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The Office of Developmental Disability Services is exploring the potential uses of technology in supporting individuals with  developmental disabilities and families who are providing care to  family members with developmental disabilities. They are beginning his discussion by conducting a survey on what people are doing  now, what is working or not working. Below is a link to a very short  survey. Please take the time to complete the survey by May 20th. Thank you for your input for this very important conversation!

Click here to start the survey: https://survey.emp.state.or.us/cgi-bin/qwebcorporate.dll?idx=RQE6UK

FERPA


The U.S. Department of Education is seeking comments for proposed changes to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations by May 23, 2011.Student privacy is an important issue, and we hope the following information is helpful to you.

In the April 8th Federal Register, there was a notice from the Department of Education with proposed changes to the regulations for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (see: http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2011/04/08/2011-8205/family-educational-rights-and-privacy#p-31 ).The changes would allow increased access to student-level data for research and evaluation purposes without informing parents or having parents give their consent.

Some of the specific proposed provisions include:

1.       State and local education officials (without written parent consent) would be authorized to disclose identifiable student data to any designated entity or person for the purpose of evaluation, auditing, or enforcing federal compliance with state- or federal-supported education programs.

2.       Postsecondary institutions or data systems can disclose student data back to K-12 data systems of school districts for the purpose of evaluation how well the district had prepared students for college.

3.       States will be able to disclose student-level data for research studies.  This is the first time that the research provision in FERPA is applicable to student-level data from states.

How to Make Comments:

The U.S. Department of Education is requesting comments on these proposed changes which must be submitted through the eRulemaking portal by May 23, 2011. ( http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ED-2011-OM-0002-0001 ).


Young people with disabilities have been under represented, and sometimes left out, in developing policies and programs for sexual and reproductive  health.  In Oregon, a small work group, with support from the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, is developing some program and policy recommendations to support young people with disabilities. The link below is a survey targeting young people with disabilities to assess their opinions about these recommendations.

The survey is about 15 questions and should take 15 minutes to complete. The creators of the survey are specifically interested in the opinions of young people in the U.S. who have a disability.

Please feel free to forward this email and/or link to young people you may know who have a disability and encourage them to take the survey.  Their opinions do matter!
To take the survey, go to:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Oregonyouthsurvey

This is a joint project between Gimpgirl.com, National Youth Leadership Network, Oregon Health Sciences University, Oregon Public Health Division, and Women with Disabilities Health Equity Coalition.


The State Advisory Council on Special Education is currently accepting applications for membership.  Applications can be downloaded at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/groups/advisorycouncils/sacse/sacseapplication.pdf

Membership must be representative of the State population and be involved in, or concerned with, the education of children with disabilities. A majority of the members must be individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities (ages birth through 26).

Responsibilities

Advise the State of unmet needs in the education of children with disabilities, comment publicly on any rules or regulations proposed by the State regarding the education of students with disabilities, advise the State in developing evaluations and reporting data to the U.S. Office of Special Education, advise the State in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in federal monitoring reports and advise the State in developing and implementing services for children with disabilities (34 CFR 300.169).


Youth with Disabilities Secondary Transition Conference October 24th & 25th, 2011 Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel 8235 Northeast Airport Way Portland, Oregon 97220 Building Futures is for youth with disabilities and anyone who has an interest in supporting youth with disabilities as they transition from school to life. This includes Secondary Educators, Post Secondary Educators, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Special Educators, therapists, counselors, service providers, job developers, and other rehabilitation specialists, and especially secondary students with disabilities and their families. Throughout this two-day event there will be presentations by regional and national experts on issues surrounding secondary transition, post-secondary transition, employment, higher education and assistive technology. If you would like to sponsor this annual event or receive more information, please contact Vicki Schneider at: 503.581.8156 ext. 101 or info@oregonrisecenter.org .


When someone receiving SSI asks you how much they can earn and still be eligible for Medicaid, the answer in Oregon is $31,462. Each year, Social Security updates the state threshold amounts for SSI eligibility.


The Federal Department of Education has issued guidance to support educators in combating bullying in schools by clarifying when student bullying may violate federal education anti-discrimination laws. The guidance issued also makes clear that while current laws enforced by the department do not protect against harassment based on religion or sexual orientation, they do include protection against harassment of members of religious groups based on shared ethnic characteristics as well as gender and sexual harassment of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender individuals.

The guidance, which comes in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to schools, colleges and universities, explains educators’ legal obligations to protect students from student-on-student racial and national origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, and disability harassment. The letter provides examples of harassment and illustrates how a school should respond in each case.

The White House and Department of Education also announced next steps to address bullying and harassment in schools. Early next year, the White House will host a conference to raise awareness and equip young people, parents, educators, coaches and other community leaders with tools to prevent bullying and harassment. This conference will build upon efforts led by the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies to spark a dialogue on the ways in which communities can come together to prevent bullying and harassment.

“We’ve got to dispel the myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage, or an inevitable part of growing up. It’s not,” said President Obama. “We have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe for all of our kids. Every single young person deserves the opportunity to learn and grow and achieve their potential, without having to worry about the constant threat of harassment.”

“Bullying is a problem that shouldn’t exist. No one should ever feel harassed or unsafe in a school simply because they act or think or dress differently than others,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “To every student who feels threatened or harassed-for whatever reason-please know that you are not alone. Please know that there are people who love you. And please know that we will protect you,” Duncan continued.

“Students cannot learn if they feel threatened or harassed,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali. “We want to keep students safe and learning, and this guidance will help us do that.”

Following the release, the Department plans to hold technical assistance workshops around the country in early 2011 to help educators better understand their obligations and the resources available to take prompt and effective steps that will end harassment and bullying in schools and on college campuses.

The guidance is just one of several efforts in the Department of Education’s comprehensive approach to end bullying. In 2009, the Department joined the Departments of Defense, Justice, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and the Interior to form the Obama Administrations Inter-Agency Task Force on Bullying. In August of this year, the Obama administration hosted the first ever National Bullying Summit and launched both the Stop Bullying Now Campaign and http://www.bullyinginfo.org, a national database of effective anti-bullying programs.

For more information about OCR and the anti-discrimination statutes that it enforces, please visit http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/aboutocr.html. To review the “Dear Colleague” letter, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201010.html.