January 2012 | News You Can Use

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New Year! New Attitude!Just before midnight, New Year's Eve.


It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I’m not crazy about using.

~~Marlee Matlin.


Welcome to 2012! January is a month of fresh starts: new calendars, new semesters, new resolutions. Many of us use this time to launch efforts to improve our eating habits, start new workout regimes, organize our files, and focus on positive action.

This month, we’re bringing you new resources, a fresh new look, and our resolution to focus on ability — tapping into the talents of children, parents, educators, and leaders.

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



Desarrollando el IEP de Su Hijo.
We’ve recently updated this Spanish version of Developing Your Child’s IEP.

Help all your students (and yourself!) with universal design for learning.
Educators spend a lot of time and effort modifying and adapting lessons for students with differing needs. Try the Universal Design for Learning approach our friends at CAST recommend to make lessons more accessible to all students from the start. In their guest blog for NICHCY, “No Boundaries” Education, Patricia Ralabate and David Gordon of CAST share the three basic principles of UDL and connect you with the National UDL Center’s practical examples and videos.

Guest blog: Implementing Inclusion in Charter Schools.
Maybe you’ve seen our new FAQ on charter schools, which told you that, yes, charter schools serve students with disabilities. Now, read our new blog on how charter schools can serve students with disabilities. It’s written by the principal of a charter school who believes strongly in her school’s practice of inclusion.

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Common Core State Standards Collection.
The Common Core State Standards are a national initiative to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so that teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The final standards were released on June 10, 2010. Many states have adopted the standards and are beginning to implement them. New standards will require new large-scale assessments.

This comprehensive collection of materials and resources helps parents, educators, and other stakeholders to better understand the common core standards.

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What do I do, my child won’t go to school!
Helpful tips from the MATRIX parent center on what to do for a child with an IEP or a child without an IEP who refuses to attend school. It’s in English and Spanish!

How to handle a meltdown.
The Friendship Circle’s Among Friends blog tackles the tough question of how to handle a child’s meltdown in this new three-part series. Check out all three for tips on surviving a meltdown:

Part 1: A Crash Course in Meltdown Management.

Part 2: 26 Sensory Integration Tools for Meltdown Management.

Part 3: How to manage and prevent a panic attack.

Top 10 Special Education Advisor blogs for 2011.
There are plenty of “top 10″ lists out these days, but Special Education Advisor’s is packed with useful information on questions to ask at an IEP meeting, mistakes to avoid in an IEP meeting, steps to writing IEP goals, and who to follow on social media.

IEP meeting conversation stoppers.
From the National Center for Learning Disabilities: Some of the statements made to parents at IEP meetings are “conversation stoppers” – comments that create barriers and can prevent the IEP team from working cooperatively to develop effective special education services and supports for students with disabilities. Here are nine common “conversation stoppers,” some information about what may be the real issues of concern, and suggestions for how parents can respond in a forceful but respectful way so that planning for their child can move forward.

Centers for youth with disabilities, parents, and professionals working in transition and employment planning.
This VR Research in Brief, prepared by PACER, summarizes current research findings on Rehabilitation Services Administration Parent Training resources. Parent involvement is an essential principle during the critical period when youth with disabilities transition from the public education system to adult services and the adult world. The need to provide families with information and training that will help them successfully launch their youth into adulthood is an essential part of IDEA.

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Video | The Part C regulations, brought to you by…
Believe it or not, it’s been 25 years since we’ve had new regulations for Part C. Take a trip down memory lane with some of the Department of Education personnel who helped to roll out the final regulations this fall in this 9-minute video. (The cheesy 80s music and pop culture references will make you smile!)

Tipsheets for early childhood practice.
The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) has expanded its Growing Ideas Tipsheets and Resources for Guiding Early Childhood Practices. These free online materials are for early childhood and schoolage care professionals, parents, and guardians. Many of the tipsheet topics include virtual toolkits that can be used for professional development activities or shared with parents, guardians or others.

Research synthesis points on quality inclusive practices.
This document provides brief descriptions and supporting references for the evidence-based and promising practices that support early childhood inclusion. From the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion.

Scribble, scribble – Help your infant prepare to learn to write.
From the Center for Early Literacy Learning: Is your infant beginning to feed herself with a spoon? If she is, then it’s time to introduce her to crayons and other writing materials. Ideas can be found here!

The Helpdesk at Tots ‘n Tech.
This new resource from Tots ‘n Tech is designed to help you easily find resources on assistive technology for infants and toddlers. You can find information on communication & socialization, getting around, arms & hands, problem solving, and more.

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Webinar | Inclusion for students with intellectual disabilities.
January 12, 2012 | 4:00-5:30 ET
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities will present Great Expectations: Meaningful Participation in General Education Settings, in its series on “Inclusion: Information and Strategies You Can Use.” This webinar will present evidence-based strategies to facilitate the participation of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the general education curriculum and provide strategies that can be used across grade levels and with students with diverse needs.

Two resources on travel training for student success.
Good postsecondary activities like college and job training are only effective if the young adult can actually get to them. Easter Seals Project ACTION has a wealth of free resources that can help you get started on travel training and help you continue to support an ongoing program. Check out these two in particular:

Webinar | Supporting Postsecondary School Outcomes through Transportation Education.
January 26, 2012 | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Registration deadline: January 20, 2012

Travel training for student success.
Here’s a primer for school administrators interested in learning how high schools across the country are connecting students to travel training services, developing and adapting goals, and supporting local implementation of travel training programs.

Preventing teacher burnout.
We love teachers, and don’t want you to burn out on the profession. Check out this suite of resources that address sources and symptoms of burnout and identify ways to reduce environmental stressors, increase personal capability, and enhance social support to prevent burnout.

Six tips for brain-based learning.
In this free classroom resource guide, you’ll get practical tips across the K-12 spectrum, including a reading list and a variety of resources to help you learn more about the fascinating findings of research on the brain and what promotes learning.

Tips for strengthening study skills.
The December 2011 issue of LD Online’s newsletter lists multiple resources to help students with learning disabilities develop their study skills.

What can a paraeducator do?
In a new blog from the National Resource Center for Paraeducators, Doug Van Oort clarifies the roles of the supervising teacher and paraeducator. There’s also a handy chart identifying what a paraeducator may and may not do in schools. Check out The Distinction in Roles of Paraeducators and Teachers.

Department of Justice report on the impact of bullying in schools.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recently released Bullying in Schools: An Overview, the first of five bulletins examining bullying in schools and support schools can provide bullying victims.

State policies on bullying.
In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Education released Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies, which summarizes current approaches in the 46 states with anti-bullying laws and the 41 states that have created anti-bullying policies as models for schools.

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Webinar | Addressing personnel needs in adapted physical education.
Friday, January 27, 2012 | 1:00 ET
The Personnel Improvement Center starts the new year with a free webinar that addresses personnel needs in the field of adapted physical education (APE). Renowned faculty in the field of APE teacher preparation will talk about why APE teachers are needed, how they are prepared, what roles they play in adding to student success, and what solutions there are to reducing personnel shortages in this field.

Final amendments to FERPA regulations released.
On December 2, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education published the final amendments to the regulations for implementing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in the Federal Register. FERPA is meant to protect the privacy of education records while allowing for the effective use of data. The Federal Register notice can be accessed at:

How states are implementing RTI.
The National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) recently released Response to Intervention Blueprints: State Edition. This is one of three publications. The others in this series are the school-building level and district-level editions.

Video | The Regional Resource Center program.
Check out the 6-minute interview of co-coordinators Maureen Hawes and Arlene Russell to learn about the supports that regional resource centers (the RRCs, for short) provide to states.

Re-entry programs for students with disabilities in the juvenile justice system.
Project Forum’s newest policy analysis defines reentry, describes federal efforts to support successful reentry of juvenile justice offenders, relates the prevalence of students with disabilities in the juvenile justice system, and recounts recommended reentry strategies from experts in the field. The findings from interviews with four states and a review of program-related documents are provided. The primary goal of these four state programs is to reduce recidivism by supporting the smooth transition of youth with disabilities from correctional facilities to community-based schools, jobs, and support services.

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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.