opportunities for placement in apprenticeship programs; and 5) promote economic self-sufficiency for program participants. Eligible applicants are public or private nonprofit organizations including grassroots community-based organizations inclusive of faith-based organizations. Proposal submission deadline: June 21, 2005.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Eli Lilly and Company Seeks Nominations and Applications for Reintegration Awards
The Reintegration Awards, sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, recognize (1) individuals and groups who support people living with severe mental illness; (2) the achievements of people living with severe mental illness; and (3) local and national efforts to improve services to people with mental illness and to decrease the stigma of mental illness. Individuals, caregivers, advocates, social workers, policymakers, nurses, clinicians, and treatment groups and programs are invited to apply and/or be nominated for an award. All first place, second place, and honorary winners receive grants to their institutions to further the success of their programs and will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC in November. Also, first place winners receive $5,000 and second place winners receive $2,500. Application deadline: July 8, 2005.

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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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