Deaf-Blind Projects Support Accessible, Virtual Connections to Transition

NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month

Teresa Coonts

Written by: Teresa Coonts, Project Director of Nebraska Deaf-Blind Project with input from Susan Brennan, Iowa Deaf-Blind Project

Deaf-blindness is one of the lowest-incidence of all IDEA disability categories; however, supporting students with deaf-blindness often involves a wide array of team members in many areas of expertise! To help meet the unique needs of these students, OSEP funds 53 State Deaf-Blind Projects, assisting districts, schools, and families in all States and territories as well as the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB). Collaboratively, we work to improve educational results and quality of life for children who are deaf-blind and their families. The Center and projects’ efforts include a national count of children who are deaf-blind as well as development and sharing of resources, strategies, and events.

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IRIS Center Resources Take Educators Back to Basics

IRIS Center Logo - landscape

If 20 years of serving educators has taught us anything, it’s that a return to the fundamentals of sound practice is always a worthwhile pursuit. As schools and teachers enter into a new school year marked by uncertainty and the ever-present possibility of sudden change, this foundational approach feels especially relevant.

In this spirit, the IRIS Center has just posted one new module and completed significant updates to two others that personnel in schools and districts can use for professional development and personalized learning. And, yes, these resources emphasize a back-to-basics method.

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ED Welcomes Katherine Neas

Katy Neas

OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Katherine Neas

The U.S. Department of Education welcomes Katherine “Katy” Neas as the new deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

“The pandemic has been hard on all of us, but children with disabilities and specially those of color experienced great challenges. I am over the moon to be at the Department of Education at this historic time and to be part of the team of individuals who are working to ensure all students succeed in the upcoming school year.”

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Voices From the Field: Interview with Deborah Jackson

Desmond Jackson

Desmond Jackson

Deborah Jackson is the proud mother of Desmond Jackson, a member of the 2021 USA Paralympic Track and Field Team for the 100m event and the long jump. Desmond was born with a congenital birth defect, which resulted in an amputation when he was nine months old. He was the first above-knee amputee to run on a high school track team in the state of North Carolina. Desmond encourages other individuals with physical challenges to “get off the sideline and into the game!”

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Voices from the Field: Interview with Ann Sam

Ann Sam

 

ED: How did you begin your career in early childhood?

During my undergraduate work, I completed an internship at the University of North Carolina’s TEACCH Autism Program. From this experience, I knew I wanted to work with individuals with autism. I began my career as an inclusive preschool and kindergarten public school teacher. As a teacher, I was unaware of many specific interventions or resources used to support the social, language, and behavioral skills of students with autism. Fueled by my desire to support students with autism in classrooms, as well as the teachers serving those students, I began my doctoral program in 2008 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I was fortunate to be funded through an Office of Special Education Program leadership grant: Interdisciplinary Preparation in Teaching, Research, and Service focused on Young Children with Autism and Their Families. When I graduated, I accepted a postdoctoral research position at 3C Institute, a small business that focuses on research and development. After completing my postdoctoral work, I returned to the University of North Carolina as a Research Scientist at Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute. At FPG, my work focuses on supporting the use of evidence-based practices for children with autism using a variety of professional development approaches including coaching and interactive, online modules.

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts on Asian, Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Asian Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Asian Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

By the Office of Special Education Program

OSEP is excited to release two new Fast Facts that take a closer look at our IDEA 618 data on race and ethnicity.

For our Asian Children with Disabilities and Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities Fast Facts we present data from the data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 including that collected through child count, educational environments, discipline and exiting data collections. 

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Oregon Commission for the Blind Client Retires After 43-Year Career

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Oregon Commission for the Blind

After 43 years, Carl Belnap retired in August 2020, from his position at A-dec (Austin Dental Equipment Company), a Newberg, Oregon, manufacturer of dental office equipment.

Carl began his job at A-dec in May 1977. Blind since birth, Carl began as a client of Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB) in 1973. As a high school Junior, Carl attended OCB’s Portland Training Center for the Blind, a summer job training program. After high school, he attended the Oregon Rehabilitation Center for Development at the Oregon School for the Blind for several months, receiving vocational counseling and training. Carl also attended Clackamas Community College for additional training in the machine shop.

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What’s Your Vision?

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

What's Your Vision PSA

By David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind


As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) launched a new campaign emphasizing the importance of ensuring all Massachusetts residents, including those who are blind or visually impaired, have the opportunity to put their skills and talents to work, for the benefit of themselves and the Commonwealth’s employers and economy.

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Learning to Earn

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Kevin Urban

From Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation

Kevin Urban has strong math and foreign language skills, earned several college credits while still in high school, and loves creating visual art. Through his participation in Nebraska VR Pre-Employment Transition Services, he also learned a lot more about himself. He learned how to speak up for himself, knows he is not a fan of chaos or change, and says he is a hands-on and visual learner.

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