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 Top Stories

$24 million in grants awarded to 22 states to improve training systems to help children with disabilities
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education announced the award of $24 million in grants to 22 states to improve personnel training systems to help children with disabilities. States receiving grants are: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. The State Personnel Development Grants Program, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, provides funds to assist states in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, education and transition services in order to enhance results for children with disabilities. More

Technology Meets Tranquility at The Storm King School
With a campus rich in technology support for all students, including those in a program for bright college-bound students with learning differences, The Storm King School offers a welcome sense of balance. Teachers use a 6,000-acre forest classroom adjacent to campus for environmental science labs, experiential lessons, and art in the spirit of the Hudson River School painters. For more information, go to http://www.sks.org/academics/Mountain_Center.cfm


Cloud helps at-risk, special needs students
Government Technology    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years, cloud computing has been helping local and state governments provide applications that are accessible from any device. School districts and education programs are also joining the movement — in some unexpected places. Educational Services of America — a private company that provides alternative education programs for students at-risk of dropping out and for special needs students — says it has partnered with 230 public school districts in 21 states to help 12,000 students each year. More

Advocates renew call for restraint, seclusion reform
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 200 disability organizations are urging Congress to reignite efforts to regulate the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. In a letter sent to key legislators disability advocacy organizations said action is needed in order to ensure student safety. "It is time for a national policy addressing restraint and seclusion in our schools for all children. America needs more than the current patchwork of state laws to ensure that every child is afforded protection," reads the letter. More

Help High Schoolers with ADHD

Join Lynn University for Transitions 2013 and learn how to help students with ADHD and learning differences succeed after high school. Transitions' esteemed speakers include Harvard Medical School faculty and author Robert Brooks, learning differences activist Jonathan Mooney and experts from AppleTM. Students accompanying their parents are free.


New free font available to help those with dyslexia
Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new font tailored for people afflicted with dyslexia is now available for use on mobile devices, thanks to a design by Abelardo Gonzalez, a mobile app designer from New Hampshire. Gonzalez, in collaboration with educators, has selected a font that many people with dyslexia find easier to read. Even better, the new font is free and has already been made available for some word processors and e-book readers. The font, called OpenDyslexic, has also been added to the font choices used by Instapaper — a program that allows users to copy a Web page and save it to their hard drive. More


 In the News


Celebrities with dyslexia who made it big
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As many as 15 percent of the world's population exhibits some of the symptoms of dyslexia, according to the International Dyslexia Association, and not surprisingly, a great number of them are famous. Steven Spielberg is the latest celebrity to come forward with his struggle with the learning disability. "It's extremely inspiring for youngsters who struggle with dyslexia to see people like Steven Spielberg, who not only succeed but succeed well," Dr. Stefani Hines, an expert in the disorder at Beaumont Hospitals in Royal Oaks, Mich., told ABCNews.com. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that makes it difficult to turn printed words into sound, Hines said. It primarily shows up in reading, and includes slow or inaccurate reading as well as trouble with pronunciation and comprehension. More


ALEKS Special Education Success Stories
Learn how ALEKS puts students on the path to math success through personalized learning and support for effective IEPs. In addition, discover how you can use ALEKS with your students through other educators’ successful implementations – sign up to get your FREE digital copy of the ALEKS for Special Education book.
Need help
with struggling readers and writers?
The MediaLexie Scribe 2012 is a unique, free-floating toolbar designed to support individuals in reading and written language activities. With text-to-speech, speech-to-text, word prediction, note-taking, and phonetic transcription tools, the MediaLexie Scribe 2012 allows students to access and use core content independently.
Individualize Instruction with Human-Read Audiobooks
Learning Ally’s web-based tool makes it easier to individualize instruction and track progress while addressing the reading interventions specified in your students’ IEPs and 504 plans. Our library of more than 75,000 audio textbooks and literature titles provide enhanced navigation, speed controls and bookmarking.
Learn more or email Programs@LearningAlly.org.


New Jersey district cited for segregating students with disabilities
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A federal investigation into whether East Orange, N.J., schools placed students with disabilities in segregated classrooms is now closed with a pledge from the district to change the way it decides where these students attend school. The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights said that it found that during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years, more than 60 percent of students with disabilities in East Orange were in self-contained classrooms. Many of the students had been diagnosed as having learning disabilities. The agency found that the district didn't always consider whether these students could be successful in an integrated classroom with the right supports. More

How kids outsmart learning disabilities
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Anthony Vo, a second-year medical student at the University of Ottawa, says he logs up to three hours of studying for every hour his classmates hit the books. But it's not because he is a keener. Vo, 22, has learning disabilities. Compared to most adults, Vo has trouble memorizing facts and gaining information through listening, language and reading. Being in an environment that taxes the learning capacity of the highest of achievers "kind of puts me at a disadvantage," he says. Vo says he hopes to become a surgeon even if it means working extra hard because of his learning disabilities. More


Reconsidering Learning: Students and Their Environment AET's 34th National Conference
October 19-21, 2012 Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, Washington, DC, feature speakers: Carol Kranowitz, MA, Deborah Waber, PhD, Maryanne Wolf, EdD,
Contact: m.annen@aetonline.org
"Able to Learn"

Click here to see how Winston Prep is changing the lives of students with learning differences.


Two high school teachers may be better than one
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two heads are better than one, or so the saying goes. But in a high school classroom, are two teachers better than one? To be effective, both teachers need to be interacting with students, breaking them into small groups, and teaching to the needs of individual students, says Fitzell, a former special education teacher who began co-teaching at Londonderry Senior High School in New Hampshire. While Fitzell says she's seen an increase in schools pairing two general education instructors in one classroom to manage larger classes, co-teaching teams typically pair a special education teacher with an instructor specializing in general education areas, such as math or science. This allows students with learning disabilities to take the same courses as their peers while still receiving individualized instruction, she says. More

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Out-of-state move doesn't absolve district of special education obligations
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A federal court of appeals has ruled that when a student with disabilities moves out of state, that doesn't absolve a school district from providing compensatory education services. In a ruling this month in D.F. vs. Collingswood Borough Board of Education, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a previous ruling that excused the New Jersey school district from making up for special education services a student missed when enrolled in that district. More

Why disability history should be on the school curriculum
The Guardian (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As written by Sarah Ismail: "Mainstream secondary schools teach children hardly anything about the disability links in history. As a disabled person, I believe that this should change. I believe that teaching children how disabled people were treated in important periods of history, or that historical figures were disabled, might just reduce disability discrimination, or maybe even disability hate crimes, in the future." More



How schools (even great ones) fail kids with ADHD
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's a group of struggling students that gets little attention in the media or in the debate about how to fix schools: Children with ADHD. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a brain condition that makes it especially hard for children to focus and concentrate in school and has a number of other symptoms. It is too often misunderstood by teachers, parents and even the students themselves. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 9.5 percent or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age, had been diagnosed with ADHD, as of 2007. Many others who have the disorder haven't had the benefit of a diagnosis. More
 
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