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August 2003 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


College and Career Transitions Initiative Names 15 Site Partnerships
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) and the League for Innovation in the Community College announced the first 15 partnerships for the College and Career Transitions Initiative, a program designed to ease student transitions between high schools and postsecondary education and to improve academic performance at both levels. Working together, they will expand and develop model transition strategies and rigorous programs of study that are intended to result in substantial positive outcomes for students.


New Initiatives to Celebrate Teachers
Secretary Paige announced a national commitment to celebrate teachers and the teaching profession with a series of initiatives designed to assist states and educators in meeting the highly qualified teacher requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. The centerpiece of the outreach effort is the new Teacher Assistance Corps, a team of education experts, researchers, and practitioners who will provide voluntary support to states as they carry out the highly qualified teacher provisions of the law. The Teaching Assistance Corps will travel to states and perform onsite reviews tailored to the explicit needs and concerns of state officials. The teams will offer guidance and feedback on state efforts, address specific state challenges, and provide useful information from other states about promising practices in the field. Corps members also will clarify issues confused by misunderstanding and misinformation. State participation is voluntary.


Steering Committee Formed to Explore New Directions for Disability and Rehabilitation Research
The U.S. Education Department announced the appointment of a steering committee to assist the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in developing a plan for disability and rehabilitation research for the next five years. The plan will emphasize disability demographics research; technology for access and function; employment and health; and basic functioning to help people with disabilities live the independent, productive lives they desire. Additional emphasis will be given to the creative applications of technology and improving access to health care, thereby empowering individuals to live independently in the community.

Calls to Participate


National Organization on Disability Call for Communities to Apply for Awards
The National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.) is urging America's mayors and chief elected officials to enter their communities in the third annual $25,000 "Accessible America" award competition, open to all U.S. cities and towns. The winner will be a city or town where citizens with disabilities have opportunities for full and equal participation in the life of their community, including access to education, jobs, voting, transportation, housing, religious worship, and a full range of social, recreational, cultural, and sports activities. It is sponsored by United Parcel Service (UPS). The 2003 competition will officially launch later this month at a Capitol Hill event commemorating the Americans with Disabilities Act's 13th anniversary. Application deadline: October 31, 2003.


The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Seeks Input on Future Directions
The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) is collecting information in order to update its long-range plan. The agency is seeking input from people with disabilities, interested family or friends, service providers, and disability and rehabilitation researchers. The web-based form gives visitors an opportunity to write in what they'd like to see done in terms of research, and asks them to note whether the research would concern independent community living, disability demographics, health and function, technology, or employment. There is no specified deadline for participation.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Collaboration Between General and Special Education: Making it Work  (July 2003)
NCSET Issue Brief  • Volume  2 ,  Issue  1
Special education and general education teachers nationwide now find they need to develop new skills and strategies to meet the challenges of providing access to the general curriculum for all students, including those with disabilities. This brief calls for greater collaboration between general and special education teachers as one strategy for facilitating this access. The brief outlines a five-step model for implementing collaborative relationships and provides further resources for practitioners.


Collecting and Utilizing Postschool Outcome Data to Improve Transition Programs and Services at the National, State, and Local Levels  (October 2003)
Presentation Slides
This Capacity Building Institute, preceding the Division of Career Development and Transition Conference, will provide researchers, state transition coordinators, and other interested stakeholders with information on the process of collecting postschool outcome data and how that information is used to improve programs and services.


Developing Cultural Competency: Improving Adult Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities  (April 2003)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Transcript of the teleconference call presented by Rory Gilbert, Executive Director of the National Conference for Community and Justice, held on April 29, 2003. During this call, Mr. Gilbert discussed cultural competency, our roles as advocates and allies, and specific issues related to disability, race, youth culture, and socio-economics, and provided examples of how to embed cultural sensitivity in program planning and implementation.


High Schools With Authentic and Inclusive Learning Practices: Selected Features and Findings  (July 2003)
NCSET Research to Practice Brief  • Volume  2 ,  Issue  2
This brief outlines the major findings of a research study conducted by the Research Institute on Secondary Education Reform (RISER) on authentic and inclusive learning practices at four high schools. Authentic learning practices involve students in using disciplined inquiry to construct in-depth knowledge for themselves and others, and inclusive learning refers to the use of developmentally and individually appropriate accommodations and supports. The brief also discusses the implications and challenges presented by the study's findings.

Other National Resources


Briefs for Families on Evidence-Based Practices  (2003)
The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice has published a series of information briefs on research-based intervention practices and programs for children with behavioral problems. A variety of topics such as behavioral planning meetings, promoting resilience in children, and alternative schools are discussed.


Closing the Graduation Gap  (April 2003) PDF document
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, lead funder for the Early College High School Initiative, is committed to helping all students graduate from high school ready for college, work, and citizenship. This commitment is based on a vision of a secondary education system built on rigor and relationships, a system of high-quality, small high schools that offer rigorous preparation for any postsecondary education or employment pathway. This paper outlines the foundation's thinking on these issues, the evidence and research underpinning them, and a policy agenda that supports this vision of high-quality high schools for all students. PDF format (13 pages).


Empowering New Partnerships in Your Community: Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the Workforce System  (2003) PDF document
This publication from the Department of Labor's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives provides practical advice and guidance for Workforce Boards and One-Stop operators interested in conducting outreach and initiating new partnerships with faith-based and community organizations (FBOs/CBOs). PDF format (20 pages).


Moving In: Ten Successful Independent/Transitional Living Programs
This book, published by Northwest Media, profiles programs across the countries that are helping foster care and homeless teens adapt to living on their own. It also offers successful models for transitioning foster care youth. Each chapter in the book explores a different transitional living program serving both rural and inner-city youth.


Safe and Secure: Guides to Creating Safer Schools  (2003)
The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) has developed a series of eight guidebooks with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to help local school districts with information and resources to assist them in developing comprehensive strategies to create safe learning environments. Titles include Creating Schoolwide Prevention and Intervention Strategies, School Policies and Legal Issues Supporting Safe Schools, Implementing Ongoing Staff Development to Enhance Safe Schools, Ensuring Quality School Facilities and Security Technologies, Fostering School--Law Enforcement Partnerships, Instituting School-Based Links with Mental Health and Social Service Agencies, Fostering School, Family, and Community Involvement, and Acquiring and Utilizing Resources to Enhance and Sustain a Safe Learning Environment. All guides are available in PDF and linked from the OJJDP Publications Page (scroll down to “Safe and Secure: Guides to Creating Safer Schools”).


Shaping the Future of American Youth: Youth Policy in the 21st Century  (2003) PDF document
This report, published by the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), is a compendium of four major analytic papers and nine commentaries developed to celebrate AYPF’s decade of service to the youth policy community. The papers offer insights for future AYPF and public programming and captures the best thinking of some of America’s leading high school reformers, youth policy and national and community service practitioners and advocates. Available in PDF (96 pages).


Suspending Disbelief, Moving Beyond Punishment to Promote Effective Interventions for Children with Mental or Emotional Disorders  (May 2003) PDF document
Published by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, this report documents the successful use of positive behavioral intervention programs throughout the country. Furthermore, it examines congressional intent regarding the treatment of children with behavior problems and, by examining administrative and court decisions interpreting these provisions, compares those intentions with actual implementation of the mandate. Available in PDF format (30 pages).


The Achiever: No Child Left Behind
This newsletter provides the latest information, news, and events on the No Child Left Behind Act. The newsletter is available on the No Child Left Behind government Web site, and is e-mailed bi-monthly. The Achiever is published by the Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs.

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


Issues of Transition for Youth with Disabilities from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds
Teleconference Call
August 13, 2003
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   (Central)
NCSET teleconference call held August 13, 2003 to address the issues that face persons with disabilities of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) heritage in relation to transition success. Specific considerations that were discussed include perceptions about self-determination, and expectations about the environments that CLD youth with disabilities are expected to transition to once they leave secondary school. Presented by Dr. David Leake of the Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Transition Success Research Project, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Dr. Soon Kim Rupnow of the National Technical Assistance Project on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa; and Dr. Paul Leung of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program, University of North Texas. The transcript of this call is now available.
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Get Wired!

Web Sites


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA's mission is to ensure that all people with speech, language, and hearing disorders have access to quality services to help them communicate effectively. The Web site provides information to help users understand communication and communication disorders. It also provides a referral service for access to qualified professionals.


Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
ACTE is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. This Web site offers information about the history, mission, and structure of ACTE, as well as details on their annual awards program, public policy, and other useful resources.


National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt)
NCCRESt, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, provides technical assistance and professional development to close the achievement gap between students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their peers, and reduce inappropriate referrals to special education. The project targets improvements in culturally responsive practices, early intervention, literacy, and positive behavioral supports. The Web site provides links and resources regarding culturally responsive educational systems.


Teaching Diverse Learners
This Web site is dedicated to enhancing the capacity of teachers to work effectively and equitably with English language learners. It includes information on: teaching and learning strategies on culturally responsive teaching, mainstream classrooms, bilingual/ESL classrooms, and special education; strategies for performance and student assessment; organizations that may be useful to teachers of language minority students; and funding opportunities and grants for teaching English language learners. The Medicaid Reference Desk is the nation's first online Medicaid reference desk created by advocates and consumers. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for people with disabilities and those who provide their care, but it is extremely complicated to navigate. The content of the site was tailored with the assistance of people who are using the Medicaid system and is geared to help people with cognitive disabilities better understand the system. is a Project of National Significance of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities.



F.Y.I. E-Newsletter from the American Association for Mental Retardation
AAMR F.Y.I. is a monthly e-newsletter that keeps receivers informed about recent developments in the developmental disabilities community and the latest AAMR initiatives. Since 1876, AAMR has been providing leadership in the field of mental retardation. AAMR is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals (and others) concerned about mental retardation and related disabilities.


The Wizdom Education E-Mail Club
Wizdom is a recognized leading provider of innovative process-based solutions for special education planning and management. They have applied technology to develop products and services that meet the real-life challenges of individualized Special Education planning and management.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


The Grantionary is a list of grant-related terms and their definitions.

Federal Grant Opportunities


Alternative Financing Mechanism Program and Access to Telework Fund Program – CFDA#’s 84.224C and 84.235T
Grants from the US Department of Education to provide funding to state agencies to support alternative funding mechanisms allowing individuals with disabilities to purchase assistive technology devices and services; and gain access to computers and other needed equipment not provided by an employer to enable them to telework from home or other remote sites. Applications available: August 5, 2003. Application deadline: September 4, 2003.


Demonstration Grants for Indian Children – CFDA# 84.299A
A grant from the US Department of Education to make financial assistance available to projects to develop, test, and demonstrate the effectiveness of services and programs to improve the educational opportunities and achievement of preschool, elementary, and secondary students. Applications available: July 24, 2003. Application deadline: August 25, 2003.


Demonstration Grants for Student Drug Testing – CFDA#: 84.184D
A grant from the US Department of Education to make financial assistance available to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public and private entities, to develop or enhance, implement, and evaluate school-based drug testing programs for students. Applications available: July 11, 2003. Application deadline: August 20, 2003.


Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program – CFDA# 84.170A
A grant from the US Department of Education to award fellowships to eligible students of superior ability, selected on the basis of demonstrated achievement, financial need, and exceptional promise, to undertake graduate study in selected fields in the arts, humanities, and social sciences leading to a doctoral degree or to a master's degree in those fields in which the master's degree is the terminal highest degree awarded in the selected field of study at accredited institutions of higher education. Applications available: August 1, 2003. Application deadline: October 3, 2003.


National Dissemination Center for Individuals With Disabilities – CFDA# 84.326N
A grant from the US Department of Education to provide technical assistance and information that support States and local entities in building capacity to improve early intervention, educational, and transitional services and results for children with disabilities and their families; and address goals and priorities for changing State systems that provide early intervention, educational, and transitional services for children with disabilities and their families. Applications available: July 30, 2003. Application deadline: August 29, 2003.


Professional Development Program – CFDA#: 84.299B
A grant from the US Department of Education to make financial assistance available to organizations that will be able to increase the number of qualified Indian individuals in professions that serve Indian people; provide training to qualified Indian individuals to become teachers, administrators, teacher aides, social workers, and ancillary educational personnel; and improve the skills of qualified Indian individuals who serve in the capacities described above. Applications available: July 24, 2003. Application deadline: August 25, 2003.


Special Demonstration Programs- Model Demonstration Projects-Mentoring for Transition-Age Youth and Young Adults With Disabilities – CFDA# 84.235Q
A grant from the US Department of Education to provide financial assistance to projects that expand and improve the provision of rehabilitation and other services for individuals with disabilities. Applications available: August 5, 2003. Application deadline: September 4, 2003.


Special Demonstration Programs--Model Demonstrations to Improve the Literacy and Employment Outcomes of Individuals With Disabilities - CFDA#: 84.235P
Special Demonstration Programs support projects that expand and improve the provision of rehabilitation and other services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or further the purposes of the Act in empowering individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society. This competition focuses attention on the adult literacy needs of individuals with learning disabilities pursuing employment under the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program. Applications available: July 25, 2003. Application deadline: August 27, 2003.


Special Demonstration Programs--Projects for Orthotic and Prosthetic Research – CFDA# 84.235R
A grant from the US Department of Education to provide one-time funding in response to the Department of Education Appropriations Act, as enacted by section G of the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution for FY 2003 (ED Appropriations Act), for one or more projects designed to improve the quality of applied orthotic and prosthetic research and to help meet the increasing demand for provider services. Applications available: July 28, 2003. Application deadline: August 27, 2003.


Special Education--Research and Innovation to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities, and Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities – CFDA#’s: 84.324H and 84.326W
Grants from the US Department of Education with the purpose of providing financial assistance to produce, and advance the use of, knowledge to improve the results of education and early intervention for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities; and provide technical assistance and information to improve early intervention, educational, and transitional services and results for children with disabilities and their families; and address systemic-change goals and priorities. Applications available: July 28, 2003. Application deadline: August 27, 2003.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy Grant Program
The goal of this national grant program is to develop and expand family literacy efforts nationwide, and to support the development of literacy programs that build families of readers. Application deadline: September 5, 2003.


Quality of Life Grants for Spinal Cord Injuries
The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) announces funds through its Quality of Life Grants Program. The program offers two types of grants: 1) support for organizations that address the needs of persons living with spinal cord injuries, their families, and caregivers; and 2) health promotion awards to organizations that address paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries and other injuries, diseases, and birth defects. The deadline for applications is October 1, 2003.


The Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Awards
AAPD encourages emerging leaders with disabilities of any age to apply for this scholarship. An "emerging leader" is defined as someone who has demonstrated leadership qualities in his/her personal and/or professional life, and who is just starting to be recognized at a local, regional, or national level. Scholarship money is available to help the emerging leaders continue to progress as a leader. Application deadline: September 26, 2003.

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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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