July 2011 | News You Can Use

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July 2011                                          The Power of Community


All Hands In

The Power of Community



Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Meade, 1901-1978, American Anthropologist

Our work, and the work of the many educators, families, and technical assistance providers we serve, is focused on the end goal of providing students with disabilities access to quality education services. In doing this work, we interact within several overlapping communities: the special education community, the parent community, the technical assistance community, and many more.

We all grapple with the pressures of shrinking budgets, increased workloads, and individual concerns, and all too often we forget that our strength lies in our connection to others. As a community, or as a team, we can accomplish many things that would be impossible on our own.

This month, we’d like to draw attention to the many ways we can come together. From IEP teams to community partnerships to national organizations, through personal meetings, webinars, social media, and more, we highlight ways to connect in communities as a way to support the effective education of students with disabilities.

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

Our best to you,

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities



All About the Systems of Help Out There!
Whether you’re an educator, administrator, or family member, you can find a wealth of useful information and resources on our Families and Communities page. You’ll find descriptions of services and links into the spectrum of help and expertise that’s out there to help you address disability-related concerns. Find:

Disability groups
• Parent groups
State agencies and other resources in your state
• Federally-funded technical assistance projects
Services for adults

Find resources specifically for:

Military families
Families of adopted or foster children
Child care providers
Transportation providers
Spanish speakers

AND find resources regarding:

Disability awareness
Healthcare and medical issues
Mental health issues
• And much more!

Get connected with others who share your role, or find out about systems of support for your work or personal life. It’s all waiting for you on our Families and Communities page, beginning at: http://nichcy.org/families-community

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The IDEA Partnership’s mission fits perfectly with the theme of this month’s enewsletter. The Partnership has 55 national organization partners and is “dedicated to improving outcomes for students and youth with disabilities by joining state agencies and stakeholders through shared work and learning.”

Check out the Partnership’s Creating Agreement Collection, which is all about working together. Creating Agreement is a proactive, relationship-building, and problem-solving process pioneered by the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)—also a project in OSEP’s TA&D network.



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Community supports. Check out this page from the Family Support Clearinghouse. It connects you with supports and resources in multiple need areas, including: service animals, independent living, child care, adult day supports, respite care, and transportation.


Independent living & full participation in the community.
This section of disability.gov’s website has information about personal assistance services and other programs and services that can help people live independently. You’ll also find resources on accessible sports and recreation and travel tips, as well as guidelines for making programs and facilities accessible to people with disabilities. This section also has information about volunteer opportunities for people with disabilities.

“Community for All” tool kit: Resources for supporting community living.
This tool kit was developed through the collaboration of seven very well-known organizations working on behalf of those with intellectual disabilities. In their words, “We, the undersigned, are committed to assuring that people with disabilities have the supports needed to design and achieve lives of quality and meaning. Such lives are characterized by opportunity, inclusion, and participation.”

Worship and special needs.
For many, worship provides enormous support for coping with the choices and stresses of life. When you have a child with special needs, going to church, temple, or synagogue may be a challenge. In their own turn, faith leaders may be looking for guidance on how to foster a welcoming community for those who have special needs. Here are several resources you may find helpful.

Including Children with Special Needs in Worship and Church School Programs

Worshiping With a Child With Special Needs

Including People With Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide for Service Providers, Families, and Congregations
From Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. Cost: $25

Faith Based Support Groups and Accessibility Services
From the Family Support Clearinghouse.

Guide to Spiritual Community Supports for Individuals with Disabilities and their Families.

From the newsletter of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals.

Find, choose, and keep great direct service professionals.
Here’s a pair of easy-to-use toolkits designed to help families and people with disabilities find quality, caring, and committed Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). One toolkit is for people with disabilities and the other is for their family members and support providers.

Operation Autism: A resource guide for military families.
Operation Autism is a web-based resource specifically designed and created to support military families that have children with autism.

PEAK Parent Center’s Circles of Support webinar.
Access this recorded webinar on creating support systems for your child with disabilities. http://www.peakparent.org/workshopsTrainings.asp

When children have mental illness: What families experience in primary care.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has released a survey report on family experiences with primary care doctors in treating children and adolescents living with serious mental illness. The survey report provides a comprehensive overview of their responses, thoughts and comments.

Health care transition for youth with special health care needs.
Visit the National Health Care Transition Center, which disseminates health care transition best practices in primary care medical homes and specialty settings for youth and young adults with special health care needs.

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Tipsheets for early childhood. These “Growing Ideas” tipsheets are a compilation of resources designed to guide inclusive early childhood practices. They come from The Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies. http://ccids.umaine.edu/resources/ec-growingideas/

Teaching young children self-control skills: Information for parents and educators.
Self-control is an important skill for all children to learn. If students are taught self-control at an early age, then they will feel better about the choices that they do make. From NASP, the National Association of School Psychologists.

Early childhood education and children with disabilities.
How can families and early childhood professionals provide quality, inclusive early childhood education for young children with and without disabilities? That’s the question posed in this issue of Impact, a publication of the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD) and the Research and Training Center on Community Living.

The seven ingredients of resilience: Information for parents.

Using multiple funding streams to serve young children.
This paper examines one school district’s use of funds from Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to provide services for very young at-risk children. From the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Blending and braiding funding streams to serve more children.
This podcast from the New America Foundation’s Early Education Initiative discusses how blending and braiding funding streams can enable centers to provide high-quality early learning programs for children and families who might not otherwise have access to such programs.

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What do you know about cultural styles? When we think about building cultural competence, one of the key steps is building awareness of others. In the absence of a relationship or unique experiences, many of us never develop a true understanding of other cultures without exerting significant effort. This article presents three unique cultures and provides an opportunity for readers to think about the cultures and how the variables interact with the process of serving children and families in schools.


School Community Tool Kit.
Here’s a tool kit to assist members of the school community in understanding and supporting students with autism.

On collaboration and working with others.
Two great resources from NASP, the National Association of School Psychologists.

Collaborating with physicians: A guide for school leaders.
Collaboration between educators and physicians can make it more likely that students with medical conditions will be successful in school.

Parents and teachers: Strategies for working together.
From NASP, the National Association of School Psychologists.

Service learning.
Visit the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, which offers multiple resources for involving students with disabilities in service learning programs and initiatives.

A day in the life of a special education teacher: What does it look like? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh1meBo_m1w

About school, home, and community: Connecting and collaborating to address barriers to learning.
Schools can and need to play a fundamental role in developing connections and collaborations with home and community. To enhance understanding of substantive school, home, and community collaboration, this publication offers some lessons learned about building a strong collaborative infrastructure.

Embedding bullying interventions into a comprehensive system of student and learning supports. While everybody agrees that school bullying is a major problem, considerable controversy exists over the best way to address the problem. This document presents (a) a brief analysis and synthesis of the current state of the art, (b) underscores the need to avoid another piecemeal set of policy and practice initiatives, (c) stresses that the growing emphasis on school bullying provides an opportunity to accelerate development of a comprehensive, multifaceted, and cohesive system of student and learning supports, and (d) outlines policy implications related to doing so. http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/embeddingbullying.pdf

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Confronting inequity in special education.Two resources from NASP, the National Association of School Psychologists.

Understanding the Problem of Disproportionality.
Developed by NASP’s African American Subcommittee, which presents an overview of the problem of disproportionate representation of Black students in special education.

Culturally competent screening and special education referral: A systematic approach.

National Standards for Quality Online Programs. This document is the third in a series of iNACOL’s online education standards and addresses what is needed for a quality online program, including course design and online teaching. It provides states, districts, and other organizations with a set of quality guidelines for online program leadership, instruction, content, support services and evaluation.

Participation and performance reporting for the AA-MAS.
This document from the National Center on Educational Outcomes examines publicly reported participation and performance data for the alternate assessment based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS). Analysis included all states publicly reporting AA-MAS data, regardless of whether they had received approval to use the results for Title I accountability calculations. Data were examined for school years 2006-07 through 2009-10.

Review of evidence-based practices for children exposed to violence.
The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services have published this new report, which includes a matrix of 42 effective programs and 13 promising programs that address childhood exposure to violence. The matrix provides: a rating for each program; the age range for the children served; outcome indicators; and whether the program increased resilience, reduced trauma symptoms, or reduced incidence.

Building strong systems of support for young children’s mental health.
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) has published a new report that describes key strategies for creating a comprehensive system of supports for young children’s mental health. It provides examples from states using these strategies and includes a tool that state planners can use to assess progress and plan steps toward building a strong system of early childhood mental health supports.

What state leaders should know about Early Head Start.
This paper reviews 11 key aspects of how the Early Head Start program works and provides considerations for state leaders.

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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.

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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.