Theme: Collaborating for Success!

Stakeholders celebrating their success!Welcome to the August 2015 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources—the CPIR. It was great to see many of you at the OSEP Leadership Conference last month, where the awesome work of Parent Centers was featured in a number of sessions.

In this issue we feature resources you can use to get ready for those “Back to School” days. The emphasis is on working together and supporting collaborations and partnerships between schools and families, Parent Centers and school systems, and the many other stakeholders to start the school year off right!

Let us know what you think about this issue and past issues of the CPIR’s Buzz from the Hub using our Buzz survey.


See other issues of the Buzz 

New Resources in the Hub

What’s new in the resource library? Here’s a sampling that may help you and the youth and families you serve as a new academic year gets started.

Inclusive internship programs: A how-to guide for employers.
Share this guide with public and private employers of all sizes, who can reference it to learn about the benefits of facilitating inclusive internship programs as well as the components to consider when designing, implementing, and evaluating these programs.

A comprehensive approach to transition.
Members of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) have produced this paper because they want to help people to work together to support the self-determined transition of youth to adulthood and community life.

Nothing about youth with disabilities without youth with disabilities: A guide to legislative advocacy.
(Available in English and Spanish) This guide is a result of the work that the National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth (NCLD/Youth) has done in preparing youth with disabilities to be effective legislative advocates and to create policy change on the local, state, and national level.

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Spotlight on…Collaborating for Children and Systems Change

Collaboration was a central theme at the 2015 OSEP Leadership Conference in July. Since collaboration is such an important part of Parent Center activities, we’re spotlighting collaboration resources, guides, and tools you may find helpful.

Leading by convening.
You may already be familiar with this resource from the IDEA Partnership, but the process it recommends for securing authentic engagement of multiple stakeholders is tried and true. The link above will take you to the main page about Leading by Convening, where you can download the guide and a host of supporting materials and worksheets.

Effective school practices: Promoting collaboration and monitoring students’ academic achievement.
This module from the IRIS Center focuses on the entire school population and highlights partnerships between general education and special education faculty that result in the creation of a ‘collective responsibility’ and shared high expectations for all students.

Engaging “everybody.”
The IDEA Partnership has found that, for most issues, people want to be involved, but not necessarily physically present. After a meeting or two, people sort themselves out by the way they want to be engaged. This tool is built on that understanding and reminds us all of the different ways in which we can involve and engage stakeholders.

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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. The emphasis in this section is on parent-professional collaborations.

Family engagement and children with disabilities: A resource guide for educators and parents.
This resource guide has been compiled to help parents and special educators establish a comfortable and effective partnership in service of promoting successful outcomes for children with disabilities. Highlighted are research reports, journal articles, examples of best practices, and tools that suggest methods for developing productive collaborations so that educators and families can, together, ensure better services for children in their care.

100 ways to know more.
There are many ways to be involved. This ingenious list from the Alabama Parent Education Center gives parents 100 suggestions, organized into areas of involvement such as communicating, parenting, student learning, volunteering, partnering with the school, and collaborating with the community-because, as APEC notes, when parents get involved in their children’s education, everyone benefits.

10 rules of advocacy.
From the Parents’ Place of MD, this 2-pager give 10 powerful tips that parents can use as they advocate for their child at school.

Steps to success: Communicating with your child’s school | Available in multiple languages!!
This brochure from CADRE offers specific communication skills that may be helpful to parents as they develop and maintain partnerships with their child’s school. Available in English and also in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Haitian Creole, Hmong, Korean, Marshallese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Wow!

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Just for Parent Centers: Use of Technology for Nonprofit Management

One of the Parent Center network’s priorities is “Use of Technology for Nonprofit Management.” We’ll be talking more about this priority in our upcoming September 10th webinar. Until then… and afterwards… hope these resources help you!

Help with using technology.
Nonprofit organizations use technology in their work in a wide variety of ways, from raising money to text messages to mapping areas of needs. The variety of ways nonprofits can use technology, and the many choices there are about approaches and tools, can be more than small organizations with limited budgets can handle. This article connects you with resources that can help with this challenge, online and face-to-face.

5 ways technology is shaping the nonprofit sector.
The 5 things this article identifies as shaping our nonprofit work now (and probably for some time to come) are: mobile technology, analytics, software, the Cloud, and social media. What can any or all of these contribute to increasing your Parent Center’s impact?

Should your Parent Center consider the Cloud?
Once upon a time, all software had to be directly installed onto computers—but more and more, vendors are hosting software that users access via the Cloud. Maybe you use Google Drive or Dropbox, Office 365, or a Cloud-based database. Maybe you’re interested in what such hosted services offer but are worried about the security risks. Moving to the Cloud is not for everyone—how do you know if it’s right for your organization? This article can help!

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Upcoming Webinar | Thursday, September 10th | Use of Technology!

Mark your calendars for CPIR’s upcoming webinar on the Use of Technology in Nonprofit Management and in Service Provision. You’ll hear all about the Technology Leadership Initiative, get connected with valuable tools and resources, and be asked to weigh in on what kind of information you’d like CPIR to include in the upcoming priority pages on these critical topics.

When | Thursday, September 10, 2015
Time | 3 pm Eastern
Where | Join online at:
Conference line: 1-877-512-6886, code 1825 1825 18

We’ll be sending out a reminder closer to the date, but we hope to see you there and hear what you have to say!

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TASH Conference | December 2-4 | Portland, OR.
Registration is open for the 2015 TASH conference. This year’s theme, “Celebrating 40 Years of Progressive Leadership,” acknowledges TASH’s 40 years of generating change within the disability community and anticipates a brighter, more inclusive future for people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Read about the conference and register, at:

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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.

Happy New (School) Year!

Our very best to you,

Debra, Indira, Lisa, and Myriam
The CPIR Team


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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.