October 2006 Special Educator e-Journal


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October 2006 Special Educator e-Journal

  1. 1. October 2006 Special Educator e-Journal Table of Contents Letters to the Editor Legal Issues Corner Calls to Participate Update from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities Update on Special Education Websites and Listservs Report from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) Creating an E-Mentoring Community Funding Forecast, Grants, Awards, and Scholarships Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Events Acknowledgements National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 1 of 31
  2. 2. Letters to the Editor Last Month we asked the question, “Should students with disabilities take high stakes testing?” Many of you replied. Here are some of your responses: All year we as special educators work with individual students and their IEPs, making accommodations and modifying the curriculum so they can be a productive part of the general education setting. These modifications include reading passages aloud or stories on tape for those with reading difficulties to minimizing answer choices on a multiple choice test to reduce the amount of processing a child has to do. Yet, when it comes to state testing (most recently the newly created ASK5 in the state of NJ), the only accommodations we are able to make are frequent breaks and extended time! As far as extended time goes, if they don't have it in 15 minutes, what makes the State feel by extending the amount of time, they will "get it" in 30 or 40 minutes? They are taking the exact same test as their general education counterparts. I am in agreement that all students should have some form of assessment but the testing for special education students, if not modified, should have further modifications added.When the State of NJ was contacted to find out if there was an audio version of the ASK testing for those children with reading disabilities, who HAVE the comprehension skills when passages are read aloud, we were told no, not at this time. It is interesting to note that many of the students who did not score in the Proficient Range were NOT those of the special ed population, but of the general ed population! PS New Jersey ________________________________________________________________________________ All year we make modifications and accommodations per a student's IEP which usually always involves reading passages aloud for those with reading difficulties, eliminating choices in a multiple choice to limit the amount available and generally walking through the test and modifying the test. When it comes to state testing, my students are forced to take the same test their regular ed counterparts are taking, with the only accommodations being frequent breaks and extended time! In years past, we have had children get sick while test taking and actually wet themselves, all because no matter how much you might tell them this test does not matter, they can see that it truly does! I believe there should be testing done for the special education population but it should be an alternative form of testing. If one is not available, then possibly extending the types of accommodations we give this population would be the answer. I strongly believe that High Stakes testing is unfair, malicious, and unnecessary for students with mental handicaps. These students are known to have sub-average intelligence, why test them at grade level? Special educators cannot make the mental handicap go away. We can only teach them compensating strategies and as many essential academic skills as possible. Giving a 5th grade student with a mental handicap (IQ 65) a grade level standardized exam only puts undue pressure and anxiety on the student. That child will not meet grade level standards. If he did, he wouldn’t be mentally disabled, would he? I have sat with these types of children as I administered our state exam. I watched them cry in despair since they knew they couldn’t do the work. I can see giving these students below-grade level tests to determine growth in academic skills, but my state won’t allow it! National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 2 of 31
  3. 3. Barbara Bobo EMH Teacher Fruitland Park Elementary, FL ________________________________________________________________________________ These are my thoughts on No Child Left Behind and the profoundly handicapped especially in the matter of assessment. I'd be interested to read about high stakes standardized tests and special needs students. Feel free to print any or all of this. Melissa Morgan (doctoral candidate). ________________________________________________________________________________ Letter to the Editor-From Proctor & Gamble School Programs Dear NASET members: Every year Procter & Gamble creates educational materials to teach students about puberty through the Always Changing 5th Grade Puberty Education Program. We are always looking for ways to update and enhance our materials, and have discovered through research with both nurses and teachers that there may be a need for puberty information directed specifically at kids with disabilities. As experts in this field, we thought that you would be the best source of information for providing us with suggestions on what to cover in a puberty program for special needs kids, as well as additional resources to help us in content development. We would love to find a few individuals who might be willing to serve as consultants as we look into developing these materials in more detail. If any of you have an interest in helping, we would greatly appreciate whatever time or level of commitment you could provide. Please feel free to contact me directly via phone or email with any questions or if you would like to volunteer. Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon! Michelle Brackney Agency Assistant Account Manager Procter & Gamble School Programs 513.762.1704 mbrackney@northlich.com National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 3 of 31
  4. 4. Legal Issues Corner Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 Web Site (Part B) http://idea.ed.gov/explore/home 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 http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/priorities.html 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. Final regulations, anyone? You've no doubt heard that final regulations for IDEA 2004 have been published. They're only 307 pages long--- including the comments and analysis of changes--- perfect reading for a 3-day weekend. Pick up your copy of the regs (in PDF), at: http://www.nichcy.org/reauth/IDEA2004regulations.pdf What's the same, what's not? The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) answers this question with its Topic Briefs prepared just for the new regulations. Hook up with available briefs at: http://www.nichcy.org/idealist.htm More on comparing IDEA 2004 to IDEA 1997. Visit NASDSE to order your copy of "The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Comparison of IDEA Regulations August 3, 2006 to IDEA Regulations March 12, 1999." (NASDSE is the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.) This book goes section by section through the old and the new regulations, so you'll get your money's worth--- $15 for the treasure. It won't get to you in time for the Labor Day holiday unfortunately, but you can order it today, using the order form at: http://www.nasdse.org/documents/SbSorderform.pdf National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 4 of 31
  5. 5. One-stop IDEA shopping! The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the launching of its dedicated Web site to provide a "one-stop shop" for resources related to IDEA 2004 and its implementing regulations. Here you will find the statute, regs, video clips on important topics, links to the toolkit we keep telling you about, a Q&A on IDEA, and more---ever more as time goes by. Visit! Bookmark! Where? Here: http://idea.ed.gov And last but not least... Community-based meetings on IDEA. To provide the public with an overview of the new regulations, this fall OSERS (the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services) will be hosting a series of community-based public meetings on IDEA. Each participant will receive a copy of the regulations on CD, as well as a copy of the Tool Kit on Teaching and Assessing Students With Disabilities (also on CD). Other materials will be available in print form, including copies of the three model forms required under the reauthorization: Individualized Education Program (IEP), Notice of Procedural Safeguards, and Prior Written Notice. You don't have to register in advance for these public meetings, you don't have to pay a dime. Registration will take place at the door. Each meeting will begin with a reception at which Assistant Secretary Hager and Director Posny will be available to meet with the attendees on an informal basis. The reception will be followed by a presentation about the regulations, which will include a taped welcome from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, information about the regulations and the dedicated IDEA Web site (mentioned earlier in this eNews), and an opportunity to ask questions about the regulations and OSERS' implementation plans. Any of these dates or towns strike your fancy? Philadelphia, PA Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2006 Seattle, WA Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006 Minneapolis, MN Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006 Dallas, TX Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 Denver, CO Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006 Sacramento, CA Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006 For more details, visit: http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/idea2004-schedule.html National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 5 of 31
  6. 6. Calls to Participate Nominate a Service-Learning Leader for the State Farm Service-Learning Practitioner Leadership Award http://www.nylc.org/inaction_award.cfm?oid=3721&null=1158250542180 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. Submit a Paper Proposal for Conference on Children’s Mental Health Service Systems http://rtckids.fmhi.usf.edu/rtcconference/presenters/ The Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health is seeking applications to present at its 20th annual national conference, A System of Care for Children's Mental Health: Expanding the Research Base, which will be held March 4-7, 2007 in Tampa, Florida. It is interested in proposals addressing research and evaluation related to: service system development and assessment, Center for Mental Health Services programs, dissemination and implementation, policy development and implementation, treatment effectiveness, effectiveness of partnerships, educational outcomes in systems of care, effectiveness of child welfare/foster care programs, effects of financing methods, and effects of accountability strategies within systems of care. Proposal submission deadline: October 31, 2006. Youth Ages 16-25: Apply to the National Council on Disability’s Youth Advisory Committee http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/advisory/youth/youth.htm 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 youth@ncd.gov) by September 14, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Questions? E-mail youth@ncd.gov. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 6 of 31
  7. 7. Update from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities GAO Reports of Interest All GAO reports hold something of interest to our national well-being, but within NICHCY's mandate, the two areas of primary interest as disability issues and NCLB, the No Child Left Behind Act, our nation's general education law (which is, in many ways, no less important to our children with disabilities than the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). So what's the Government Accountability Office (GAO) saying lately that you might find of interest? Might we inform you of these GAO reports, and you pick your own poison? • Growth models: A hot approach to measuring progress? www.gao.gov/new.items/d06661.pdf In this report, States Face Challenges Measuring Academic Growth That Education's Initiatives May Help Address, GAO assesses the extent to which states have used growth models to measure academic achievement and the extent that these models can measure progress in achieving key NCLB goals. • Issues in English as a second language. www.gao.gov/new.items/d06815.pdf In this report, Assistance from Education Could Help States Better Measure Progress of Students with Limited English Proficiency, GAO describes the extent to which ESL students are meeting both academic progress goals and what states have done to ensure the validity of academic and English language proficiency assessments. • Helping CA youths with disabilities transition to work or postsecondary education. www.gao.gov/new.items/d06759sp.pdf That's the title of this GAO report, which is actually a report on a conference that GAO convened. GAO convenes conferences? Umm, didn't know that, but apparently so. In fact, to better understand how federal programs interact at the state and local levels to support transitioning youths with disabilities, on November 15, 2005, GAO convened this conference of professionals and state and local program experts who are directly involved with transitioning youths with disabilities in California. Find out what GAO found out, at the link above. Implementing IDEA: How Are We Doing? www.abt.sliidea.org/reports.htm Marking the Progress of IDEA Implementation discusses the implications from the six-year Study of State and Local Implementation and Impact of IDEA (SLIIDEA). SLIIDEA addressed how states, districts, and schools made progress toward issues of concern identified by Congress in the 1997 amendments to IDEA. A three-volume Sourcebook has been prepared to complement the report provided at the link above. Volume I summarizes study findings for each of the Congressional topics. Volume II consists of tables that display state, district, and school-level data for each data collection year and that show changes, including trends over time, in responses to individual survey items for each Congressional topic. Volume III provides a complete description of the sampling design and National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 7 of 31
  8. 8. analytic approach used in SLIIDEA. Where would you find these three volumes? At the link above as well, where all the reports from the project can be found. What Are We Spending on Public Education? http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006352 NCES answers the question in this brief publication, Current Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2003-04. Data on current expenditures are provided by state for public elementary and secondary education (school year 2003-04), including average state expenditures per student. Title I: Who's Gaining, Who's Losing? www.cep-dc.org/pubs/titleIFundsGainingLosing/TitleIFundingPaper.pdf This 11-page report by the Center on Education Policy analyzes the distribution of funds in the largest federal program of aid to elementary and secondary education, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (also commonly known by its latest title, NCLB, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Title I funds are significant, because they are most of the federal dollars used to implement NCLB. This report discusses the Title I, Part A allocations that are available to states and school districts for use during the 2006-07 school year. Kinda important, don't you think? SSA and Its Proposal Regs for Evaluating Immune System Disorders. In August the SSA (the Social Security Administration) published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for evaluating immune system disorders on August 4, 2006 (Federal Register, Volume 71 , p. 44432). Specifically, SSA says, "We are proposing to revise the medical criteria that we use to evaluate immune system disorders in both adults and children who apply for Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments based on disability." Care to comment on SSA's proposed revisions? Find them, read them, at: Text-only: Click Here PDF: Click Here Comments must be received by October 3, 2006. Submit them as follows: On SSA's Web site: https://s044a90.ssa.gov/apps10/erm/rules.nsf At the link above, click on "Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Immune System Disorders" at the center top. You'll go to a summary page that also includes links to the PDF and text-only versions of the NPRM. At the far right bottom, there's a green box that says "Comment on this proposal rule." Clicking on this link will take you to a ready-made screen for commenting. Getting there sounds complicated, but it's not! Fax: 410.966.2830. Email: regulations@ssa.gov Letter: Commissioner of Social Security, P.O. Box 17703, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-7703. What's the Department of Education up to? http://web99.ed.gov/GTEP/Program2.nsf Find out in the 2006 Guide to U.S. Department of Education Programs, available at the link above. In it, you'll find a description of the DoE's programs and resources for the fiscal year 2006. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 8 of 31
  9. 9. And don't forget OSEP. www.nichcy.org/directories/intro2006.asp OSEP is the Office of Special Education Programs, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education. The special education part, to be exact. OSEP funds NICHCY, among many other projects, including the TA&D network of projects described in the next section of this News You Can Use. Want to know more? Want to know all? Delve into the four directories NICHCY prepares for OSEP and makes available online, and you'll see how busy OSEP has been and the scope of the assistance they make available to improve educational outcomes for children with disabilities. OSEP's Technical Assistance & Dissemination Network www.rrfcnetwork.org/content/view/137/192/ The TA&D network is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education, as part of its efforts to improve results for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities. Projects with the TA&D (and other disability-related projects funded by OSEP) are continually posting new materials and publications in their subject expertise. We'd like to spotlight a few of the most recent, in the hopes that any or all of these may bring you just the information you're looking for. • Assistive technology and school-based teams. www.fctd.info/resources/newsletters/index.php The August 2006 newsletter of the Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD) is entitled There’s No ‘I’ in Team: School-Based AT Teams. Good timing for this topic, as we all head back to school. [Psssst: Might want to check out some of the other newslettesr FCTD makes available at the same link above, any of which are a good read while you're waiting for the bus. Among others, there's AT and the IEP (June 2006), Paraprofessionals and AT (May 2006), and Speech-Language Pathology and AT (April 2006). • RTI and UDL: How do they intersect? www.k8accesscenter.org/documents/RTIandUDLFinal.2.pdf Learn the ABCs of how in this brief by the Access Center (hey! a TA&D center that doesn't go by an acronym!). RTI, in this brief, stands for response-to-instruction. UDL? Utterly delicious, Lucy? No--- universal design for learning, Ethel. Both are innovative ways to improve the ability of students with disabilities to participate and progress in the general education curriculum. • NECTAC's directory on early childhood projects. www.nectac.org/~pdfs/pubs/2006eccompilation.pdf Did you read the entry in the last section about four directories that describe OSEP-funded projects? Perhaps you're interested in only those projects focused on early intervention and early childhood. If so, then NECTAC is the place to visit for the just-posted fifth directory in the series but NECTAC's alone. It offers an exclusive focus on OSEP's projects for those wee ones, birth through preschool. • English language learners with disabilities. http://projectforum.org/docs/EnglishLanguageLearnerswithDisabilities- IdentificationandOtherStatePoliciesandIssues.pdf From Project Forum comes this in-depth Policy Analysis. Interviews were conducted with representatives from each special education unit in seven states regarding current state staffing and initiatives and policies that focus on identifying English language learners as students with disabilities. Background topics covered include prevalence data and disproportionality research; extant outcome data; and federal policy and court rulings. Findings include state staffing; state activities; state policies; National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 9 of 31
  10. 10. state personnel preparation and certification; key challenges; and best practice and policy recommendations from states. • More on disproportionate prepresentation. www.nccrest.org/publications/briefs.html NCCRESt, another of OSEP's funded TA&D projects, can tell you all about it. The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems, NCCRESt develops several kinds of evidence-based publications designed to help students, families, school professionals, researchers, and policy makers understand and develop solutions to disproportionality. The Practitioner Brief we'd like to highlight this month is Preventing Disproportionate Representation: Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Prereferral Interventions, available at the link above, as are many other very helpful and to-the-point resources. Reading and the Brain. www.readingrockets.org/shows/brain Brain research is more than interesting, it's downright compelling. Reading Rockets takes us right into the fascination of the matter, in its new show called---well, this should come as no surprise---Reading and the Brain. The show is available online, but it's also being aired around the country on PBS. Hosted by Henry Winkler, the show explores how brain scientists are working to solve the puzzle of why some children struggle to read and others don't. Watch the show online, sign up to order the DVD or video when they become available, or find out when the show is airing in your local area, all at the link above. More on the Brain: Connect with All Kinds of Brain-Based Research. www.nichcy.org/resources/brain101.asp Well, the Reading Rocket show has us all excited. We really like this topic, you know. So we're going to blow our own horn, and nudge you toward NICHCY's Connections page called Learning and the Brain. Come on, try it, you'll like it... Child and Adolescent Health Research Data. www.childhealthdata.org Have you heard about the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Heath? At the link above, it allows users to search and display charts and tabular findings from individual survey items as well as key child health measures. You can even display state profiles, rankings, and information for key demographic groups (e.g., child's age, sex, race and ethnicity, household income, insurance status and tyle). And all free of charge and available 'round the clock, 24/7. A public education primer. www.cep-dc.org/pubs/publiceducationprimer/PublicEducationPrimer.pdf A Public Education Primer: Basic (and Sometimes Surprising) Facts about the U. S. Education System comes from the Center on Education Policy (CEP). Published in 2006, this primer is meant to give an overall snapshot of the nation's public schools. The data about students, governance, funding, achievement, teachers, and non-instructional services comes from the federal government, primarily NCES. What does the public think of our public schools? www.pdkintl.org/ The 38th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll on the very subject can tell you. At the link above, smack dab in the middle of the page, connect with the poll and the results, including the PowerPoint slide show and a streaming video. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 10 of 31
  11. 11. We Can! www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/ We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition) is a national program designed as a one- stop resource for parents and caregivers interested in practical tools to help children 8-13 years old stay at a healthy weight. Tips and fun activities focus on three critical behaviors: improved food choices, increased physical activity, and reduced screen time. And it's not just anyone putting these resources and evidence-based research together---this is a collaboration between these heavy hitters (all four Institutes of the National Institutes of Health): the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). And speaking of child health... www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/sharingresponsibility.pdf All Together Now: Sharing Responsibility for the Whole Child is a new report from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), prepared for its Commissoin on the Whole Child. ASCD convened the Commission because, as the authors say in this report, "Parents, teachers, and the community believe schools should focus on developing students who are academically proficient and physically and emotionally healthy and respectful, responsible, and caring... And they want this for each child, not just for already-advantaged children" (p. 3). So, to achieve this goal, what needs to change? How would resources in our schools and communities —time, space, and human— be arrayed to ensure each child’s success? The paper at the link above was written to help the Commission (all of us, really!) answer these and other questions. Pain management, children's health, and resources. Did you know that 50 million Americans are living with pain, many, many of them children? If you live with pain yourself, know someone who does, or have or work with a child who is no stranger to chronic pain, then you may wish to visit the organizations below and delve into the resources they make available Among those resources are: • A consumer guide to options for managing chronic pain. www.theacpa.org/documents/Consumer%20Guide%20FINAL.pdf The American Chronic Pain Association, the National Pain Foundation, and the American Pain Foundation created this guide, which answers key questions about recent developments and offers support for people with pain and the challenges they face. • Pain action guide. www.painfoundation.org/Publications/PainActionGuide.pdf Courtesy of the American Pain Foundation. • A six week relaxation course for people living with chronic pain and disability. www.painfoundation.org/page.asp?file=Publications/Index.htm The link above takes you to the publications page of the American Pain Foundation, where you'll find lots of good material, but the one highlighted here is listed under "Yoga for Chronic Pain Curriculum." There's a booklet (20 pages), a notebook (29 pages), and a poster. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 11 of 31
  12. 12. • Treatment options. www.painconnection.org/MyTreatment/default.asp Within the My Treatment page of the National Pain Foundation, you will find information about both "traditional" treatment, such as medications, injections and surgery, and "complementary" approaches, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, and chiropractic. Information about physical therapy and treatment for the psychological factors associated with pain also can be found in this area. More on our children's well-being. As we start back to school, how is the nation of our children doing? Here are two more resources of merit. State by state. www.aecf.org/kidscount/ The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2006 Kids Count Data Book: State Profiles of Child Well-Being is an annual report that includes national and state-by-state data on the well-being of children in the USA. States are ranked on 10 key indicators, and information is provided on topics such as child health, immigrant children, education, and family economic conditions. Included with the report are two pocket guides on state-level measures of Child Well-Being from the 2000 Census for Latino Children and African-American Children. A national picture. www.childstats.gov/pubs.asp America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being comes from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 12 of 31
  13. 13. Update on Special Education Websites and Listservs Career Voyages http://www.careervoyages.gov/ CareerVoyages.gov 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. CareerVoyages.gov is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education. Give Kids Good Schools Campaign http://www.givekidsgoodschools.org/site/c.llKUL5MUIwG/b.1837895/k.BF3C/Home.htm 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. Teaching Quality Data Systems Roadmap: Building Teaching Data to Promote Sound Teacher Quality Policies and Programs http://www.teachingdata.org/ 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. Listservs E-mail Updates from Ragged Edge Online http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/emailsubscribe.html 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 http://www.pacer.org/eNews/eNews.htm 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. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 13 of 31
  14. 14. Quarterly E-Newsletter from MyStudyBuddy.org http://www.mystudybuddy.org/newsletters/ 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 jradcli@igc.org to subscribe. The Navigator from Pilot Parents of Southern Arizona http://www.pilotparents.org/navigator.htm 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. To top Report from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) Annual Performance Reports: 2003-2004 State Assessment Data Report http://education.umn.edu/nceo/OnlinePubs/APR2003-04.pdf This report from the National Center on Educational Outcomes summarizes the 2003-2004 state assessment participation and performance results submitted by regular states and unique states in their Annual Performance Reports (APRs). States and other educational entities receiving Part B funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) submitted their APRs to the U.S. Secretary of Education before April 1, 2005. Available in PDF (139 pages, 1.5 MB). Effect of Minimum Cell Sizes and Confidence Interval Sizes for Special Education Subgroups on School-Level AYP Determinations (NCEO Synthesis Report 61) Report http://education.umn.edu/nceo/OnlinePubs/Synthesis61.html This report from the National Center on Educational Outcomes summarizes a study which addressed three questions: (1) Considering the full group of students and the special education subgroup, what is the likely effect of minimum cell size and confidence interval size on school-level Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) determinations? (2) What effects do the changing minimum cell sizes have on inclusion of special education students, especially for schools that are declared to be “meeting AYP”? (3) With the NCLB requirement that schools assess grades 3-8 in their AYP calculations beginning in the 2005-2006 academic year, what is the likely effect of including these additional students in school- level AYP determinations? National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 14 of 31
  15. 15. English Language Learners with Disabilities: Identification and Other State Policies and Issues - Policy Analysis http://tinyurl.com/l2glb This In-Depth Policy Analysis from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education presents the findings of interviews conducted with representatives of special education units in seven states regarding current state staffing and initiatives and policies that focus on identifying English language learners as students with disabilities. Background topics covered include prevalence data and disproportionality research, extant outcome data, and federal policy and court rulings. Findings address state staffing, activities, and policies; state personnel preparation and certification; key challenges; and best practice and policy recommendations from states. Available in PDF (23 pages, 241 KB). General Education Participation and Academic Performance of Students with Learning Disabilities - Report http://www.nlts2.org/pdfs/LD_Fact_Sheet(072506)_indd.pdf Most secondary students with learning disabilities participate in at least one general education class. This report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 reports that these students are less likely than their classmates to actively participate in these classes. Despite this tendency, most of these students have teachers who report that their placement in the class is “very appropriate.” In addition, almost all of these students are expected to keep up with the rest of the class. To help them keep up, almost all of them receive some type of accommodation, support, or learning aid. Available in PDF (8 pages, 98 KB). Including English Language Learners with Disabilities in Large-Scale Assessments: A Case Study of Linguistically-Diverse Populations (ELLs with Disabilities Report 14) - Report http://education.umn.edu/nceo/OnlinePubs/ELLsDisReport14.html This report from the National Center on Educational Outcomes describes a study designed to clarify some of the issues that surround including English Language Learners (ELLs) in states’ large-scale assessment programs. Specifically, the researchers gathered information at the local school level on ELLs’ experiences in large-scale assessments from a variety of perspectives, the characteristics of ELLs with disabilities as well as the characteristics of their schools, and the level of awareness that ELLs and their families have about large-scale assessments. The Academic Achievement and Functional Performance of Youth with Disabilities - Report http://www.nlts2.org/reports/assessment_report.html This report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) describes findings of an assessment of NLTS2 sample members given when they were ages 16-18. The assessment used subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson III to test language arts skills, mathematics abilities, and content knowledge in science and social studies. For youth for whom the direct assessment was deemed inappropriate, a comprehensive measure of adaptive functioning in school, home, employment, and community settings (the Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised) was administered. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Comparison of IDEA Regulations (August 3, 2006) to IDEA Regulations (March 12, 1999) (2006) - Book http://www.nasdse.org/documents/SbSorderform.pdf In order to help all special education stakeholders implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, which reauthorized the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the National Association of State Directors of Special Education has prepared this book, which compares the federal regulations that were developed after the 1997 reauthorization of IDEA to those released by the U.S. Department of Education on August 3, 2006. Available for purchase ($15; price includes shipping and handling). Order form available in PDF (1 page, 918 KB). National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 15 of 31
  16. 16. Career Pathways: Aligning Public Resources to Support Individual and Regional Economic Advancement in the Knowledge Economy - Report http://www.workforcestrategy.org/publications/WSC_pathways8.17.06.pdf 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) - Guide http://www.ncwd-youth.info/resources_&_Publications/assessment.html 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 - Report http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/69/42/6942.pdf 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) - Paper http://tinyurl.com/jwceq 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) - Newsletter http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/HONORSTATESNEWS.PDF 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). National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 16 of 31
  17. 17. Identifying Potential Dropouts: Key Lessons for Building an Early Warning Data System - White Paper http://www.achieve.org/files/dropouts.pdf 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) - Brief http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/70/37/7037.pdf 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). Measuring Transition Success: Focus on Youth and Family Participation - Brief http://psocenter.org/Docs/PacerParentBrief.pdf The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs requires states to investigate whether their former special education students have pursued further education or found competitive employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14). This brief from PACER Center and the National Post-School Outcomes Center describes the importance of engaging families, youth, disability advocates, and parent centers in the design of state postschool data collection systems. Available in PDF (8 pages, 1.9 MB). National State Policy Database from the Regional Resource & Federal Center Network - Online Database http://www.rrfcnetwork.org/content/view/347/382/ 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 - Web Page http://www.nichcy.org/idealist.htm 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. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 17 of 31
  18. 18. Out-of-School Time Program Evaluation Database and Bibliography - Online Database http://www.gse.harvard.edu/hfrp/projects/afterschool/evaldatabase.html 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. Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities - Brief http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=178 This brief from the Institute for Community Inclusion gives a rundown of current program options, barriers, and solutions for students with intellectual disabilities who want to go to college. It also contains an extensive bibliography. Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Speech-Language Pathologists in the Public Schools - Web Page http://www.asha.org/about/career/slp_recruitment.htm The American Speech-Language Hearing Association has developed a collection of resources dedicated to the issues surrounding recruitment and retention of qualified speech-language pathologists in the school setting. Schools have been having difficulty recruiting and retaining fully credentialed, master’s level speech-language pathologists to serve the needs of children who require speech-language services. This information examines possible reasons for that difficulty, offers effective strategies for hiring qualified personnel, and includes examples of successful strategies and resources used by school districts and states to address this issue. Research, Policy, and Practice in Children’s Mental Health: Corrections - Bulletin http://www.rtc.pdx.edu/pgFPS06TOC.php The Summer 2006 issue of Focal Point, the bulletin of the Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health, describes the need for and provides examples of new strategies for meeting the mental health needs of children and youth involved with the juvenile justice system. School Restructuring Under No Child Left Behind: What Works When? A Guide for Education Leaders (August 2006) - Guide http://www.centerforcsri.org/files/RestructuringGuide.pdf This guide from the Center for Comprehensive School Reform is designed to help education leaders choose the best options for schools identified for restructuring under No Child Left Behind, when rapid and dramatic improvement is needed. Using the best education and cross-industry research as a starting point, it provides users with a step-by-step approach to restructuring, from organizing a district team and assessing a district’s capacity to govern restructuring decisions to conducting a school analysis and implementing a restructuring plan. The guide also includes templates, checklists, and other practical tools. Available in PDF (100 pages, 3.2 MB). To top National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 18 of 31
  19. 19. Creating an E-Mentoring Community by Sheryl Burgstahler This brief 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. Established in 1992, the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) e- mentoring community may have been the first intentional Internet-based mentoring community for teenagers with disabilities. DO-IT’s e-mentoring program received the National Information Infrastructure Award in 1996 and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 1997. Its value has been documented in research (Burgstahler & Cronheim, 2001; Kim-Rupnow & Burgstahler, 2004) and reflected in the successful lives of its participants and the willingness of those who were once protégés in the program to become e-mentors themselves. Research Basis Success, Self-Determination, and Transition Many students with disabilities lack the self-determination, academic, and independent living skills necessary to successfully transition to adult life activities (National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, 1999), including careers (Blackorby & Wagner, 1996). In addition, they have limited access to positive role models and relationships with peers and mentors with disabilities (Seymour & Hunter, 1998). The Value of Mentor and Peer Support Mentors can help protégés explore career options, set academic and career goals, develop professional contacts, identify resources, strengthen interpersonal skills, and develop a sense of identity (Saito & Blyth, 1992). They can also guide young people through the transition from the structured enivornment of high school to less structured postsecondary environments. Peers can offer some of the same assistance as mentors—coaching, counseling, advice, information, encouragement, and role modeling (Byers-Lang & McCall, 1993; Kram & Isabella, 1985). Peers are sometimes easier for young people to approach than adults and offer a higher degree of mutual assistance. Near-peers, individuals who are a year or two older, can help high school students who are entering college learn to ask for accommodations, work with professors, live independently, and make friends. In addition, mentor, peer, and near-peer supporters can become empowered as they come to see themselves as contributors in their supportive roles with young people. Due, at least in part, to a shortage of available adult mentors, group mentoring programs have emerged. Typically, in this model one mentor is assigned to a small group of young people, but several mentors may work with a small group of protégés as well. In group mentoring, positive outcomes can result from participants’ interactions with each other in addition to their interactions with the mentor(s). Group mentoring participants report improvements in social skills, relationships with individuals outside of the group, academic performance, and attitudes (Herrera, Vang, & Gale, 2002; Sipe & Roder, 1999). National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 19 of 31
  20. 20. CMC, E-Mentoring, and E-Mentoring Communities In-person mentor, peer, and near-peer relationships can be limited by physical distance, time, and schedule constraints and, in some cases, disability-related communication barriers (e.g., speech impairments). These constraints do not apply to computer-mediated communication (CMC). The lack of social distinctions like gender, age, disability, race, and physical appearance in CMC can also promote interaction (Rheingold, 1993). With assistive technology, all individuals, regardless of disability, can participate in CMC. For example, a person with visual impairments can use text-to- speech software to read text on a computer screen, and an individual with no use of his hands can use a speech recognition system to control the computer. The terms “e-mentoring,” “online mentoring,” and “telementoring” refer to situations in which mentoring occurs using CMC (Wighton, 1993). In e-mentoring communities, mentoring may occur in a group via CMC. Benefits of e-mentoring within a group rather than in pairs of a single mentor with a single protégé include the following: • Participants can learn from the experience of many mentors, peers, and near-peers. • Mentors can specialize in areas where their expertise is strongest. • The program can be successful even when some mentors are less skilled than others. • The program administrator can view all group conversations and thereby more easily manage the mentoring forum. The DO-IT E-Mentoring Community DO-IT, founded at the University of Washington in 1992, is a collection of projects and programs that promote the success of people with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers. One group of participants, DO-IT Scholars, are college-bound high school students with disabilities, including mobility impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, speech impairments, and health impairments. DO-IT Scholars are members of a stimulating e-mentoring community. High school graduates who continue to participate as DO-IT Scholar alumni become DO-IT Ambassadors. As Ambassadors, they are near-peer mentors to the younger Scholars. In addition, college-bound teens with disabilities who are not in the DO-IT Scholars program can join the e-mentoring community as DO-IT Pals. The DO-IT e-mentoring community also includes DO-IT Mentors—college students, faculty, and professionals, many with disabilities themselves. DO-IT has studied the nature and value of participation in its e-mentoring community. Thousands of electronic mail messages have been collected, coded, and analyzed; surveys have been distributed to Scholars and Mentors; and focus groups have been conducted (Burgstahler & Cronheim, 2001; Burgstahler & Doyle, 2005; Kim-Rupnow & Burgstahler, 2004). Findings confirm that CMC can be used to initiate and sustain both peer-peer and mentor-protégé relationships that provide psychosocial, academic, and career support. Participants noted that using email allowed them to communicate over great distances quickly, easily, conveniently, and inexpensively; eliminated the barriers of distance and schedule; enabled them to communicate with more than one person at a time; and provided them the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Many reported the added value that others treated them equally, because they were not immediately aware of their disabilities. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 20 of 31
  21. 21. DO-IT, Step by Step Creating an e-mentoring community requires vision, a technological and administrative infrastructure, and ongoing facilitation. Following are steps for setting up an electronic mentoring community. Examples from the DO-IT e-mentoring community are shared at each step. Details can be found in Creating an E-Mentoring Community for Teens with Disabilities: How DO-IT Does It and How You Can Do It Too (Burgstahler, 2006). Establish goals for the e-mentoring community. The purpose of DO-IT’s e-mentoring community is to promote the technology, academic, career, leadership, self-determination, and social skills of youth with disabilities. The ultimate goal is a successful transition to adult life for each youth participant. Decide what technology to use. DO-IT uses electronic mail and distribution lists as primary communication tools, because this text-based asynchronous approach is fully accessible to everyone and results in messages appearing in participant email inboxes, making it difficult for participants to ignore the conversations that occur. In contrast, Web-based bulletin boards and chat both require that participants have the motivation and discipline to regularly enter the bulletin board or chat system to participate. In addition, chat systems are not accessible to all students, in particular those who are very slow typists, and require that participants be on the same schedule. Establish the mentoring group structure. For example, DO-IT listservs include: • doitkids@u.washington.edu, for the DO-IT Scholars • mentors@u.washington.edu, for the DO-IT Mentors, including the DO-IT Ambassadors • doitpals@u.washington.edu, for the DO-IT Pals, a group of teens with disabilities who are not part of the DO-IT Scholars program • doitchat@u.washington.edu, for group e-mentoring discussions; this group includes all of the members of the e-community—doitkids, mentors, and doitpals. As DO-IT has grown in size, individuals have expressed interest in establishing conversations in smaller groups between people with accommodation issues similar to their own. To address this need, DO-IT has set up specialized discussion lists. For example, doithi@u.washington.edu is for doitkids, mentors, and doitpals with hearing impairments (see Figure 1). Members of this list discuss topics such as sign language interpreters, FM systems, and cochlear implants. Select an e-mentoring administrator and make other staff and volunteer assignments. A DO-IT e-mentoring administrator obtains the informed consent of parents, distributes training and rules for participation in the community (including Internet safety guidelines), promotes communication in group discussions, and disseminates Internet resources of interest to community members. To assure that individual needs are met, each DO-IT Scholar, Pal, and Ambassador is assigned to a staff member, who sends messages to protégés who are not regularly communicating on the doitchat discussion list. Other staff assignments include technical support and mentoring leads for subgroups. Establish roles and develop guidelines, orientation, and training for mentors. DO-IT disseminates simple, straightforward guidelines to help potential applicants understand mentor responsibilities. DO- IT also provides Internet-based training for mentors. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 21 of 31
  22. 22. Standardize procedures for recruiting and screening mentor applicants. At DO-IT, mentoring opportunities are communicated by word of mouth through organizations with which DO-IT has relationships. This approach helps assure the quality of mentors and safety of student participants. Prospective mentors complete applications, provide references, and undergo criminal background checks. Develop procedures to recruit protégés. Information about the DO-IT Scholars and DO-IT Pals programs is regularly distributed to schools, parent groups, and organizations. An advisory board selects DO-IT Scholars by reviewing their applications, teacher and parent recommendations, and school records. Teens interested in becoming DO-IT Pals submit a short online application; if they meet the basic criteria, they are included in the electronic community. Provide guidance to parents. DO-IT encourages parents to put their Internet-connected computers in high-traffic areas of their homes and to talk to their children about Internet safety. Establish a system whereby new mentors and protégés are introduced to community members. The electronic community administrator sends messages introducing new DO-IT mentors and protégés to the group and invites these individuals to send their own introductions. Provide ongoing supervision and support for mentors. At DO-IT, the mentors discussion list is used by mentors to support one another and by the electronic community administrator to share resources and provide guidance. Monitor and manage online discussions. At DO-IT, the e-mentoring administrator monitors discussions within the e-mentoring community. This person sends questions to focus discussions and encourages protégés and mentors to contribute questions or thoughts to the group. The administrator distributes weekly messages called “DO-IT Lessons” that point to interesting online resources. (These messages can be found online at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Lessons) Employ strategies that promote personal development. The types of online activities DO-IT uses with youth include recognized strategies for self-development, including role modeling, affirmations, self-assessment, self-reflection, and visualization. Monitor the workings of the community as it evolves; adjust procedures and forms accordingly. DO-IT regularly surveys participants in the e-mentoring community to assess their level of satisfaction and collect their suggestions for improvement. Have fun! Communication between participants in DO-IT’s e-mentoring community is enjoyable for everyone. Sharing humor and personal stories is encouraged. Existing Online Mentoring Programs Programs without the resources to develop and support their own e-mentoring community should search for an appropriate existing community for participants to join. For example, any youth with a disability who plans to attend college can apply to join DO-IT Pals (see http://www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Programs/pals.html). Another online mentoring option is available through Connecting to Success (see http://ici.umn.edu/ementoring). For students who are blind or visually impaired, the American Foundation for the Blind maintains an online mentoring network through CareerConnect (see http://www.afb.org/section.asp?SectionID=7). National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 22 of 31
  23. 23. Conclusion Peer and mentor support can help students with disabilities reach their social, academic, and career potential. However, constraints imposed by time, distance, and disabilities can make such relationships difficult to initiate and sustain. Building on the success of existing e-mentoring programs like DO- IT’s, practitioners can use the Internet as a vehicle for developing and supporting positive peer and mentor relationships. Sheryl Burgstahler is the Director of DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) at the University of Washington. The DO-IT Scholars program has been funded by the National Science Foundation (Grants 9725110, 9800324, and 9550003) and the State of Washington. Preparation of this information brief was supported by the National Science Foundation (Cooperative Agreement #HRD0227995). The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the funding agencies. References Blackorby, J., & Wagner, M. (1996). Longitudinal postschool outcomes of youth with disabilities: Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study. Exceptional Children, 62, 399–413. Burgstahler, S. (2006). Creating an e-mentoring community for teens with disabilities: How DO-IT does it and how you can do it too. Seattle, WA: University of Washington, DO-IT. Burgstahler, S., & Cronheim, D. (2001). Supporting peer-peer and mentor-protégé relationships on the Internet. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 34(1), 59–74. Burgstahler, S., & Doyle, A. (2005). Gender differences in computer-mediated communication among adolescents with disabilities: A case study. Disability Studies Quarterly, 25(2). Byers-Lang, R. E., & McCall, R. A. (1993). Peer support groups: Rehabilitation in action. RE:view, 25(1), 32–36. Herrera, C., Vang, Z., & Gale, L. Y. (2002). Group mentoring: A study of mentoring groups in three programs. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures and MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership. Retrieved August 31, 2006, from http://www.ppv.org/ppv/publications/assets/153_publication.pdf Kim-Rupnow, W. S., & Burgstahler, S. (2004). Perceptions of students with disabilities regarding the value of technology-based support activities on postsecondary education and employment. Journal of Special Education Technology, 19(2), 43–56. Kram, K. E., & Isabella, L. A. (1985). Mentoring alternatives: The role of peer relationships in career development. Academy of Management Journal, 28(1), 110–132. National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities. (1999). Transition planning: A team effort (NICHCY Publication No. TS10). Washington, DC. Retrieved August 31, 2006, from http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/transum/ts10txt.htm Rheingold, H. (1993). The virtual community: Homesteading on the electronic frontier. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 23 of 31
  24. 24. Saito, R. N., & Blyth, D. A. (1992). Understanding mentoring relationships. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute. Seymour, E., & Hunter, A. (1998). Talking about disability: The education and work experience of graduates and undergraduates with disabilities in science, mathematics, and engineering majors (AAAS Publication No. 98-02S). Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science. Sipe, C. L. & Roder, A. E. (1999). Mentoring school-age children: A classification of programs. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures. Retrieved August 31, 2006, from http://www.ppv.org/ppv/publications/assets/38_publication.pdf Wighton, D. J. (1993). Telementoring: An examination of the potential for an educational network. Retrieved March 6, 2006, from http://mentor.creighton.edu/htm/telement.htm Resources DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) http://www.washington.edu/doit Family Village: A Global Community of Disability-Related Resources https://www.familyvillage.wisc.edu/index.htmlx MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership http://www.mentoring.org MentorNet: The E-Mentoring Network for Diversity in Engineering and Science http://www.MentorNet.net To top National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 24 of 31
  25. 25. Funding Forecast, Grants, Awards, and Scholarships Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year 2006 http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/find/edlite-forecast.html This document lists virtually all programs and competitions under which the U.S. Department of Education has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards for fiscal year 2006 and provides actual or estimated deadlines for the transmittal of applications under these programs. The lists are in the form of charts organized according to the Department’s principal program offices and include programs and competitions previously announced as well as those to be announced at a later date. FY 2006 Discretionary Grant Application Packages http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/ This site, from the Department of Education, provides information on grant competitions that are currently open. Air Force Association Educator Grants http://www.afa.org/aef/aid/educator.asp 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 http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NewFreedomInitiative/Downloads/PRTF%20Solicitation.pdf 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). National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 25 of 31
  26. 26. Grants for Intervention Research to Improve Youth-Serving Organizations http://tinyurl.com/farul 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 http://www.toolboxforeducation.com/ 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 http://www.ysa.org/awards/award_grant.cfm#nowavailable 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 http://sites.target.com/site/en/corporate/page.jsp?contentId=PRD03-002537 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. American Psychiatric Foundation Awards for Advancing Minority Mental Health http://www.psychfoundation.org/aammh.cfm 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. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 26 of 31
  27. 27. Henry B. Betts Award http://www.aapd-dc.org/awards/awards07/betts_app07.html 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 http://www.principals.org/s_nassp/sec.asp?CID=539&DID=48173 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 http://www.nylc.org/inaction_award.cfm?oid=3723&null=1158250551612 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. To top National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 27 of 31
  28. 28. Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Events Career Fair for Students with Disabilities Career Fair Date: October 4, 2006 Location: Minneapolis, MN Website: http://www.mnbln.org/career/ Abstract: 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. Promoting Mental Health in Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: Cross-Systems Collaboration Conference Date: October 25, 2006 - October 28, 2006 Location: San Diego, CA Website: http://www.thenadd.org/content/conferences/23rdall.shtml Abstract: Participants in this National Association for the Dually Diagnosed conference will review new data on the assessment and treatment of autism spectrum disorder; become familiar with initiatives that support the development of a qualified workforce, collaborative/multidisciplinary program and treatment models, and crisis services for persons with co-occurring disorders; and learn to identify psychopharmacological challenges of persons with co-occurring disorders. Administrators, direct support professionals, educators, family members, nurses, persons with disabilities, psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, researchers, residential providers, service coordinators, social workers, students, and vocational staff are encouraged to attend. 10th Annual Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth Conference: Asset Building Comes of Age: Transforming Society with Youth Conference Date: October 26, 2006 - October 28, 2006 Location: Minneapolis, MN Website: http://www.search-institute.org/hchy/ Abstract: 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. National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 28 of 31
  29. 29. Hard-Wiring Inclusion: A Conference about Building an Accessible Information and Communications Technology World Conference Date: October 26, 2006 - October 27, 2006 Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Website: http://www.dis-it.ca/events/2006conference.php Abstract: 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 Workshop Date: November 5, 2006 - November 8, 2006 Location: San Antonio, TX Website: http://www.corwinpressconferences.com/Differentiation.pdf Abstract: 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 Conference Date: November 7, 2006 - November 10, 2006 Location: Boulder, CO Website: http://www.colorado.edu/ATconference/ Abstract: 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 Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 29 of 31
  30. 30. 14th World Congress of Inclusion International: Building an Inclusive Future: A Challenge for Globalization Conference Date: November 7, 2006 - November 10, 2006 Location: Acapulco, Mexico Website: http://www.inclusion-mexico.org.mx/english/ Abstract: This Inclusion International World Congress will: exchange experiences, knowledge, and visions among people from around the world to promote inclusion; strengthen the capacity of families and organizations to impact decisions made by governments and multilateral agencies; strengthen the voices of people with intellectual disabilities and improve the visibility of their issues locally, regionally, and globally; and build 1) a global plan of action to promote inclusion and address poverty and 2) a strategy for implementing the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Inclusion International’s World Congresses are only held once every four years. Sponsored by Inclusion International and CONFE. National Career Academy Coalition Conference Conference Date: November 11, 2006 - November 14, 2006 Location: San Francisco, CA Website: http://www.ncacinc.net/SanFran2006/home.htm Abstract: 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 Conference Date: November 13, 2006 - November 14, 2006 Location: Washington, DC Website: http://tinyurl.com/zmuo9 Abstract: 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. To top National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 30 of 31
  31. 31. Acknowledgements Portions of this month’s Special Educator e-Journal were excerpted from: • Committee on Education and the Workforce • FirstGov.gov-The Official U.S. Government Web Portal • National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, an electronic newsletter of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), available online at http://www.ncset.org/enews. NCSET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth • National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities • National Institute of Health • National Organization on Disability • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration • U.S. Department of Education • U.S. Department of Education-The Achiever • U.S. Department of Education-The Education Innovator • U.S. Department of Labor • U.S. Food and Drug Administration • U.S. Office of Special Education • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services • Wrightslaw.com The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) thanks all of the above for the information provided for this month’s Special Educator e-Journal To top National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) 31 of 31