Buzz from the Hub

Twice a month, the CPIR shares news and resources with the Parent Center network and others via our e-newsletter the Buzz from the Hub.

Each Buzz spotlights an issue of importance to Parent Centers, identifies resources on the network’s priority topics, and includes resources Parent Centers can share with the families they serve.

Buzz from the Hub Archives

(Archive is listed reverse chronologically)

Buzz | Ever Onward

Summer is merging into fall, and a new academic school year begins. With regret and excitement both, we climb aboard for the next part of this ride, take a deep breath, and look around us and ahead. Lots to do, and that’s nothing new. Stand tall, here we go. And may these resources (for families and communities; from the Feds) be of help and support along the way.

Buzz | Embracing Chaos

There’s so much going on! Information, news, and resources are flying off the shelves and buzzing around our heads. It’s a challenge to focus, grab the ones you can use, and then find the time to actually use them. This Buzz alerts you to 7 resources you may find helpful in “embracing the chaos.” And may they support your work with families and schools.

Buzz | Early Childhood “Special”

This Buzz brings you news of several recent resources to support your Center’s work with families of young children with disabilities.

Buzz | Helping Our Mental Health

Keeping our wits about us is no laughing matter these days. Our own mental health and that of our children, students, and colleagues are priorities all too easily overlooked as we rush around with endless to-do lists. We’ve focused the resources in this Buzz on strategies for embedding mental health awareness and care at home, at school, and in the workplace.

Buzz | Using What We’ve Learned to Rebuild

This Buzz focuses primarily on recent FAQs and government funding sources available to guide how we return to school, reopen early childhood programs, provide child care, and undertake other child-benefiting endeavors.

Buzz | Happy 4th to You! Two New Resources, Too

This Buzz is short and sweet and to the point, so you can hurry onward to the 4th of July celebrations and gatherings. May you have fun, unwind, stay safe, and enjoy the weekend and festivities ahead.

Buzz | New Resources All Around

This Buzz shares several resources that speak to the challenges and opportunities ahead as we lay plans and adapt systems for our schools re-opening in the fall. Of course, not all education will take in-person, but a lot will, and hybrid models that allow for virtual and in-person instruction of students are also likely. Still, it’s a great opportunity to rebuild and retool with equity strongly in mind.

Buzz | Appetizers of What’s Ahead

Summer’s not the only thing about to happen. What does CPIR have bubbling on the stove right now for Parent Centers, the families you serve, and the school systems with which you work to improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities?

Buzz | The Amazing Parent Center Network

This Buzz is the rarest of treats for us all: where we can clearly see the fruits of a year’s worth of labor. The results of the Parent Center data collection for 2019-2020 are in, and they reveal the true depth and volume of what Parent Centers accomplished in a year none of us will soon forget.

Buzz | Moving Ahead as a Community

This Buzz focuses on how we move forward with reopening our lives and schools. Developing sound reopening plans clearly needs to be grounded in and informed by the needs and voices of the community itself, with keen attention to those hardest hit by the pandemic. To that end, we share with you on-point resources about community involvement, strategies for engaging the full diversity of community members in planning efforts, and the role that data can play in informing those plans and how recovery funds are used.

Buzz | Spotlight on Young Children

This Buzz focuses on young children with disabilities and new resources that parents and professionals may find helpful in caring for the little ones.

Buzz | What’s New and What’s Updated

This Buzz brings you a quick list of updated and recently added resources at CPIR, including a guide to CPIR’s resource collections and suites (find key topics for families and staff fast!).

Buzz | Disability Resources Plus

The resources featured in this issue of the Buzz bring you some very welcome news from the CDC and multiple articles about specific disabilities, most written from a personal point of view.

Buzz | Connecting with Youth with Disabilities

The resources featured in this issue of the Buzz will hopefully enrich your Center’s work and collaboration with the young people with disabilities in your region. Youth have a lot to say and share that will benefit them directly and equip them to actively participate in decision making about their own lives and futures as well as the issues shaping their surrounding communities.

Buzz | Resource Treats for Valentine Sweets

We wish we could have sent you a Valentine basket full of chocolate, red hot hearts, and a mystery card from a secret admirer, but such things do not email well. Please accept the many resources listed below as substitutes that won’t make you gain weight, break out like a teenager, or undermine New Year’s resolutions. What the resources will do, we hope, is help you respond to the challenging issues that communities and families face.

Buzz | When Mental Health Frays

The toll that stress is taking on our collective and personal mental health cannot be denied. Who among us can say that their nerves aren’t getting right down threadbare at times? That’s why we’ve focused this Buzz on identifying resources responsive to an array of mental health situations and needs. May these tools help support our own emotional and mental well-being–and that of our children and youth, families and friends, and the many community members we encounter.

Buzz | The New Year Takes Off!

Well, 2021 is off and running, that’s for sure. CPIR has concrete plans and new tools in the wings to offer you, and that makes us bristle with energy and excitement. 2021 is going to be one active year! But we also recognize that the country still has a lot of cleaning up and catching up to do, lessons to keep learning, and difficult divides to span. The resources listed in this Buzz speak to several of the most challenging issues before us.

Buzz | Please DO Come in, 2021!

This last Buzz of 2020 focuses on the best of what we brought in 2020 to the Parent Center network. We hope you will take the time to reflect on the incredible things your Center achieved as well. What grit, ingenuity, and genuine caring can bring into flower!

Buzz | Addressing School and Holiday Challenges

Right now, as 2020 draws to a close, most of us are still buckled down over COVID and yet we’re gearing up for a marathon of continued schooling, holiday prep and planning, and anticipation of 2021, hopefully with vaccinations against COVID as the new year progresses. Here are several resources that you might find useful to you and yours in the days ahead, as well as helpful to the families you serve and the greater community in which you live.

Buzz | IDEA Turns 45

This issue of the Buzz celebrates the 45th anniversary of the passage of the nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, as it is now known). Additionally, join us in biding farewell and fair journeys to Debra Jennings, who has served as CPIR’s Project Director since the project’s very beginning. Debra hands off this challenging role to highly capable and well-versed Carolyn Hayer, who will lead the project forward. We are also pleased to announce the 2020 revision of training modules on Disproportionality in Special Education that Parent Centers and others can use to inform stakeholders and community members about this important issue and decades-long concern.

Buzz | Bridging the Distance

We are journeying through this pandemic together–at a distance. How very odd it all seems, when we want to be close, enjoy the holidays together, visit friends, and hug (and be hugged) tight. So we’ve focused this Buzz on ways to cope with as well as bridge the distance without jeopardizing individual or collective well-being.

Buzz | Home-School Collaborations During COVID

We hope you enjoyed lots of treats and scary, imaginative decorations of late, and now we’re back to the tricky new normal, with its challenges and complexities. This Buzz connects you with resources for supporting parents during COVID and for cultivating strong home-school collaborations.

Buzz | Buzzing into Autumn

We hope you can squeeze in time to check out the many new resources and tools appearing on the autumn scene, because they are timely and highly relevant to the work we do and the people we care about.

Buzz | Three for All: 3 Resources for 3 Groups

This issue of the Buzz bulges a bit more than normal. It’s organized into 3’s: 3 new resources relevant to each of CPIR’s 3 most important audiences: Parent Centers, children and youth with disabilities, and their families and educators.

Buzz | When Gigantic Issues Collide

Doesn’t it feel like too many huge issues are simultaneously colliding? It’s August, it’s back to school time, yet the pandemic rages on and schools may not be where our children actually, physically go. So… remote learning? Students will go back to school online, from their homes? What about the families who don’t have reliable Internet access, or any Internet access? This Buzz provides you with new resources across each of these issues as they collide and entangle: COVID-19, back-to-school worries, and how we address racial inequity in our communities and nation. Challenging times, these.

Buzz | Tools for Our Next Steps

School reopenings are top of mind for all of us. When? How? For whom? As Parent Centers we are being asked to help parents make decisions about various reopening models and how they will or will not work for children. We wish that we had clear answers or a simple solution we could put in your hands. We don’t. But we can point you to several resources that can help. That’s the main focus of this issue of the Buzz.

Buzz | Serving Native American Families

CPIR cares deeply about the welfare of the indigenous peoples who were here long before anyone else. It’s an honor to support Parent Centers as they reach out to one of the nation’s most underserved communities. This Buzz brings you exciting news that the 3rd learning tier of the Native American Resource Collection is now up on the Hub! We spotlight 3 resources in Tier 3 you will find especially useful when working with Native youth with disabilities.

Buzz | Flip Flops and School Buses

This Buzz mixes pleasure and planning. It’s summertime, after all, and we’re snapping around on flip flops, eating corn on the cob, and firing up our BBQ grills. Fall seems a long way off. It’s hard to summon energy or interest enough to plan ahead. But who says we can’t play now, enjoy summer’s treats, and also plan ahead to the reopening of schools?

Buzz | Talking about Race

This Buzz has been very painful to write, and we expect that it will touch a lot of already raw nerves. Still, we must take the time and have the courage to talk honestly about race, especially to our children, and to work individually and together against the inequities and injustices that African American men, women, and children confront every day. This Buzz will connect you with the new series we have humbly begun: Talking about Race. We also share with you less disturbing information about the goings-on in the Parent Center network, summer camp information, and other resources you may find useful.

Buzz | Off to Work and Out to Play

Summer’s nearly upon us, the need to school at home has ended for the moment, and children and adults alike want to play in the sun and have cookouts and get-togethers. Yet COVID-19 remains very much in the picture. How do we safely combine that reality with reopening venues and workplaces, beaches and camps, and choosing between all the opportunities and responsibilities that come into play as a result?

Buzz | Advancing Equity in Our Communities

The issue that drives the deepest wedge into the well-being of our communities is the glaring inequity that so many people and groups of people confront every day. As individuals and organizations, how can we address, let alone reset, the imbalances that exist and do so much lasting harm? The resources in this Buzz offer a window into those inequities and let you drill down from our profile as a nation, to state-level profiles, and even the particulars of a given town or zip code zone. Such data can greatly inform and fuel Parent Center planning, activities, and equity of services.

Buzz | Oh, the Places You Can Go Online

The resources we share in this Buzzfocus on our new normal–getting our work done virtually, whether that’s schooling our children, meeting with planning teams or committees, helping families, or exploring topics of personal or professional interest. It’s astounding how much fascinating and useful material is available online.

Buzz | Are We There Yet?

The resources we share in this Buzz focus on keeping our wits, mental health, humor, and stamina intact during these tough times with the coronavirus, and seeing to our children’s (and our own) emotional and physical well-being.

Buzz | Multilingual Resources on COVID-19

As the nation scrambles to contain the spread of the coronavirus and address the health care needs of people now and in the foreseeable future, we imagine that Parent Centers might find the resources listed in this Buzz quite relevant. We’ve made sure to include multilingual items you can share with the families you help, with schools in your area, and with your staff.

Buzz | Supported Decision Making

As young people with disabilities grow into adulthood, they also grow into many new decision-making responsibilities–money management, living arrangements, and health care. For many, taking charge of their own lives is downright challenging. This is where supported decision-making (SDM) has much to offer. It “allows individuals with disabilities to make choices about their own lives with support from a team of people they choose.” Learn more about SDM in this issue of the Buzz and how it can be used to give people with disabilities a “voice and a choice” in how they live their lives.

Buzz | Cultural Matters

This month’s launch of the Native American Resource Collection brings cultural matters into sharp focus. Because Parent Centers interact with an amazing diversity of people, it’s clear why being culturally aware and responsive are prized qualities in our network. May the resources spotlighted in this Buzz be useful to Center staff as they work with families and professionals from all walks of life.

Buzz | Our Labors in 2019 Bear Fruit in 2020

The New Year always seems like a good time to reflect on the work accomplished in the previous year. In this issue of the Buzz, we would also like to share with you how our work and enthusiasm of 2019 will result in some new exciting products for you in 2020.

Buzz from the Hub | Video Resources

This Buzz from the Hub connects you with videos across a range of disability subjects, beginning with several you can share with families. The remaining videos in our list may be best suited for individual learning, staff development, or program planning. Here’s hoping these give your Center useful, relevant information in a multimedia format!

Buzz from the Hub | Active Listening and People Skills

This Buzz from the Hub focuses on the importance of having and continuously strengthening the “people skills” that we as Parent Centers bring to our work with families and others. Skills such as active listening and questioning play a vital role in our ability to establish rapport and create a safe space where parents and others can share their questions and concerns.

Buzz from the Hub | Tackling Touchy Topics

We’ve divided this issue of the Buzz from the Hub into two parts: (1) resources on issues that many may find “touchy” or controversial; and (2) resources that aren’t controversial at all, just plain new, needed, and likely to be quite useful to Parent Centers, schools, and families.

Buzz from the Hub | Activating the Student Voice

The theme of this issue of the Buzz is on encouraging and enabling students with disabilities to speak up and participate in decision making that affects their education and their lives now and in the future. We are also pleased to spotlight 2 data resources that Parent Centers may find relevant to their work with families and their collaborations with others at the state, regional, and national levels.

Buzz from the Hub | What’s New and Newsworthy

As always, there’s so much news to share about what’s new, redesigned, improved, or otherwise noteworthy. This Buzz brings you but a sampling from each of those categories across such diverse key topics as transition to adulthood and postsecondary opportunities for youth with disabilities, state and local report cards, sexual behavior problems in children, student data, and parent-teacher conferences.

Buzz from the Hub | IEP Resources for Sharing and Training

The IEP is one of the crown jewels in the education of children with disabilities and the primary vehicle for each child’s individualized program. CPIR has a large number of IEP resources that your center can use in capacity building, meetings with families, and workshops for families and professionals, we’ve put together this Buzz to make it easy for you to find those resources. Most are available in English and Spanish.

Buzz from the Hub | Back to School We Go

It’s that time of year again for most of us–back to school. You’re probably up to your neck already in resources to use and share, so we focused this Buzz on materials and information that both families and Parent Centers can use right now and continue to use throughout the school year. Best of beginnings to you!

Buzz from the Hub | Looking After Our Own Well-Being

Consider this Buzz as a messenger enticing you to pursue whatever you find fun, relaxing, exciting, or restorative. It’s not selfish to carve out moments to take care of yourself. And there are so many creative ways to do so!

Buzz from the Hub | Everyone in the Pool!

Nice fantasy, isn’t it? All you hard workers lounging by the pool, in the pool, anywhere near a pool! While you’re there, we thought we’d revisit several key issues of our network and pass along updates and resources that you might find useful now or in the near future.

Buzz from the Hub | Summer Fun and Sun

Everyone’s heard about the “summer slide” that can erode student progress and key skills. This Buzz highlights resources families can use to help children and youth slide into fun this summer instead, while keeping them learning and engaged. Find suggestions and perspectives on how to keep our children up and running–and ourselves, too. Enjoy this summer!

Buzz from the Hub | Who’s at Risk?

This Buzz focuses on resources and recent data that Parent Centers, community organizations, and social service agencies may find useful in planning their outreach to and services for populations that are at risk: namely, young children, students of color, Native communities, and students with disabilities. What is being done–and what can we ourselves do–to support the most vulnerable children, youth, and adults?

Buzz from the Hub | Parent Centers in Action

This Buzz shares resources about Parent Centers and the tremendous work you do, resources for Parent Centers (did you miss the OSEP webinar on FERPA and IDEA Privacy Requirements?), and resources that Parent Centers can use with the families you serve.

Buzz from the Hub | At Home and in the Community

This Buzz shares tools that families can use in supporting their children’s well-being at home, at school, and in the community. You’ll also be pleased to know there’s a new learning module available on writing high-quality IEPs that meet the much higher standard set by the Supreme Court in the 2017 Endrew F. decision. Great for staff training!

Buzz from the Hub | Fostering Self-Determination Skills

This issue of the Buzz shares resources to help foster young people’s self-determination and self-advocacy skills. Self-determination skills are important to us all; they are a vital part of making choices, setting goals, and speaking up for ourselves. This is certainly true for our children with disabilities.

Buzz from the Hub | Considering Employment

This Buzz shares a variety of resources that youth, families, schools, and Parent Centers can use to explore the world of work with youth who have disabilities, both during high school and as they prepare to graduate. Knowing the resources that are out there can help ease the way and smooth out potential bumps in the road ahead. Starting early is highly recommended!

Buzz from the Hub | Here’s to High-Quality Resources

This Buzz shares recent resources that received a Highly Rated review from CPIR’s teams of Parent Center reviewers. We’re pleased to spotlight six such resources–3 from CPIR itself and 3 from other organizations.

Buzz from the Hub | Accommodations to Support Student Learning and Assessment

This Buzz spotlights resources of high priority to Parent Centers, families, schools, and students themselves: supporting student learning and performance by providing accommodations in the classroom and during state assessments; and promoting school safety by ensuring that school resource officers (SROs) in our schools are appropriately trained and clear about their roles and the limits of their authority.

Buzz from the Hub | New to Children with Disability?

This issue of the Buzz spotlights three resources you may find appropriate for sharing with parents, family members, and professionals who are new to the disability journey that begins when a child is born with or diagnosed at some point as having a disability. What to do? Who to call or turn to for guidance?

Buzz from the Hub | Videos, Photo Libraries, and Disabilities

As Parent Centers, we are always looking for tools and information that will help us create trainings, conduct workshops, understand current trends and the people we serve, and share valuable disability information with families. So this Buzz is dedicated to sharing resources that will hopefully support you in the great work you do to educate and connect others.

Buzz from the Hub | Adding to Your Tool Chest

New tools for a new year! Not all the resources mentioned in this Buzz are shiny new, but you may not have heard of them, ever used them, or signed up to receive them. These tools are there for all of us to use in shaping how ESSA is implemented; in engaging families in advisory roles; in identifying OSEP-funded projects in each state and across the nation; and more

Buzz from the Hub | The Unexpected Rewards of Updating

CPIR has been updating many resources housed in the Hub library. Amid the tedium of checking links and removing resources that are out of date or no longer available, we’ve discovered unexpected rewards: New resources! Ones we hadn’t heard about or realized were available. We’re pleased to share 5 of these with you.

Buzz from the Hub | ‘Tis the Season…for Holiday Tips

Gift-giving, travel, parties, dinner with the family… This issue of the Buzz from the Hub brings you multiple tip sheets on handling the chaos that the holiday season can bring, especially if you have a disability, a child with a disability, or a loved one with special needs.

Buzz from the Hub | Disability Info for You and Your Families

This issue of the Buzz from the Hub brings you several disability-related resources–namely, information on the behavioral disorder called DMDD; an article focused on how to build the conversational know-how of young people with disabilities that affect social skills; and a guide to toys for children with special needs. Also, for those concerned about the accessibility of the PDFs they create and share, we end with a helpful resource on this oft-perplexing challenge.

Buzz from the Hub | All New Treats for You

This issue of the Buzz brings you news that we’ve been refunded for another 5 years! Thanks to all who wrote in our support. The Buzz returns with new resources (Halloween treats!) for you, including a resource collection on trauma-informed care to inform your work with children and families. We are also pleased to share 4 fact sheets on ESSA newly translated into Spanish.

Buzz from the Hub | Looking Back, Looking Ahead

This is the “final” issue of the Buzz from the Hub in CPIR’s current 5-year project cycle. While we await news of refunding, we find it a fine time to look back to where we have been and what the Parent Center network has accomplished in the past 5 years.

Buzz from the Hub | Planning Ahead

This issue of the Buzz is about looking forward, planning ahead, and being as ready as possible for life’s roller coaster ride of slow climbs, sudden plunges, and wild turns. Perhaps the resources below can help!

Buzz from the Hub | Data Talks

The theme of this Buzz is the data of the day, which tell a story of “now” but also help us prepare and plan for where and how to bring our parent voices to bear on shaping the educational and community landscape in which we live.

Buzz from the Hub | Working with Youth with Disabilities

This issue of the Buzz brings you resources focused on taking care of children and seeing to their well-being. From addressing physical development delay, to the basics of social and emotional development, to the impact of trauma on the brain, to helping children cope with disasters, these are resources you can share with families.

Buzz from the Hub | The Impact and Value of High Expectations

If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right. ~Henry Ford The theme of this Buzz is the enormous impact that our expectations have on the outcomes we achieve. Research has more than adequately shown that high parental and teacher...

Buzz from the Hub | Supporting Our Children’s Well-Being

This issue of the Buzz brings you resources focused on taking care of children and seeing to their well-being. From addressing physical development delay, to the basics of social and emotional development, to the impact of trauma on the brain, to helping children cope with disasters, these are resources you can share with families.

Buzz from the Hub | Fun for Summer

Long stormy spring-time, wet contentious April, winter chilling the lap of very May; but at length the season of summer does come. ~Thomas Carlyle Summer is upon us. To kick off the season, we've put together several resources that might be considered "fun and games"...

Buzz from the Hub | Disability-Specific Resources

We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~Gwendolyn Brooks We have another information deluge for you--this time featuring resources about specific disabilities: autism, deafness, and speech and hearing. You'll...

Buzz from the Hub | The Power of Reflection

Preparing our annual continuation reports gives us a refreshing opportunity to look at the challenges and accomplishments of the past year. This is where we’ve spent so much time and energy, this is what we achieved, who we helped, and why. With that in mind, this Buzz centers around self-reflection and its many benefits to us all.

Buzz from the Hub | It’s Raining Resources!

The cure to information overload is more information. ~David Weinberger We hesitate to say TMI (too much information), but there's a deluge of resources to share with you in this issue of the Buzz. So many, in fact, that we've divided the newsletter into two parts:...

Buzz from the Hub | Resources for Parent Centers and Families

  Sharing will enrich everyone with more knowledge. ~Ana Monnar This first issue of the March Buzz brings you resources for your Parent Center knowledge base and three resources that can be readily shared among staff and with the families you serve. Our best to...

Buzz from the Hub | Protecting Our Children

Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children. ~Sitting Bull We are united in our mutual commitment to the well-being of children--our own children, those of others, the little ones we see in our daily travels and doings, and those with...

Buzz from the Hub | Resources in Spanish

No somos perfectos pero juntos somos un gran equipo. ~Anonymous Issue 1 of the February Buzz brings you materials in Spanish to share with the Spanish-speaking families you serve. We also connect you with two new resources on IDEA and ESSA (in English) and a link to...

Buzz from the Hub | Looking Sharp in 2018!

Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress. ~Charles Kettering We are fully launched into a new year that promises to be full of growth, challenge, learning, and doing the work that we care deeply about. May the...

Buzz from the Hub | Tackling Hot Topics

There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good. ~H.L. Mencken We're off and running, skiing, slipping, and skating into 2018. It may be cold outside, but there are plenty of issues bubbling on the stove. This...