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OCR Guidance to Schools on the Bullying of Students with Disabilities

This guidance, issued on October 21, 2014 by the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, addresses the bullying of students with disabilities. The guidance is in the form of a letter to educators detailing public schools’ responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the bullying of students with disabilities.

If a student with a disability is being bullied, federal law requires schools to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the issue and, as necessary, take steps to stop the bullying and prevent it from recurring. The guidance provides an overview of the federal protections for students with disabilities in schools, then elaborates on the elements of a disability-based harrassment violation and a FAPE violation. It discusses how OCR generally analyzes complaints involving bullying of students with disabilities on each of these bases, then concludes with a series of hypothetical examples.

Description of the guidance, with links to other guidances on bullying and fact sheets in English and Spanish | | http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/bullying-students-disabilities-addressed-guidance-america%E2%80%99s-schools

Guidance (13 pages) | http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-bullying-201410.pdf

Culture Counts: Engaging Black and Latino Parents of Young Children in Family Support Programs

This report provides an overview of family support programs and aims to identify the features and strategies that may be most effective for reaching and engaging black and Latino families, with the ultimate goal of supporting young children’s development.

Find the report, Culture Counts: Engaging Black and Latino Parents of Young Children in Family Support Programs at:  http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2014-44BCultureCountsFullReport.pdf

Questions & Answers Regarding Inclusion of English Learners with Disabilities in English Language Proficiency Assessments

This guidance document is intended to help states and LEAs understand how Part B of the IDEA and Titles I and III of the ESEA address the inclusion of English learners with disabilities in annual state assessments of English language proficiency (ELP) required  under ESEA. The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) administers the ESEA and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) administers Part B of IDEA. OESE and OSERS jointly issue this guidance.

Cover Letter:
Word (203KB) | PDF (216KB)

Q&A:
Word (250KB) | PDF (94KB)

The State of Learning Disabilities: Facts, Trends and Emerging Issues

The updated and expanded third edition of NCLD’s The State of Learning Disabilities report captures data about the 5%  of our nation’s school-age population whose learning disabilities (LD) have been formally identified, and provides a critical lens through which to understand and address the needs of the additional 15% or more of students with unidentified and unaddressed learning and attention issues.

This report is an essential resource for anyone who is concerned about the 1 in 5 children, adolescents and adults who are impacted by learning and attention issues, whether in school, at home, and or in the workplace.

Find The State of Learning Disabilities at:
http://www.ncld.org/types-learning-disabilities/what-is-ld/state-of-learning-disabilities

 

Moving Your Numbers: Using Assessment and Accountability to Increase Performance for Students with Disabilities as Part of District-Wide Improvement

Moving Your Numbers identifies six essential practices that may be in place to improve the performance of students with disabilities. Evidence suggests that these six practices are associated with higher student achievement. These practices are:

  • use data well
  • focus your goals
  • select and implement shared instructional practices (individually and collectively)
  • implement deeply
  • monitor and provide feedback and support
  • inquire and learn

There are multiple versions of this guide, each tailored to a specific audience of users, such as parent/family, administrator, and teacher.  Read or download the guide of your choice (and other resources) at:

http://movingyournumbers.org/tools-and-resources/myn-downloadable-resources

Module 3: Pre-Referral and Referral Activities

Title slide for Module 3September 2014
A legacy training module from NICHCY

Every State’s early intervention system must include a child find system that ensures that all infants and toddlers with disabilities eligible for EI services are identified, located, and evaluated. That’s quite a sweeping obligation.

This module takes a detailed look at what the Part C regulations require in terms of the  activities States must carry out as part of their “child find” obligations. Module 3 provides trainers with:

  • 1 slideshow presentation about pre-referral and referral activities;
  • a separate, “concluding” slideshow that can be used to review;
  • a trainer’s guide explaining all the content;
  • Speaker Notes for both slideshows; and
  • 2 handouts and 1 activity sheet for participants.

Please help yourself! Download the components you need to learn on your own and/or to train others about pre-referral and referral activities in Part C.

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Files You’ll Need to Download

Trainer’s Guide | The trainer’s guide to Module 3 focuses on the content emphasized in the module—namely,  conducting a public awareness program, setting up a referral system, and maintaining a Central Directory. Moving slide by slide, the trainer’s guide provides images of each slide, instructions for how to operate the slide (e.g., when to click to reveal more of the slide or to advance to the next slide), and an explanation of the content on the slide. The trainer’s guide is available in two formats, for your convenience:

PDF | Trainer’s Guide for Module 3 (66 pages)

Word | Trainer’s Guide for Module 3 (for accessibility)

Slideshow | The main slideshow for Module 3 has 18 slides in total. So does the Jeopardy-style review slideshow (optional concluding activity). Both are provided as a PowerPoint Show. Download the file sto your computer. As a SHOW, each slideshow will automatically launch when you open the file. They will then operate as described in the Trainer’s Guide.

Slideshow for Module 3

Slideshow for Jeopardy-style Review (optional)

Speaker Notes | We know from experience that many trainers find it helpful to have Speaker Notes of the slideshow. The Speaker Notes show each slide picture with blank lines beneath (for taking notes). Use the Speaker Notes for your own planning (it’s in Word, so you can add your own notes where the blank lines are) or share it with participants for their own taking of notes.

Speaker Notes of the slides in Module 3 | in Word

Speaker Notes of the slideshow for the Jeopardy-style review | in Word

Pictures of individual slides in Module 3 | in PDF

Handouts  and Activity Sheets for Participants | Module 3 comes with 2 handouts and 1 activity sheet for participants. Each is provided in PDF and Word formats. The PDF is designed to share with participants. The Word version is made available for those participants who need or request accessible materials.

Handout  4 | Comprehensive Child Find System  (IDEA’s verbatim regulations)

~~ Handout 4 in PDF
~~ Handout 4 in Word (for accessibility)

Handout  5 | Public Awareness and the Central Directory (IDEA’s verbatim regulations)

~~ Handout 5 in PDF
~~ Handout 5 in Word (for accessibility)

Activity Sheet 10 | How Many Places and People Can You Name?

~~ Activity Sheet 10 in PDF
~~ Activity Sheet 10 in Word (for accessibility)

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And there you have it, Module 4 on the pre-referral and referral activities that States must conduct in Part C. We wish you good luck with all your trainings!

 

Module 5: Procedures for IFSP Development, Review, and Evaluation

Title slide in Module 5September 2014
A legacy training module from NICHCY

Every child receiving early intervention services under Part C of IDEA must have an IFSP—an individualized family service plan.

This module takes a detailed look at what the Part C regulations require in terms of the procedures used to develop, review, and evaluate a child’s IFSP. Module 5 includes:

  • 1 slideshow presentation;
  • a trainer’s guide explaining all the content;
  • a Speaker Notes version of the slideshow; and
  • 1 handout and 2 activity sheets for participants.

Please help yourself! Download the components you need to learn on your own and/or to train others on how IFSPs are developed, reviewed, and revised; who is involved; and what procedures are required, including use of the child’s and family’s native language.

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Files You’ll Need to Download

Trainer’s Guide | The trainer’s guide to Module 5 focuses on the content emphasized in the module—namely, an overview of the procedures that lead agencies and early intervention providers must follow when a baby or toddler’s IFSP is developed, reviewed, and evaluated. Moving slide by slide, the trainer’s guide provides images of each slide, instructions for how to operate the slide (e.g., when to click to reveal more of the slide or to advance to the next slide), and an explanation of the content on the slide. The trainer’s guide is available in two formats, for your convenience:

PDF | Trainer’s Guide for Module 5 (34 pages)

Word | Trainer’s Guide for Module 5 (for accessibility)

Slideshow | The slideshow for Module 5 has 11 slides in total. The file is provided as a PowerPoint Show. Download the file to your computer. As a SHOW, the slideshow will automatically launch when you open the file. It will then operate as described in the Trainer’s Guide.

Slideshow for Module 5

Speaker Notes | We know from experience that many trainers find it helpful to have a Speaker Notes version of the slideshow. The Speaker Notes version shows each slide picture on the left and provides blank lines on the right (for taking notes). Use the Speaker Notes version for your own planning (it’s in Word, so you can add your own notes where the blank lines are) or share it with participants for their own taking of notes.

Speaker Notes version of the slides in Module 5 | in Word

Pictures of individual slides in Module 5 | in PDF (7 pages)

Handouts  and Activity Sheets for Participants | Module 5 comes with one handout and two optional activity sheets for you to share with participants. Handout 8 gives participants the verbatim Part C regulations for IFSP procedures. Activity Sheet 7 takes a look at the contents of the IFSP. Activity 8 presents a case study. Each of these documents is provided in PDF and Word formats. The PDF is designed to share with participants. The Word version is made available for those participants who need or request accessible materials.

Handout  8 | Individualized Family Service Plan  (IDEA’s verbatim regulations)

~~ Handout 8 in PDF
~~ Handout 8 in Word (for accessibility)

Activity Sheet 7 | A Quick Look at the Content of an IFSP

~~ Activity Sheet 7 in PDF
~~ Activity Sheet 7 in Word (for accessibility)

Activity Sheet 8 | Case Study: Extended Family Participation in the IFSP Meeting

~~ Activity Sheet 8 in PDF
~~ Activity Sheet 8 in Word (for accessibility)

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And there you have it, Module 5 on the procedures for developing, reviewing, and evaluating the IFSP! We wish you good luck with all your trainings!

Return to the Table of Contents of Building the Legacy for Our Youngest Children with Disabilities

 

Module 6: Content of the IFSP

Title slide of Module 6, Content of the IFSPSeptember 2014
A legacy training module from NICHCY

Every child receiving early intervention services under Part C of IDEA must have an IFSP—an individualized family service plan.

This module takes a detailed look at the content that must be included in each child’s IFSP, according to the Part C regulations. Module 6 includes:

  • 1 slideshow presentation;
  • a trainer’s guide explaining all the content;
  • a Speaker’s Notes version of the slideshow; and
  • 2 handouts and 1 optional activity sheet for participants.

Please help yourself! Download the components you need to learn on your own and/or to train others on the content of the IFSP.

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Files You’ll Need to Download

Trainer’s Guide | The trainer’s guide to Module 6 takes a close look at each element that’s included in the IFSP of a baby or toddler receiving early intervention services under Part C of IDEA. Moving slide by slide, the trainer’s guide provides images of each slide, instructions for how to operate the slide (e.g., when to click to reveal more of the slide or to advance to the next slide), and an explanation of the content on the slide. The trainer’s guide is available in two formats, for your convenience:

PDF | Trainer’s Guide for Module 6 (62 pages)

Word | Trainer’s Guide for Module 6 (for accessibility)

Slideshow | The slideshow for Module 6 has 21 slides in total. The file is provided as a PowerPoint Show. Download the file to your computer. As a SHOW, the slideshow will automatically launch when you open the file. It will then operate as described in the Trainer’s Guide.

Slideshow for Module 6

Speaker Notes | We know from experience that many trainers find it helpful to have a Speaker Notes version of the slideshow. The Speaker Notes version shows each slide picture and provides blank lines below (for taking notes). Use the Speaker Notes version for your own planning (it’s in Word, so you can add your own notes where the blank lines are) or share it with participants for their own taking of notes.

Speaker Notes version of the slides in Module 6 | in Word

Pictures of individual slides in Module 6 | in PDF (6 pages)

Handouts  and Activity Sheets for Participants | Module 6 comes with 2 handouts and 1 optional activity sheet for you to share with participants. Each is provided in PDF and Word formats. The PDF is designed to share with participants. The Word version is made available for those participants who need or request accessible materials.

Handout  8 | Individualized Family Service Plan  (IDEA’s verbatim regulations)

~~ Handout 8 in PDF
~~ Handout 8 in Word (for accessibility)

Handout  11 | Model IFSP Form (developed by the U.S. Department of Education

~~ Handout 11 in PDF
~~ Handout 11 in Word (for accessibility)

Activity Sheet 9 | IFSP Review

~~ Activity Sheet 9 in PDF
~~ Activity Sheet 9 in Word (for accessibility)

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And there you have it, Module 6 on the required content of the IFSP. We wish you good luck with all your trainings!

Return to the Table of Contents for Building the Legacy for Our Youngest Children with Disabilities

Module 14: System of Payments and Use of Public and Private Insurance in Part C

Title slide in Module 14 slideshowSeptember 2014
A legacy training module from NICHCY

 

Funding the early intervention services that eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities (and their families) receive is a challenging affair for the federal government, State systems, and local systems. The federal appropriations for Part C for the year 2013 are in the order of $419.7 million! 

So, big surprise: It’s very important for State lead agencies to be fiscally responsible, have detailed written guidelines and policies regarding use of funds under Part C, disclose those policies to families, and work closely with other agencies and entities to provide and fund the range of services needed by babies, toddlers, and families involved in Part C.

This module takes a detailed look at what the Part C regulations require in terms of how Part C funds may be used. Module 14 includes:

  • 1 slideshow presentation;
  • a trainer’s guide explaining all the content;
  • a Speaker Notes version of the slideshow; and
  • 1 handout and 3 activity sheets for participants.

Please help yourself! Download the components you need to learn on your own and/or to train others on States’ systems of payment and the use of public and private insurance in Part C.

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Files You’ll Need to Download

Trainer’s Guide | The trainer’s guide to Module 14 focuses on the content emphasized in the module—namely, how States may permissibly use Part C funds. Moving slide by slide, the trainer’s guide provides images of each slide, instructions for how to operate the slide (e.g., when to click to reveal more of the slide or to advance to the next slide), and an explanation of the content on the slide. The trainer’s guide is available in two formats, for your convenience:

PDF | Trainer’s Guide for Module 14 (90 pages)

Word | Trainer’s Guide for Module 14 (for accessibility)

Slideshow | The slideshow for Module 14 has 32 slides in total. The file is provided as a PowerPoint Show. Download the file to your computer. As a SHOW, the slideshow will automatically launch when you open the file. It will then operate as described in the Trainer’s Guide.

Slideshow for Module 14

Speaker Notes | We know from experience that many trainers find it helpful to have a Speaker Notes version of the slideshow. The Speaker Notes version shows each slide picture on the left and provides blank lines on the right (for taking notes). Use the Speaker Notes version for your own planning (it’s in Word, so you can add your own notes where the blank lines are) or share it with participants for their own taking of notes.

Speaker Notes version of the slides in Module 14 | in Word

Pictures of individual slides in Module 14 | in PDF

Handouts  and Activity Sheets for Participants | Module 14 comes with one handout and three optional activity sheets for you to share with participants. Each is provided in PDF and Word formats. The PDF is designed to share with participants. The Word version is made available for those participants who need or request accessible materials.

Handout 13 | Subpart F—Use of Funds and Payor of Last Resort (IDEA’s verbatim regulations)

~~ Handout 13 in PDF
~~ Handout 13 in Word (for accessibility)

Activity Sheet 11 | What’s Available in Your State?

~~ Activity Sheet 11 in PDF
~~ Activity Sheet 11 in Word (for accessibility)

Activity Sheet 12 | Putting It All Together: Case Study 1

~~ Activity Sheet 12 in PDF
~~ Activity Sheet 12 in Word (for accessibility)

Activity Sheet 13 |  Putting It All Together: Case Study 1

~~ Activity Sheet 13 in PDF
~~ Activity Sheet 13 in Word (for accessibility)

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And there you have it, Module 14 on the system of payments and the use of public and private insurance in Part C! We wish you good luck with all your trainings!

Return to the Table of Contents for Building the Legacy for Our Youngest Children with Disabilities

 

Writing for the Web

Image of a computer keyboard, with the earth behind.September 2014
A legacy dissemination resource from NICHCY

Is your website one of your project’s most valuable ways of disseminating information? If so, this page will give you 6 tips for writing content that engages and motivates your web visitors—and, most importantly, helps them find the information they’re looking for. The tips are:

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1 | Understand How People Read on the Web

People come to your webpage with a mission, a question they want to answer, a task they want to know how to do. They don’t really read your content—they scan and skim it until they hit the keyword, question, or heading that speaks to their mission. If they don’t see what they’re looking for, poof! they exit. Sometimes in a matter of seconds.

Here are three interesting findings from research to consider:

  • Web users swipe what they see on their screen in a roughly F-shaped pattern (two horizontal swipes followed by a vertical swipe).
  • Headings and subheadings catch their eye.
  • So do headings posed as questions.
These findings offer all of us powerful insights into how to design our websites to match the way that users search for information on the web.  ||  Read more about how people read on the web


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2 | Help Readers Skim and Scan

Consider how users read—and don’t read—content. They’ve come on a mission, and you can help them accomplish that mission efficiently with the way you design and write for the web.  Here are four ways you can help web users skim and scan:

  • Use the tips discussed on this page, because all of them will help speed your web visitors to the content that’s relevant to them.
  • Include a table of contents that makes it easy for readers to see what content the webpage includes and jump to sections of interest to them.
  • Keep paragraphs short and use the keywords that readers themselves use.
  • Don’t center text on the page. Visitors often don’t even see it!

Read more about how to help readers skim and scan

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3 | Put the Essential Message First

Because web users don’t read text thoroughly or for very long, make sure your webpages state your essential message first, right up front. In the first two paragraphs, in fact. Use keywords and an active voice to give a quick summary that orients readers to the page and what they’ll find there.

People also pay the most attention to the first and last words in a sentence—and to the first and last sentences in a paragraph. Strategically place keywords and important information there. If that information is what visitors are looking for, bull’s eye! They’ve found it—and efficiently. || Read more about putting the essential message first

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4 | Chunk Your Information

The average computer screen doesn’t display a lot of content at one time, and you can’t count on visitors scrolling down to see more. Make it easier for readers to scan your content by:

  • delivering it in small paragraphs (maybe no more than 100 words)
  • breaking up longer paragraphs into bulleted lists, which readers can quickly skim and, at the same time, absorb
  • taking out the fluff and the unnecessary, paring the content down to an understandable minimum

You can always offer more detailed information on the subject in a separate page, for visitors who need and want the details. ||  Read more about chunking content

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5 | Use Headings and Subheadings

Web visitors definitely make use of a webpage’s headings and subheadings in their rapid eye scan for content of interest. Headings and subheadings are also a useful way to break up content and make it easier to read. To write good headings and subheadings:

  • Use active, strong, information-carrying words, which also helps search engines find and share your page
  • Pose questions, especially questions that mirror those that your web visitors have
  • Code all headings and subheadings with HTML tags that mark them as an H1, h4, h4, or H4 heading (rather than just bolding the text). This enables visitors who use screen-readers to skim the page, jumping from one heading to another until they strike on the piece of information they were looking for.

Read more about using headings and subheadings

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6 | Write in Plain Language

It’s always a good idea to write in plain, understandable language, but never more than on the web. Plain language is friendly and easy-going, avoids jargon (or explains it), and is characterized by shorter sentences written in an active, engaging voice.  It’s especially helpful to readers with limited reading skills or English skills. ||  Read more about writing in plain language

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