close-up photo of fresh jonquil flowers, for spring

Best of spring to everyone!

Welcome to the April 2015 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources—the CPIR.

See other issues of the Buzz 

Welcoming the Branch!

The Military PTAC, also known as the Branch, has officially launched its website, opened its doors for business, and joins the bustle of the Parent Center network. The Branch is available to help Parent Centers increase their visibility with, and support for, military families within their communities. Its website includes a map with links to military installations in the United States and territories.

The Branch has designated staff who will serve as primary contacts for Parent Centers seeking technical assistance and information on addressing the needs of military families of children with disabilities in the area. Resources in the Branch’s library include one-pagers organized by topic areas, such as military courtesies, the Exceptional Family Member Program, TRICARE (military insurance), and much more. The Branch plans a quarterly e-newsletter that will include information from Parent Centers, military subject matter experts, and resources.

Visit the Branch and find out which staff serves as your Center’s primary contact.

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New Resources in the Hub

What’s new in the resource library?Here are 3 resources we’ve recently added.

Free, on-demand accessible TV programs for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing.
Dozens of children’s and family TV episodes may now be viewed online featuring closed captioning and descriptions through the Department of Education’s Accessible Television Portal.

Quick guide to dispute resolution for parents in Spanish!
New from CADRE is this comparison chart in Spanish of the dispute resolution approaches that parents have available to them, such as mediation, state complaint, and due process. What are the benefits of each, when would a parent choose one approach versus another, who initiates a given process, who pays? All this info in a handy chart! Now available in Spanish as well as English.

State seclusion and restraint laws and policies.
How Safe Is The Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies has been updated for 2015. You can use the guide to find out what your state’s current policies and practices are with respect to seclusion and restraint.

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Spotlight on … Spanish and Easy-to-Read Resources

Parent Centers serve many, many families who need materials and information inSpanish or at lower reading levels. Not always the easiest materials to find! But here are a few you and your families may find helpful.

Special education, Spanish, easy-to-read.
A collaborative endeavor from Wisconsin—including WI FACETS—-this comprehensive guide to special education is written in plain language and is easy to read online. It’s available in English and Spanish. Way to go, WI FACETS!

Mental health issues in Spanish.
The Child Mind Institute offers many resources in Spanish that address mental health issues in children. Take a look at the long list of what’s available, which includes topics such as: anxiety, divorce, parenting, eating disorders, autism, disruptive behavior, AD/HD, Tourette syndrome, and processing disorders.

Mental health disorders, Spanish, easy-to-read.
NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health) offers three types of publications on mental health disorders and other conditions: booklets (which are detailed), brochures (easy-to-read), and fact sheets. Many are also available in Spanish. The link above will take you to the list of what’s available, which includes: anxiety disorders, autism, bipolar disorder, OCD, PSTD, and more.

Kidney and urologic diseases, Spanish, easy-to-read.
Courtesy of the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), connect families with easy-to-read or Spanish publications on kidney and urologic diseases, including dictionaries of medical terms.

Diabetes, Spanish, easy-to-read.
Connect families with easy-to-read or Spanish publications on diabetes, including a dictionary, how to count carbs, and what you need to know about medications, eating, and physical activity.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

This section of the newsletter identifies useful resources you might share with families or mention in your own news bulletins.

Eight 1-minute anxiety relief tools for kids big and small.
Here are eight research-based ideas parents can try with their kids when they’re feeling stressed or anxious.

For military families.
In honor of the Month of the Military Child (this month, April), we’re pleased to share two resources for military families:

Child Mind offers this guide to information about the challenges of raising kids in a military family, including access to mental health care, advice on dealing with the strain of deployment and return, and the particular mental health risks for kids and parents in this community.

We’ve updated Resources Especially for Military Families (a NICHCY legacy resource) on the Hub. It now reflects the role that Parent Centers play in providing information and training to military families of children with disabilities.

ADHD by the numbers: Facts, statistics, and you.
This infographic on Healthline presents ADHD statistics and numbers in a visual guide, showcasing the high cost of ADHD and which states have the highest prevalence of children with ADHD.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers

This section of the CPIR’s newsletter focuses on the many priority areas that Parent Centers have, with a special emphasis on the 14 topics that OSEP has identified as important for Parent Centers and the CPIR to address.

This month, we continue our focus on effective educational practices for improving student outcomes. This will undoubtedly be a large part of the work to be done in states as they write and implement their SSIPs.

Improving graduation rates of students with disabilities.
Students with disabilities have lower graduation rates than students without disabilities, and many states are taking steps to address this gap. The Southeast Comprehensive Center recently completed two Information Requests on different states’ approaches to improving high school graduation rates of students with disabilities. One publication examines approaches in California, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. The other publication reviews strategies in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee.

Early literacy website.
Newly launched by the U.S. Department of Education, the Early Literacy website provides basic information about the importance of effective reading instruction in the early grades, and focuses on the steps schools might take to ensure that kindergarten and first-grade students receive the supports they need to read on grade level by third grade.

Video | Promoting successful transitions for youth with serious mental health conditions.
This 1-hour webinar from SRI International is now available on YouTube. Learn about new findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) on factors that improve educational and employment outcomes of youth with emotional disturbance.

What about reauthorizing ESEA?
ESEA is the nation’s general education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It was last reauthorized under the Bush administration as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and is currently the subject of much discussion and debate. Parent Centers are naturally interested in what reauthorization will mean for students in general and for those with disabilities. Here are three resources on the subject.

The ESEA page at the Department of Education

27 civil rights groups and education advocates release principles for ESEA reauthorization

ESEA reauthorization: How we can build upon No Child Left Behind’s progress for students with disabilities in a reauthorized ESEA

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May 7th Webinar: Creating Infographics

Save the webinar date—Thursday, May 7th.
Continuing in our every-other-month schedule for webinars, CPIR is pleased to focus its upcoming May webinar on creating and using infographics. We’ll take a look at:

  • why infographics are all the rage,
  • different ways that you can use infographics in your Parent Center work, and
  • free online software to get you started.

Want an example? Have a look at the infographic CPIR created to showcase the results of the 2013-14 Data Collection, which makes it amazingly clear how much work Parent Centers do and how many lives they touch.

We’ll be sending you a reminder soon, with all the contact information you need to join us on May 7th. Stay tuned!

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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
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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.