Star Tribune - Jay Leno going the extra mile for PACER
“Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is looking like one of the easier, more industrious of the PACER Center’s annual gala headliners.
Paula Goldberg, exec director of the center which helps children with disabilities, told me she called Leno’s assistant to ask a question and was told: Here, talk to Jay.
“He wants two bottles of water in the dressing room” for the Saturday event at the Minneapolis Convention Center, said Goldberg.
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Since online learning is a young field, there exists relatively little aggregate data about student enrollment and demographics, especially regarding students with disabilities. One would expect that this dearth of data would drive efforts on the part of states to gather enrollment data. A recent national survey by the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities (COLSD) showed that this has not begun in earnest yet. COLSD found that surprisingly few states gather enrollment information for online learners. More
FamilySignal – the online service that helps parents monitor their children’s social media accounts – is partnering with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to help protect children from cyberbullying. FamilySignal’s technology enables parents to be notified within minutes via text message when potential danger is detected so they can take immediate action. Learn more.
Add your input, take the survey.
Though this study, they will be seeking input from community members with disabilities, people who are older, and caregivers/families about availability and challenges of accessing long-term services and supports. The goal is to gain valuable insights about the status of long-term services and supports, including:
- Availability of people’s choice in long-term care services, including the option to be served near loved ones and in the least restrictive settings
- Challenges people face in accessing long-term services and supports, including mental health services
- Changes in the availability of services over time
The legislature requested this information and has provided funding for this purpose, and DHS has contracted with the Improve Group to complete the project. Input will be gathered through targeted interviews, focus groups and an on-line tool statewide, with visits to 18 communities including 15 counties and 3 tribal governments.
The U.S. Department of Education released new regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B on Feb. 14, saying the changes will make it easier for school districts to access public benefits while still protecting family rights.
The IDEA Part B final regulations change the requirements in 34 CFR 300.154(d) related to parental consent to access public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) and take effect on March 18, 2013. Previously, public agencies were required to obtain parental consent each time access to public benefits or insurance was sought. The new rules—
- ensure that parents of children with disabilities are informed of all of their legal protections when public agencies seek to access public benefits or insurance to pay for services; and
- address the concerns expressed by State educational agencies and local educational agencies that requiring parental consent each time access to public benefits or insurance is sought, in addition to the parental consent required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and section 617© of the IDEA, imposes unnecessary costs and administrative burdens.
The Conference Board, an international business research organization, has issued a new report that shows the many benefits businesses can reap when they hire workers with disabilities. "Leveling the Playing Field: Attracting, Engaging, and Advancing People with Disabilities" takes a detailed look at the economic and social case for hiring people with disabilities, and explains the steps businesses can take to recruit these valuable workers.
Some of the key benefits:
- 8.3 percent of people with disabilities who are unemployed have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to just 4.5 percent of those with no disability who are unemployed.
- While many employers report concerns over the cost of disability accommodations, nearly half of accommodations cost nothing at all. The median cost of accommodations was only $25.
- Thirty-three percent of human resources managers say employees with disabilities have a lower rate of turnover. Hiring a new employee can cost 93% to 200% of the employee's total salary.
- Eighty-five percent of people said they would prefer to give their business to companies that employed people with disabilities.
- A variety of government programs offer incentives to companies hiring people with disabilities. Programs like The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Disabled Access Credit (Internal Revenue Code Section 44), Architectural/Transportation Tax Deductions (Internal Revenue Code Section 190), and many more encourage hiring people with disabilities and underwrite costs of accessibility modifications and other accommodations.
The complete report is available online at Conference-Board.org here: http://fifthfreedom.org/u/ls . The report and executive summary are free, but registration is required. (Click "Create an Account" in the top right corner.)
PACER Day at the Capitol: “Be a Champion!”
Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.
Begin your week as a Champion for Children! PACER chose this day because it begins one of the most important weeks for legislators to hear policy bills and make decisions on which bills will pass through Committee.
Join us for PACER Day at the Capitol and together we will have our voices heard. Minnesota legislators are smart, hard-working public servants, but at the end of the day they are people who often make decisions based on real stories from their constituents. We will provide training so that you can effectively tell your story and impact the political process that is so important to the hope and success of all our children.
Veterans Services Building, 5th Floor Conference Room
Located at the south end of the State Capitol lawn (20 12th St. W., St. Paul)
Register here or call (952) 838-9000.
Please provide your name, contact information, and the number and names of people in your group. Space is limited.
If you register by Feb. 25, PACER will provide you with contact information for your legislators so you can make appointments in advance to meet with them at the Capitol on March 4.
Dynamic speaker comes to PACER Center! Please join us!
How Federal Decisions May Affect Your Child with a Disability: From Washington, D.C. to Minnesota
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Education decisions made at the federal level do affect children with disabilities here in Minnesota. Alex Nock, a national expert in federal legislation, will discuss the latest laws, regulations, and actions by the U.S. Department of Education at this workshop.
Presenter Alex Nock is the Executive Vice President of Penn Hill Group. He has almost 20 years of experience in federal education, disability, labor, and health policy. During his time in Washington, D.C., Nock has been a part of every major piece of federal education and disability policy legislation.
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In Classroom Diversity: An Introduction to Student Differences, you’ll meet Ms. Christie, a history instructor at Chester Himes Middle School, who is on the case to solve the mystery of why her lessons, so popular at her old school, seem to be falling flat at Himes Middle. One of her fellow teachers—Mr. Chandler—gently suggests that maybe Ms. Christie hasn’t been planning those lessons with Himes' diverse student population in mind. Ms. Christie isn’t so sure. Kids are kids, she thinks, and a good lesson in one school will be a good lesson in any school, right?
Access the Classroom Diversity Module
This module contains:
- Information and thoughts on the role that teacher perceptions play in their classroom instruction
- Details on various kinds of student diversity that teachers will encounter, including cultural, linguistic, those having to do with exceptionalities, and socioeconomic
- Audio interviews with experts like Janette Klingner, University of Colorado, Boulder; Diane Torres-Velasquez, University of New Mexico; and H. Richard Milner IV, Vanderbilt University, among others
Recently, the Department's Office for Civil Rights issued guidance clarifying school districts' existing legal obligations to provide equal access to extracurricular athletic activities to students with disabilities. In addition to explaining those legal obligations, the guidance urges school districts to work with community organizations to increase athletic opportunities for students with disabilities, such as opportunities outside of the existing extracurricular athletic program.
Students with disabilities have the right, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, to an equal opportunity to participate in their schools' extracurricular activities. A 2010 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that many students with disabilities are not afforded an equal opportunity to participate in athletics, and therefore may not have equitable access to the health and social benefits of athletic participation.
Dept. of Ed blog - We Must Provide Equal Opportunity in Sports to Students with Disabilities