January 2011 | News You Can Use

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January 2011

Photo of a greeting card, saying Happy New Year!

Let's have a great year!



Wow, it’s a new year. Happy 2011 to all! Here we go!

NICHCY looks forward to this new year on our plate and to bringing you news every month to help you address disability concerns in your life and work. Our special focus for this month Let’s Have a Great Year, with resources that will hopefully help you have just that!

The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.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, now or when the holiday tempest has passed.

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’re pleased to offer three updated resources on our website. The first two come from our Families and Community corner, and the third from “Help Babies (0 to 3).”

Resources Especially for Child Care Providers and Preschools.
Quite often, child care providers and preschool teachers play a key role in recognizing that a child may need special help. They can also connect families with the systems of that help that address children’s developmental and disability-related needs. This page is dedicated to helping child care providers and preschool staff do just that.

Resources Especially for Employers.
Here are 10 premier sources of deep and detailed information on employing people with disabilities: How to, why to, and the nuts-and-bolts of…

Transition to Preschool.
Services under early intervention end when a child turns three, so planning for the transition to preschool is very important if the child needs continued support.

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January is National Mentoring Month.
Time to focus on how mentoring benefits the child, adult, and society as a whole. Visit the National Mentoring Month website for tools, videos, and “10 Things to Do in January,” a list to jumpstart your thinking about getting involved and honoring the occasion.

Involve students with disabilities.
The Corporation for National and Community Service offers this list of resources and links to methods for including people with disabilities in national service programs, including accessibility assessments, mentoring, special education students as camp counselors and many other ideas.

CORE of a good life.
This resource gives parents “guided conversations” on raising young children with disabilities. What’s the CORE? Community…connections and participation. Opportunities…to explore and pursue our interests. Reciprocity…in our relationships. Enjoyment…in our lives.

Make a difference for children with disabilities: A guide to serving on a county family support advisory committee.
This booklet is designed to help families better understand the important role they play in shaping their local Family Support Programs and how they can become more effective participants and have their voice heard both locally and statewide.
http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/wrc/pub.html#Make A Difference for Children with Disabilities:

Find local resources when your child struggles to learn.
As you start your search for information about learning and attention problems, start by looking close to home.

Don’t forget NICHCY’s State Resource Sheets!
Lots of help identified here, which can also connect you with the local level.

January 10 | The White House is calling.
The White House Disability Group is hosting monthly calls to update you on various disability issues as well as to introduce you to persons who work on disability issues in the federal government. Next call?

Monday, January 10 | 3:00 PM Eastern
Dial in: (800) 230-1093
Title: Disability Call (use instead of code)
For live captioning, at time of call, log onto: http://www.fedrcc.us//Enter.aspx?EventID=1679107&CustomerID=321

10 most popular Parenting Special Needs articles.
What were parents of children with special needs most interested in over the past year at the Parenting Special Needs’ website? 504 plans, behavior plans, and credit-card-free iTunes accounts…

Compendium of community inclusion initiatives for people with psychiatric disabilities.
The Compendium is based on a national survey of consumer-run programs assisting consumers in reconnecting to their communities, to existing residential and vocational resources, religious and recreational organizations, civic and volunteer opportunities beyond those of mental health systems. Both consumer-run programs and more traditional mental health agencies will find examples of innovative ways to assist consumers in working with the community.

Serving consumers with psychiatric disabilities: Common sense accommodations and strategies.
This resource guide provides helpful strategies for people who work with individuals with psychiatric disabilities in centers for independent living and other consumer-oriented agencies.

Mental health legislation | What’s on the agenda for the 112th Congress?
With respect to legislation of interest to advocates and people with mental illnesses, what was done by the 111th Congress prior to adjourning for the holidays, and what’s still on the plate for the 112th? Find out, courtesy of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

Resource in Spanish | Helping people transition from hospital care to home.
Guía Para La Transicion de Cuidados is written to help Spanish-speaking support care providers in the community help people make the transition from prolonged care in hospitals or other care centers back to home care. Great checklists!

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Annotated bibliography of early intervention websites.

Impact of cultural diversity on service delivery in natural environments.
Research indicates that families are essential to the success of early intervention services. However, the family is strongly influenced by culture. This article explores the literature related to natural environments, family-centered practices, and the influence of cultural diversity as it relates to service provision in early intervention in an attempt to link the research to practices that promote appropriate and effective early intervention services.

Is it time to start planning ahead for upcoming transitions?
Early intervention services help children with disabilities and delays until their 3rd birthday. Then children move on to special education services for preschoolers… even as many preschoolers move on to kindergarten. Here are two resources for those of you who have such transitions on the horizon in the next few months.

Early intervention to preschool

Preschool to kindergarten

Head Start’s impact.
Head Start is a federal program aimed at boosting the school readiness of low-income children by providing preschool education and health and nutrition services. Read the What Works Clearinghouse’s “quick review” of the Head Start Impact Study: Final Report, which examined the effects of offering Head Start to 3- and 4-year-olds.

Addressing challenging behavior | A national training institute.
March 30-April 2, 2011, in Clearwater, FL
An astounding number of heavy hitters in early childhood and social emotional development are teaming together to offer this training institute.

Teaching tools for addressing challenging behavior.
Teaching Tools are designed to provide easily accessible ideas and materials so that you can support children in the classroom and other learning environments. The tools will provide you and other teachers with practical strategies known to be successful in helping young children with problem behavior.

The Part C and Preschool national picture: What NECTAC learned from reviewing APR Indicators.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.APR indicators give OSEP, states, and communities a measure of how well systems are addressing the needs of young children with disabilities and improving their outcomes. The National Early Childhood TAC reviewed what states have reported to OSEP… and reports back to all those interested in “what they learned.” Thanks, NECTAC, for this webinar series.

And quality indicators in your neck of the woods and beyond.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.“Quality Indicators of Inclusive Programs/Practices: A Compilation of Selected Resources” lets you connect with many different resources in one place, which allows for easy comparison of potential indicators of quality. National and state-developed resources are contained within this September 2010 document.

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3-minute motivators.
This book has over 100 simple, fun activities for any grade that will help you use “a little magic” to refocus a group, release excess energy, or start off class with a bang. Cost: $17. BUT…take a look at Chapter 1 for free, as well as samples from all other chapters.

Supporting special educators: What school leaders need to know.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.This guided activity from the Iris Center helps identify specific strategies that school administrators can use to support special education teachers.

Sample 504 plans.
Wondering what a 504 Plan should look like? These templates and accommodation lists, put on the Web by school districts and disability organizations, can give you an idea of what to look at and look for when working with the school to put together a plan for your child.

Building improved communication.
CADRE offers this Lego-like series of building blocks—”listening” (a video), then “understanding positions and interests” (another video), and finally a two-part video called “A Table of Two Conversations.” And guess what? All this is also available in Spanish.

CEIS | Coordinated Early Intervening Services.
OSEP TA&D LogoThis policy analysis describes the legislative background and OSEP supports for CEIS. Project Forum interviewed 17 states that have required local education agencies to withhold IDEA funds for CEIS. The findings from these interviews are reported.

Accessibility features in digital readers: A compilation of over 40 sources.
OSEP TA&D LogoVisit the AIM Center website to find (and download in one document) the latest information on over 40 digital readers. Sources gathered include freeware, open source, and commercial products for use with digital content, including screen readers, text-to-speech programs, hand-held readers, hybrid devices, organization applications, and more.

Webinar and Webtour |The National Inclusive Education Initiative.
OSEP TA&D LogoWednesday, January 26 | 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Presented by the LRE Part B Community of Practice. Register at:

Early warning II.
OSEP TA&D LogoThe National High School Center released version 2 of its Early Warning System (EWS) Tool, as well as an Early Warning System Implementation Guide. The EWS Tool v2.0relies on readily available student-level data (attendance, course failures, GPA, and credit accumulation) that are entered or imported by schools, districts, or states at regular intervals. The tool automatically calculates research-based indicators to identify students who are at risk for dropping out of high school.

On developing a support plan for college.
Here’s an overview of the supported education model and some of the challenges associated with using educational coaches in college. Potential support areas, examples from their working partnership, the benefits of using such an agreement, and recommendations for replication are highlighted.

Future collegiate athletes with disabilities.
Thanks to the person who left news of this website in our Feedback box. We pass the news along to all those future athletes with disabilities out there.

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DOE Memo to state leaders on state bullying laws and policies.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently disseminated a memo to state leaders highlighting key components of strong state bullying laws and policies. The memo divides existing state laws into 11 different categories, such as enforcement, training, and definitions of bullying behaviors.

Three from NCEO.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.NCEO is the National Center on Educational Outcomes, an OSEP-funded project. NCEO’s published three syntheses that state leaders may be very interested in…

Computer-based testing: Practices and considerations.
Synthesis Report 78 report explores the context of computer-based testing (CBT), current state computer-based tests, and considerations for students with disabilities. CBT has emerged as one of the recent “innovative” approaches to assessments most pursued by states. It’s viewed as providing cheaper and speedier test delivery for state and district-wide assessments…and as an avenue toward greater accessibility for students with disabilities.

Science assessments for students with disabilities: What we know about participation, performance, and accommodations.
Synthesis Report 77 documents the inclusion of students with disabilities in state science assessments in 2006-2007, the period just before the required implementation of statewide science assessments.

2009 survey of states: Accomplishments and new issues at the end of a decade of change.
This report provides a snapshot of the new initiatives, trends, accomplishments, and emerging issues during this important period of standards-based education reform as states document the academic achievement of students with disabilities.Results are presented for all 50 states and 8 of the 11 federally-funded entities (unique states).

Building systems of care: A primer for child welfare.
This primer is a companion document to Primer Hands On-Child Welfare, a web-based training resource for leaders involved in building systems of care for children, youth and families involved, or at risk for involvement, in the child welfare system.

Developing a guidance document on RTI?
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.The National Center on Response to Intervention has released a new Guidance Document Development Tool based on lessons learned from working with states to develop guidance documents on response to intervention. Developing an RTI Guidance Document aims to assist states, districts, and schools in the process of creating guidance documents. Included in the tool are frequently asked questions about guidance documents and a template to help states, districts, and schools develop their own documents.

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SPECIAL FOCUS: Let’s Have a Great Year!

Yes, let’s. The resources below may help you and yours organize affairs, think about things in a new way, refresh your spirits, or plain old “get down to brass tacks.” Have at it, and we’re off and running regardless, aren’t we?

Realistic resolutions.
Here are 31 parenting resolutions to “Transform Your Child, Your Family, Yourself.”

5 disability resolutions this year.
From BellaOnline’s disability editor.

And resolutions from Beth at 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

Health observances 2011.
Every month, there are multiple health “days” or “weeks” or opportunities to build awareness of a disability or health issue. This list covers the entire year, and can help you plan ahead, pick and choose where to spend your energies, and connect with the sponsors of events to find participation materials and kits and get in on the action.

Health and wellness for individuals with disabilties: An annotated bibliography of onLine resources.
Individuals with disabilities are interested in attaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Participating in physical exercise and activity, maintaining good nutrition, managing stress, and creating social supports are important to promote health and wellness. Finding appropriate activity, wellness, and health promotion information that pertains to their unique needs can be challenging for individuals with disabilities, their families, and service providers. This document identifies health and wellness information specifically geared for people with disabilities.

Healthy People 2020.
Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:

___Encourage collaborations across sectors.

___Guide individuals toward making informed health decisions.

___Measure the impact of prevention activities.

Now it’s time for Healthy People 2020, which continues in this tradition with the launch on December 2, 2010 of its ambitious, yet achievable, 10-year agenda for improving the nation’s health. Healthy People 2020 is the result of a multiyear process that reflects input from a diverse group of individuals and organizations. http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/Consortium/HP2020Framework.pdf

2011: Get Off to a Successful Start!
As always, great advice and insight from Wrightslaw.

Happy New Year from Disability.Blog! Top 10 Guest Blogs from 2010.
Revisit the top guest disability bloggers at disability.gov.

Relaxation exercises.
Early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC) is emerging as an effective strategy for supporting young children’s social and emotional development and addressing challenging behaviors in early care and education settings. The ECMHC team at Georgetown University has recorded a series of relaxation exercises in English and Spanish. These exercises are designed for use by families and Early Head Start and Head Start staff to help you reduce your stress. The team’s hope is that after listening to one or more of these recordings, families and staff will return to their daily activities feeling refreshed and re-energized. Enjoy! http://www.ecmhc.org/relaxation_exercises.html

2011 Calendar | Love notes for Special Parents Gallery.
The love notes adorn this 2011 calendar. Print each month and tack it to a bulletin board, tape it to a wall, mount it with a magnet, or slide it under a glass desktop. It’s a great way to provide yourself with some daily encouragement — or give some to another parent who could use the support.

By leveraging the web, television, mobile, and pop culture, DoSomething.org inspires, empowers and celebrates a generation of doers: teenagers who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action.

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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.