Department of Education Announces New Effort to Strengthen
Achievement Gap for Students with Disabilities
The Department of Education has announced new steps to help close the achievement gap for students with disabilities by moving away from a one-size-fits-all, compliance-focused approach to a more balanced system that looks at how well students are being educated in addition to continued efforts to protect their rights.
For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/7ptdnv2
Implementing Section 508: Improving Access to Government Information and Data for Persons with Disabilities
President Obama has recently announced an effort to develop a strategic plan for Section 508 and the intent to share the strategy with the public. Before proceeding further with development of the strategic plan, the White House Office of Public Engagement is seeking the publicís input and expertise. The Office of Public Engagement is looking for the public to comment on what has been proposed, but also for new broad strategy management proposals, tactics, and actions that can ultimately help Federal agencies better comply with Section 508.
For more information on Section 508 and adding/viewing comments isit:
Civil Rights Data Collection Released
The Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education released the Civil Rights Data Collection which includes district-level and school-level data that it collected for the 2009-10 school year from nearly 7,000 school districts. The data comes from almost half of the total number of school districts and represents 85% of all students. The report includes data about school discipline and, for the first time, data about restraint and seclusion. The Department released a national-level summary of some of the data. Students with disabilities (served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504) comprise 12% of students in the sample and are more than twice as likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions (6% of all students compared to 13% of students covered by IDEA). Of all students who are physically restrained in schools, 70% of them are students with disabilities. The Department will post national data to its website in the future.
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) released a report detailing examples of the use of restraint and seclusion in schools across the country.
To view the press release visit: click here.
NYSED Procedural Safeguard Notice Translations
Translations of the mandatory Revised Procedural Safeguards Notice (Rights for Children with Disabilities Ages 3-21) are now available in Spanish, Russian, Haitian Creole, and Chinese. (Korean will also be available soon.) These are available in PDF format for ease of printing and may be copied as needed for parents.
For more information and to view the translated versions visit: click here.
Helping Students with Disabilities Transition to Postsecondary Education
Transition of Students with Disabilities to Postsecondary Education:
A Guide for High School Educators,Ē from the Office for Civil
Rights, highlights differences between the rights and
responsibilities of students with disabilities in high school and in
postsecondary education. Besides a set of answers to FAQs,
suggestions are provided that high school educators can share with
students to help them transition to postsecondary education.
For more information visit: click here.
More Doors Opening For Self-Advocates
A national group has recently launched a growing number of opportunities for individuals with disabilities to take a lead in the advocacy community. The new group known as the National council of Self Advocates is an initiative of The Arc and is open to the organizationís members with disabilities from across the country. Itís being billed as a chance for self-advocates to network, educate the public and become community leaders.
For more information visit: click here.
US Department of Labor Announces Availability of $75 million through YouthBuild Grants jProgram to help Young People Develop Job Skills
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis recently announced the availability of approximately $75 million in YouthBuild grant funds to develop programs that will help out-of-school youth complete high school or General Educational Development programs, as well as learn critical occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology and other fields. "The YouthBuild programs that will be funded through this grant competition will help
provide youth at risk of falling through the cracks with the opportunity to develop not only the jobs skills they need, but also the leadership qualities that will enable them to be
valuable, productive members of their communities," said Secretary Solis. The solicitation for grant applications will be published in the March 8 edition of the Federal Register.
The solicitation and information on how to apply for a grant are available here.
ICI's E-Mentoring Program Helps Prepare Youth with Disabilities for Life After High School
Among young adults in general, young people with disabilities have the highest unemployment rates, lowest participation in postsecondary training and education, and
highest likelihood of remaining dependent on public assistance programs after high school. Participation in mentoring programs can help change these outcomes. The E-Connect e-mentoring program developed at the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) combines new technology and the time-tested practice of mentoring to create a program that utilizes e-mail and school-supervised face-to-face meetings to connect high school students with disabilities with employees from local companies.
To learn more visit: http://ici.umn.edu/news/fyi/feb12.html
Recent Changes to Student Aid Programs
As a result of recent legislative changes, please be aware of a number of new requirements for the federal student aid programs. Most of these changes are effective with the 2012-13 school year (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013).
For more information visit: click here.
College Preparation Checklist
The College Preparation Checklist is one of the most popular resources for students and parents on the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Web site. It includes a "to do" list to help students prepare academically and financially for education beyond high school. Each section is split into subsections for students and parents, explaining what to do.
To view this Checklist visit: click here.
Website for Students with Disabilities Interested in College
Going to College is a website with Information about living college life designed for high school students with disabilities. The site provides video clips, activities, and resources that can help students get a head start in planning for college. Video interviews with college students with disabilities offer a way to hear firsthand from students with disabilities who have been successful. Modules include activities that will help students explore more about themselves, learn what to expect from college, and equip them with important considerations and tasks to complete when planning for college.
To visit this website visit: http://www.going-to-college.org/
Planning for Assistive Technology in College
The following article from the National Center for Learning Disabilities provides helpful information for youth with learning disabilities who use assistive technology and are also planning to go on to college.
To view this article visit: click here.
Disability Friendly Colleges for Students with Physical Disabilities
Disability-Friendly Colleges: A Guide for Students with Physical Disabilities is an online college guide for students with physical disabilities containing interactive charts of the most disability friendly colleges and profiles of the colleges that provide services necessary for students with physical disabilities to live on campus.
To view this guide, click here.
Think College Website
Visit the student and family sections of the Think College Website for many helpful tools and resources geared for youth with intellectual disabilities who want to go to college and families.
Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
The HEATH Resource Center at George Washington University has produced a 36-page publication that answers many commonly asked questions about college experiences for students with intellectual disabilities.
To view this publication visit: click here.
*These resources are part of the Pacer Centerís newsletter, Reference Points. To sign up and receive this newsletter visit: http://www.pacer.org/tatra/list/