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News

USED Moves to Rescind Guidance & Dear Colleague Letters

  • The US Department of Education Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services has rescinded a list of 72 sets of guidance and Dear Colleague letters regarding IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act.

NJ Family Voices Coordinator Featured in National Campaign for Paid Family Leave!

Check out NJ Family Voices Coordinator Lauren Agoratus' story on how NJ paid family leave helped her family during their daughter's multiple health crises on the National Arc website at http://www.thearc.org/paidleave, on their You Tube channel (Paid Leave and Disability: One Family's Story) at https://www.youtube.com/user/thearcoftheus, on their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thearcus/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel, and on their Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/TheArcUS

NEW Guide for Developing Special Education Parent Advisory Groups

SPAN and the NJ Department of Education just launched a new resource, "Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in New Jersey:  A Guide to Developing and Running an Effective SEPAG."

The very teamwork and collaboration that are at the core of IDEA are also at the core of Special Education Advisory Group (SEPAG) development. SEPAGs engage parents, community leaders, and school district staff in collaborative teamwork to improve education, not only for those with disabilities, but for all children.

SPAN Connecting to International Disability Advocacy Efforts

In October 2016, The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) hosted Jessica Lim, a Fellow from Brunei. Jessica works in Brunei, South Asia, at Learning Ladders, a non-profit organization that provides services to children with autism spectrum disorders. During her stay in the U.S., Jessica was deeply involved for three weeks in SPAN activities. She learned how SPAN is committed to empowering families as advocates and partners in improving education, health, and mental health outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth.

When Jessica visited the US, she was part of the YSEALI

New Resource on Health Coverage Options now available

This guide was created for parents and professionals who need to understand health coverage options for the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities.  It describes different types of health coverage plans, what federal and state laws apply to these types of plans, how those laws affect what benefits are covered, and it provides tips on accessing benefits.

Ensuring that children receive the full range of intervention available through their health coverage is a collaborative effort between parents and professionals.

Town Hall Meetings - Your Opportunity to Educate Congress

Town Hall meetings are going on across the U.S. during Congress' February recess. Check out this state-by-state list.  Share this information with families in your networks.  Plan to attend, share your stories and opinions and make sure that family voices heard on health care, education, jobs, the environment and all of the issues affecting our children and families.

Telling the Story: The Importance of Health Care and Paid Leave

Check out these real-life stories demonstrating the importance of healthcare and paid family and sick leave and health coverage.  The storybook on Health Care is available at: www.spanadvocacy.org/content/healthcare-lifesaver-storybook-2017 and you can find the storybook for paid family leave and sick time at: www.spanadvocacy.org/content/paid-family-medical-leave-sick-time-storybook-2017

New Resources on Inclusion

Source:  FPG Center at UNC-Charlotte

Did you ever have someone ask you for a definition of inclusion? Or did you ever wish you could quickly access the research that documents the benefits of inclusion for young children with and without disabilities? If you answered yes, you may find this issue of Resources within Reason useful. It features resources that will help you quickly pull up and share definitions, research findings, and access essential examples of the evidence for inclusion.

U.S. Education Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

Source:  US Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Education released three new sets of guidance today to assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. These guidance documents clarify the rights of students with disabilities and the responsibilities of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn.

 The guidance released today includes a parent and educator resource guide; a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) and question

Including Young Children with Disabilities in Typical Early Childhood Settings

Check out this article in Exceptional Parent Magazine by SPAN's NJ Family Voices Coordinator, Lauren Agoratus, and NJ Inclusive Child Care Project Director, Denise Bouyer-Hargrove, on tips for parents on including young children with disabilities in typical early childhood settings.  Read the article at http://www.spanadvocacy.org/content/including-young-children-disabilitie...

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