Overhead view of a student's schoolbox of pens, pencils, and erasers

Welcome to September’s “We’re off and running in a new school year” edition of the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources—the CPIR. We are proud to serve as the central source of information and connection for the Parent Center network! Here’s the latest Buzz.


New Tools to Navigate the Hub

We’ve gotten several great suggestions from Parent Center staff this month. We won’t name names… but you know who you are! Thanks for the input—it’s borne the following fruit.

For English speakers…Index to Resources in Spanish.
For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, use this page to easily find and share important info in Spanish with the Spanish speakers you serve.

Buzzing along.
Trying to remember (and find again) a resource you saw listed in the Buzz from the Hub? With a central landing page for our monthly enewsletter, you can quickly access past issues and the resources they identified.

Webinar, oh webinar, where are you?
Missed a CPIR webinar? Want to connect with the handouts, the presentation, and the recording? Find it fast, via the new central landing page for our webinar series. It’s not a big list yet…but it’s growing!

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Spotlight on… SSIP Resources

As you know, your State is writing an SSIP (State Systemic Improvement Plan), which it will submit to OSEP in 2015. Parent Centers are important voices to have at the planning table. The resources below can help support your participation.

Tools, tools, and more tools, courtesy of OSEP.
Technical assistance providers from centers within the TA&D network have been working with States as they develop their SSIPs. Visit GRADS360 to access the tools being used in the process.

A guide to the selection of evidence-based practices.
This Spring 2014 resource discusses how to identify educational practices supported by rigorous evidence that also align with the needs of a state, district, or school.

Writing the SSIP for Part C.
Lots of great resources and analysis tools are coming out of the ECTA Center’s webinar series on the SSIP. Find all at:

Jump-start your state’s SSIP work on secondary transition.
Three transition/post-secondary centers have combined expertise to create this 2-pager of strategies and tools to help states and their stakeholder groups analyze secondary transition-related data; identify areas for focused improvement; develop a plan to address the needs identified; and include evaluation strategies in the SSIP.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

This section of the newsletter identifies useful resources that you might share with families or mention in your own news bulletins. This month’s focus is on resources that can help families and students get the new school year off to a great start.

Video | Understanding what “accessible instructional materials” are.
Accessible instructional materials, or AIM, are print instructional materials that have been transformed into other formats such as Braille, large print, audio, or digital text. Happily, this makes the materials accessible to students with print disabilities. Share the AIM Simply Said video with families who are learning about how AIM can help their student with a print disability.

Visit Bookshare for accessible instructional materials.
Thousands of students have print disabilities and need accessible textbooks! Bookshare to the rescue! With a Bookshare membership, qualifying students and schools have free and unlimited access to accessible books, textbooks, newspapers, and magazines.

A family’s guide to participating in the child outcomes measurement process.
How can parents know if their child’s early intervention or special education program is meeting his or her needs? One way for them to learn more about their child’s progress is through three “child outcomes” that are measured for every child in the United States who participates in an early intervention or early childhood special education program. Share this 2013 resource with families who want to learn about how they can be part of measuring their child’s outcomes.

Podcasts on disability topics in Spanish.
The CDC has regular podcasts on disability topics—including in Spanish. Your Spanish-speaking families might be interested in listening to information about AD/HD or detecting and addressing hearing loss in children. There are even several disability-related podcasts for kids called Kidtastics, including asthma, food allergies, and head injuries.

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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. Each month we’ll feature resources that can help you tackle the challenges in one or more of these priority areas.

Priority | Nonprofit management.
5 elements of every successful nonprofit annual report | Your organization’s annual report is a grand opportunity to take your supporters inside the fine work you do and show them the results you achieve. In this article, nonprofit marketing expert Kivi Leroux Miller outlines the 5 elements every annual report should include.

Two priorities | Using data to advance school reform efforts and to improve instruction.
Harnessing data for Common Core success | Putting data to work in support of the Common Core isn’t easy. Here’s a collection of resources and stories to help you with this important task, including 6 questions to ask about data, how to turn data into achievement, linking data with instruction, and creating assessments for the Common Core.

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Thank You, Martha Ziegler

Martha Ziegler has long been a familiar name, face, and change agent at work in the disability community and far beyond. She was instrumental in the parent movement to secure the educational rights of children with disabilities. We are very sad to report that Martha passed away on September 13, 2014 at the age of 84. Thank you, Martha, for your leadership, your vision, and your passion, which changed the landscape for so many people. Hats off and a deep, deep bow of honor to you.

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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 lkupper@fhi360.org 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


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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.