Students with Visual or Hearing Disabilities Now Have Access to Children’s TV Programs

Dozens of children’s and family TV episodes may now be viewed by children with visual or hearing disabilities using closed captioning and auditory descriptions. The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that free, video-on-demand children’s programming through the Accessible Television Portal project would allow students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing access to children’s television programming. Children in K–12, their teachers, interpreters, and family members are eligible to register for the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP).

 

More than 40 programs such as, The Magic School Bus, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Ocean Mysteries, Expedition Wild, and Inventions That Shook the World are available with several seasons and episodes ready for use. Go to http://www.dcmp.org/ to apply for the program. After the approval process, accessible content can be used with, and by, students in the classroom and at home via the web, mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, and set-top boxes. Be sure to make your teachers aware of this opportunity for their students.



Special Education Rule Committee 2/27/15 Communique

The Special Education Rule Committee’s purpose is to examine Arizona Special Education State Board 401 rules, to propose rules that are clear, instructive, and aligned to the IDEA, and to provide guidance for implementation. Please read the February 27, 2015 Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the February 27 meeting. Also attached is a draft of the State Board Rules governing special education showing current, proposed, and guidance for review and comment.



Special Education Rules Committee Invitation to Public

Please read the invitation to join the Special Education Rules Committee Core Team on February 27, 2015, at a meeting to share your thoughts and ideas. Space is limited.



Special Education Rule Committee 2/12/15 Communique

Special Education Administrators,

The Special Education Rule Committee’s purpose is to examine Arizona Special Education State Board 401 rules, to propose rules that are clear, instructive, and aligned to the IDEA, and to provide guidance for implementation. Please read the February 12, 2015, Rule Making Communique  for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the February 12 meeting.



Special Education Rule Committee 1/15/15 Communique

Special Education Administrators,

The Special Education Rule Committee’s purpose is to examine Arizona Special Education State Board 401 rules, to propose rules that are clear, instructive, and aligned to the IDEA, and to provide guidance for implementation. Please read the January 15, 2015, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the January 15 meeting. Also attached is a draft of the State Board Rules governing special education showing current, proposed, and guidance for review and comment.



Equal Access for English Language Learners Addressed in Joint Guidance Letter

A joint guidance letter from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice was recently issued to address equal access for English language learners. English learners (ELs) now constitute nine percent of all public school students, and their numbers are steadily increasing. The letter recognizes the recent milestone 40th anniversaries of Lau v. Nichols and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA), as well as the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The letter applauds those working to ensure equal educational opportunities for EL students, as well as those programs that recognize the heritage languages of EL students as valuable assets to preserve.

Also available are these resources: fact sheets in English and in other languages addressing school’s obligations to students, fact sheets in English and in other languages related to communicating with limited English proficient parents, and a toolkit to help school districts identify English learner students. The toolkit contains placement test checklists and sample home language surveys in several languages, which may be helpful when you have students from these language backgrounds.



Special Education Rule Committee 12/15/14 Communique

The Special Education Rule Committee’s purpose is to examine Arizona Special Education State Board 401 rules, to propose rules that are clear, instructive, and aligned to the IDEA, and to provide guidance for implementation. Please read the December 15, 2014, Rule Making Communique  for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the December 15 meeting.



New Resources on Head Injury Available from National Association

Two new resources are available from the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators. Because traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not one of the 14 IDEA eligibility categories, each State has defined how traumatic brain injuries should be considered in terms of IDEA eligibility. The first resource includes a summary of state definitions for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and some overall guidance for educating children: Special Education and TBI: A Summary of  State Definitions and Guidance for Educating Students with TBI-related Disabilities. The second resource shows how states use various funding resources to deliver rehabilitation and community services: State Services for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Their Families.



Education Secretary Arne Duncan Announces Title VI Civil Rights Guidance

To ensure that all students have equal access to educational resources and safe school facilities and to create equal opportunities for all students’ success in schools, careers, and life, the Office for Civil Rights has issued a Dear Colleague letter providing guidance to schools on the legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Secretary Duncan’s words, “That means that all students regardless of their race, zip code, or family income should have equal access to educational resources—whether it’s effective teaching, challenging coursework, facilities with modern technology, or a safe school environment.”

The 25-page letter (which also contains endnotes) provides guidance on avoiding discrimination in all areas of school equity—curriculum, teaching, facilities, and technology—and discusses self-assessment and methods to ensure Title VI compliance. To view OCR’s Fact Sheet on Resource Equity in English, click here, and to view it in Spanish, click here. Also available from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights are additional resources at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/resourcecomparability.html.



Guidance Package Makes Recommendations for Correctional Education

To enforce the rights of incarcerated youth to a quality education, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder have announced a new guidance package. This guidance builds on the recommendations of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force report released in May. The package includes a set of guiding principles, a Dear Colleague letter from the Office of Special Education Programs on IDEA obligations, a Dear Colleague letter from the Office for Civil Rights, and a Dear Colleague letter on access to federal Pell grants. For more information or to obtain copies of any of these documents, please go to www.ed.gov/correctionaled.