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July 2008 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


The Social Security Administration Publishes Final Rules for the Ticket to Work Program
The Social Security Administration published the final regulations for the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program (Ticket to Work program), which was authorized by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. The final rule will become effective on July 21, 2008. An electronic copy of the regulations is available online.

Calls to Participate


AJMR Special Issue on Cognitive Neuroscience Studies of Persons with Disabilities PDF document
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is calling for papers for a special issue of the American Journal on Mental Retardation (AJMR) on cognitive neuroscience studies of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2008. Available in pdf (1 page, 28 KB).


Apply to be a 2009 Global Youth Service Day Lead Agency
Youth Service America offers grants and assistance to increase participation in programs and connect with the larger youth service movement. Eligible groups can receive a $2,000 planning grant and direct assistance. For more information, contact Andraéa LaVant at or go to the Web site. Deadline: July 11.


Council for Exceptional Children Collecting Ideas on Transition
The Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Career Development & Transition is collecting ideas and tips about transition practices from people in transition, to develop “101 Practical Transition Ideas”. They are collecting transition ideas in the areas of: Transition Planning, Student Involvement, Family Involvement, Interagency Collaboration, Curriculum and Instruction, Inclusion and Access to the General Curriculum, Transition Assessment, Cultural Diversity, Assistive Technology, and UDL. To submit ideas go to the Web site and click on “101 Practical Ideas for Transition.” Questions can be emailed to Ryan Kellems at


Emerging Trends and People with Disabilities: Public Consultation
The National Council on Disability (NCD) is gathering public input for a study of emerging issues and trends affecting the lives of people with disabilities to use in NCD’s next annual progress report to the President and Congress, “National Disability Policy: A Progress Report” (required by Section 401(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended). This input will help in achieving policies that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities, and aid them in achieving economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society. Comments should be sent to NCD by July 22, 2008.


ICDR Stakeholder Meeting-Save the Dates
The Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) is seeking input/comments about disability research issues to present at public meetings August 5 & 14, 2008. Deadline for written comments is July 21, 2008. More information and registration forms are at the website.

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The Resource Zone

Other National Resources


AAP’s 3rd Edition of Bright Futures Guidelines  (2008)
“Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents”, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) with funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, provides guidelines to all health workers from healthcare professionals to school nurses. The 3rd edition (2008) provides quick, easy access to topics such as developmental surveillance and milestones, physical exams, screening procedures, and immunization recommendations. It is also available in a pocket guide and PDA format. Links to online versions and ordering information for the printed version are at the Web site.


Achieve’s “Mathematics at Work” (April 2008)  (April 2008)
Achieve has produced a series of “Mathematics at Work” brochures to examine how high level mathematics is used in today’s workplaces. The brochures present case studies drawn from leading industries (aerospace, information technology, health care, etc.) to illustrate the advanced mathematics knowledge and skills embedded in jobs that offer opportunities for advancement and are accessible to high school graduates.


DOD Special Needs Tool Kit  (2008)
The Department of Defense (DOD) Special Needs Tool Kit is designed to help military families and others with special needs children navigate the maze of medical and special education services, community support, and benefits and entitlements. The Toolkit is divided into six modules that can be downloaded and printed.


Effective Teaching and At-Risk/Highly Mobile Students: What Do Award-Winning Teachers Do? (May 2008)  (May 2008)
This study reviews the literature and explores the practices of six teachers who won national and/or state awards for working with students who are at-risk or highly mobile. The study was designed by the National Center for Homeless Education and The College of William and Mary.


Family Caregiver Resources  (2008)
Family Caregiver Alliance releases its new “Family Care Navigator,” a tool developed for Family and Informal Caregivers as well as Professional Caregivers, providing state specific resources and suggestions for a variety of issues pertinent to challenges of caregiving.


Financial Planning Tools for Families of Children with Special Needs
The “Special Needs Planning Guide: How to Prepare for Every Stage of Your Child’s Life” is by authors John W. Nadworny & Cynthia R. Haddadis who have family members with special needs and are also financial planning experts. It includes a CD-Rom with a Financial Planning Timeline and printable Letter of Intent that lets parents communicate key information, concerns, and desires to future caretakers.


Fostering School, Family, and Community Involvement: Guides to Creating Safer Schools and Communities  (2008)
This series of five newly revised guidebooks for key components of creating safe, positive schools and communities was jointly put together by the Hamilton Fish Institute and Northwest Regional Educational Lab (with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice). The series can be downloaded from the Hamilton Fish Institute website. Available in pdf (133 pages, 1004 KB).


MDRC: Career Academies (June 2008)  (June 2008)
MDRC (Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation) published “Career Academies: Long-Term Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes, Educational Attainment, and Transitions to Adulthood”. The report’s eight-year findings on Career Academies (a popular high school reform that combines academics with career development opportunities) show that the programs produced sustained employment and earnings gains, particularly among young men. Career Academy participants were also more likely to be living independently with children and a spouse or a partner.


National Association for Multicultural Education’s New DVDs (2008)  (2008)
NAME has published two new DVDs on developing effective, culturally responsive practices for inclusive education. In “Affirming Diversity: Creating Multicultural Communities,” Sonia Nieto discusses how educators can create learning environments that affirm diversity and promote social justice for all; in “Building Culturally Responsive Relationships with Diverse Families of Children with Disabilities,” Beth Harry discusses how to work with families from a variety of backgrounds to develop strong, supportive relationships that benefit students.


National Center for Learning Disabilities-Parent Advocacy Brief: A Parent's Guide to RTI PDF document
Web Resource
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is an invaluable web resource for parents. Their guide for understanding the Response-to-Intervention (RTI) process is currently used to determine special education eligibility. RTI is a tiered process designed to pair high quality instruction with research-based interventions in order to appropriately identify students in need of more individualized instruction. The guide contains comprehensive examples of RTI, glossary of educators’ terms, interview with an assistant superintendent experienced in RTI models, and list of questions that parents can ask their child’s school regarding its RTI process. Available in pdf (14 pages, 458 KB).

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Communities in Schools: New Data on What Works to Reduce Dropout Rates
Web-based Event
July 30, 2008
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
A five-year longitudinal evaluation of the Communities In Schools program conducted by ICF International finds integrated student supports are effective in improving graduation rates and student and school outcomes. Registration is required and spaces are limited.

2008 Global Summit on Education for All: Inclusive Practices for Students with Disabilities
Policy Summit
September 19, 2008 - September 20, 2008
Washington, DC
This summit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and held in Washington, DC. For more information contact Melissa Storm with the American Institute for Research, at or (202)403-5363.

Expanding Inclusion: The Business Strategy (USBLN Annual Conference and Career Fair)
October 5, 2008 - October 8, 2008
Portland, OR
Sponsored by the U.S. Business Leadership Network (BLN), this conference is a national event for business, community leaders, and BLN chapters that have an interest in hiring, retention and marketing to people with disabilities.

Disability Inclusion & National Service: Acting Today to Shape the Future
October 16, 2008 - October 18, 2008
Alexandria, VA
This event invites the national service and disability communities to convene in a setting that fosters the development of innovative ideas and strong partnerships. With opportunities for learning, reflection and celebration, the conference will inspire current and tomorrow’s leaders to direct disability inclusion in national service and enhance the ethic of service and volunteerism in the disability community.

National Association for Multicultural Education 18th International Conference
November 12, 2008 - November 16, 2008
New Orleans, LA
NAME’s 2008 Conference is “Beyond Celebrating Diversity: ReACTivating the Equity and Social Justice Roots of Multicultural Education.” Registration deadline is August 15, 2008.

Social Justice in the 21st Century: 33rd Annual TASH Conference
December 3, 2008 - December 6, 2008
Nashville, TN
The conference theme is Social Justice: achieving the full and equal participation of every member of society in a way that is shaped to meet each member’s unique needs, with all persons valued, physically and psychologically safe, and able to participate in all aspects of life in their community. This year’s TASH conference will focus on the issues and trends in today’s world as they relate to the bringing about social justice for people who have significant disabilities and their families. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Harvard Family Research Project Web site
The Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) has launched its redesigned Web site, incorporating visitors’ suggestions for improving the site to rebuild it from the ground up. Enhanced features of the new site include added tools to make it easier to find and share resources. Visitors can now search for HFRP publications and resources by topic, author, and date; search inside “The Evaluation Exchange”, send articles to colleagues, print articles and other content in a reader-friendly format, order publications, and subscribe to RSS feeds.


IRIS Center
The IRIS Center offers special education resources and materials – validated instructional strategies, research-to-practice strategies, best practices and more. IRIS aims to provide high-quality resources for college and university faculty and professional development providers about students with disabilities, by offering free, online, interactive training enhancements that translate research about the education of students with disabilities into practice.


Resource Center: Tools and Training for Volunteer and Service Programs
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a “one-stop shop” for tools to strengthen volunteer and service programs, offering more than 2,500 free downloadable tools, e-courses, and other resources and materials on hundreds of topics. There are also areas for social networking and interaction.


Response-to-Intervention: Possibilities for Service Delivery at the Secondary School Level
Response to Intervention (RtI) is an approach for identifying students with specific learning disabilities. It assumes a broad system of early intervention and support in place, one possible component of which is evaluating a student for suspected learning disabilities. Students are provided with evidence-based instruction and progress monitoring in general education classrooms. RtI has grown beyond just a special education identification approach and become a comprehensive, data-based prevention model for helping struggling students achieve. This e-newsletter looks at the challenges and possibilities of implementing an RtI model at the secondary level.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


Free Parents’ Guide from the U.S. Department of Education
The U. S. Department of Education has developed a free publication, “Empowering Parents School Box: A Tool To Equip Parents For the School Year.” The school box contains three booklets: “What Parents Need to Know,” “Taking a Closer Look,” and “Learning Checklists”; a brochure, “Examples of Resources”; a poster, “Empowered Parents Stay Involved With School”; a bookmark; and a door hanger. The school box provides tips on working with children from birth to high school; guidelines for taking advantage of free tutoring opportunities; steps for selecting a high-quality school; ways to get involved in children's schools; information about financial aid and scholarships; and resources for improving learning. It also includes success stories of schools where parent involvement made a difference.


June Funding Tip: Funds for Youth Workforce Development
This month's Finance Project funding tip is on how to maximize federal funds to support workforce development services for youth, with information on sources and examples of how programs are using them.

Federal Grant Opportunities


Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2008
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 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 2007-2008 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


2009 Nestlé Very Best In Youth Program
The Nestlé USA Very Best in Youth Program honors young people ages 13 to 18 who have excelled in school and who are making their community and the world a better place. Maximum Award: $1000. Eligibility: youth ages 13 and 18 years of age who demonstrate good citizenship, a strong academic record, and can show how they have made a special contribution to their school, church or the community. Entrants must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to submit the nomination. Deadline: November 20, 2008.


American School Board Journal Magna Awards
The American School Board Journal is accepting nominations for its 2009 Magna Awards, which recognize programs that have been important in promoting the district’s mission and advancing student learning; capable of being replicated by other school boards with similar conditions and resources; and the result of collaboration between the school board and others. Maximum Award: $3,500. Eligibility: programs developed or actively supported by school boards. Deadline: October 15, 2008.


Challenge 20/20 Program Grants for School Partnerships Around the World
The National Association of Independent Schools Challenge 20/20 Program provides an opportunity for schools to develop globally-based, experiential curricula and to build educational partnerships with schools around the world. Challenge 20/20 students form bonds with students from across the globe and learn firsthand about cross-cultural communication; together, teams tackle real problems. Maximum Award: N/A. Eligibility: elementary and secondary schools, public or private, located anywhere in the world. Deadline: August 15, 2008.


Disney Grants for Youth-Led Service Projects
The Walt Disney Company and Youth Service America, through Disney Minnie Grants, are supporting youth-led service projects that are planned and implemented in communities. Service can take place between October 15 and November 15, 2008, and projects can address the environment, disaster relief, public health and awareness, community education, hunger, literacy, or any issue that youth identify as a community need. Maximum Award: $500. Eligibility: teachers, older youth (15-25), youth-leaders, and youth-serving organizations that engage younger youth (5-14) in planning and implementation. Deadline: August 30, 2008.


Healthy Sprouts Awards
The National Gardening Association recognizes outstanding youth programs via the Healthy Sprouts Awards. The awards support school and youth garden programs that teach about nutrition and the issue of hunger in the United States. Maximum Award: $500 gift certificate to Gardener's Supply. Eligibility: schools or organizations that plan to garden with children between the ages of 3 and 18. Deadline: October 15, 2008.


National Gardening Association and Home Depot Announce 2009 Youth Garden Grants Program
Gifts of teaching materials and merchandise credits of up to $1,000 will be given to schools and community organizations providing gardening programs for at least fifteen children between the ages of 3 and 18. Previous Youth Garden Grant winners who wish to reapply may do so but must wait a year (e.g., if an organization won in 2008, it can apply again in 2010) and have significantly expanded their garden programs. Priority will be given to applications that emphasize one or more of the following: educational focus or curricular/program integration; nutrition or plant-to-food connections; environmental awareness/education; entrepreneurship; and social aspects of gardening such as leadership development, team building, community support, or service-learning. Deadline: November 1, 2008


Richard Riley Award to Honor Schools That Serve as Centers of Community
An award of $10,000 will be given to a public elementary or secondary school in the United States that provides social, civic, recreational, and artistic opportunities to the broader community around them. The American Architectural Foundation, in partnership with the Knowledge Works Foundation, invites nominations for the Richard Riley Award, which honors K-12 schools that serve as centers of community, demonstrate innovative design ideas, and help to promote student achievement. Deadline: July 25, 2008


Tommy Hilfiger Education Grants
Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation Education Grants support programs/partnerships that promote educational opportunities for diverse populations in the United States. Maximum Award: $25,000. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations. Deadline: October 1, 2008.

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End of Issue

Excerpting E-News
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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.

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