April 2010 | News You Can Use

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April 2010




How’s the spring fever in your area these days? We know it’s raging in ours.

The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP. But we’ve stayed inside so that we might bring you another issue of News You Can Use. There are many great resources coming from OSEP’s TA&D Network (these are marked with the TA&D logo you see to the left) and from organizations beyond the network. May these help you and yours, personally and professionally.

This month’s Special Focus is Classroom Accommodations for Students with Disabilities, offered as a direct response to the many questions we get from users about effective instructional strategies and modifications that support student learning. The list isn’t exhaustive, but it will certainly get you started.

We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@aed.org.

Our best to you, as always.

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities



This month we are extremely pleased and excited to launch NICHCY en español–our Spanish website on disabilities in children, early intervention, and the special education process. We’ve also updated all of our disability factsheets in Spanish. So do please drop in for a lengthy visit and bring all your Spanish-speaking friends, beginning at the Spanish homepage:

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Are you underinsured or know someone who is?
The National Underinsured Resource Guide, developed by the Patient Advocate Foundation, is intended to help those who are underinsured locate resources and alternative options for coverage. You can search the resource guide in two ways: by using keywords or by completing the online interactive tool to help you find the missing pieces surrounding your particular situation.

Strengthening families and communities: 2010 resource guide.
This is a resource guide to support service providers in their work to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.

For those of you with children online.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan introduced a new guide to help parents educate children on Internet safety. Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online addresses safe use of social networking Web sites, cyberbullying, and the importance of protecting computers from viruses and other harmful software.

Social Security benefits for children with disabilities.
What social security benefits are available for qualifying children with disabilities? How do they qualify? This booklet will tell you—and it’s also available in Spanish.

English | http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10026.pdf

Spanish | http://www.ssa.gov/espanol/10926.html

And speaking of Social Security…
In support of President Obama’s Transparency and Open Government initiative, Social Security has launched a new, Open Government webpage that will serve as a portal for public engagement and will be a key tool for SSA to more dynamically collaborate with the American public. Have something to say to SSA?

Hot off the press–the updated TA&D network placement.
The TA&D network is a great source of info and technical assistance for all of us with disability-related questions and concerns. The “placemat” (so called cos that’s what it looks like, only bigger) lists the 40+ projects in the network, the Comprehensive Centers, and the Equity Assistance Centers. Produced by the TACC (Technical Assistance Coordination Center), it’s your network of disability expertise, right at your fingertips.

Rural FAQs and people with disabilities.
The Rural Assistance Center offers People with Disabilities Frequently Asked Questions, such as What support is available for families that have children with disabilities? and Are rural child care providers required to provide access to child care for children with disabilities?

New booklet from CADRE for families and advocates!
CADRE focuses on dispute resolution in special education. Its new booklet, Preparing for Special Education Mediation and Resolution Sessions: A Guide for Families and Advocates, is aimed at helping families and advocates take advantage of the dispute resolution options in IDEA.

Family guide to assistive technology & transition planning.
Coming soon from the Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD). This 50-page guide is aimed at providing families with the information they need to effectively prepare for and participate in periods of transition in their children’s lives. Individuals may order one free copy of the guide. Additional print copies are available for $10. A discount is available for bulk orders. To request one or more print copies, send an e-mail to fctd@aed.org.

Disabilities At Work Internet Talk Radio debutes April 14th.
DAW Radio will be spotlighting businesses that go ‘beyond compliance’ in finding and hiring qualified people with disabilities, or who support people with disabilities through philanthropy or in other ways. Tune in and hear corporate VIPs, successful service providers, educators, people with disabilities who have interesting stories, authors, researchers, government officials, elected representatives, and celebrities who have reasons to be involved. The show will make its debute on April 14, 2010, on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel and will air every Wednesday at Noon EST.

On the same page–Families and schools as partners.
That’s the title of a video produced by EPIC (Every Person Influences Children), the New York State PTA, and the New York State Parental Information & Resource Centers (PIRC). On The Same Page is also the name of the summit that was held to support change in family engagement in education as a strategy for closing the achievement gap for children in Title I schools.

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Weigh in on newborn screening.
The Genetic Alliance wants to know your perspective on a number of important issues in newborn screening. They’ve crafted a survey on a range of topics, including number of conditions and what conditions are screened for at birth to key policy and system challenges. The survey takes less than 15 minutes to complete, and your participation helps inform the development of models to educate parents and create systems for informed decision-making in newborn screening. The survey closes on April 14th, so now’s the time to share your insights and experience.

Keys to high-quality child care for infants and toddlers.
Early care and education professionals need to understand the rapid physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development that infants and toddlers experience. This resource from the National Infant and Toddler Child Care Initiative will help them do just that.

The magic of catalogs and magazines.
This practice guide comes from the Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) and will give you ideas for using pictures and text from catalogs and magazines to help toddlers begin to connect meaning to print.

Including children with disabilities in state pre-K programs.
This policy brief of the Education Law Center will give you an overview of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and policies that help ensure preschool-aged children with disabilities receive an appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

Registration for the 2010 Training Institutes is now open!
This is a conference on children’s mental health systems of care, where you canchoose from 30 institutes and 30 workshops on improving practice and performance. Read all about it, and register if you like, at:

Serving children in Part C: What qualifications must service providers have?
Workforce Preparation to Serve Children Who Receive Part C Services is a new policy brief from Project Forum. It summarizes the results of a survey sent to all states looking at: the requirements states expect professionals to hold for each of twelve different early intervention roles; the areas in which states have shortages; and how states are ensuring that qualified personnel fill positions.

How good does an early childhood program have to be in order to achieve school readiness outcomes for children?
Learning How Much Quality is Necessary to Get to Good Results for Children is a new 2-page brief from the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education, and is based on the findings that emerged from a NCRECE study.

State activities to inform families about outcomes.
The ECO Center has assembled documents developed by states and federal intervention systems to inform parents about child and family outcomes requirements, how outcomes measurement systems will be implemented in their state, and how the requirements will affect them and their children.

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Why I Teach.
Teaching Tolerance’s “Why I Teach” column allows educators to explain why they work with students and what it means to them.

Inclusive education in schools and classrooms.
Here are 3 professional learning modules designed to develop participants’ understanding of inclusive curriculum, co-teaching, professional learning, and school/family connections. From the Equity Alliance.

Infusing disability studies into the general curriculum.
This OnPoint provides hints and resources about how to start thinking, talking, and teaching about the meaning and experience of children with disabilities in our schools. From the National Institute for Urban School Improvement.

Need to know about functional behavioral assessment?
This is an IRIS professional development module called FBA: Identifying the Reasons for Problem Behavior and Developing a Behavior Plan.  The module explores the basic principles of behavior and the importance of discovering the reasons that students engage in problem behavior. The steps to conducting an FBA and developing a behavior plan are described.

The Learning Carousel.
The Equity Alliance has created an online, searchable library for improving school practices. You can download research-based PDFs on topics such as RTI, culturally responsive practice, early intervening services, school-family partnerships, and coaching for inclusive practices.

Students with LD: Newest topic area at the What Works Clearinghouse.
One of the first releases in this new topic area is the WWC Intervention Report on the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS) program that is designed to teach students to decode words and identify individual sounds and blends in words.  The Clearinghouse reviewed 31 studies that investigated the effects of LiPS on students with LD. Read what WWC found, at:

Another from the WWC: Effectiveness of 10 reading and math software products.
See the one-page WWC Quick Review of a study that looked at the effects of ten reading and mathematics software products on student achievement. Analyzing data on more than 11,000 students in 23 primarily urban, low-income school districts, the study found that one of six products reading products had positive effects on test scores; none of the four math products did.

Instructional models and strategies for teaching English language learners.
This publication offers educators and policy makers guidance on research-based strategies that have been effective in instructing ELLs. 40 pages, from the Center on Instruction.

Webinar | RTI for ELLs.
Wednesday, April 29, 2010, 2:00-3:00 PM
The National Center on Response to Intervention invites you to participate in the webinar, RTI for English Language Learners (ELLs): Appropriate Screening, Progress Monitoring, and Instructional Planning. This webinar is free and pre-registration is not required!

To participate in the conversation, you can submit questions before and after the webinar by emailing them to: rtiwebinars@air.org

Fifteen minutes before the event starts, join by following the link below, which will take you to Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

Disability-friendly colleges for students with physical disabilities.
This online college guide for students with physical disabilities contains interactive charts of the most disability-friendly colleges and profiles of the colleges that provide services necessary for students with physical disabilities to live on campus.

What works for older youth during the transition to adulthood.
This new Child Trends fact sheet looks at the role that programs for older youth (ages 18 to 25) can play in promoting positive development and subsequent self-sufficiency in adulthood. It synthesizes the findings from 31 rigorous evaluations of programs.

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How to develop a logic model for districtwide family engagement.
This step-by-step guide is designed to help you understand and develop a logic model for districtwide family engagement efforts. It is designed to accompanySeeing is Believing: Promising Practices for How School Districts Promote Family Engagement. Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) and the National PTA have teamed up to bring you the guide.

What a superlative student assessment system should look like.
This white paper from the Council of Chief State School Officers considers
what a student assessment system would entail if built from the best practices in current educational research and educational systems in the U.S. and high-achieving nations around the world.

2009 Nation’s Report Card in Reading just released.
The Nation’s Report Card presents results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 4th and 8th graders in all 50 states, DC, Department of Defense Schools, and the nation as a whole.

Tools for digging into data from the NAEP.
NAEP webtools and applications make it quick and easy to find data of interest and customize your findings. To help you use all the features of these tools, there are quick reference guides, short introductory videos, tutorials, and help systems. Learn about all the webtools at

10 tips for SEAs and LEAs to improve their mediation agreement rates.
This CADRE tip sheet provides coordinators of mediation programs with ideas and strategies on how to improve their mediation agreement rate.

And now….Tips for state dispute resolution system managers.
Following an extensive review, CADRE identified four States with exemplary dispute resolution systems. Here’s their list of “Top Tips” for other State dispute resolution system managers.

Using data to inform a state infant/toddler care agenda.
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) recently published A Tool Using Data to Inform a State Infant/Toddler Care Agenda. It includes key questions for state advocates and policymakers to better understand the context and conditions of infants and toddlers in the state.

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SPECIAL FOCUS: Classroom Accommodations

At the heart and soul of improved outcomes for children with disabilities may very well be the types of accommodations they receive in the classroom to help themaccess the general curriculum, learn new info and skills, and demonstrate their learning. Certainly, we get a lot of inquiries at NICHCY from both teachers and parents about how to adapt curricula, support students in the classroom, and provide instruction that meets their special needs. So we are focusing on this as our special topic in April.

Visit NCEO’s Accommodations pages–they’re fantastic!
You’d better bring a big bag to haul away the resources you find at NCEO (National Center on Educational Outcomes). Enter through the link below and find sections answering FAQs, publications, links to state websites posting their accommodations policies and information, and more.

Accommodations for students with disabilities.
Here’s a short guide to explain accommodations.

Info from NICHCY.

How to select, administer, and evaluate use of accommodations for instruction and assessment of students with disabilities.

From TeacherVision.

An IRIS online module: Instructional accommodations.
Making the Learning Environment Accessible to Students With Visual Disabilities can be found at:

Accommodations and strategies for different disbilities.
Here, you’ll find info on what types of accommodations are appropriate for specific disabilities, namely: Autism | Mental Retardation | Learning Disability | Other Health Impaired | Emotionally Disturbed | Visually Impaired | Hearing Impaired | Orthopedically Impaired.

What about accessible materials?
Bookshare provides an online accessible library for individuals with print disabilities and offers pre-recorded webinars for educators and parents. The link below will take you to the K-12 Educators Bookshare Community.

Maryland’s accommodations manual for students with disabilities.

Florida’s guide for educators.

Including students with disabilities in STEM courses and activities.

Accommodations for students with disabilities in high school.

And for those with disabilities in college.

More for those in college.

NICHCY hopes that the resources available through the organizations and links above will come in very handy for teachers, parents, and the students themselves!

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N080003 between AED and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.


Comments on our newsletter? Too long? Too short? Off-target? Right on? Suggestions for future topics? Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@aed.org. We’re here to help you help children with disabilities.

NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources. This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to http://www.parentcenterhub.org.