Two teenage girls“Fostering student voice—empowering youth to express their opinions and influence their educational experiences so that they feel they have a stake in the outcomes is one of the most powerful tools schools have to increase learning.” 

— Toshalis & Nakkula

The theme of this issue of the Buzz from the Hub 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.

Our best to you all,
The CPIR Team | Debra, Debi, Lisa, Jessica, and Myriam


The Student Voice

Family Guide to IEP Team Member Roles
This 2019 PowerPoint from NTACT is divided into parts by the roles that various people on the IEP team play. The first part is directed at students and lists 10 questions that a student would answer, such as “What are my responsibilities in preparing for my IEP meetings?” The same structure is used for other roles on the team: parent, teacher, related service provider, VR representative, healthcare professional, and adult disabilities service agency representative.

Implementing PBIS in High Schools: Student Voice
Incorporating student voice in a meaningful way in high schools requires creativity due to the large number of students and staff and the organizational culture of the school. Given what we know about adolescent development, allowing for student voice is critical for building stakeholder support. This 6-page brief from the PBIS Center identifies some of the effective strategies high schools have used to include student voice.

Supported Decision Making: Part 1 (Skills to Build Independence)
An important part of becoming an independent adult is being able to make decisions. This 53-minute webinar discusses steps that will help build skills and answer questions such as: What does it mean to be a supporter? How does supported decision making differ from guardianship? When can we begin skill development?

And Don’t Forget Resources Already on the Hub
Just a quick reminder that there are many resources on the Hub focused on student participation and self-advocacy. Especially have a look at: (a) Best Practices in Self-Advocacy Skill Building and its webinar; and (b) Students Get Involved!

Cover photo of NCEO's reportTwo Data Resources

Status of State-Defined Alternate Diplomas in 2018-19
Under ESSA, states may develop a “state-defined alternate diploma” for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. To count this diploma in a graduation measure for accountability, several criteria must be met. This NCEO report summarizes the status of state-defined alternate diplomas in the 50 states as of 2018-19.

OSEP’s New TA&D Infographic
We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating (and downloading as a resource to have at your fingertips). OSEP’s 2-page infographic neatly lists the network of technical assistance and dissemination (TA&D) programs it funds as part of improving outcomes for children and youth with disabilities.

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The 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 is listening! Your input is extremely valuable to helping us to craft newsletters that support your work with families.

Debra, Debi, Myriam, Jessica, and Lisa
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.