USDOE Requests Comments On Proposed Policy Statement On Inclusion of Young Children with Disabilities in High-Quality Inclusive EC Programs

The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are proposing to release a policy statement on inclusion of young children with disabilities in high-quality inclusive early childhood programs. It is the purpose of this blog (blog link below) to request comments on the proposed statement. Within the blog, please review the attached draft policy statement and provide comments no later than 6:00pm EDT, Friday, May 22, 2015. Click the link below to read the entire blog with the Draft Policy Statement and Executive Summary.


Dear Colleague Letter related to IDEA Dispute Resolution.

Some public agencies may be filing due process complaints concerning the same issue that is the subject of an ongoing State complaint resolution, ostensibly to delay the State complaint process and force parents to participate in, or ignore at considerable risk, due process complaints and hearings. As noted in the Dear Colleague Letter, this moves parents into a more adversarial and costly dispute resolution process and is not in the best interest of children. Note that this letter clarifies existing requirements relative to the IDEA provisions for State complaints and due process, and does not change the requirements or add additional burden.

Spanish Conference – Empowering Families

Empowering Families A Spanish Conference for Families Offering Special Needs Resources and Information. Raising Special Kids is sponsoring a Spanish conference, Empowering Families, on June 6, 2015. All presentations and materials will be exclusively in Spanish. Date: Saturday, June 6, 2015 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Location: Disability Empowerment Center 5025 East Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 Registration is required. Space is limited, so please register today.

Special Education Rule Committee 4/10/15 and 4/24/15 Communiques

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 April 10, 2015, and April 24, 2015, Rule Making Communiques for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the April 10 and 24 meeting.

2015 Great Arizona Teach-In Job Fair

2015 Great Arizona Teach-In Job Fair

The flyer and letter from Superintendent Diane M. Douglas were recently sent to Human Resource Directors at districts and charter schools. They contain information about our Tenth Annual Great Arizona Teach-In Job Fair that will be taking place on April 25, 2015. The Teach-In is the largest education job fair in Arizona, with an average of 800 candidates attending each year. The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services strongly recruits special education and related services candidates from both in-state and out-of-state universities to attend the Teach-In. If you will be in need of special education personnel, we recommend that you encourage your district/charter to attend. Registration information can be found at

2016 IDEA – SETTA (Special Education Teacher Tuition Assistance) Grant

The Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services (ADE/ESS), has released a grant that will help local education agencies (LEAs) to grow their own special education teachers. An Arizona school district or non-profit charter school with a current or anticipated special education need may apply for an eligible paraprofessional who has the desire, motivation, and commitment to complete college coursework requirements that will lead to a bachelor’s degree in special education or early childhood special education and to acquire a special education certificate within six months after completing the teacher preparation program.

Grant Proposal Email Submission Deadline: June 1, 2015

For more information, contact Celia Kujawski, IDEA Capacity-Building Grant Coordinator, at

Special Education Rule Committee 3/27/15 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 March 27, 2015 Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the March 27 meeting.

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 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.

The Department of Justice Will Use a New Electronic Form for ADA Complaints

Just so you know—complaints to be filed regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act will use a new electronic form, which may be filed completely electronically. The Justice department will no longer accept e-mail complaints although complaints will still be accepted by mail. Contact the Department’s ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or the TTY line at 1-800-514-0383. Filers will receive a reference number to use when contacting the Department about the complaint.

Dialogue on Family Support Requested by Easter Seals

What are the most pressing issues facing families of people with disabilities? Easter Seals and the Family Support Research and Training Center are seeking ideas from people with disabilities and their families, as well as from service providers. What do they need to know about caregiving and family support? There are several ways to submit your ideas: see for ways to submit your thoughts or use the call-in line at 1-844-781-4158 to leave a message and receive a call-back.