March 2011 | News You Can Use

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March 2011

Photograph of NICHCY's new Project Director, Elaine Mulligan.

Meet Elaine Mulligan, our new Project Director!



Yes, it’s March already, that much closer to spring, and we’re back with News You Can Use.

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 as time goes by.

The special topic this month is that NICHCY has a new Project Director. She’s coming onboard March 7th and we are just thrilled. Read about this mystery person who’ll soon at the helm.

We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at

Our best to you, as always.

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities



The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.Looking for information, resources, and technical assistance (TA) to help you and others support children with disabilities in their least restrictive environment in school? If so, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve completely updated and revised our Starter Set of Resources on LRE.

Inside you’ll find separate sections on:

  • Reflecting on the meaning of LRE
  • Availability of accessible materials
  • Building instructional capacity and skill of educators
  • Federally funded TA centers
  • LRE materials from individual states

All yours, at:

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2011 taxes and other Wrightslaw topics.
You know we think very highly of Wrightslaw’s information, so we pass along several you may find of interest:

2011 tax tips!

More on tax benefits when disability is involved.

Is your child’s behavior caused by a disability?

Parent training in autism.
The Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at UCDavis has developed a free, online training series called ADEPT–Autism Distance Education Parent Training Interactive Learning. ADEPT is a 10-lesson interactive, self-paced, online learning module that gives parents the tools and training to more effectively teach their child with autism using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques.

For those affected by TBI — traumatic brain injury.
Brainline is a national multimedia project offering information and resources about preventing, treating, and living with TBI.

I’m determined.
The I’m Determined project, funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing students with disabilities with direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior beginning at the elementary level and continuing through the student’s educational career.

Postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities..
Visit the HEATH Resource Center at George Washington University for its new 36-page publication that answers many commonly asked questions about college experiences for students with intellectual disabilities.

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In praise of NECTAC’s eNotes again.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.Check out the February 25, 2011 issue for great resources.

Free Webinar | Teaching Communication to Young Children with ASD.
March 8, 2011, 3:30pm
Hosted by: Virginia Commonwealth University’s Autism Center for Excellence

11th National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute.
May 16-18, 2011 | Chapel Hill, NC

IFSP|IEP outcomes integration.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.States and local programs are making child and family outcomes measurement more efficient and more effective by integrating those processes with IFSP and IEP development and implementation.  See examples from states and find other supportive materials.

The importance of secure attachment relationships for infants and toddlers.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning’s
What Works Brief #24.

Preventing the use of restraint and seclusion with young children.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.From TACSEI, the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children.

New website featuring data from the Child Welfare Outcomes.
The Children’s Bureau makes the latest Child Welfare Outcomes data available for you to view in a variety of ways according to your needs. The site features a custom report builder which allows users to select the specific state(s), data, and data years that they would like to view. Users also have the capability to compare data across States.

Professional development in early childhood education.
View the presentations at the Year 5 symposium held by the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education in November. The symposium brought together 60 researchers, policy makers, state specialists, and program administrators to examine the latest science regarding effective professional development in early childhood education. When you click the link below, you’ll find the symposium’s resources listed at the bottom of the page.

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Get technical assistance to support your beginning special education teachers.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.Apply for technical assistance by April 1st, to the National Center to Inform Policy and Practice in Special Education Professional Development. NCIPP provides technical assistance to schools and districts working to differentiate induction and mentoring supports for beginning special education teachers. Read more and find the application at:

Interested in autism?
You may wish to take advantage of these two new resources on the subject:

Tell Me About the Story: Comprehension Strategies for Students with Autism.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.Reading comprehension is often a concern for the teachers of students with autism. The comprehension strategies described in this article from Reading Rockets may help some students gain comprehension skills and improve their ability to read and communicate about written material.

New VCU Autism Center for Excellence website.
The website provides information on training activities occurring throughout the state (Virginia) as well as a host of online training events for anyone who lives with, works with, or supports an individual with an autism spectrum disorder. Resources including fact sheets and summaries of journal articles on topics related to ASD are also available.

Improving reading comprehension: What works.
This guide from the U.S. Department of Education recommends five specific steps that teachers, reading coaches, and principals can take to successfully improve reading comprehension for children K-3.

Roles of paraeducators in inclusive classrooms.
This 3-part series may interest many of you. Find it online at the Inclusive Schools Network:

Video and more | Reciprocal Teaching.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.Reciprocal teaching refers to an instructional activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions. It’s been shown to be an effective approach to increasing student learning. Now, this resource page at Reading Rockets explains it step by step, provides worksheets and templates to download, and includes a clip from the PBS show
Reading for Meaning in which a Seattle school uses reciprocal teaching to guide students in learning to lead a classroom discussion.

Students with hearing impairments: Secondary school experiences and academic performance.
According to the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 dataset, a gap exists between the academic achievement of youth with hearing impairments and their peers in the general population in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. This fact sheet from the National Center for Special Education Research gives a national picture.

PACER’s Transition Trek—updated!
You may know about this resource already…it’s an educational board game that helps youth and young adults plan for life after high school. Happily, it’s been updated for 2010! Order your copy via:

OSEP’s memo on RTI and evaluation.
Writing to the state directors of special education, OSEP addresses how a RTI process (response to intervention) cannot be used to delay or deny an evaluation for eligibility under IDEA.

Limitations of the three-tier intervention pyramid.
Both RTI and positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) utilize a three-tier intervention pyramid. This brief from the Center for Mental Health in Schools discusses the limitations of the pyramid as an intervention framework and illustrates a multidimensional intervention framework that can foster a comprehensive, multifaceted, and cohesive system of student and learning supports.

Strategies to increase school completion rates for students with ED/BD.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.This August 2010 teleseminar focused on the prevention and intervention among high school students at risk for school failure due to problem behavior. Hosted by the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities.

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Supporting state-level collaboration among general and special educators.
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.This document is the third resource of a series of Conversations with Practitioners, based on a working group of state-level and regional comprehensive center staff who collaborated on a project designed to learn how state departments of education, along with their RCCs, are supporting an RTI framework. This document focuses on the collaboration of general and special educators. It discusses the definition of collaboration, provides recommendations for supporting state-level collaboration, and offers tools and suggestions for building capacity for collaboration.

ADA 2010 revised requirements: Effective date v. compliance date.
The Americans with Disabilities Act. The U.S. Department of Justice. Upcoming effective dates for two revised ADA rules (March 15, 2011). But what about compliance? These new revised rules set out several different “compliance dates,” dates by which entities covered by the ADA are required to comply with the new or revised provisions of the Department’s rules.

Building comprehensive systems for vulnerable babies: A new tool for state leaders.
CLASP (the
Center for Law and Social Policy) has developed this resource to help state leaders strategize how to create or improve early childhood systems to meet the needs of vulnerable babies and toddlers, their families, and pregnant women.

Who’s exemplary in dispute resolution systems, and how did they do it?
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.CADRE reports back on a 2-year process of identifying state special education and early intervention dispute resolution systems that are particularly effective. CADRE worked with representatives from the exemplar states to identify and document the processes and features of their dispute resolution systems that are effective and contribute to those states’ success. To simplify access to the many resources the exemplar states provided, CADRE developed this online Resource Showcase for others who wish to implement practices or utilize materials that are being successfully used elsewhere.

How are states doing with providing accessible instructional materials to students who need them?
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.Find out in
Status of State Systems for the Provision of NIMAS/AIM in 2010 , a report submitted by the AIM Center to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

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SPECIAL FOCUS:  Welcoming NICHCY’s New Project Director

Did you know that we have a new project director taking the helm this month? She’s Elaine Mulligan!

Elaine was just honored with a Luminaria Award for her work in providing information and resources around social justice in schools at the 2011 Leadership for Equity and Excellence Forum in Phoenix.

A bit of background:
Elaine has been serving as the Assistant Director of the
NIUSI-LeadScape principal leadership academy initiative. She’s also worked with the National Institute for Urban School Improvement, the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt), and the Equity Alliance at ASU. She also has extensive experience as a classroom teacher.

We asked Elaine:
“What one resource at NIUSI-LeadScape would you most like principals and others to know about and use?”

Elaine’s answer: [Bear in mind that NIUSI-Leadscape works primarily with principals]
The icon of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network funded by OSEP.The Coaching Notes form. It’s Appendix A of the Guide for Planning Your Coaching Dialogues. I’ve spent years developing it in order to get as much information and planning into it as possible. Of course, being able to use it requires one to be proficient in our coaching model, so you may have to spend time with both:

Framework for Culturally Responsive Cognitive Coaching

Guide to Planning Your Leadscape Coaching Dialogues

We are very much looking forward to Elaine taking the helm. She’s a devoted disseminator, an intrepid user of social media, and committed to the well-being of individuals with disabilities and those who care for and about them. Kinda perfect for NICHCY, wouldn’t you say?

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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 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 This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to