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July 2005 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


2005 National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao has announced the official theme for October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month: “Workers with Disabilities: Ready for Tomorrow’s Jobs Today.” The theme will be used by the private sector; federal, state, and local governments; and advocacy organizations to plan events and programs that showcase the abilities and skills of job candidates with disabilities.


IDEA 2004 Public Comment Period Underway
The U.S. Department of Education has announced proposed regulations to implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) and invites public comment. The official version of this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) has been published in the Federal Register in both PDF and text formats. The public comment period ends September 6, 2005.


Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
Beginning January 1, 2006, prescription drug coverage will be available to all Americans with Medicare through the Medicare prescription drug plan. This Web site provides information and training materials for community leaders as part of the President’s national outreach effort to educate seniors and Americans with disabilities about the new prescription drug benefit.


NIMAS Proposed Regulations Issued in Federal Register
IDEA 2004 provides for the establishment of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS), a standardized format for electronic files that allows classroom materials to be adapted to products ranging from Braille editions of textbooks to on-screen displays of text and graphics. NIMAS will provide students with blindness, low vision, and print disabilities improved access to textbooks. The proposed regulations for establishing NIMAS were published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, June 29, 2005, and the U.S. Department of Education invites public comment on them. The public comment period ends September 6, 2005.


No Child Left Behind: Supplemental Educational Services Non-Regulatory Guidance
The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance to further clarify the roles of states and districts in implementing supplemental educational services under the No Child Left Behind Act. The document, “Supplemental Educational Services Non-Regulatory Guidance,” features ideas for connecting parents to supplemental education services providers, who offer free tutoring and other academic enrichment activities to qualified students whose schools aren’t meeting their yearly progress goals. The guidance was last updated in 2003, and since then the Department has made several important policy decisions to address concerns from states, school districts, parents, and academic service providers.


Secretary of Education Hosts Conference on Raising Hispanic Student Achievement
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans recently hosted a two-day conference to highlight the importance of education reform in the Hispanic community. Some 200 Hispanic leaders from across the country convened in Washington, DC on June 16-17, 2005 to discuss the common goal of raising Hispanic student achievement. The event, called “Pathways to Hispanic Family Learning,” focused on the importance of family and community involvement in the education of Hispanic students and finding effective ways to provide valuable information about education to Hispanic Americans in English and Spanish.

Calls to Participate


AG Bell Association 2006 Convention: Call for Presentation Proposals
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing seeks presentation proposals on a range of topics related to deafness and spoken language for its 2006 Convention, to be held in Pittsburgh, PA, June 23-27, 2006. Topics include acoustics; accessibility; advocacy and policy; amplification, cochlear implants, and related technologies; assessment strategies; children with multiple needs; collaborative relationships and programs; education; early intervention; mainstreaming; family-related issues; social/emotional issues; teaching/therapy techniques; etc. Proposal submission deadline: July 15, 2005.


Connect for Kids Essay Contest
The question for the 2005 Connect for Kids essay contest for 14- to 18-year-olds is: “What would you like President George W. Bush to understand about your life, or the lives of people your age, when making decisions or taking actions that affect you?” Four winning essays, chosen by youth judges with the DC WritersCorps literacy organization, will be featured on during August, and each winner will receive a $100 cash prize. Essays should be 500-700 words in length. Submission deadline: July 6, 2005.


Join an ADA Celebration Event in Your Area
The American Association of People with Disabilities is maintaining a list of events celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). View upcoming events taking place in your state, or submit an event to post on the site. The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, guaranteeing equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


"Service Changes Lives” Posters and Postcards
Developed by the Minnesota Service Inclusion Project at the Institute on Community Integration, “Service Changes Lives” is a dynamic series of postcards and posters featuring a real-life father and son and positive messages about inclusive service opportunities for individuals with disabilities. These materials can be utilized in community centers, workforce centers, schools, non-profit organizations, and institutions of higher learning. All poster and postcard files can be downloaded from the Minnesota Service Inclusion Project Web site for high-resolution printing at your local printer.


Minority Disproportionality and the Achievement Gap: Common Issues, Shared Solutions  (March 2005)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
During this teleconference, held March 31, 2005, Dr. Anthony Sims, senior associate at the Institute for Educational Leadership, explored minority disproportionality in special education and the achievement gap by examining connections between achievement and disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse children; exploring alternate paths to meaningful data concerning the interaction between school factors and students placed at risk for school failure; and providing recommendations for staff development activities aimed at building consensus, capacity, and shared responsibility.


The Disproportionate Representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education  (February 2005)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
During this teleconference, held February 17, 2005, Dr. Elizabeth Kozleski of the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) described the issues around disproportionality; discussed what NCCRESt is doing to close the achievement gap between students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their peers; communicated how NCCRESt is helping state and local school systems reduce inappropriate referrals to special education; and explained how state and local school systems may access this information.


The Escalera Project: Taking Steps to Success  (March 2005)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
During this teleconference, held March 22, 2005, Eduardo Garcia, director of the Center for Latino Economic Opportunities, National Council of La Raza, presented on the Escalera Project: Taking Steps to Success, a model and curriculum that encourages at-risk Latino high school students to graduate from high school, prepare for college, and explore and take advantage of career opportunities in fields in demand. The Project incorporates best practices in youth employment and development to provide academic support, work-readiness/work maturity training, and career exploration and planning.

Other National Resources


Choices, Challenges, and Options: Child SSI Recipients Preparing for the Transition to Adult Life  (May 2005)
Research Paper
The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization, used the newly released National Survey of Children and Families to study the transition experiences of child Supplemental Security Income recipients just prior to and after age 18. This paper compares income, work, personal, and family circumstances of those on SSI benefits after age 18 to those who no longer receive these benefits.


Consumer-Directed Health Care: Challenges and Opportunities for Families with Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbance  (2005)
Consumer direction in health care means that consumers conduct a self-assessment of their health needs with appropriate advice and guidance, decide how and by whom these needs can best be met, and monitor the quality of the services they choose. This paper from the National Mental Health Information Center examines the impact of consumer direction on families and youth in families with a child with serious emotional problems.


Customized Employment: Employment Supports for Individuals with Severe Mental Illness
This fact sheet from Training and Technical Assistance for Providers (T-TAP) summarizes seven evidence-based practices that have proven successful in assisting people with severe mental illness in achieving and sustaining employment outcomes. It also provides resources on effective employment supports for individuals experiencing severe mental illness.


Free 1-Year Subscription to “YES!” Magazine for Teachers
“YES!”, an award-winning, ad-free magazine filled with stories of individuals and communities engaged in creating a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world, offers a free one-year introductory subscription for teachers. “YES!” includes case studies of positive alternatives and practical solutions to a broad range of profound environmental and social-justice challenges. “YES!” is published by the Positive Futures Network, an independent nonprofit organization.


Free to Choose -- Transforming Behavioral Health Care to Self-Direction  (2005)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hosted a Consumer Direction Initiative Summit in 2004. This document summarizes issues raised in the working papers prepared for the Summit and during the Summit itself and provides information in support of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Final Report recommendation for a more consumer- and family-driven mental health care system.


Getting Honest About Grad Rates: How States Play the Numbers and Students Lose  (June 2005) PDF document
This Education Trust report criticizes the way states calculate and report high school graduation rates. It examines the 2002-03 graduation-rate data states provided to the U.S. Department of Education in January 2005. Many states report implausible graduation rates—numbers that are generally far higher than other independent measures of statewide graduation rates and that mask the true extent of the nation’s dropout problem. Available in PDF (15 pages, 789 KB).


IDEA and Literacy Instruction  (June 2005)
Webinar Web Archive
On June 15, 2005, The Access Center hosted a Webinar entitled “IDEA and Literacy Instruction.” Dr. Catherine Christo discussed strategies for fostering reading success aligned with IDEA 2004. Her presentation covered research-based interventions, essential elements of a response to intervention model, and a discussion of eligibility as a student with a specific learning disability. You can now watch and listen to the recorded event on the Web and view a biography of Dr. Christo, her presentation slides, and related literacy links.


Implementing the No Child Left Behind Act: Strategies to Improve High Schools  (2005) PDF document
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory’s Center for High School Excellence published this guide to help educators and administrators build capacity to comply with No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The guide gives NCLB requirements regarding high schools, explains research on high school improvement, highlights practical examples of effective high schools using key strategies, and lists national organizations that focus on high school improvement. Available in PDF (20 pages, 599 KB).


Making Room for Literacy in Secondary Schools  (July 2005) PDF document
Newsletter Article
This article in R&D Alert from Wested describes common problems high-school students have with reading, discusses 2 Wested projects working to change the way educators think about reading instruction at the secondary level, and shares 4 important lessons about improving reading skills at the secondary level that have emerged in schools where educators have wrestled with these issues. Newsletter available in PDF (12 pages, 629 KB).


Medical Home Training: “Transitions”
The “Every Child Deserves a Medical Home” Training Curriculum was developed for primary care physicians, pediatric office staff, child health advocates, allied health care professionals, and parents of children with special needs. The curriculum focuses on how to ensure that all children, especially those with special needs, have a medical home (care that is accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally competent) in changing health care environments. It includes a module entitled “Transitions,” which helps participants understand transition related issues and strategies for advancing children and youth into adulthood. Facilitator and participant materials for this module are available in Word and PDF formats; a 50-slide PowerPoint presentation is also available. The curriculum was developed by the National Center of Medical Home Initiatives for Children with Special Needs.

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


Live Demonstration of

July 13, 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.

Live Demonstration of

July 14, 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.

Utilizing Federal Financial Aid to Fund Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities
Teleconference Call
July 19, 2005
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Central)
Dan Klock, Program Specialist and Policy Liaison with the Federal Office of Student Financial Aid, will cover issues and resources related to financial aid for postsecondary students with a focus on students with disabilities. Included in the discussion will be general student eligibility requirements, "Ability to Benefit", Title IV Programs, and Web-based resources. To participate, dial 703-639-1175 a few minutes before the call begins, and refer to the “NCSET Teleconference Call” if asked by the operator.

Other National Events


Raising the Roof: Higher Visions for Research in Urban Schools and Communities

September 22, 2005 - September 24, 2005
Tampa, FL
This conference, hosted by Linking Academic Scholars to Educational Resources (LASER) and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, will feature a workshop on culturally responsive teaching, research marketplace, youth cultural night dinner and dance, community town hall meeting, and parent empowerment luncheon in addition to a variety of presentations on culturally responsive research to reverse school and community trends and outcomes.

First National Symposium on IEP Facilitation

October 28, 2005 - October 29, 2005
Eugene, OR
The Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), serving as the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, will host The First National Symposium on IEP Facilitation. Symposium invitees include state dispute resolution coordinators, directors of special education, dispute resolution practitioners, parent advocates, attorneys, educators, service providers, parents, and others interested in creating effective agreements that benefit educational and early intervention programs for infants, children, and youth with disabilities.

Ignite Business to See Ability: U.S. Business Leadership Network Annual Conference

November 1, 2005 - November 3, 2005
Pittsburgh, PA
Sponsored by the U.S. BLN, this conference gathers BLN chapters and employers from across the U.S. to network, provide education, and exchange resources related to the employment of people with disabilities and marketing to customers with disabilities. Attendees typically include employers whose corporate policies include workers and customers with disabilities and those that want a good resource for starting to develop best disability practices. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


American Educational Research Association (AERA)
The American Educational Research Association is an international professional organization with the goal of advancing educational research and its practical application. Its Web site includes information on meetings and events, membership, divisions, publications, employment, and fellowships and grants.


Directory of Consumer-Driven Services
The Directory of Consumer-Driven Services is a project of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse. It provides consumers, researchers, administrators, and service providers with information on national and local consumer-driven programs. The Director includes resources in the following categories: advocacy, clubhouse, community education, crisis prevention/respite, drop-in center, employment, housing, peer case management, peer companion, peer counseling, recovery education, recreation/arts, support group, and technical assistance.


Diversity World: Disability and Employment
The Disability and Employment section of the Diversity World Web site includes many helpful links for job seekers with disabilities and employers, including links to affiliation groups for professionals with disabilities, 
information on job accommodations and access technology, information on career development for people with disabilities, information on people with disabilities as customers, job development and placement resources, information on legal issues in the employment of people with disabilities, information on recruiting employees with disabilities, and more. Diversity World also offers a free monthly newsletter on disability and employment issues and resources, and an online store featuring books and videos on employment and disability topics.


National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education
The National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education (NAPCSE) is committed to helping parents stay abreast of current issues that are shaping the field of special education and affecting the lives and futures of their children in special education. NAPSCE’s Web site offers information on disability and exceptional children, information on special education and the law, resources, information on transition services, and the opportunity to communicate with experts in the field of special education.


Organized Chaos: A Web Site for Teens/Youth with OCD
The Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation has a Web site for teens/young adults with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The site helps youth with OCD learn about the disorder from each other and from treatment providers, and overcome the isolation OCD often fosters. It features the “Organized Chaos Webzine,” which is written in part by youth with OCD.


What Works Clearinghouse: Search the Registry of Outcome Evaluators
The What Works Clearinghouse announces the Registry of Outcome Evaluators, where users can search for evaluators (both individuals and organizations) who conduct research on the effects of educational interventions. The Registry allows users to search by geographic region, individual/organization, content area, and target populations.


Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities
WrightsLaw, an organization where parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys come for information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities, offers this site with contact information for educational consultants, psychologists, diagnosticians, health care specialists, academic tutors, speech/language therapists, advocates, and attorneys. Government programs, grassroots organizations, special education schools, parent support groups, copies of state special education regulations, and other information about special education issues published by state is also available.



CFK Weekly (Connect for Kids)
Connect for Kids offers Connect for Kids Weekly (CFK Weekly), a weekly e-mail newsletter that provides information and resources on children’s issues. It includes news, research, and information on issues of concern to child advocates and organizations working on behalf of children and families.


IESNews (Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education)
The IESNews Listserv is a free service offered by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. Subscribers interested in education research, evaluation, and statistics receive periodic notification of new information available on the IES Web site as well as information on such topics as funding and training opportunities, IES-sponsored research, new publications, and education facts and figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


Institute of Education Sciences Accepting Applications for Research on High School Reform
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, is now accepting applications for its research program on high school reform. Through its High School Reform initiative, IES will support research that will identify ways to improve high school education as measured by objective indicators as higher test scores, higher graduation rates, and more successful transitions from high school into the world of work and postsecondary education. Letter of Intent submission deadline: September 12, 2005.


Workforce Investment Act – Limited English Proficiency and Hispanic Worker Initiative
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration announces the availability of approximately $5 million in demonstration grant funds to test unique and innovative training strategies for services to individuals with Limited English Proficiency (those who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English) and Hispanic Americans—specifically, those who lack basic and occupational skills needed by high-growth occupations. Application deadline: August 15, 2005.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Recognizing Hispanic Youth Leaders: Líderes de Hoy Essay Contest
The Líderes de Hoy essay contest is an Allstate and National Council of La Raza initiative to recognize and celebrate the work of Hispanic youth leaders who are making a difference in their communities. Applicants must answer the question "As a young leader, how have you been a catalyst for positive change and contributed to inspiring your community?" in 1,000 words or less. Ten young Hispanic leaders will each be awarded a $5,000 academic scholarship and be invited to participate in the Líderes de Hoy awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Legal residents of the U.S. who are full-time high school students of Hispanic descent (with a minimum GPA of 2.0) between the ages of 14 and 18 are eligible to enter the contest. Application deadline: July 29, 2005.


Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology,,6-30-0-23619,00.html
The Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology gives high school students national recognition for individual or team research projects in science, mathematics, engineering, technology, or combinations of these disciplines. The Competition recognizes student projects that display originality, creativity, academic rigor and clarity of communication. Up to $3,000 will be given to individual regional winners; up to $100,000 will be given to the national individual and team winners. Deadline for entries: October 3, 2005.


Stand On A Better World Awards
Mannington, a manufacturer of residential and commercial flooring, offers the Stand On A Better World Awards to recognize women from the U.S. and Canada who are enriching the lives of others and making a difference in the world. Awards are given in 3 categories: social (reaching out to help others), environmental (making a difference in preserving our natural resources), and economic. The grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 to be donated to the charitable organization of her choice, with 2 runners-up each receiving $10,000 for their selected charities and five finalists each receiving $1,000 for their selected charities. Nomination deadline: August 31, 2005.


Staples Foundation for Learning
The mission of the Staples Foundation for Learning is to provide funding to programs that support or provide job skills and/or education for all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth. Eligible applicants include nonprofit tax-exempt organizations that align with the Foundation's mission and focus on job skills and education. Application deadline: September 27, 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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