April 2011 | News You Can Use

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April 2011
This Month from the National Dissemination Center
From our Friends at the IDEA Partnership
It All Starts…in Families…and Communities
The Little Ones: Early Intervention/Early Childhood
Schools, K-12
State & System Tools




April has arrived, and with it what we like to call “IEP season.”In this month’s News You Can Use, we’ll be featuring resources for families, educators, and technical assistance providers that can support IEP teams in planning for student success through the end of the school year, across the summer, and into the next school year.

This month, we’re going to try something a little different with our format.Instead of having a dedicated section for our Special Focus topic, we’ll add the special topic items throughout the newsletter.As always, you’ll find the latest information from around our network in the areas of Families & Communities, Early Intervention/Early Childhood, K-12 Schools, and State & System Tools, and you’ll also see resources around our Special Focus topic, Winding Down the School Year, in each section.

If you generally tend to focus on one particular section (e.g., Schools, K-12) for resources, this month you might want to take a look at the other sections as well.You might find something useful in State and Systems Tools to help with transition planning, or a good resource in Families & Communities to share with a parent.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at

Our best to you,

Your friends at the

National Dissemination Center

for Children with Disabilities






Doesn’t our website look fabulous? If you haven’t visited us lately, you don’t know that we’ve redesigned. We invite you to come take a look. We think that our new design is easier to navigate, provides more relevant information for our users, and makes it easier to download, print, and share our resources.We have multiple ways to find the pages, national and state organizations, as well as valuable content from other websites. As always, you can easily access our Spanish resources and downloadable Publications, as well as find information that’s designed ‘Especially for . . . ‘ your role in supporting students (e.g., Families and Communities, Early Intervention Providers, Schools and Administrators).Please take a few moments to explore our new design, and feel free to send feedback or suggestions to nichcy@aed.org.We’re always looking for ways to improve the ways we provide information to educators, families, and communities.

Updated for 2011:  Summer Camps for Children with Special Needs. http://nichcy.org/publications/camps

Our New to Disability page offers great information and resources for families and educators just entering the world of disability. http://nichcy.org/families-community/new-to-disability

The Dissemination Initiative page includes great information for Technical Assistance projects on effective dissemination practices. http://nichcy.org/dissemination

Our redesigned Organization Gateway offers two ways to search for national organizations — by disability or by topic. http://nichcy.org/org-gateway






April is Autism Awareness Month! The IDEA Partnership is pleased to announce the release of its updated Collection on Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Working together, national organizations, state ASD leaders, federal TA centers, local practitioners, families and individuals on the spectrum developed these resources. They are specifically designed to help people come together around ASD, build some common understanding and hold the conversations that will improve practice. Click here to open the ASD Collection.





And since it’s Autism Awareness Month… Here are several resources on the autism spectrum you may find helpful or worth sharing with others.

Could my child have autism? If you’re worried your child may have autism — or feel something just isn’t quite right – you may want to read this article from Easter Seals.  http://www.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=ntlc8_could_my_child&autologin=true

Top 10 facts about autism. This brief article provides the bare bones basics for a quick read – along with links to more in-depth information for those who want to know.  http://autism.about.com/od/whatisautism/tp/topfacts.htm

Asperger syndrome is on the spectrum. Heard of GRASP, the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership? Lots of info about Asperger syndrome here—-and a toll-free number! 1.888.47GRASP (888.474.7277).  http://www.grasp.org

And in YOUR state… Easter Seals offers State Autism Profiles, which highlight the number of children with autism who have received the state’s special education services, state insurance coverage for autism if available, Medicaid services specific for individuals with autism, educational programs provided to students with autism or training that focused on autism, special education criteria, other state-led resources, and sponsors of autism legislation.  http://www.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=ntlc8_autism_state_profiles&autologin=true

On the special theme

Help for Families Preparing for an IEP Meeting

The Matrix Parent Center offers a comprehensive IEP Toolkit:  http://www.matrixparents.org/pdf/packetsArticles/IEP%20Tool%20Kit%20March%202011.pdf

College Access for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Archived webinar on students with Intellectual Disabilities and College:


Are you moving to a new location this summer?

- If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, here’s a checklist to help you get ready:


- If you are moving, check out what’s available in your new state: http://www.nichcy.org/families-community/states/

The Disability Law Handbook…in Spanish.

The Disability Law Handbook is written in a “Frequently Asked Questions” format and answers questions about the ADA, the ADA Amendments Act, the Rehabilitation Act, Social Security, the Air Carrier Access Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, and the Fair Housing Act Amendments. It’s now available in Spanish, too, courtesy of the Southwest ADA Center.

Handbook in Spanish: http://www.swdbtac.org/html/publications/Spanish/gld/index.html

Handbook in English: http://www.swdbtac.org/html/publications/dlh/index.html

New ADA rules took effect on March 15th.What does this mean for communities?

The new ADA rules affect how 80,000 government entities and more than seven million public spaces in the United States operate. Here’s are two resources that will give communities the facts:

Revised ADA Regulations “Implementing Title II and Title III
The rules as published in the Federal Register:

ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business
From the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division:

Parents of youth or adults with intellectual disabilities |You’re invited to participate!

Kent State University is conducting a survey called ““Parent Perspectives on Planning Future Residential Options for Adolescents and Adults with Disabilities.” If you’re the parent of a youth or adult with intellectual disabilities, perhaps you’d like to contribute your perspectives to this research The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete, and it’s anonymous. Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/residentialoptions




Webcast |Social and Emotional Development in Children with ASD.

April 12, 2011 | 3:30 p.m. Eastern.  Hosted by VCU’s Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE), “Supporting Social Emotional Development in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ” will provide an overview of social competence, including what it is and how it affects individuals with ASD, as well as how to assess and teach social competence.  Sign up at:  http://www.vcuautismcenter.org/training/webcasts/details.cfm/175

On the special theme

Making children’s transition out of early intervention smooth.

- Visit NICHCY’s Transition to Preschool page for guidance on how to smooth the path ahead for each child and family.  http://nichcy.org/babies/transition

- The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center offers Transition from Part C resources:http://www.nectac.org/topics/transition/transition.asp

Your state’s policies that promote the well-being of young children.

Find out in Early Childhood Profiles, from the National Center for Children in Poverty. These profiles highlight states’ policy choices that promote health, education, and strong families alongside other contextual data related to the well-being of young children. http://nccp.org/profiles/early_childhood.html

New CELLcasts on early literacy learning.

Hot off the press from the Center for Early Literacy Learning: Three new CELLcasts for parents.These are audio/video versions of CELL practice guides. You can either view them online or download them to an iPod/Mp3 player. New this month are: (1) Baby’s First Picture Books (look at picture books with your infant); (2) My Turn, Your Turn (help your toddler develop turn-taking skills); and (3) Wacky Word Games (have language fun with your preschooler).  http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/ta_cellcasts1.php

And mini-posters, too!

Also new from CELL are CELLpops, which are interactive web versions of CELL mini-posters that parents can use in their homes. Two are now available: Meals and Snacks and Bath Time Fun give parents fun ways to incorporate opportunities for early literacy learning into routine meal times and bath time. http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/ta_cell_pop1.php

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AIMing for Achievement DVD.

Interested in NIMAS and the drive to provide students with disabilities with accessible instructional materials (AIM)? Copies of this new DVD have been distributed to the NIMAS/AIM Coordinator in every state! The DVD contains over three hours of useful information and helpful vignettes that can be used for training, professional development, and self-paced learning. Get in touch with your state’s coordinator to check on availability. Who’s your state’s coordinator? Find out at:http://aim.cast.org/learn/policy/state

Reasons why English language learners are misidentified as having special needs.

Find out why English language learners are both over- and under-identified for special education services and why it’s important to avoid these types of errors.http://www.ldonline.org/article/40715

What works for reducing acting-out behavior?

This Child Trends Fact Sheet synthesizes learned from 123 intervention programs for children and youth that are designed to prevent and/or deter externalizing behavior.  http://www.childtrends.org/Files//Child_Trends-2011_03_03_RB_WWExternalizing.pdf

Bullying and special needs.

Abilitypath.org offers “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: Bullying and Special Needs,” a guide for educators and parents regarding the bullying of children with disabilities and how to stop it.


On the special theme

What are Extended School Year services (ESY)?

Wrightslaw discusses the question of Extended School Year (ESY) for children with disabilities. Visit the link abelow to learn about legal standards for ESY, advocacy strategies that will help you negotiate for ESY services, and decisions about ESY from federal courts.  http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/10/nl.0518.htm

Have your end-of-the-year celebrations be safe.

For a range of ideas about safe end of year celebrations, visit Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) at:  http://www.sadd.org/campaign/prom.htm

A handbook for counselors and mentors on federal student aid.

This handbook from the U.S. Department of Education is for those advising students on financial aid for postsecondary education. It includes information about federal student aid programs, the application process, how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and how financial need is determined for students who may have expenses related to their disability.


Preparing middle schoolers to enter high school.

From the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools - Supporting Successful Transition to Ninth Grade   http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/practicenotes/transitionsninthgrade.pdf

Transition Assessment resources.

The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center’s Transition Toolkit:


Preparing for college: Online guide for students with disabilities.

Sudents with disabilities can find online guidance in choosing and preparing for college.





NCES releases Projections of Education Statistics to the Year 2019.
This edition of Projections of Education Statistics provides projections for enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary public and private schools, as well as postsecondary institutions.The projections run to the year 2019.


Call for proposals for the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders’ National Autism Summit at Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence conference November 16-18 in Columbus, Ohio: http://conference.ocali.org/view.php?nav_id=94


On the special theme
Strengthen supports for student transitions and other needs.

With the end of the school year in sight, we can anticipate the transitions students will be making into new classrooms and new schools. Supporting success in these transitions is often limited to a brief orientation (generally with an overemphasis on rules and regs). Needed is a well-designed approach to welcoming and providing ongoing social and academic supports to facilitate successful adjustment and performance in the new situation. This works best where schools have developed a comprehensive system of student and learning supports and connected them across the family of schools.  http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/p2101_01.htm






What are states’ strategies for recruiting and retaining special educators and related services personnel?
The Personnel Improvement Center and Project Forum presented a free webinar on the subject in February. The webinar presented information from a survey sent to all 50 states and indepth interviews of the eight states that presented on the webinar. They discussed 10 strategies they have found to be effective in recruiting and retaining personnel.View the webinar’s PowerPoint presention and find tools and resources from featured states at:  http://www.personnelcenter.org/staterecruit.cfm


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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.

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