February 2012 | News You Can Use

Help with Listen Feature Help with Listen Feature
Group of professionals leaping into the air.

It's Leap Year! Enjoy your extra day.

Leap into Action with One More Day



There aren’t enough hours in the day for all that we need to do to serve students with disabilities. Fortunately, this month we get a whole extra day to try to catch up–because it’s a Leap Year!

To help you take advantage of the extra day, this month we’re pleased to share time-saving resources. You’ll find some technology tools, helpful tips, and trustworthy sources of information. We’re hoping that maybe, just this once, you’ll find a few extra moments to also relax and enjoy the ride.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at nichcy@fhi360.org.

Our best to you,

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities



We are very pleased to launch Ask NICHCY, an online form you can use to submit your questions about children with disabilities to our topnotch information specialists. You’ll soon hear back–we’ll send answers and resources straight to your email box.

Ask NICHCY appears on every single page on our site. It’s in the Quick Links Menu on the right sidebar.

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Looking for professional development materials?
Visit The Learning Port! It’s been compiled for all of us by the IDEA Partnership, and it’s loaded with incredible resources that educators, principals, early childhood specialists, and state agency personnel can use “as is” or customize to meet their professional development needs.

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Help! I have NO time, but I need support.
The Friendship Circle’s Among Friends blog gives some time-saving tips on where parents of special needs children can find support that will fit into an already hectic life.

Streamline your morning routine.
Here are 8 ways to get out the door on time and unstressed.

Do you have a disability? Your insight is needed!
If you have a disability, please take a few moments to participate in the Project Empowerment Consumer Research Use survey. Project Empowerment is funded by the federal government to find out where and how people with disabilities find and use disability research. They are also interested in understanding your experiences when you seek services from rehabilitation and disability professionals. Your name will not be connected to your survey responses. Find out more (and connect with the survey) at:

Homework, helping and not hurting.
Assisting children with their homework should be a positive and uplifting experience for both parent and child. You may find these resources helpful at homework time.

Being an efficient homework helper: Turning a chore into a challenge
This is the theme of LDonline’s January 2012 newsletter.

Helping children with executive functioning problems turn in their homework

Homework and study skills
The National Center for Learning Disabilities has ample homework help resources.

Homework help for kids with special needs: Maximize learning, minimize frustration

11 math & reading websites to help your child keep up in school

Assistive technology solutions fact sheet.
The Family Center on Technology and Disability has a new AT fact sheet that provides visual examples of a range of AT products to help parents begin their search for assistive technology. The fact sheet includes basic questions to consider when trying to identify AT devices that will best suit your child and illustrates examples of some of the AT options available. Each AT example has an icon indicating whether it is high-tech, mid-tech, or low-tech.

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Always watching, especially when you talk.
The little ones are watching our mouths to determine how to shape their own to make particular sounds. If you believe nothing gets past the little ones, you may be right. A new study suggests that even how we speak is highly observed.

Tips and tools for responding to challenging behaviors.
Toddlers and challenging behavior: Why do they do it, and how to respond? Zero to Three offers multiple tipsheets on how to respond to challenging or aggressive behavior in little children.

Tipsheets for early childhood practice.
The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) has released two new CELLpops for practitioners of preschoolers. CELLpops are interactive web versions of CELL mini-posters that include ideas for practitioners to promote children’s early literacy learning. In the Blocks Center and In the Kitchen Center can be used by practitioners working with preschoolers to incorporate early literacy learning activities into their individual classroom centers. Both are available at:

Video | Early childhood program effectiveness belongs to us all.
This video outlines basic concepts from four decades of program evaluation research that help explain how society can ensure that children have a solid foundation for a productive future by creating and implementing effective early childhood programs and policies.

More videos! | Treatment interventions and autism spectrum disorders.
Autism Speaks has launched the Treatment section of its ASD Video Glossary. The treatments presented include some of the more commonly used interventions for children on the autism spectrum: behavioral interventions, developmental interventions, structured teaching and supports, clinical therapies, and toddler treatment models. There’s a login, but the info is free and plentiful.

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Walk through changes in education in America: 1981 through 2011.
This interactive timeline uncovers Education Week archives to tell an evolutionary story of American education policies, theories, and perspectives that have held influence since the 1981 birth of the publication.

All children can read, given the right tools.
Take a look at this website of the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness, which provides strategies, examples, and resources designed to expand literacy learning opportunities for children with combined vision and hearing loss, multiple disabilities, and other complex learning challenges.

Technology. Technology. Now Apple does textbooks, too.
In conjunction with three of the major textbook manufactures, Apple has developed interactive K-12 textbooks. With the drastic increase in technology use in education, interactive textbooks enhance usability of tools already being used in schools.

Fast facts: Teaching self-determination.
Students with higher levels of self-determination achieve better post-school outcomes in the areas of education and employment. Want to know what actions teachers, schools, and families can take to promote student self-determination? This Fast Facts brief will tell you and connect you with multiple resources designed to help you teach self-determination skills.

Helping students with disabilities transition to postsecondary education.
Transition of Students with Disabilities to Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators comes from the Office for Civil Rights. The guide highlights the significant differences between the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities in high school and in a postsecondary education setting. Following a set of FAQs, practical suggestions are provided that high school educators can share with students to help them successfully transition to postsecondary education.

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30th annual report to Congress!
The 30th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Parts B and C is available on the Department of Education’s website.

Americans with Disabilites Act amendments.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has issued a Dear Colleague letter concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act. The letter and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions provide additional guidance on the requirements of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in elementary and secondary schools, given the changes to those laws made by the Amendments Act.

Need to learn about early care and education policy changes in your state?
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has published its annual brief of state policy developments related to early care and education. State Early Care Education Policy Developments: Fiscal Year 2012 highlights selected enacted legislation; new initiatives approved by the state executive branch; major funding increases, decreases, or level-funding; and additional significant fiscal or policy changes that impact early childhood education.

Make data work for you when making state policy.
CLASP has developed a new tool to help state policy makers better understand the context and conditions of young children, birth to six, in their state. A Tool Using Data to Inform a State Early Childhood Agenda (2012) includes a series of questions on how young children are faring on key indicators and provides links to online data sources that can be used to answer those questions. Once compiled, these data can be used to help develop a state early childhood agenda.

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N080003 between FHI 360 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@fhi360.org. We’re here to help you help children with disabilities.

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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.