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September 2005 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Bellevue Community College Launches the Nation’s First Higher Education Degree Program for Students with Developmental Disabilities
Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, WA now offers a 90-credit Associate in Essential Studies degree through which high-functioning individuals with learning, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities can demonstrate mastery of an established body of knowledge and gain the skills for lifetime success. The degree program, called Venture, includes 52 separate courses in academics, social and life skills, and workforce development.


Native Youth Crisis Hotline
American Indian tribes in Minnesota have created a Native Youth Crisis Hotline (877-209-1266) in an attempt to help stem the suicide rate among American Indian youth, which is three times greater than that of youth in other ethnic groups.

Legislative Announcements


Teachers Ask the Secretary: New Feature on U.S. Department of Education Web Site
Teachers are invited to ask U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings a question via the U.S. Department of Education Web site. Visitors to this page can also view Secretary Spellings’ answers to questions that have already been submitted.

Calls to Participate


Apply to Become a Member of the National Council on Disability’s (NCD) Youth Advisory Committee

The Youth Advisory Committee of NCD, a 12-member committee of youth ages 16-25, is seeking new members. The Youth Advisory Committee ensures that NCD’s policy recommendations and activities give consideration to the perspectives of young people with disabilities. To apply to become a member of the Youth Advisory Committee, send (1) a resume, (2) a letter of recommendation, and (3) a cover letter detailing your leadership experiences and your disability-oriented experiences by e-mail to or by postal mail to YOUTH-YAC Recruiting, National Council on Disability, 1331 F Street, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004. Application deadline: September 18, 2005. For more information: Contact Isaac Huff, Youth Advisory Committee Chair at or Rebecca Hare, Youth Advisory Committee Vice-Chair at


Provide Relief for Hurricane Katrina Victims
NCSET has compiled this listing of relief resources for those wishing to assist Hurricane Katrina victims, in particular youth with disabilities.


Submit a Presentation Proposal for Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion, and Disability Conference
The organizing theme for this conference, sponsored by the Ohio State University (OSU), will be “Personal Perspectives & Social Impact: The Stories We Tell.” It will be held at OSU on April 17-18, 2006. The goal of the conference is to encourage presenters and participants to reflect on how personal experiences create and transform social, cultural, and legal realities. Proposals must be received by October 1, 2005.


Submit a Session Proposal for the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) 2006 National Conference
NCCRESt seeks session proposals for its upcoming conference, “Creating Opportunities to Learn: A Forum for Addressing Disproportionality,” which will take place February 15-17, 2006 in Denver, CO. Proposals must be submitted electronically and received by October 31, 2005.

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Enhancing Academic Achievement and Transition Outcomes Using Technology  (September 2005)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  4 ,  Issue  5
It is critical that innovative curricula emerge that combine standards-based academics with transition planning to facilitate access to general education, including multiple-outcome measures and learning supports. In response to this challenge, the Nisonger Center at Ohio State University (OSU) developed a standards-driven, computer-based curriculum for students with disabilities in grades 8 through 10. This brief describes the curriculum and the principles behind it.


Essential Tools: Community Resource Mapping  (May 2005)
NCSET Essential Tool
This guide provides step-by-step instructions on understanding, planning, and engaging in the coordination of community resources that support the transition of youth with disabilities into adult life. Designed for use at the federal, state, and local levels, this document provides numerous practical tools and resources for initiating a resource mapping process.


Family Expectations and Involvement for Youth with Disabilities  (September 2005)
NCSET NLTS2 Data Brief  • Volume  4 ,  Issue  2
The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) provides the first national picture of the involvement of families in the educational development of their secondary-school-age children with disabilities. This Data Brief describes family involvement at home and at school, including a comparison of levels of involvement for families of youth with disabilities with those for families in the general population. It also discusses involvement in a school-based activity that is specific to families of youth with disabilities: participation in individualized education program (IEP) meetings. Finally, parent expectations for their children's attainment of postsecondary education and independence are highlighted.


Professional Development for Transition Personnel: Current Issues and Strategies for Success  (August 2005)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  4 ,  Issue  4
After more than two decades of federal transition legislation, students with disabilities continue to have significantly poorer postschool outcomes as compared to their peers without disabilities. One reason for these outcomes is that educators are inadequately prepared to provide the services required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This brief provides an overview of critical issues related to transition professional development and highlights current models of improving results for youth by supporting practitioners with in-service and pre-service training.


Utilizing Federal Financial Aid to Fund Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities  (July 2005)
NCSET Teleconference Transcript
In this teleconference held July 19, 2005, Dan Klock, Program Specialist and Policy Liaison with the Federal Office of Student Financial Aid, covered issues and resources related to financial aid for postsecondary students with a focus on students with disabilities. Included in the discussion were general student eligibility requirements, “Ability to Benefit”, Title IV Programs, and Web-based resources.

Other National Resources


Assistive Technology and Students With Disabilities  (August 2005)
The National Center for Learning Disabilities recently hosted a live chat with special education technology expert Dr. Dave Edyburn. The transcript of the chat is now available on the Web. It includes Dr. Edyburn's tips and resources for getting the most out of assistive technology for students with disabilities.


Becoming a Resilient Family: Child Disability and the Family System  (2005)
This monograph from the National Center on Accessibility addresses not only how having a child with a disability can impact the family system, but also how families can use their circumstances to become more resilient and healthy. It also includes recommended reading for both adult and child family members.


Disability Rights Online News from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice  (August 2005)
Disability Rights Online News is a bi-monthly update about the activities of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in the area of disability rights. The Division enforces laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability in employment, housing, access to businesses serving the public, access to government programs and services including voting and public transportation, and unconstitutional conditions in institutions of confinement.


Diverse — Issues in Higher Education  (August 2005)
Since 1984, “Black Issues In Higher Education” magazine has addressed issues of access and equity in U.S. higher education. With the August 25, 2005 edition, the magazine became “Diverse — Issues In Higher Education,” expanding its focus to include matters affecting all people of color. To obtain a complimentary copy of the new magazine, e-mail, call 703-385-2980, or write to Diverse, Suite B-8, 10520 Warwick Ave., Fairfax, VA, 22030. Be sure to include your full mailing address.


Express Yourself! Assessing Self-Determination in Your Life  (2004) PDF document
Express Yourself! is a user-friendly self-assessment for people who want to know how much choice and control they have in their lives. Areas covered include finances, housing, transportation, employment, community integration, medical treatment, and mental health care. Users can pinpoint life areas where they’d like to have more control and decision-making power, and then learn how to get started by using action-planning and Web-based resources. Published by the National Research and Training Center on Psychiatric Disability, University of Illinois at Chicago. Available in PDF (11 pages, 70 KB).


Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed  (June 2003) PDF document
The National Diabetes Education Program developed this guide to educate and inform school personnel about diabetes, how it is managed, and how each member of the school staff can help meet the needs of students with the disease. Available in PDF (88 pages, 762 KB).


Knowledge Path: Locating Community-Based Services to Support Children and Families  (June 2005)
Online Resource Directory
This “knowledge path” or online resource directory from the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health at Georgetown University is designed to help service providers and families find national, state, and local resources that can address child and family needs. It is comprised of links in the following categories: education/special needs, health and wellness, mental health and well-being, family support, parenting, child care/early childhood education, and financial support.


Meeting the Challenge: Getting Parents Involved in Schools  (August 2005)
In this newsletter, the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement offers research-based advice and resources designed to help schools and districts foster successful parent involvement.


My Child’s Academic Success: A Guide to the Tool Kit for Hispanic Families  (2005)
The U.S. Department of Education recently released a new tool kit for Hispanic families. It provides information in English and Spanish on a wide range of topics, from No Child Left Behind benefits and services to tips for helping children be successful students.


Survival Guide for New Teachers: How New Teachers Can Work Effectively with Veteran Teachers, Parents, Principals, and Teacher Educators  (May 2000)
Online Book
This online book from the U.S. Department of Education includes “the reflections of award-winning first-year teachers who talk candidly about their successes and setbacks, with a particular emphasis on the relationships they formed with their colleagues, university professors, and their students’ parents.” The book includes suggestions about “how new teachers can foster supportive professional relationships and what they stand to gain from them.”

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What's Happening

NCSET Events


Research-Based Tools and Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Secondary Youth with Disabilities
Capacity Building Institute
October 19, 2005
Albuquerque, NM
This day-long institute will provide researchers, state transition coordinators, educators, families, and other interested stakeholders with information on research results and interventions that improve outcomes for secondary youth with disabilities. The morning of the institute will focus on findings of the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, as well as perspectives of youth about what works in helping them succeed. The afternoon sessions, small-group facilitated discussions, will provide participants opportunities to interact with researchers who will share their knowledge regarding how schooling, career preparation, youth development/youth leadership, family involvement, and connecting activities can improve outcomes for secondary youth with disabilities. This institute will precede the Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) Conference, October 20-22, Albuquerque Convention Center. It is hosted by DCDT (of the Council for Exceptional Children) and NCSET. Registration is now closed.

Other National Events


Recreation Access: Research to Practice

September 7, 2005
This Webcast will highlight some of the National Center on Accessibility's research findings on visitor expectations and access to swimming pools, trails, golf courses, playgrounds, and other recreation areas. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions related to accessing parks and recreation facilities. Sponsored by the Disability Law Resource Project at the Independent Living Research Utilization Program.

High Schools: Expanding the Promise of No Child Left Behind

September 20, 2005
Television Broadcast
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM   (Central)
The U.S. Department of Education offers a monthly satellite television series focusing on NCLB. September’s show will explore how U.S. high schools need to change to meet the demands of the 21st century; the impact NCLB has had on younger students and how the Act can be expanded to high schools; high school strategies which are positively affecting the achievement gap; effective models of high school reform; and what parents should be doing to help their middle school- and high school-aged children succeed in the new school year. To participate, locate a facility with satellite downlink capabilities, call your local cable access station or school board channel and give them the satellite coordinates, or visit the site’s Registration Gateway for local viewing options. Registration is required.

3rd Annual ADHD Conference – Making the Most of Life
October 8, 2005 - October 9, 2005
Tukwila, WA
Over 30 presenters, including national authorities, physicians, psychologists, therapists, coaches, professional organizers, and other ADHD specialists will be featured at this conference. Adults and children with ADHD, parents and other family members, physicians, therapists, teachers, and coaches are invited to attend. Sponsored by ADD Resources.

Ready to Learn: Helping Students Survive and Thrive
October 15, 2005 - October 19, 2005
Santa Clara, CA
This conference, sponsored by the Education Alliance and the National Dropout Prevention Network, focuses on Comprehensive Student Support: the combination of academic rigor and relevant curriculum with interventions that build relationships with students. Comprehensive Student Support has been proven to produce improved yearly progress (AYP) in all subgroups.

Toward a More Literate Nation: Raising the Bar for Reading and Writing Instruction in Middle and High Schools

November 7, 2005
Washington, DC
In this symposium, participants will consider the challenges involved in bringing life to the sort of curriculum outlined in the Alliance for Excellent Education’s landmark 2004 publication, “Reading Next.” What kinds of professional development, incentives, and supports will secondary school teachers—in all academic content areas—need in order to provide truly effective literacy instruction to all students? What kinds of school, district, state, and national policies should be considered to support this evolution in teaching?

Youth Matters, Performance Counts: 6th Annual Youth Development Symposium

November 14, 2005 - November 17, 2005
Chicago, IL
This symposium will offer best practices and program guidance for workforce development professionals who serve youth, and leadership growth opportunities for the youth they serve. Sponsored by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and the Heartland States in partnership with the Great Lakes Employment and Training Association and the National Youth Employment Coalition.

“It’s My Life” Conference
November 14, 2005 - November 15, 2005
Baltimore, MD
Sponsored by Casey Family Programs, this conference is based on “It’s My Life,” a youth-centered framework designed to guide transition services for young people who “age out” of foster care and other substitute care. The conference will highlight services that improve young people’s changes of being successful once they leave their support systems. Presenters will include youth and alumni of care. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
ASCD's Web site contains many helpful resources for educators.


Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators
Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators from is a categorized list of Web sites for enhancing curriculum and professional growth. It includes links to sites on more than 20 subjects, links to search engines and subject directories, and links to teacher helpers, among other resources.


Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc.
Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc., is a developer of reading technology for people with learning difficulties and those who are blind or visually impaired.


Learn and Serve America
Learn and Serve America, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, has revamped its Web site. The site provides information about Learn and Serve America and its programs; information for individuals and organizations; and news, updates, and events.


P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education
The mission of the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education is to promote the integration of the arts into all educational programs, with a special focus on children who learn in different ways. The Foundation's Web site includes information about the Foundation, the Foundation's annual conference, various “learning barriers” (such as ADHD, emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, autism, hearing impairments, and MR) and awards and grants, and as well as links to resources in arts education.


Student Financial Aid on the Web
This Web site from the U.S. Department of Education includes information for students from elementary school to graduate school; information for returning students, international students, parents, and counselors; and information on preparing for postsecondary education, choosing a postsecondary school, applying to that school, applying for financial aid, receiving financial aid, and repaying financial aid. is the U.S. government's official Web clearinghouse, providing easy access to all the federal government's online information in English and Spanish. Users can find government forms; federal grants for states and school districts; information regarding federal education programs; statistics from the Census Bureau and Labor Department; information on laws, regulations, and court decisions; and contact information for members of Congress. Users can also access federal libraries and photo archives and the site has links to financial aid information, internship opportunities, and federal jobs.



Capitol Insider (The Arc of the U.S.)
The Capitol Insider provides weekly news and information on disability public policy related to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities. Published by The Arc of the U.S.


Consumer Affairs Listserv (U.S. Center for Mental Health Services)
This is the listserv of the Office of the Associate Director of Consumer Affairs of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Office of Consumer Affairs supports the participation of mental health consumers in all aspects of policy, planning, and grant activities of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). This listserv provides news and information about CMHS activities in support of the meaningful participation of consumers at all levels in the mental health care system.


E-news (U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
This is the listserv of the Office of Communications of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity, and effectiveness of the Nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and mental health service delivery systems.


Sites of the School Days (S.O.S.) (Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators,
This listserv from Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators consists of weekly messages describing education-related Web sites and suggestions for how to use them in the classroom.

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Funding Forecast

Funding Resources


New Funding Opportunities from the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides grants to national and local nonprofits, schools, government agencies, faith-based and other community organizations, and other groups committed to strengthening their communities through volunteering. This page provides links to current grant opportunities from CNCS.

Federal Grant Opportunities


Grants for Teaching and Learning Resources and Curriculum Development from the National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities supports projects that improve specific areas of humanities education and serve as national models of excellence. Projects must draw upon scholarship in the humanities and utilize scholars and teachers as advisers. Applications from projects that offer solutions to problems frequently encountered by teachers are especially sought. Grants range from $1,000-$100,000. Application deadline: October 14, 2005.


President’s Environmental Youth Awards
The President’s Environmental Youth Awards program, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recognizes young people across the country that complete projects which demonstrate their commitment to the environment. Application deadline: October 31, 2005.


Striving Readers Program
The U.S. Department of Education is accepting grant applications for the Striving Readers program, created to improve the literacy skills of teenage students who read below grade level. The department expects to make approximately eight 5-year grant awards ranging from $1 million to $5 million. The Striving Readers program seeks to raise the overall level of reading achievement in middle and high schools by improving the quality of literacy instruction across all subject areas. Program projects will assess the effectiveness of a variety of interventions through rigorous studies. Notice of intent to apply due September 14, 2005; full applications due November 14, 2005.

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


GRAMMY Signature Schools
The GRAMMY Signature Schools program of the GRAMMY Foundation annually honors exceptional public high school music programs around the country. In addition, the GRAMMY Signature Schools Enterprise Award provides underserved music programs to receive grants based on financial need. Grants for both programs range from $1,000-$25,000. Application deadline: October 22, 2005.


Harris Wofford Awards for Service and Service Learning
Youth Service America and State Farm Companies Foundation are soliciting nominations for the 2006 Harris Wofford Awards. The Awards recognize extraordinary achievement in three categories: youth (ages 5-25), organizations (nonprofits, corporations, foundations), and media (organization or individual) for actively contributing towards “making service and service-learning the common expectation and common experience of every young person.” Nomination deadline: October 12, 2005.


Henry B. Betts Awards for Benefit to the Disability Community
The Henry B. Betts Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago honors a living individual who has significantly improved the quality of life for people with disabilities in the U.S. and around the world. The honoree will receive an unrestricted $50,000 cash award. Nomination deadline: October 7, 2005.


National Organization on Disability 2005 Accessible America Award
Accessible America, an award competition administered by the National Organization on Disability, recognizes and promotes replication of exemplary practices that communities use to facilitate the comprehensive involvement of citizens with disabilities in community life. Any city, town, or county in the U.S. and its territories may apply for the award. Application deadline: October 31, 2005.


Presidential Award for Reading and Technology from the International Reading Association
The Presidential Award for Reading and Technology, sponsored by PLATO Learning and administered by the International Reading Association, honors K-12 educators who are making outstanding and innovative use of technology in reading education. Application deadline: November 15, 2005.


Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honor young people in middle and high school for outstanding volunteer service to their communities. Applicants must be students in grades 5-12 in any state, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico. Applicants must have engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred at least partly during the twelve months prior to the date of application. Application deadline: October 31, 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.”

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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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