Rachael Dorman, a youth policy adviser in the Labor Department's office of disability employment policy, is featured this week in the The Washington Post as "federal player of the week." The paper Monday ran an interesting profile of Dorman, who is legally blind, and her work promoting government initiatives aimed at getting employers to hire young people with disabilities, and offering guidance on transition to employment for those coming out of high school or college. "Employment is the barrier that impacts people with disabilities," Dorman said in the article. "Our goal is to get the people who deal with employment ...


The U.S. Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse site will now feature research about improving academic performance for students with learning disabilities. The site published its first review on the subject of a program called the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing, designed to teach students the skills they need to decode words and to identify individual sounds and blends in words. See how the program is rated here. The What Works Clearinghouse is part of the department's Institute of Education Sciences, and was designed to help educators make decisions about curricula, supplemental products, and classroom methods....


Judges in three different cases last week denied requests for compensation from parents who believe their children's autism was linked to mercury in vaccines, The New York Times reported. The judges in the three cases said thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury, does not cause autism, according to the story. The cases were part of the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, which combines the cases of 5,000 families with autistic children seeking compensation from the federal vaccine injury fund, which comes from a 75-cent tax on every dose of vaccine. The proceedings began in 2002 in the United States Court of Federal ...


North Carolina children's advocates are asking lawmakers to consider a statewide ban of spanking of students with disabilities in public schools, the Associated Press reports. Speakers at a General Assembly education committee meeting this week asked lawmakers to consider a paddling ban for children with physical, mental, or learning challenges when they reconvene in Raleigh in May, the story said. Advocates have waged unsuccessful efforts for broader bans of corporal punishment in years past. The state House rejected a 2007 bill that would put a statewide ban on such practices. Last year, the House approved a bill giving parents the ...


A federal judge on Monday granted preliminary approval of the settlement of a 26-year old special education lawsuit in Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun reports. The settlement would end court oversight in July and end the lawsuit by September 2012, if certain requirements are met. The state will continue to actively monitor the school system's progress until the lawsuit ends, the story said. The lawsuit, filed in 1984 on behalf of a city student known as "Vaughn G," accused Baltimore public schools of denying essential services to special education students. Education Week ran a story on the settlement here. The Sun ...


Gifted high school students in Idaho could receive scholarships to attend college early, in a proposed law that has recently passed the state's House of Representatives and awaits approval by the state Senate, the Associated Press reported. The law would allow students to graduate from high school up to three years early, and then receive taxpayer money to attend a state university or community college, the article said. Idaho would join a trend of states letting gifted students move on to college earlier. Eight other states allow high school sophomores who pass certain tests to graduate early. A Utah lawmaker ...


The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late this afternoon that would for the first time federally regulate the use of restraint and seclusion on students in schools, and require any use of such practices to be reported to parents. The bill, known as Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act, passed by a vote of 262-153. The law would establish the first federal safety standards in schools for the use of restraint and seclusion, similar to rules in place in hospitals and nonmedical, community-based facilities. Regulations on the practices of restraint and seclusion vary from state ...


The U.S. Department of Education has posted on its Web site this week a summary of state laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines regarding the use of restraint and seclusion techniques in schools. The education department researched and compiled the information after U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had issued a letter to chief state school officers on July 31, 2009, urging a review of current state policies. "Restraint and seclusion policies should be reviewed regularly to prevent the abuse of such techniques and ensure that schools provide a safe learning environment for all of our children," Duncan said ...


The training is designed to help districts meet new state regulations for teachers who work with students with autism spectrum disorders.


The comments were made at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.


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