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September 2006 E-News


The latest news and information from around the country.

New Projects


Healthy Schools Program
The Healthy Schools Program is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-supported project of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation. The Alliance’s goal is to stop the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity in the U.S. by 2010 by fostering an environment that helps all kids pursue a healthy lifestyle. The Healthy Schools Program has been charged with developing innovative approaches to ensure that children and teens have healthy food options at school, and that physical activity is encouraged during and after school.


Youth Services Endorsement Credential
On September 6, 2006, the U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy and the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Youth (NCWD/Youth) announced a new credential—the Youth Services Endorsement—recognizing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of youth service practitioners. The credential has been approved by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and will be added to the association’s Certified Workforce Development Professional program. It adopts competencies that NCWD/Youth developed over the past three years through an ODEP grant aimed at improving the workforce development system for all youth, while focusing on policies and practices that enhance services for youth with disabilities.

Legislative Announcements


Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 Web Site (Part B)
The U.S. Department of Education has created an online “one-stop shop” for resources related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its implementing regulations, which were released on August 3, 2006. The site will ultimately provide searchable versions of IDEA and the regulations, access to cross-referenced content from other laws (e.g., the No Child Left Behind Act, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act), video clips, topic briefs on selected regulations, links to the Office of Special Education Programs’ Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network, and a Q&A Corner where users can submit questions.


OSERS’ New Priorities
On August 11, 2006, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Assistant Secretary John H. Hager announced OSERS’ new priorities. The priorities include: 1) create a culture of student achievement, 2) advance the use of evidence-based practices, 3) achieve self-sufficiency through postsecondary education and/or employment, 4) expand access to and utilization of assistive technology, 5) improve accountability for OSERS programs, and 6) strengthen management excellence.

Calls to Participate


Nominate a Service-Learning Leader for the State Farm Service-Learning Practitioner Leadership Award
The State Farm Service-Learning Practitioner Leadership Award recognizes practitioners who have equipped young people to lead and serve, both through direct work with youth and by helping other practitioners expand their service-learning skills and knowledge. Winners are selected by a committee of leaders from the service-learning field, which looks for nominees who have had a major hand in expanding and advancing the field. Nomination deadline: November 3, 2006.


Youth Ages 16-25: Apply to the National Council on Disability’s Youth Advisory Committee
The National Council on Disability’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), a 12-member committee of youth ages 16-25, is seeking new members. Youth with all disabilities and from diverse racial and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply. Applications must consist of 1) your resume, 2) a cover letter describing what makes you a good candidate for a position of national-level leadership as a representative of youth with disabilities, and 3) a letter of recommendation from an adult (NOT your parent/guardian) familiar with your leadership and disability experiences and potential. Applications must be submitted via e-mail (to by September 14, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Questions? E-mail

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The Resource Zone

NCSET Resources


Creating an E-Mentoring Community  (August 2006)
NCSET Information Brief  • Volume  5 ,  Issue  4
This brief, written by Sheryl Burgstahler of the University of Washington's DO-IT program, provides an example of how to create and sustain an e-mentoring community to promote the success of youth with disabilities in school, careers, and other life experiences.

Other National Resources


Career Pathways: Aligning Public Resources to Support Individual and Regional Economic Advancement in the Knowledge Economy  (August 2006) PDF document
This report from the Workforce Strategy Center with support from the Joyce Foundation defines “career pathways”, an approach to effective regional workforce and economic development. It compares career pathways to other education and workforce preparation models, and describes career pathways’ potential benefits and limitations and also includes an in-depth case study of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where leaders have used a career pathways framework to help revitalize their flagging economy. Available in PDF (28 pages, 184 KB).


Career Planning Begins with Assessment: A Guide for Professionals Serving Youth with Educational and Career Development Challenges (Second Edition)  (October 2005)
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Youth has revised and updated its guide, “Career Planning Begins with Assessment,” to reflect IDEA 2004, among other changes. This guide helps workforce development professionals help youth make choices based on assessments that focus on their unique talents, knowledge, skills, interests, values, and aptitudes. Youth service practitioners will find information in the guide on selecting career-related assessments, determining when to refer youth for additional assessment, and other issues such as accommodations, legal issues, and ethical considerations. Administrators and policymakers will find information on developing sound policies, collaboration among programs, and interagency assessment systems.


Governor’s Commission on the Arts in Education: Findings and Recommendations  (July 2006) PDF document
In 2005, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee appointed a commission with representatives from K-12 and higher education, arts organizations, government agencies, and state legislatures to identify what the Education Commission of the States and its constituents can and should do to support the arts in education through better state policies. This report from the commission summarizes each state’s arts education policies, examines policymakers’ perspectives on the arts in education and the tools they need to promote the arts in education, reviews existing research on the benefits of learning in and through the arts, and identifies areas in which additional research is needed. Available in PDF (14 pages, 3.3 MB).


Growth Models: An Examination Within the Context of NCLB  (August 2006)
This paper from The Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) examines how a longitudinal growth model—one that tracks the achievement of individual students, rather than cohorts of students—would impact NCLB. It discusses the necessary data components and examines the benefits and disadvantages of incorporating and utilizing this type of model. It also briefly discusses two growth model pilot programs recently approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Available in PDF (13 pages, 111 KB).


Honoring Progress: An Update on the NGA Center Honor States  (August 2006) PDF document
This newsletter from the National Governors Association provides information about the progress of its Honor States Grant Program, a $23.6 million governor-led effort to improve college- and work-ready graduation rates. Launched in 2005, this initiative includes 26 states and is supported by a consortium of eight foundations. This issue explores strategies governors are employing for dropout prevention and recovery and also highlights the progress three states have made in the area and list resources for policymakers interested in learning more. Available in PDF (12 pages, 1.2 MB).


Identifying Potential Dropouts: Key Lessons for Building an Early Warning Data System  (June 2006) PDF document
White Paper
This white paper from Achieve, Inc.: American Diploma Project Network provides a brief overview of research and identifies the best strategies for building an early warning data system for school dropout. It reviews recent research on students who drop out to identify factors at various grade levels and for different subgroups that are correlated with dropping out later. It also provides a summary of many aspects of this issue for policymakers and walks administrators through specific steps to take to create a useful set of such data. Available in PDF (53 pages, 657 KB).


Involving Families in High School and College Expectations  (August 2006) PDF document
This Policy Brief from the Education Commission of the States High School Policy Center describes the need for students and parents to receive better information on the steps from high school to college, and the special need to improve the “college knowledge” of students whose parents did not attend college. It describes the information far too many families lack on the steps from high school to postsecondary education and also identifies current state policies that address each of the four steps necessary to transition from high school to college. Available in PDF (7 pages, 130 KB).


National State Policy Database from the Regional Resource & Federal Center Network
Online Database
This online database from the Regional Resource & Federal Center Network allows users to search, download, and cite full copies or specific sections of state and federal special education regulations. Currently, the database contains only regulations pertaining to Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but its contents will be expanded in the future.


OSEP-Reviewed Materials on IDEA 2004  (August 2006)
Web Page
The materials listed on this Web page from NICHCY, the National Dissemination Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, relate to IDEA 2004 and its implementing regulations. They have been reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs for consistency with the IDEA Amendments of 2004. Materials are available on the following topics: assessment, behavior/discipline, disproportionality, due process, early intervening services, evaluations/reevaluations, funding, highly qualified teachers, IEPs/IFSPs, learning disabilities, mediation, model forms, NCLB, NIMAS, Part C, preschool, prior written notice, private schools, procedural safeguards, state complaint procedures, and transition.


Out-of-School Time Program Evaluation Database and Bibliography  (August 2006)
Online Database
The Harvard Family Research Project’s online Out-of-School Time (OST) Evaluation Database and Bibliography provide accessible and timely information about the evaluation of OST programs and initiatives to support the development of high-quality OST programs and evaluations. The database is comprised of profiles of evaluations of both large and small OST programs and initiatives; it is searchable on several key criteria. The bibliography is a comprehensive list of evaluations identified to date.

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What's Happening

Other National Events


Improving Access to the General Curriculum for All Students through Collaborative Teaching
Web-based Event
September 14, 2006
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM   (Eastern)
Dr. Amy Klekotka and Dr. Stacia Rush, technical assistance liaisons with the Access Center, will present this free Access Center Webinar. See the Access Center’s Web site for participation instructions.

Adapting a K-12 Reading Model for Middle and Secondary Schools
Web-based Event
September 21, 2006
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM   (Pacific)
This free, interactive online event from WestEd’s SchoolsMovingUp initiative will present findings from a study of the secondary component of the Alabama Reading Initiative, a statewide K-12 effort to improve the teaching of reading through intense professional development and in-school coaching. The study describes how secondary educators adapted the professional development model to meet their needs and overcame challenges to implementation at the district and state levels. Participants will explore strategies for sustaining district and state focus on improving teaching and learning in secondary schools through creation of similar professional development efforts.

Career Fair for Students with Disabilities

October 4, 2006
Career Fair
Minneapolis, MN
The U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the Minnesota Business Leadership Network are sponsoring a Career Fair for students with disabilities in conjunction with the USBLN Annual National Conference. Meet with representatives from companies and learn about full-time and part-time job opportunities, internships, job shadowing or informational interview opportunities, mentoring opportunities, and company tours. Pre-registration is required.

10th Annual Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth Conference: Asset Building Comes of Age: Transforming Society with Youth
October 26, 2006 - October 28, 2006
Minneapolis, MN
The Search Institute’s annual conference brings together youth and adults who share a common goal: to work together to create healthy communities for children and youth through asset building. Conference participants will learn with and from other asset builders, make beneficial personal and professional connections, and renew their commitment to asset building. Session tracks will include Transforming Society with Youth by 1) Engaging Adults, 2) Mobilizing Young People, 3) Engaging Sectors, 4) Invigorating Programs, and 5) Influencing Civic Decisions, as well as Understanding and Leading Asset Building as Complex Change.

Hard-Wiring Inclusion: A Conference about Building an Accessible Information and Communications Technology World
October 26, 2006 - October 27, 2006
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
This conference will bring together disability advocates, designers, product developers, manufacturers and service providers, policymakers, and researchers to share knowledge about accessible/inclusive information and communications technology (ICT) and develop strategies to mobilize that knowledge into action and change. Conference topics will include findings of disability and information technologies research, strategies for encouraging the development of accessible/inclusive ICTs, business benefits of designing accessible mainstream technologies, finding common ground between human rights and business bottom lines, and tools for engaging communities in accessible/inclusive ICTs. Sponsored by the Disability and Information Technologies Research Alliance, a Canadian organization.

Differentiation and the Brain-Friendly Classroom

November 5, 2006 - November 8, 2006
San Antonio, TX
Participants in this workshop will increase their knowledge of differentiation and brain-compatible instruction. Sessions will focus on improving student achievement toward meeting or exceeding state-mandated standards and the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act with special emphasis on the core areas of reading, writing, and math. Presenters will include Carolyn Chapman, David Hyerle, Kathie Nunley, David A. Sousa, Marcia L. Tate, and Donna Walker Tileston. Sponsored by Corwin Press and Teacher’s Workshop. Workshop brochure available in PDF (6 pages, 490 KB).

9th Annual Accessing Higher Ground Conference: Accessible Media, Web and Technology
November 7, 2006 - November 10, 2006
Boulder, CO
This conference will focus on the implementation and benefits of assistive technology in the college/university setting for people with sensory, physical, and learning disabilities. Other topics will include legal and policy issues (including ADA and 508 compliance) and making campus media and information resources (including Web pages and library resources) accessible. Individuals who design or provide accessible Web, media, and information resources and technology in the academic or business environment—including Web designers, assistive technologists, persons with disabilities, disability specialists, faculty, media specialists, and programmers—are encouraged to attend. Presented by Disability Services at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

National Career Academy Coalition Conference
November 11, 2006 - November 14, 2006
San Francisco, CA
The National Career Academy Coalition invites those interested in career academies and other small learning communities for middle and high school students to attend its annual conference, where they will learn how to create academies, apply and teach academics in an academy setting, and develop and maintain business partnerships. Participants will also meet the authors of the National Standards for Career Academies and learn how to implement those standards in their schools.

IDEAS 508 Conference
November 13, 2006 - November 14, 2006
Washington, DC
This free two-day educational conference and technology showcase will bring together top government and industry leaders to address Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act—specifically, the accessible workplace. Educational sessions will include: Section 508 standards—“back to basics”, baby boomers and technology, accessible colleges and universities, accessible Web sites and software, and an update on Section 508. Sponsored by PostNewsweek Tech Media, and TecAccess. ^ Top of Page ^

Get Wired!

Web Sites


Career Voyages is designed to provide information on high growth, in-demand occupations along with the skills and education needed to attain those jobs. The site includes information on occupations experiencing growth; the skills and education required for these occupations; and training and education available to prepare for these occupations. It targets four groups: students, career changers, parents, and career advisors. is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education.
The Public Education Network recently launched the Give Kids Good Schools Campaign, a five-year national effort to build a constituency of six million people who are committed to the goal of quality public education. The campaign encourages individuals to learn, vote, and act on behalf of quality public education through its Web site. The site also includes information on Give Kids Good Schools Week (October 16-22, 2006) and ways to make your voice heard and contribute to the campaign.


National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET)
The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) is a national membership organization dedicated to lending all possible support and assistance to those preparing for or teaching in the field of special education. Its Web site includes a career center, links to resources and publications (including a suite of transition planning resources), news in the field of special education, information on its Special Educator e-Journal, and membership information.


Teaching Quality Data Systems Roadmap: Building Teaching Data to Promote Sound Teacher Quality Policies and Programs
With support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Center for Teaching Quality has developed an online Teaching Quality Indicators Roadmap—a comprehensive teaching quality data system that will help universities, states, and the nation answer questions about how to define a quality teacher and how to recruit, prepare, and retain quality teachers. Users can travel down each “road” on the map to learn how to build an Ideal Teaching Quality Data System—avoiding wrong turns, heeding warning signs, and arriving at a destination that is fair and reliable for teachers and the students they serve.



E-mail Updates from Ragged Edge Online
Ragged Edge magazine is the successor to the award-winning periodical, The Disability Rag. Its Web site includes writing about society’s “ragged edge” issues: medical rationing, genetic discrimination, assisted suicide, long-term care, attendant services, etc. Ragged Edge online has three e-mail news services—you can sign up to receive notice of updates to its Web site, updates to the editor’s blog, and/or highlights of articles posted to the Web site in the past two weeks.


PACER e-news
PACER e-news is the e-mail newsletter of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) Center, a Parent Training and Information Center in Minnesota. It is published every 1-2 months and includes resource recommendations, information about upcoming conferences, legislative announcements, and news in the disability field.


Quarterly E-Newsletter from
StudyBuddy Tutorial Services in San Francisco offers a free quarterly e-newsletter with information on various topics in education. For example, the September 2006 issue includes information on the transition from middle to high school, exit exams, higher education, teaching kids about government, PTA support for the arts, and support for foster kids in college. Email Jane Radcliffe at to subscribe.


The Navigator from Pilot Parents of Southern Arizona
The Navigator is the quarterly e-newsletter of Pilot Parents of Southern Arizona, a Parent Training and Information Center. Written from a parent’s perspective, it contains information relevant to parents of children with disabilities across the country. For example, the Summer 2006 issue includes an article about becoming an “increasingly empowered parent” (IEP) and an article entitled, “Are extended school year services right for your young child?” as well as resource recommendations.

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Funding Forecast

Additional Funding and Award Opportunities


Air Force Association Educator Grants
The Educator Grant program from the Air Force Association is designed to promote aerospace education activities in K-12 classrooms. The program encourages development of innovative aerospace activities within the prescribed curriculum. The program also encourages establishing an active relationship between the school and the local branch of the Air Force Association. Educator Grants provide up to $250 per academic year to support aerospace education programs, opportunities, and activities when no other support is available. Application deadline: November 15, 2006.


Community Alternatives to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities Demonstration Grant Program PDF document
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will award $218 million in demonstration grants to up to 10 states to help provide community alternatives to psychiatric residential treatment facilities for children. These demonstration grants, available over a five-year period, will also assist states in their efforts to adopt strategic approaches for improving quality as they work to maintain and improve each child’s functional level in the community. The demonstration will also test the cost-effectiveness of providing home and community-based care instead of institutional care. An applicants’ informational teleconference is scheduled for September 19, 2006. Proposal deadline: October 18, 2006. Solicitation available in PDF (86 pages, 1 MB).


Grants for Intervention Research to Improve Youth-Serving Organizations
The William T. Grant Foundation will award grants of $250,000-$1,500,000 to support research to improve youth-serving organizations such as schools, community-based organizations, classrooms, and after-school programs. Improving these social settings entails intervening to alter important aspects of them—including the social processes, resources, and/or social, spatial, and structural arrangements within them—such as: physical arrangements of space; social norms regarding aggression; the quality, content, and structure of interactions between youth (ages 8-25) and adults; and the availability of significant and meaningful roles for youth. Deadline to submit Letters of Inquiry: October 30, 2006. Request for proposals available in PDF (14 pages, 233 KB).


Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant Program
The Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program funds school improvement projects initiated by parents that encourage parent involvement in schools and build community spirit. Any nonprofit K-12 school (including charter, parochial, private, etc.) or parent group (associated with such a school) with a group tax ID number and official 501(c)(3) status is eligible to apply. One thousand grants of up to $5,000 each will be awarded. The program will only accept 1,500 applications per grant period—the application process will be closed once the program has received 1,500 applications, so applicants are encouraged to apply early. Application deadline: October 15, 2006.


State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants for National and Global Youth Service Day Activities
Youth Service America and the State Farm Companies Foundation are offering the State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants of up to $1,000 each to support youth (ages 5-25), teachers, or school-based service-learning coordinators in implementing service-learning projects on National and Global Youth Service Day, April 20-22, 2007. Projects can address any number of themes, including the environment, disaster relief, health, teen issues, education, interfaith dialogue, intergenerational relationships, homelessness, and literacy. Application deadline: October 16, 2006.


Target Field Trip Grants
Education professionals throughout the U.S. may be eligible for one of Target’s 800 grants of up to $1,000 to fund school trips. Educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff can apply online. Application deadline: November 1, 2006.

Scholarships and Awards


American Psychiatric Foundation Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health
The American Psychiatric Foundation Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health recognize psychiatrists, other health professionals, mental health programs, and other organizations that have undertaken innovative efforts to raise awareness of mental illness in underserved minority communities, the need for early recognition, the availability of treatment and how to access it, and cultural barriers to treatment; increase access to quality mental health services for underserved minorities; and improve the quality of care for underserved minorities. Four awards of $5,000 each are given each year. Application deadline: November 1, 2006.


Henry B. Betts Award
The American Association of People with Disabilities is seeking nominations for its Henry B. Betts Award, which honors a living individual whose work has significantly improved the quality of life for people with disabilities. The awardee must have a strong vision and understanding of how to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities; a record of efforts that have affected a wide disability population; and a history of serving as a powerful force for change, enhancing the opportunities for people with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of society. He/she will receive an unrestricted $50,000 cash award. Nomination deadline: October 6, 2006.


Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, honor youth in grades 5-12 who have demonstrated exemplary service to their communities. Schools and officially-designated organizations may select one middle level and one high school Local Honoree for every 1,000 students (or portion thereof). Two Honorees from each state will be named in February 2007. They will receive $1,000 and a trip for them and a parent/guardian to Washington, DC in May 2007, where ten National Honorees will be chosen and awarded an additional $5,000 each. Application deadline: October 31, 2006.


State Farm Youth Leadership for Service-Learning Excellence Award
The State Farm Youth Leadership for Service-Learning Excellence Award recognizes K-12 service-learning programs/projects that demonstrate outstanding youth leadership. The award focuses on projects showing a high level of youth initiative, from identifying the authentic need and planning the service to putting that plan into action. Teams of young people representing K-12 service-learning projects can apply. The award will be presented at the National Service-Learning Conference, and the selected program will also receive $500 to fund future work. Application deadline: November 3, 2006.

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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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