Employment for People with Disabilities the Focus of New Toolkit and Focus-Group Research Report

RespectAbilityUSA, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, held focus groups in the Washington, DC area and polled 3,839 friends, families, and professionals in the disability community. The result is a formal report, “America at Risk: Job Crisis for People with Disabilities—Views on Solutions from 3839 People on the Front Lines” and a new toolkit for policy makers, leaders, and activists. Both are designed for those who want to use the real-life experiences and opinions of others to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities. To download a copy of the report, go to: http://respectabilityusa.com/america-at-risk-2.


OSEP Request for Information On Use of Results Data for Determinations

Request for Information on the Use of Results Data in Making Determinations Under Sections 616(d)(2) and 642 of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is requesting stakeholder input on how best to use results data (e.g., performance on assessments, graduation rates, and early childhood outcomes) in its accountability system under the IDEA. We believe that the Department must provide greater support to States’ efforts to improve results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities (children with disabilities). We need to ensure that States focus not only on complying with provisions of the law, but also on improving results for children with disabilities.

Dates: Responses must be received by April 25, 2014.


April Webinar to Explore How to Improve School Discipline and Climate

On April 29, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. MT, The US Departments of Justice and Education will present a 90-minute webinar on principle 3 of the guiding principles of the school discipline guidance package. The webinar, “Guiding Principle 3: Equity and Continuous Improvement,” a product of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, will identify action steps schools can use to eliminate discriminatory school discipline policies and practices and explore ways to implement the steps. Register online or get more information on the Supportive School Discipline Webinar series.

Special Education Rule Committee 4/14/14 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 April 14, 2014, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the April 14 meeting.

FFY 2012 State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR)

As part of the requirements for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004, all states develop and submit a State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR). The SPP contains baseline data, projected targets, and activities to achieve those targets that will improve the outcomes for children with disabilities. The APR serves to inform both the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and the public on progress toward meeting the targets set in the State Performance Plan.

According to the federal regulations that implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (34 C.F.R. §300.602), SEAs are required to make the State Performance Plan (SPP) and the Annual Performance Report (APR) available to the public. The FFY 2012 SPP and APR can be found at http://www.azed.gov/special-education/resources/spp-apr/.

Joint Initiative Aims to Help Young Children Be Healthy and Flourish

A number of federal agencies, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, have begun a new effort to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them. The initiative, Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!, is a coordinated effort that draws heavily on previous developmental and behavioral screening efforts by consolidating materials. Tools are available at this website: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/watch-me-thrive. The initiative will help families and providers celebrate milestones, promote universal screening, identify delays and concerns early, and enhance development supports. The group has also published a list of research-based developmental screening tools appropriate for use across a wide range of settings.

New Framework for Family and Community Engagement Announced at Conference

At the National Family and Community Engagement Conference, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the release of the The Dual Capacity Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships. Dual capacity refers to the two-way process: (1) teaching school staff to effectively engage parents and (2) teaching parents to work successfully with schools to increase student achievement. Designed to spark interest in developing adult involvement, the framework provides a model that schools can use to build effective community engagement and make schools the center of our communities. For more information on the Dual Capacity Framework, as well as an introductory video from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, see the website at www.ed.gov/family-and-community-engagement.

Special Education Rule Committee 3/31/14 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 March 31, 2014, Rule Making Communique for more information about the Committee, the Core Team membership, and the March 31 meeting. Also attached is a draft of suggested child find rules in a crosswalk format for review and feedback.

Transforming Special Education

On February 28, 2014, Angela Denning, Deputy Associate Superintendent of Arizona Department of Education’s Exceptional Student Services (ADE/ESS) section, presented “Transforming Special Education in Arizona” at the 2014 AZCEC and AZCASE Annual Conference.  During the session, Ms. Denning described the changing expectations of special education at the national level from a system of accountability focused primarily on compliance to one that puts more emphasis on results and improved student outcomes.  Ms. Denning introduced the new vision and mission statements for ADE/ESS as well as specific initiatives to provide support and services to the education community.

Vision Statement

  • All students are well prepared for the next step at every point
  • Establish a System of Supports that wraps around each Arizona special educator so he/she is well prepared to meet the needs of every student.

Mission Statement

  • Exceptional Student Services provides high quality service that builds capacity to improve outcomes for all students.

Some of the key initiatives ADE/ESS has adopted to address to the shift of focus at the national level include:

  • Redesign of the Arizona Promising Practices website
  • Revision to the Monitoring System
  • Increased collaboration between general educators and special educators to focus on effective secondary transition planning through the Arizona College and Career Ready Team Training project
  • Adoption of new Special Education Certificates to increase rigor in college programs for pre-service teachers and improve reciprocity for candidates from outside of Arizona

Talk with ADE and SEAA Meetings

April 4, 2014, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Talk with ADE Meeting, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

SEAA Meeting, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

There are two ways to attend the Talk with ADE (agenda attached) and SEAA meetings. You can attend the meetings in person or join the meetings via webinar.

If you are attending the meetings in person:

The physical meetings will be held at
Arizona Department of Education
3300 North Central Avenue, Phoenix
16th floor, room 104

See the attachment for parking information. Remember to bring your parking ticket stub to the meetings to have it validated.

If you are joining the meetings via webinar:
The meetings also will be available by webinar, which allows for remote participation using your computer and telephone (or only the telephone). Read the instructions below to participate remotely. Note that advance registration is required.

Register for Talk with ADE and SEAA meetings on Friday, April 4, 2014, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM MST at:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information and directions on how to join the meetings. Space is limited.

Talk with ADE Agenda
Parking Instructions
Restaurants Near 3300 Tower

Materials from Today’s Meeting

Introduction to New ESS Monitoring System
Post School Outcomes (PSO) Survey
Funding Unit – ADEConnect and MOE