June 2013 | News You Can Use

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boysNpoolSummer Fun and Continued Learning



As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Summer’s almost here, and it’s time to stock up on ideas for activities, outings, and ways to keep engaged and learning. We’ve compiled a wide range of options, suitable for great-weather days and rainy days alike. Reading, being sportive, planning for the future, catching up on info-gathering, pursuing professional development opportunities…what might enrich you and yours in the long summer days ahead?

As always, we welcome your feedback in all forms. 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


Camps for children with special needs.
Consult NICHCY’s 2013 Summer Camps fact sheet and connect with camps and other summer opportunities for young people with disabilities.

Catch up on the Common Core.
You’ve probably heard a lot about this new initiative in education called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). What’s it all about? How does it relate to you as an educator, administrator, or parent? How does it apply to students, especially those with disabilities? This resource page will help you find answers to questions such as these.

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Logo of the IDEA Partnership.

The Learning Port.
Brought to you by the IDEA Partnership, the Learning Port is a fabulous national online library of professional development resources. This library provides local educators with easy access to an array of resources that can be used or customized to meet their needs.



Adaptive sports.
This mom shares with you 12 Important Things to Remember About Adaptive Sports for Children with Disabilities, based on her experiences in finding an adaptive sports team for her son with disabilities.

Digital tools for kids with special needs.
Children can benefit enormously from the types of learning experiences that engage them on a variety of levels such as seeing, hearing, speaking, singing, and movement. Reading Rockets shares best practices in using educational technology and media in the classroom and at home.

Travel and recreation for people with disabilities.
If you’d like to travel this summer and disability is a consideration, check out this website of useful resources for travel planning, destinations, transportation, air travel, travel books, and travel companions.

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Brain science of early childhood.
The neuroscientific research on the early brain is one of the most compelling bodies of evidence for investing in young children. Here’s a range of tools (PowerPoint, videos, and one-page information briefs) to help non-scientists present information on early brain development and the importance of investing in early childhood programs.

Early literacy activities—in multiple languages!
Washington Learning Systems’ On the Go early literacy sheets are available at no cost in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Somali, Burmese, and Russian. The materials give parents ideas for activities to promote early language and literacy development in children with and without disabilities. Free registration is required to download the materials.

Staff training and development.
Looking for resources you can use for professional development in early childhood and early intervention? Here they are!

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Top 10 resources on speech, language, and hearing.
Early language, listening, and speaking are very important to literacy development. If you suspect that your child or a student is struggling with speech, language, and/or hearing problems, learn more about testing and assessment, accommodations, and additional professional help. You’ll also find tips on reading aloud with children who have speech and language problems or who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Federal programs for transition-age youth with serious mental health conditions.
Moving On is an analysis of 57 federal programs offering resources to assist youth with serious mental health conditions in making the transition from childhood—and often, foster care—to independence. From the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

Caring for children with special healthcare needs in the school setting.
Caring for children with special healthcare needs in the school setting can be challenging. This brief provides guidance on how to address the needs of students with special healthcare needs.

Reading: 50 useful apps for students with reading disabilities.

Teachers—the 25 best Pinterest boards in EdTech.
Pinterest is rapidly becoming a favorite tool of educators all over the nation, and many have amassed great collections of edtech-related pins that teachers and students alike can use to explore new ways to learn, share, teach, and grow.

Video in Spanish on assistive technology.
The Family Center on Technology and Disability has released its first Spanish language video in the series AT in Action. Meet Marta, the mother of Isabel, a young girl with fine motor and learning disabilities. The video introduces viewers to assistive technologyand takes them through an IEP meeting during which AT is considered. The video is captioned in both Spanish and English and is “described” as well.

Work experiences and internships for youth.
Teens with disabilities—do you want to build work experience while learning about careers you’re interested in? Expand and explore your professional network? Earn money or school credit while you work? If so, Participating in Internships and Work-Based Experiences is a tipsheet that’ll help.

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Social and emotional learning programs: Which work?
The 2013 publication of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning identifies well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs for the pre-K and elementary grades.

Recruiting and retaining special educators.
The summer months may be a good time to peruse the latest and greatest resources on how to hire and keep qualified special educators (and general educators, too).

Planning for effective staff development.
Connect with research-based guidance on effective staff development practices, coaching and mentoring, professional learning communities, training for paraprofessionals, and professional development resources on specific topics such as autism, assistive technology, reading, and technology in the classroom.

Professional development to improve accommodations decisions.
This resource from the National Center on Educational Outcomes reviews the characteristics of high-quality online accommodations training and summarizes the research literature for both professional development on accommodations decision-making and traditional and high-quality online teacher professional development.

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N110002 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.