A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodations

Useful to Parent Centers, youth, families, and transition specialists when considering employment accommodations for a disability.

When a youth with disabilities is interested in employment, he or she needs to be aware of whether or not asking for a reasonable accommodation on the job is covered by the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA). A very good place to check is JAN, the Jobs Accommodation Network. It provides free, confidential technical assistance about job accommodations and ADA, and offers a great deal of information about both on its website.

This particular resource, A to Z of Disabilities and Accommodfations, is actually a landing page at JAN that branches into three separate lines of inquiry about accommodations:

  • by disability (e.g., ataxia, speech-language impairment);
  • by topic (overview information about topics related to accommodations, such as accessibility or job coaches); and
  • by limitation (when the name of the disability is not known, only the limitation is known, such as migraines or photosensitivity).

Pick a specific way to investigate accommodations, and you’ll find a wide variety of resources to help the individual in the workplace.

Enter the landing page at:

Buzz from the Hub |November 2015

video imageTheme: Multimedia Resources

Welcome to the November 2015 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR). We’ve heard that Parent Centers are hungry for multimedia resources, so that’s the special focus of this month’s newsletter.


See other issues of the Buzz 

Age of Majority Briefs—Hot Off the Press!

CPIR is very pleased to announce the 4 new briefs for parents just published on the Hub, a series that begins with Getting Ready for When Your Teen Reaches the Age of Majority: A Parent’s Guide.

The series also includes:

Key collaborations that bring you this fruit
Written in collaboration with the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) and the National Post-School Outcomes Center (NPSO), we hope you’ll find these tip sheets to be practical and parent-friendly—-they were extensively reviewed by folks within the Parent Center network. CPIR sends a huge thank you to the Parent Center staff who helped shape the tone and content of these briefs. Our hats also go off to NSTTAC and NPSO for involving Parent Centers in a year-long but critical review process.

Upcoming webinars!
Brace yourself for at least 2 webinars on this important subject…

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New Resources in the Hub

What’s new in the resource library? Here are 2 on our theme!

UDL at a glance | UDL de un vistazo.
Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. This 4-1/2 minute video from CAST explains how UDL guides the design of instructional goals, assessments, methods, and materials that can be customized and adjusted to meet individual needs. It’s also available in Spanish.

Video | Needs of siblings with a brother or sister with disabilities.
What does it mean to have a brother or sister with a disability? How are siblings affected by this complex reality? This 8:44-minute video focuses candidly on the special concerns, needs, and issues that siblings often have when their brother or sister has a developmental disability.

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Spotlight on…Parent Center Multimedia Resources and Webinars

Parent Centers have produced an amazing array of parent-friendly resources, many of which are multimedia or webinars. We’ve listed two below. CPIR would love to add your Center’s best to the Hub, so please do submit materials that other centers might find helpful! Find the submission form online at:

Section 504 services in public schools | Video series.
The Utah Parent Center offers a multi-part series on Section 504 in both English and Spanish. The series of videos answers the questions: (1) What is Section 504? (2) Who is eligible for Section 504? (3) How does Section 504 work? (4) What services are available? and also includes a video on problem solving and three separate stories from parents. Sweet!

RTI and multi-tiered systems of support | Webinar series in English and Spanish.
The Family Resource Center on Disabilities in Illinois makes its RTI/MTSS series of videos available in English and Spanish (you’ll have to register first, but it’s free and painless). Three separate webinar videos look in depth at what families should know about RTI data; how RTI and MTSS relate to school improvement efforts; and how these initiatives relate to special education.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

This section of the Buzz identifies useful resources you might share with families or mention in your own news bulletins. Multimedia, of course!

Person-centered planning.
This video is worth every one of its 9 minutes and 44 seconds. Ann Turnbull describes the action group planning process she and others used with her son Jay. It’s a joy to hear and provides much food for thought as to supporting those with significant disabilities.

Social Security benefits for children with disabilities | Audio and PDF.
From the Social Security Administration, this booklet gives an overview of the special benefits available for children with disabilities. Available in English and Spanish as an audio MP3 file (English audio | Spanish audio) and as a print PDF booklet (English booklet | Spanish booklet) . PDF versions only are available in these other languages, too: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, French, Greek, Haitian-Creole, Hmong, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

See the power of assistive technology to change lives.
The Assistive Technology in Action video series interviews students and young adults who succeed every day with the help of assistive technology. You’ll also hear from their teachers and parents about the process of discovering and implementing assistive technology. From the Center on Technology and Disability.

Need to share information on TBI with families?
Introduce them to’s enormous collection of multimedia resources on traumatic brain injury, which includes short videos, audiocasts, webinars, and interactives and slideshows.

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Multimedia Resources for Your Work with Youth

A new priority of Parent Centers is working directly with youth who have disabilities, especially to build their capacity to advocate for themselves. In addition to CPIR’s priority page on self-advocacy and our webinar on the subject, here are several multimedia resources you can share with teens and families.

The 411 on disability disclosure.
Listen to youth with disabilities discuss how the decisions to disclose their disabilities have affected them at school, at work, and in social situations. You can share the full video (4:11), or select shorter clips about disclosure in any one of the mentioned settings. There’s also a companion publication, The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities and its MP3 audio version.

Succeeding in college and at work: Students with disabilities tell their stories | 4 videos.
Across 4 videos, students with disabilities share strategies to successfully stay in school, graduate, and get jobs. They discuss their struggles with self-reporting their disability and negotiating accommodations in school and at work. Hear their stories: Santara, who has spina bifida (7:30); Valeska, who has learning disabilities (9:30); Alexander, who is visually impaired (7:12); and Danielle, who is missing her right hand (9:42).

Higher education for students with disabilities?
(Available in English and Spanish) | The Next Step is a 19-minute motivational video designed to challenge students, families, and educators to consider higher education for individuals with disabilities. The video presents the personal stories of five Texans with disabilities who enrolled in a college, university, technical school, or trade school. There’s a companion discussion guide as well as a resource book for students (both available in English and Spanish).


Logo of the Center for Center for Parent Information and ResourcesThe CPIR hopes that you’ve found useful and relevant resources listed in this month’s Buzz from the Hub. Please feel free to write to the editor, Lisa Küpper, at to suggest the types of resources you’d like to see in the future. CPIR’s listening! Your input is extremely valuable to helping us to craft newsletters that support your work with families.

Our very best to you,

Debra, Indira, Lisa, and Myriam
The CPIR Team


This eNewsletter from the CPIR is copyright-free.
We encourage you to share it with others.

Center for Parent Information and Resources
c/o SPAN, Inc.
35 Halsey St., Fourth Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

Subscribe to the Buzz from the Hub.

Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement H328R130014 between OSEP and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN). 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 Center for Parent Information and Resources.

The Next Step | Video and Discussion Guide

(2012 | 2014) Useful to Parent Centers in working with youth and families about considering higher education after high school.

The Next Step is a 19-minute motivational video designed to challenge students, families, and educators to consider higher education for individuals with disabilities. The video presents the personal stories of five Texans with disabilities who enrolled in a college, university, technical school, or trade school.

Video and Discussion Guides in English and Spanish
The video is available in English and Spanish, as are discussion guides published in 2012. Find these at:

Higher Education Resource Guide for Students in English and Spanish
Added in 2014, the Higher Education Resource Guide (in English and in Spanish) was published for students with disabilities. Find these at:

Produced by, and available from, the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities.

Needs of Siblings with a Brother or Sister with Disabilities | Video

(2010, September) | Useful in learning more about the impact that a child’s disability has on the other children in the family. Can be shared with families, to deepen their awareness of sibling issues and concerns.

Dr. Thomas Powell talks candidly about the special concerns, needs, and issues that brothers and sisters often have when another child in the family has a developmental disability. In the 8:44-minute video, he discusses the unique bonds that we have with our brothers and sisters, the range of emotions that many siblings experience toward their sib with a disability, and how parents and other family members can listen to, support, and recognize the realities of all their children. Based on the findings of a decade or more of research.

Access the video at:

UDL at a Glance | Video

Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. This 4-1/2 minute video from CAST explains how UDL guides the design of instructional goals, assessments, methods, and materials that can be customized and adjusted to meet individual needs. It’s also available in Spanish.

English video |  

Spanish video |

Compendium of Parenting Interventions

(2015, September) |  Useful to the many early childhood stakeholders who serve young children and their families, including Parent Centers.

Early care and education teachers and providers play a central role in partnering with families on their children’s learning and development. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has produced three resources that can inform early childhood programs, networks, and States in their work to partner with and support families with young children using evidence-informed approaches. Early care and education staff can use this guide to identify examples of tools that may be used to measure family engagement outcomes and relationships with families.

The Compendium profiles parenting interventions for families of children birth to age five that are research-based. Parenting interventions refer to a structured set of activities that engage parents directly in ways that will influence one or more of the following parenting behaviors:

  • Nurturing (warmth, responsiveness, and sensitivity)
  • Discipline (handling of child behaviors considered inappropriate)
  • Teaching (conveying information or skills)
  • Language use (conversations)
  • Monitoring (watchfulness)
  • Management (scheduling, routines)

The Compendium includes information cost, training requirements, duration, and intended outcomes of each intervention. The document also reviews the research base for each intervention in a clear and simple way.

This link opens a PDF file. If you don't have the PDF Reader, see instructions for downloading it on this page.Read and/or download the Compendium of Parenting Interventions
(PDF, 2.9 MB)

Also available, as companions to the Compendium, are:

Implementing Parenting Interventions in Early Care and Education Settings: A Guidebook for Implementation (PDF, 3.3 MB) |  This link opens a PDF file. If you don't have the PDF Reader, see instructions for downloading it on this page.This guidebook describes the steps and best practices for successfully selecting and implementing a parenting intervention. The purpose of the guidebook is to provide you, as program, state, and network leaders, an easy-to-use tool for implementing a parenting intervention.

This link opens a PDF file. If you don't have the PDF Reader, see instructions for downloading it on this page.Tracking Progress in Early Care and Education: Program, Staff, and Family Measurement Tools (PDF, 792 kb) | This is a compilation of 15 high-quality tools that you can use to track family progress toward their goals and the efforts of early care and education staff to help families advance toward those goals. Some are surveys while others are conducted by observation or interview.


This link opens a PDF file. If you don't have the PDF Reader, see instructions for downloading it on this page.PDF Alert!
The links included above will take you to a PDF file. These are identified with a PDF icon, and we’ve tried to indicate how large each file is. If you don’t have the Adobe Reader, you can download the free viewer at:

Community-Building Toolkits

The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities.

Want to learn about community assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, advocacy, and other aspects of community practice? Then help yourself to over 300 educational modules and other free tools.

All available at:

Toolkits, for example, will help you get a quick start on key activities in community work. Access succinct guidance on 16 core competencies for community work, including how to conduct a community assessment, develop a strategic plan, write a grant, or evaluate your efforts.

This toolkit provides guidance for creating a partnership among different organizations to address a common goal.

This toolkit provides guidance for conducting assessments of community needs and resources.

This toolkit helps in analyzing personal and environmental factors that influence the problem to be addressed.

This toolkit helps in developing a picture of the pathway from activities to intended outcomes.

This toolkit aids in developing a vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and action plan for the effort.

This toolkit helps in developing a plan for enhancing leadership and its core tasks.

This toolkit provides supports for developing core components of a community intervention and adapting them to fit the context.

This toolkit provides guidance for increasing participation and engaging stakeholders in change efforts.

This toolkit aids in assessing and enhancing cultural competence in your organization or community effort.

This toolkit supports planning for advocacy efforts and responding to opposition.

This toolkit provides guidance for bringing about policy change in organizations and communities.

This toolkit aids in developing an evaluation of a community program or initiative.

This toolkit assists in developing a social marketing effort to promote adoption and use of innovations.

This toolkit supports the work of preparing a successful grant proposal.

This toolkit provides guidance for enhancing your organization’s governance structure and improving communication.

This toolkit supports planning for using different tactics to sustain your organization or community initiative.

A Teen’s Guide to Autism

(Published September 5, 2013)

Created by Alexandra Jackman of Westfield, NJ, the purpose of this 14 minute documentary, released in 2013, is to help teenagers be more aware and understanding of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It has also been translated to Spanish.

View the original video, in English at:
View the translated (Spanish) version at:

Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Students

(2015, October) | Useful to Parent Centers serving undocumented students. |  The U.S. Department of Education has published this resource guide, Supporting Undocumented Students: A Guide to Success in Secondary and Postsecondary Settings, to help educators, school staff, and community organizations support the academic success of undocumented youth, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

The guide also aims to debunk misconceptions by clarifying the legal rights of undocumented students as well as sharing helpful information about financial aid options open to undocumented students, and to support youth in applying for DACA consideration or renewal. The guide includes:

  • an overview of the rights of undocumented students;
  • tips for educators on how to support undocumented youth in high school and college;
  • key information on non-citizen access to federal financial aid;
  • a list of private scholarships for which undocumented youth might be eligible;
  • information on federally-funded adult education programs at the local level; and
  • guidance for migrant students in accessing their education records for DACA.


Access the guide at the U.S. Department of Education website, at:
Opens as a PDF file. If you don't have the PDF Reader, see instructions at bottom of page. (6.5 MB)  If you need Adobe Reader to open a PDF file, see download link at bottom of page.

Background Information about DACA

Since 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has allowed certain undocumented people who came to the U.S. as children and meet other criteria to request two year relief from removal.  These requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  More than 680,000 young people have received DACA. Researchers estimate that nearly 1.5 million undocumented youth in the U.S. are currently eligible for DACA, and another 400,000 children will become eligible in coming years.

Find out more about DACA | in English

Find out more about DACA | in Spanish

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Need the PDF Reader?

The link to the Resource Guide opens as a PDF file, which requires you to have the PDF viewer/reader. If you don’t have this software, you’ll be glad to know that it’s available online for free. Downoad the PDF Reader from: