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August 18, 2009
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News for special education professionals

  Curriculum & Instruction 
  • Assistive technology opens lab to students with visual impairments
    Adaptations have created a chemistry lab more accessible to students who cannot see. Modifications at a laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, include a voiced computer and sensors that "read" a liquid's color and emit a corresponding tone. Students with visual impairments are better able to study and work in chemistry because of the advances, say researchers, and that opens up an important branch of science to those who cannot see. KPBS-TV (San Diego) (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Class teaches students with Asperger's syndrome about relationships
    A British college will permanently offer a class on relationships and sex for students with Asperger's syndrome. Fiona Spears, creator of the class, designed the curriculum to meet the learning requirements of students with Asperger's and also focused on Internet safety and appropriate behavior and language. Spears says the class boosted the self-esteem of students with Asperger's, who typically struggle with social interaction. Nottingham Evening Post (U.K.) (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Playground is designed to benefit children with special needs
    A new playground at an Oregon elementary school is not only wheelchair-accessible but is designed to offer play and positive sensory activities to children with autism. Three years of planning and fundraising went into the design and building of the $121,000 play area, which is expected to appeal to the more than 1,600 children with disabilities in the Medford, Ore., area. Features include padded-tile flooring, sensory panels and traditional favorites such as swings. Mail Tribune (Medford, Ore.) (tiered subscription model) (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Now you can use the popular iPod Touch with all of the videos from our Functional Skills System (3,200+ videos!) to teach and reinforce critical functional life, social, math, literacy and work skills necessary for independence. Use this new mobile technology to take classroom instruction into the community. A great reminder and visual prompting tool!
  Educational Leadership 
  • MS diagnosis made Canadian teacher an advocate for accessibility
    Former Ontario teacher and union leader Russ Findlay was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 31. Now 63, Findlay chairs a local disability-rights committee and traces the growth of his advocacy in a newspaper profile. "For the most part, people with disabilities didn't have a spokesperson," Findlay says. "I think I knew that I had to be that spokesperson. If I had messed up, it would have set the cause back rather than advance it." Welland Tribune (Ontario) (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology Trends 
  • Couple makes iPhone applications to help children with special needs
    A Cape Cod, Mass., couple is designing iPhone applications for families of children with developmental disabilities. Lisa and Jeff Johnson founded Grembe iPhone Apps based on the programs they developed to help their son with learning disabilities. One program is iCommunicate, an application that allows parents to create photo sequences offering choices to children who have difficulty speaking. Cape Cod Times (Mass.) (tiered subscription model) (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bionic prosthetics become a reality for people with disabilities
    Advances in technologies such as robotics and microprocessors and an increase in funding for research have made possible a wave of innovative prosthetics. "For the longest time, prosthetics and orthotics has played catch-up with respect to technology, and now it's leading the technology development," a supplier said. Cutting-edge devices include the i-Limb Hand, which reads muscle signals, and the Hybrid Assistive Limb, operated by brain signals. The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Looking for better resumes? The top candidates are reading SmartBrief every day. Post your jobs in CEC SmartBrief through the CEC Online Job Board and reach more than 64,000 top teachers. Select the SmartBrief upgrade to make sure your job posting gets maximum reach. Start your focused recruiting campaign now!
  Policy News 
  • Kansas may combine schools for students with sensory disabilities
    A commission in Kansas said it will not close the state's school for students with visual impairments or its school for students with hearing disabilities. But both schools operate below capacity, and the commission said they should be combined. In the long term, the state could save on food services and maintenance, and avoid building a $30 million school for students who cannot see. Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Group calls for special-education vouchers in D.C.
    A study from a group promoting school choice says Washington schools could cut costs and better educate students with a voucher plan that enables students with special needs to attend private schools. The Manhattan Institute says a voucher plan would reduce the number of diagnoses by removing the financial incentive for the District of Columbia to diagnose children as needing special education. More than 20% of students in D.C. are diagnosed as having learning disabilities. The Examiner/Washington, D.C. (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Eye on Exceptionalities 
  • Night breathing trouble is often missed in people with Down syndrome
    Adults with Down syndrome often have undiagnosed severe sleep apnea, according to a study. Even though Down syndrome patients have physical characteristics that make them more prone to obstructive sleep apnea, the degree surprised researchers. "It was surprising how severe the illness was and how the OSA was unsuspected by their caregivers," said an author of the study. Disability Scoop (8/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Trusts can protect futures of children with special needs
    Experts say parents of children with disabilities should investigate special-needs trusts -- plans that protect funds for the care of children without barring their access to Social Security or Medicaid benefits. Parents of children with disabilities should also prepare for future care and iron out guardianship issues. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (8/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  CEC Spotlight 
  • CEC's RTI blog considers the teacher's viewpoint of RTI
    Exploring Response to Intervention is the place to exchange ideas and strategies for this important framework for working with struggling learners. This month's blogger is Patti Ralabate, a policy analyst for special and gifted education with the National Education Association. Check it out. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stretch your economic-stimulus dollars with CEC resources
    ARRA represents a one-time infusion of federal funds. Spend them wisely -- and spend them now. Use code 09E-S09 to save 15% off all CEC professional development and all CEC products with product numbers beginning with P or R. Call 888-232-7733 now to take advantage of this special offer -- but hurry, because it ends Aug. 31.  LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Extended Standards Education Program ManagerUniversity of IdahoBoise, ID
Special Education Superintendent - ABA FocusComprehensive Kids Development SchoolNew York, NY

Be careful what you swallow. Chew!"
--Gwendolyn Brooks,
American writer

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