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September 2003 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

Legislative Announcements


National Council on Disability Says Employment for People with Disabilities Remains Far Too Low
The National Council on Disability (NCD) released an excerpt from its annual report, National Disability Policy: A Progress Report (July 2003), which highlights a number of issues related to the challenges for advancing employment opportunities across the nation for people with disabilities. Congress is currently considering reauthorizing legislation for the Workforce Investment Act, including the Federal Rehabilitation Act. Any successful approach to employment for people with disabilities must ensure that our nation's mainstream labor force development and job placement system has the capacity and the motivation to serve people with disabilities on the same basis as everyone else, and must ensure the availability of specialized resources and technical expertise to assist and to supplement the work of the mainstream system. NCD recommends the reauthorization and includes provisions.


President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Submits Final Report
The President's Commission, which was established in 2002, was tasked with conducting a comprehensive study of the U.S. mental health service delivery system. To improve access to quality care and services, the Commission recommends fundamentally transforming how mental health care is delivered in America. Specifically, the Commission states that successfully transforming the mental health service delivery system rests on two principles: services and treatments must be consumer and family centered, geared to give consumers real and meaningful choices about treatment options and care must focus on increasing consumers' ability to successfully cope with life's challenges, on facilitating recovery, and on building resilience, not just on managing symptoms.


The US General Accounting Office Says Federal Actions Can Assist States in Improving Postsecondary Outcomes for Youth
This report from the US General Accounting Office (GAO) examines (1) the proportion of IDEA students completing high school with a diploma or alternative credentials, and their postsecondary status; (2) the transition problems being reported and state and local actions to address them; and (3) the types of transition services provided by the vocational rehabilitation, the Workforce Investment Act youth, and the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency programs, and the factors affecting participation of IDEA youth. The full report (66 pages) can be found on the GAO Web site in PDF format at NCSET has prepared a brief excerpt of the GAO report that you may wish to share with your colleagues.

Calls to Participate


Be a Career E-Mentor Through
E-mentoring through is a chance to share your time, talent, expertise, and personality to make a difference in the lives of young people all over. is an online career mentoring program for high school students. Educators find that students lack access to information on high wage careers in high growth industries. provides a rich resource of mentors in high wage, high growth occupations. E-mentoring allows young people to cross geographic and industry lines to learn about a wide variety of possible careers, one-on-one, from the people who do them. is looking for people who would like to share their knowledge about their industry and union. There is no deadline for participation.


Coins in the Classroom Lesson Plan Contest
The U.S. Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site is sponsoring a "Coins in the Classroom" Lesson Plan Contest to recognize the most exciting and innovative methods of teaching with coins. Lesson plans can be submitted through October 15, 2003.


Join One or More Technical Assistance Communities of Practice
Looking for ways to stay connected with current research and resources? Would you like to participate in discussions, and share thoughts and strategies with colleagues from around the country? Interested in contributing your expertise on topics such as successful school completion, graduation requirements, exiting data, measures and definitions, or interagency collaboration? If so, the Technical Assistance Communities of Practice (TA Communities) may be for you. The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has implemented a new program that combines its resources from the Monitoring and State Improvement Planning Division and technical assistance resources from its Research to Practice Division.


Nominate a Product to be Included on, a showcase of promising practices and innovations that promote quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities, was developed by the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration (RTC/ICI), the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), and Human Services Research Institute (HSRI). The primary purpose of is to collect and disseminate information related to or useful in promoting quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. Nominations of materials, resources, organizations, projects, and activities for inclusion on the Web site are accepted. There is no deadline for participation.


Pacific Rim Conference 2004 – Call for Papers
This year's PacRim conference theme, "Promises to Keep, Futures to Seek", reflects on the promises and goals made and the opportunities created for persons with disabilities. This year proposals on the following topics are encouraged: Inclusion in Education and Community; Technology Across the Lifespan; Parent Partnerships and Family Supports; Life After High School; and Body, Mind, and Spirit. Submission deadline: October 1, 2003.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice  (May 2003)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
Transcript of the teleconference held May 28, 2003 discussing the significance of prevention, education programs, and transition/aftercare services in reducing the risk that youth with disabilities will be involved in the juvenile justice system. Presented by Peter Leone, Director, and Lili Garfinkel, Associate Director of the National Center on Education, Disability, and Juvenile Justice at the University of Maryland.


Employment Supports and Accommodations  (2003)
NCSET Web Topic
This NCSET Web Topic explores adjustments employers can make to the workplace to accommodate people with disabilities so that they can access the workplace and successfully perform their job tasks. Like all NCSET Web topics, it includes an introduction, frequently asked questions, related research, emerging practices, Web sites, and additional resources.


Supplemental Security Income (Part 3 of 3): Your Right to Appeal  (September 2003)
NCSET Parent Brief
This brief guides parents through the Supplemental Security Income appeals process, providing information about why many applications are denied, how the decisions are made, and how applicants can respond effectively. The brief provides detailed information about the four levels of appeal and discusses three case studies.


Technology and Transition: Empowering Students with Disabilities as They Transition to College and Careers  (April 2003)
NCSET Institute Proceeding
Proceedings from the National Capacity Building Institute held in Seattle, WA in April 2003 by NCSET and the National Center on the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports.

Other National Resources


Addressing the Needs of Youth with Disabilities in the Juvenile Justice System: The Status of Evidence-Based Research  (May 2003)
This report, released by the National Council on Disability, summarizes and assesses the state of knowledge about children and youth with disabilities who are at risk of delinquency and involvement in, or who have already entered, the juvenile justice system. By highlighting what is known about addressing delinquency and the diverse needs of this population, it aims to inform policy discussions among policymakers, practitioners, and researchers.


Back to School: Resources from
Web Site
It's time to say goodbye to summer and hello to school.'s Back to School page features useful links to help parents, kids, and educators start the year off right. Parents can get expert advice to help their children learn to read, do math, and succeed in school. Teachers have a gateway to educational materials for Pre-K through adult education. Students have access to financial aid information and forms.


DSCC: Transition Information and Resources  (2003)
Web Site
The Illinois Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) has recently added a new section on their Web site that focuses on Transition Information and Resources. This site provides access to information and forms developed by DSCC, as well as other resources, including: The Transition Information Sheet for Families, Teaching Sheets (Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs), Transition Timeline (Office of Children with Special Health Care Needs, Washington State), The Health Care Checklist (adapted from other health care checklists) School to Work Checklist (adapted from Young Adult Services Program, South Bend, Indiana), and many more.


Making the Right Choices: Reforming Medicaid to Improve Outcomes for People Who Need Mental Health Care  (2003) PDF document
This report, published by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, analyzes recent proposals to change Medicaid from the perspective of adults and children with mental illnesses. These proposals have included plans to reduce the array of services that states must provide and to reduce the number of beneficiaries entitled to services. Available in PDF (17 pages).


No More Islands: Family Involvement in 27 School and Youth Programs  (2003)
This report, published by the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), is a result of analyses of over 100 evaluations of school and youth programs published in AYPF’s series of compendia on effective programs for youth. It provides valuable insights into the role that family involvement plays in 27 of those programs, discusses myths about families that must be discarded to improve program quality, and provides recommendations for policymakers and youth program practitioners. This report describes research on the relationship between family involvement and youth outcomes, and concludes that young people should not be viewed as “islands” by schools and youth programs, separate from the context of their families.


Supporting Early Childhood Initiatives: Legislative Strategies for Everyday People  (2003) PDF document
This brief, published by the Finance Project, addresses strategies to ensure that policy makers hear the voices of children and families so that effective early childhood initiatives can be enacted, implemented, and sustained. It helps readers understand how they can influence the basic legislative processes of creating statutes, resolutions, budgets, and appropriations, and when to use alternatives to legislation. It includes examples and lessons learned from efforts across the county to support early childhood and other child and family initiatives in good times as well as bad. Available in PDF format (40 pages).


Testing the Testers 2002: An Annual Ranking of State Accountability Systems  (2003) PDF document
During the Winter of 2001-2002, The Princeton Review conducted this first Annual Ranking of State Accountability Systems. The emphasis was placed on the complete accountability system. Based on this, four criteria were used: academic alignment; test quality; sunshine (openness of contracting to public inspection) and policy. Report offers results and recommendations. Available in PDF (46 pages).

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


National Leadership Summit on Improving Results: Policy and Practice Implications for Secondary and Postsecondary Education and Employment for Youth with Disabilities

September 18, 2003 - September 19, 2003
Leadership Summit
Washington, DC
NCSET, in partnership with federal agencies and national organizations, is hosting an event in September that will bring together state leaders and policymakers to address critical challenges to secondary education and transition and build their capacity to improve postschool outcomes for youth with disabilities. It’s the National Leadership Summit on Improving Results: Policy and Practice Implications for Secondary and Postsecondary Education and Employment for Youth with Disabilities, held on September 18 -19, 2003 in Washington, DC (the federal agencies include the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services; Social Security Administration (SSA), and others).

High Schools of Authentic and Inclusive Learning
Teleconference Call
September 24, 2003
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   (Central)
NCSET teleconference call held September 24, 2003 to focus on high schools of authentic and inclusive learning. Presenters highlighted research from the Research Institute on Secondary Education and Reform for Youth With Disabilities (RISER). They also discussed (a) how inclusion and teaching of high intellectual quality can be integrated, and to what ends, for students with and without disabilities; (b) the extent to which authentic and inclusive practices at the secondary level relate to postschool outcomes for students with and without disabilities; the ways in which external standards and assessments influence practices; (c) how schools facilitate career development and postschool planning for students with and without disabilities; and (d) the nature of school organizational capacity in schools with authentic and inclusive practices. Presented by Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell and Allen Phelps, Co-Directors of RISER. The transcript of this call is now available.

Other National Events


Healthy Communities Healthy Youth Conference 2003: Unleashing the Power of Diversity
October 23, 2003 - October 25, 2003
San Jose, CA
This annual Search Institute Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth conference will help juvenile justice professionals develop practical strategies to incorporate diversity in community and organizational planning. Drawing on developmental assets that are fundamental to positive youth development, the conference will afford adults and youth opportunities to play leadership roles as planners, facilitators, speakers, hosts, and mentors to other conference participants. More than 90 sessions will feature nearly 250 adult and youth speakers. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS)
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) is a nonpartisan policy and program resource center located at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. CHHCS builds on a 20-year history of testing strategies to strengthen health care delivery systems for children and adolescents. For the past decade, with support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center staff and consultants have worked with institutional leaders, state officials and clinical providers to maximize outcomes for children through more effective health programming in schools. The Web site offers information on policy and programming, publications, dental health, and mental health.


Center for Special Education Finance (CSEF)
The mission of the Center for Special Education Finance (CSEF) is to address fiscal policy questions related to the delivery and support of special education throughout the U.S. and disseminate up-to-date information to stakeholders at all levels. The CSEF offers publications on policy, state finance, and other related publications.


Federal Resource Center for Special Education,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
The Federal Resource Center (FRC) supports a nationwide technical assistance network to respond to the needs of students with disabilities, especially students from under-represented populations. Through its work with the RRCs and the technical assistance networks, the FRC provides a national perspective for establishing technical assistance activities within and across regions by identifying and synthesizing emerging issues and trends. The Web site offers information on conferences, federal resources, publications, and technical assistance.


National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR)
Established in 1995, the NCDDR performs research, technical assistance, and demonstration activities focusing on the dissemination and utilization of disability research funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The Web site provides publications on disability research information in areas such as: assistive technology, community integration, employment, and much more.


STAR Tech Professional Development Program
STAR Tech is a research-based professional development program that helps teachers integrate a full range of technology tools into the curriculum. The Star Tech program is designed to help teachers improve the performance of students with diverse abilities and needs by using a variety of low, mid, and high technology tools. This Web site provides resources and tools to support not only the implementation of STAR Tech, but also the integration of technology into the curriculum. Comprehensive Reading Intervention Programs, Grades K-Adult
This Web site features Core Reading programming, reading intervention for struggling readers in middle school and high school. Direct instruction programs are also available for elementary through adult. The programs for struggling readers provide direct instruction in sound-symbol development, phonics, word recognition, multi-syllable word management, vocabulary development, reading fluency, and guided comprehension.



MarcoGrams from the MarcoPolo Education Foundation
MarcoPolo is a consortium of premier national education organizations, state education agencies, and the MarcoPolo Education Foundation dedicated to providing quality Internet content and professional development to teachers and students throughout the U.S. MarcoGrams are curriculum e-mail newsletters, distributed monthly to educators across the country, highlighting common themes from space exploration to family culture. Each MarcoGram features motivating warm-ups for classroom discussion and links to K-12 interdisciplinary lessons and resources from the Foundation's Content Partners.


Microsoft Innovative Teachers E-Newsletter
The Innovative Teachers Program is based on the two premises that technology is a powerful catalyst to improve learning and that teachers learn best from their peers. With those premises in mind, Innovative Teachers delivers free, professional development programs to districts and schools, based on the sharing and replication of exemplary learning projects. The listserv subscription offers free professional development materials delivered monthly and the ability to connect with online learning communities of practice.

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Funding Forecast

Federal Grant Opportunities


Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program CFDA# 84.022A
The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program provides opportunities for graduate students to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Applications available: August 26, 2003. Application deadline: October 20, 2003.


Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program CFDA# 84.019A
The Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program offers opportunities to faculty members of institutions of higher education for research and study in modern foreign languages and area studies. Applications available: August 26, 2003. Application deadline: October 20, 2003.


Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program – CFDA# 84.021A
The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program supports overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for groups of teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. Projects may include short-term seminars, curriculum development, or group research or study. This competition will not support advanced overseas intensive language projects. Applications available: August 11, 2003. Application deadline: October 14, 2003.


Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program – CFDA# 84.200A
GAANN provides fellowships in areas of national need to assist graduate students with excellent academic records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their courses of study. Applications available: August 12, 2003. Application deadline: November 7, 2003.


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research--Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance Program - CFDA# 84.224B
A grant from the US Department of Education with the purpose of providing technical assistance (TA) to the Assistive Technology Act State Grant Program Grantees and to the Protection and Advocacy Grantees. Applications available: August 14, 2003. Application deadline: September 15, 2003.


Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training CFDA# 84.129C, 84.129E, 84.129F, 84.129Q, 84.129R
The Rehabilitation Long-Term Training program provides financial assistance for: projects that provide basic or advanced training leading to an academic degree in areas of personnel shortages in rehabilitation as identified by the Assistant Secretary; projects that provide a specified series of courses or program of study leading to award of a certificate in areas of personnel shortages in rehabilitation as identified by the Assistant Secretary; and projects that provide support for medical residents enrolled in residency training programs in the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Applications available: August 26, 2003. Application deadline: October 27, 2003.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) promotes research on the civic and political engagement of Americans between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. All CIRCLE-funded research should have implications for specified categories of practitioners, such as legislators, candidates, teachers, educational administrators, youth-serving organizations, journalists, professional associations, or nonprofits that work to encourage youth voting and political participation. CIRCLE has issued three new RFPs for research in the area of youth civic engagement: research on Civic Education, research on the Political Participation and Electoral Engagement of Youth, and research on Youth Civic Engagement. Application deadline: September 19, 2003.


The Pentair Foundation
The mission of The Pentair Foundation is to enrich and advance the communities in which Pentair operates by funding local programs that promote education, vocational readiness, cultural understanding, self-sufficiency, and general well-being so that people in these communities benefit by our presence. The Foundation funds organizations that provide resources to strengthen and enhance the lives of individuals. Application deadline: October 1, 2003.

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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
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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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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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