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MPACT ENews

January 31, 2012

Greetings!


Did you miss an issue of the MPACT ENews? Delete it by mistake? Wish you could find a past article? Well you can! To view current and past issues of the MPACT ENews visit our website at http://ptimpact.org/News.aspx

Online Trainings offered through MPACT

MPACT has just added another online training to our resources, Extended School Year is now available along with: 
  • Special Education: What I Need to Know
  • IDEA Transition Requirements
  • Transition to Post Secondary Experiences (Part 1 & 2)
  • Connecting Goals to Coordinated Activities and Services for Transition
  • Transition Resources - Disability Disclosure
  • Soft Skills

You can access them by going to our Training page and clicking on Online Training, oCLICK HERE .

In This Issue
MPACT Online Trainings
Parent Mentor Program
MPACT Surveys
Educational Surrogates
OCR Guidance on ADA
Q & A Regarding ADA Amendments
Missouri Youth Leadership Forum
Technology Day MSB
MOBLN Scholarship
Part C Public Hearings
ECE Resources
ACT Accommodations
Sexuality Education Resources
Upcoming Trainings
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
Surveys- Let us know how we're doing.
Contact Us!

 MPACT Parent Mentor Program

MPACT Parent Mentors are available to offer support and guidance to parents of children with disabilities throughout the IEP process.  Parent Mentors are volunteers who receive 24 hours of initial training, ongoing monthly training, and technical assistance from MPACT staff with regard to special education law, the IEP process, conflict resolution, and effective communication.  Their goal is to help parents build a collaborative partnership with the school district so their child may receive an appropriate education.  To view the list of current MPACT Parent Mentors, go to http://ptimpact.org/Volunteer/MentorList.aspx.

 

If your school district has had a MPACT Parent Mentor in attendance at an IEP meeting, please take a moment to complete a brief online survey located at http://ptimpact.org/Surveys.aspx if you have not already done so.  A separate survey should be completed for each mentor who has provided services to parents in your district.  These surveys assist MPACT and DESE with identifying and addressing areas of success and improvement with the Parent Mentor Program.

For more information about MPACT or if you have questions regarding the status of a Parent Mentor, please contact MPACT by telephone at (800) 743-7634 or by e-mail at info@ptimpact.org.    You can also view the MPACT website at http://www.ptimpact.org.

How Are We Doing?

Have you ever received phone support by MPACT?  Attended any of our trainings?  We'd LOVE to hear from you!!  Please complete one (or both!) surveys to help us do continuous improvement and recognize those staff that have made a difference!

 

Satisfaction Survey
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Satisfaction_of_Service

Workshop Follow Up Survey
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=M_2bZ_2bJzfFxOpJU2cxN2L3aw_3d_3d  

 

Educational Surrogates

 

This is a reminder that responsible public agencies in the state are required to identify children with disabilities within their jurisdiction who might be in need of an Educational Surrogate and to apply to the state for appointment of a surrogate in a timely manner.  Children with disabilities eligible for an Educational Surrogate are those who: 

  • have no identified parent;
  • have parents who, after reasonable efforts, cannot be located by a public agency; 
  • are wards of the state and are living in a facility or group home (and not with a    person acting as a parent); or,
  • are unaccompanied homeless youth.


It is also the responsibility of the local education agency to assist the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in recruiting surrogate parent volunteers and submitting the names and addresses of those volunteers to the Department.

PLEASE ENSURE that all email correspondence concerning Educational Surrogates is directed to webreplysurrogate@dese.mo.gov.

If you do not have a sufficient number of educational surrogates in your district to fill the needs of identified students, you must demonstrate your efforts to recruit. If you need assistance in your recruiting efforts, contact the Special Education Compliance office at 573-751-0699 to discuss recruiting options.

Feel free to refer anyone in your community you believe would be interested in serving as an educational surrogate to the Educational Surrogate website,  http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/EdSurrogate/ and encourage them to complete an application.  

 
OCR Guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released new guidance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act's impact on public elementary and secondary education programs. The Dear Colleague Letter and Questions and Answers document discuss how Section 504 and the ADAAA define disability and the obligation of school districts to evaluate students for disability, provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, and provide procedural safeguards for identification, evaluation, and educational placement. See links below for further information and resources.

 

         Blog Post from Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/18/equal-access-education

 

Q & A Regarding the ADA Amendments Act of 2008
OCR has issued a  January 12, 2012 "Dear Colleague" letter on the subject with detailed questions and answers attached and sent it to all 12,000 school districts across the nation.   These Q and A explanations are much more detailed than would be found in an amended regulation and are to be immediately implemented.   

 

The Q & A attached to the letter is the substantive part of the documents issued and it can be accessed by going to the Section 504 part of the Reading Room by going to the homepage of OCR's website at  www.ed.gov/ocr or by going directly to it at  

 

 

Missouri Youth Leadership Forum
The Missouri Youth Leadership Forum announces the tenth annual statewide leadership forum forhigh school students, ages 16-21, with disabilities which will be held at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.  The prospective youth delegates are selected through a statewide competition and have demonstrated leadership potential.  Qualified students can apply now for the tenth annual Missouri Youth Leadership Forum (MYLF) scheduled for July 22-25, 2012.
 
This year's forum has a pertinent partnership with Services for Independent Living in Columbia. Many of their staff provides leadership and staffing for the incoming youth delegates.   MYLF alumni will be returning to serve as mentors and team members by sharing their knowledge about leadership principles, disability experience and resource sharing, assistive technology, development and achievement of career goals, independent living, and developing advocacy skills.  The key to the success of the forum is the mentoring from alumni and adults with disabilities that provides an atmosphere of the "I Can" spirit that focuses on abilities which leads to a successful transition from high school to college, employment and becoming active citizens in their communities.
 
The Governor's Council on Disability is currently accepting applications for this event. There are no tuition costs to attend MYLF. The application is available online at www.mo.gov/disability/gcd/ylf.htm
Deadline for submitting the application is April 18, 2012.

To nominate a student from your local community, complete the application online or fax it to 573-526-4109 or mail it to Missouri Governor's Council on Disability, PO Box 1668, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
If you have any questions, please contact the Governor's Council on Disability at 1-800-877-8249
 
Technology Day at Missouri School for the Blind

 

There is a Technology Day scheduled for March 29 at Missouri School for the Blind for students in Grades 6-12.   We would appreciate any assistance with passing this information along to students, parents or educators/service providers who may be interested in participating.  It should be a fun day!    

 

Patty Yocum |Superintendent | Missouri School for the Blind | (314) 776-4320 (x1111) | msb.dese.mo.gov

 

What:  "Tech It Up A Notch" Technology Day at Missouri School for the Blind (Gr 6-12)

Where:  Missouri School for the Blind, St. Louis, Missouri

When:  March 29, 2012

Who:   Students with visual impairment in Grades 6-12 and their teachers/TVI/O&M instructors/parents/guardians.    

 

Missouri School for the Blind is pleased to offer our first-ever "Tech It Up a Notch" Technology Day on March 29, 2012.  This event for students who are blind and visually impaired in Grades 6-12 will be held on the MSB campus.   "Tech It Up a Notch" will provide students hands-on access to software and devices designed or adapted specifically for the blind and visually impaired.   All activities will be in a staff supported setting.   

 

The "Tech It Up a Notch" opening session will provide an introduction to a variety of innovative assistive and adaptive technology devices. 

 The following three sessions will consist of two options, designed to include students of varied ability levels:   

 

1)    Students will be given the opportunity to choose sessions in which they can explore devices and software in a non-competitive environment,

                                                          OR

2)    Students may demonstrate their skills in competitive rounds.  Prizes will be awarded to Overall Competition Winners in the Middle School (6-8) and High School Divisions (9-12).  Prizes include: two iPads, two LiveScribe Pens, Adaptive ADL equipment and more!   

 

In addition, all students attending may enter to win door prizes in a drawing to be held during the closing assembly.

 

Visit  www.msb.dese.mo.govfor more information, including a schedule of events and registration form and/or contact Mrs. Joy Waddell, Assistant Superintendent, at 314-776-4320 (ext. 1140) or joyce.waddell@msb.dese.mo.gov for more information.   


MOBLN Scholarship Opportunity 

www.mobln.org  (select Scholarship on the menu tab) 

 

Missouri Business Leadership Network (MOBLN) champions opportunities to create productive and supportive partnerships among people with disabilities, private businesses, and governmental and community agencies. MOBLN encourages employers to obtain  best employment disability practices and to increase their recruiting  outreach into the disability community.

 

Mobility Scholarship

The Missouri Business Leadership Network (MOBLN) has established the MOBLN Mobility Scholarship to support its mission to open doors and increase representation of people with disabilities in the workforce.  The MOBLN Mobility Scholarship is designed for undergraduate students with disabilities who reside in the Greater St. Louis Area to live, work and give back to their community.
 
All interested students must submit a completed MOBLN Mobility Scholarship application by March 15, 2012.  The MOBLN Mobility Scholarship committee will select the awardees who present an accurate overview of their life experience and achievements that best support the mission of MOBLN.     

 





2012-2013 School Year MOBLN will award a $2,000 and $1,000 scholarship.  Scholarship deadine is March 15, 2012.


The scholarship is targeted for;

  • College undergraduate program for Freshman  to Senior year and receiving services thru the Disability Support Access Office (inclusive of 504 Plan)
  • High School Senior with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan




The recipients will be notified by April 15, 2012 and will be invited to the MOBLN May Luncheon in 2012. (date, time, location pending).

 

Applicants must be a permanent resident of the following counties:

 

Missouri Counties: Franklin County, Jefferson County, Lincoln County, St. Charles County, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Warren County, Washington County

 

Illinois Counties  Bond County, Calhoun County, Clinton County, Jersey County, Madison County, Macoupin County, Monroe County, St. Clair County

 

Public Hearing on the Part C (First Steps) New System of Payments
As announced through the January 20, 2012, SELS, all states making application for funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are required to make available for public review and comment the application packet for the federal IDEA Part C funds.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has posted the packet at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/se/compliance/Part-C/index2.html.  Public comment on the funding application packet can be made in the manner noted below until March 20, 2012.

In addition, before adopting any new policy or procedure needed to comply with Part C of the Act, the state must hold two hearings for public review and comment related to the policy.  The Department has developed a new Part C System of Payments Policy and will hold two public webcasts as listed below. The System of Payments policy may be viewed along with the application at:  http://www.dese.mo.gov/se/compliance/Part-C/index2.html.  Public comments may be submitted during the webinar or through these other methods until March 20, 2012:

Mail: DESE, Attn: Pam Schroeder, P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480
Email:  secompliance@dese.mo.gov, Attn: Pam Schroeder
Fax: Attn: Pam Schroeder, (573) 526-4404

The webinar dates, times, and access links are listed below.

New System of Payments Policy for Part C (First Steps) - 1st Public Hearing
February 29, 2012, 1:30-3:00pm,  http://www.dese.mo.gov/webinar/Webinar02-29-12SE.htm

New System of Payments Policy for Part C (First Steps) - 2nd Public Hearing
March 1, 2012, 1:30-3:00pm, http://www.dese.mo.gov/webinar/Webinar-03-01-12SE.htm
Early Childhood Resources
 

Tipsheets for early childhood practice

The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) has expanded its Growing Ideas Tipsheets and Resources for Guiding Early Childhood Practices. These free online materials are for early childhood and schoolage care professionals, parents, and guardians. Many of the tipsheet topics include virtual toolkits that can be used for professional development activities or shared with parents, guardians or others.  

 http://ccids.umaine.edu/resources/ec-growingideas/

Scribble, scribble - Help your infant prepare to learn to write.

From the Center for Early Literacy Learning: Is your infant beginning to feed herself with a spoon? If she is, then it's time to introduce her to crayons and other writing materials. Ideas can be found here! 

 http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/cellcasts/scribblescribble.php 

  

The Helpdesk at Tots 'n Tech.

This new resource from Tots 'n Tech is designed to help you easily find resources on assistive technology for infants and toddlers. You can find information on communication & socialization, getting around, arms & hands, problem solving, and more.  

http://tnt.asu.edu/tnt-helpdesk   

 


ACT Accommodations 

Standardized tests are often required to gain admission into postsecondary schools or to obtain professional certifications. Federal disability laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require entities that administer these tests to provide accommodations, such as extended time or changes in test format, to students with disabilities. GAO examined (1) the types of accommodations individuals apply for and receive and how schools assist them, (2) factors testing companies consider when making decisions about requests for accommodations, (3) challenges individuals and testing companies experience in receiving and granting accommodations, and (4) how federal agencies enforce compliance with relevant disability laws and regulations. Among the findings reported by the GAO: "Most applicants GAO spoke with said they sought accommodations that they were accustomed to using, and some found it frustrating that the testing company would not provide the same accommodations for the test." After studying this issue, the GAO recommends that the Department of Justice take steps to develop a strategic approach to enforcement such as by analyzing its data and updating its technical assistance manual. Justice agreed with GAO's recommendation. 

 

For more information go to http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-40

Also, here is the web address of the new PACER handout "Preparation is key to gaining accommodations on ACT college entrance test":   

http://www.pacer.org/parent/php/PHP-c193.pdf

 

New Sexuality Education Resources 

Sexual Health Disparities among Disenfranchised Youth
 

http://www.pathwaysrtc.pdx.edu/pdf/pbSexualHealthDisparities.pdf

The new publication, "Sexual Health Disparities Among Disenfranchised Youth," is composed of a series of research briefs addressing the sexual health of seven subpopulations: youth in corrections, youth with developmental disabilities, youth in foster care, homeless youth, LGBTQ youth, youth with mental health conditions, and youth who have experienced sexual abuse. The publication was produced by the Pathways Research and Training Center (RTC) at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon for the Oregon Health Authority's Public Health Division.
___________________________________________________ 


New National Sexuality Education Standards

Four leading health organizations have released the first national standards for sexuality education in schools. Published in the Journal of School Health, "National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, K-12," provides guidance on core content for sexuality education that is developmentally and age-appropriate for students in grades Kindergarten through grade 12.

Although the needs of students with disabilities are not specifically addressed, the standards provide a framework for those developing curriculum for specific audiences. The authors note that "All students, regardless of physical or intellectual ability, deserve the opportunity to achieve personal health and wellness, including sexual health." In addition "age and developmentally appropriate information, learning strategies, teaching methods and materials" as well as culturally inclusive teaching methods and materials are included as key components of effective sexuality education.

Nearly 40 stakeholders including content experts, medical and public health professionals, teachers, sexuality educators, and young people developed the standards in a two-year process. The standards are available online at  http://www.futureofsexed.org/fosestandards.html

_______________________________________________________

Other resources on this topic:

Sexuality Education for Students with Disabilities, a resource on the NICHCY web site  http://nichcy.org/schools-administrators/sexed

PACER's Family Advocacy and Support Training Project (FAST) training materials on The Journey To Adulthood: What Every Parent Needs To Know.  http://www.fastfamilysupport.org/fasttraining/Adulthood/English/FAST%20-%20tools%20parents%20can%20use.pdf

Sexuality and Disability: Important Conversations To Have On The Way To Adulthood. Article printed from the Colorado Developmental Disability Council, written by Sue Fager.  http://www.pacer.org/pride/sexualityanddisability.pdf 

 

Free MPACT Trainings
MPACT trainings are provided free of charge to parents of children with disabilities. To sign up for an upcoming training, follow the links below, then click on the 'SIGNUP' button located next to the training name. Fill in your name, email address, phone number, the name ofthe training you wish to attend and the date it is being offered.

 

While registering for a training is not mandatory it does ensure that the trainer has an adequate amount of handouts. This also allows MPACT to contact you should a training need to be cancelled or rescheduled. To view a comprehensive list of all trainings provided by MPACT go to http://ptimpact.org/Training/Training.aspx

 

Please be sure to double check the website training pages for any updates or changes to trainings offered.

 

  
First Steps - Steps to Success Series: 
 
Effectively Communicating Your Child's Needs 
 
Parental Rights

IDEA Part C to B (First Steps to Early Childhood)
 
Understanding the IEP Process 
02/18/12   Hannibal 
 
Understanding the IEP Process for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

 

Special Education Law
04/30/12   St. Louis

 

The Art of Effective Advocacy

02/17/12   Joplin 
 
Disagreement Resolution
 
IDEA Boot Camp
 

Be Determined

 
Writing Post Secondary Goals for Students with ASD
04/16/12   St. Louis


How to Write Measurable Goals

Positive Behavior Interventions

Question? Comments? Suggestions? Send them to info@ptimpact.org or 

contact the MPACT State Office at 1-800-743-7634.