LDA conference stipends available

The Learning Disabilities Association International (LDA) encourages young professionals committed to quality teaching in the Learning Disabilities field to apply for stipends to attend the LDA conference.

Four TEACHER EDUCATOR STIPENDS will be available for the 2010 International Learning Disabilities Association Conference, February 17-20, 2010, at Baltimore’s (MD, US) Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

Two-person teams must come from the same institution and include one faculty member who trains teachers to work with children with LD and one who teaches general education courses taken by those teachers. The selected teams must attend all four days of the Conference and can be reimbursed for airfare, lodging, meal, and parking expenses up to $1,000 per team. Registration and Banquet fees are waived.
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Do Chicago schools hide special ed students?

One of the on-going concerns about high-stakes testing and special education is whether scores of students with disabilities should be included in a school’s or local education agency’s average on tests. If they do, won’t they drag the average to lower levels? If they don’t isn’t that counter to the advocacy position of some organizations (e.g., National Center on Learning Disabilities)?

The issue’s complicated by the change in the US government. People are looking carefully at the records of the newly appointed officials in the US Obama Administration. And, low and behold, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s record is under the magnifying glass. As Christina Samuels reports in “Chicago Schools Come Under Fire for Special Education Progams,” the actions of schools that were under Mr. Duncan’s oversight are in the crosshairs.

Because U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was the superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, I keep an eye out for special education news originating from the city. This article, in the Chi-Town Daily News, is about an accusation from a principal that students with special learning needs are barred from evaluations because it’s too expensive to educate them.

A Chicago Public Schools principal yesterday accused district officials of routinely denying disabled students access to specialized help, and at times even barring them from evaluation for learning disabilities.

As is common with Ms. Samuels’ report, this is a valuable recitation of the situation. I recommend it to folks who are concerned about high-stakes testing and special education. Link to the article.

LDR&P editorship

As chair of the Publications Committee for the Division for Learning Disabilities, Paige C. Pullen is soliciting applications for the editorship of Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (LDR&P). LDR&P, which is in volume 23 this year and is published four times annually, has historically had widely respected editors: Kenneth Kavale and Susan Vogel; Margo Mastropieri and Tom Scruggs; Deborah Speece and Sharon Vaughn; Addison Stone and Joanne Carlisle; and Charles Hughes.

Click on this link to open a copy of the announcement.

Insuring service for individuals with disabilities

I got this quite welcome news from a representative to the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.

House and Senate negotiators have hammered out a compromise on legislation to require private health insurance plans to cover mental health and addictive disorder services under the same terms and conditions as other types of care. Mental health and addictive disorder advocacy organizations—including groups as disparate as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Retail Federation, and the Alliance for Children and Families—are pushing for passage of this legislation before Congress adjourns. The parity legislation is based on H.R. 1424 and S. 558, and would go a long way toward reducing the stigma associated with mental health care, and improving access to treatment. Mental illness is the leading cause of primary disability in the U.S.

People who work with individuals with disabilities understand that this is a substantial step forward. It is likely to provide access to services for many families of children with disabilities, services (e.g., intensive behavioral intervention) that are often crucial the children’s success.

As the American Counseling Association (ACA) noted, today is a great day for US residents to call their representatives in the US Congress. Link to the ACA Web site.

Palin news

Though I have no intention of creating the turning SpedPro into a focus on Sarah Palin and Special Education, I thought some might find it helpful to have a set of links to other sources about the topic. Herewith, my current collection. Please add others by commenting.

There are two threads (stories?) entwined in the brouhaha over Ms. Palin’s connection to special education: (a) Her choice to deliver a baby with Down Syndrome and (b) her gubernatorial record on funding of special education in Alaska. And then, there’s about 30-11 different spins on each thread.

On the child:

On the funding:

A very good way to keep up is to monitor Christina Samuels’ blog, On Special Education; she has three entries (8 September, 5 September, and 4 September). For the latest on both stories, try this Google news search.

NMSS position

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Manager, State & Local Government Relations

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is the oldest and largest nonprofit MS organization in the U.S. With 52 chapters across the country, the Society supports more MS research and serves more people with MS than any other organization in the world. For more information about the National MS Society and our advocacy network, please visit our website at www.nationalmssociety.org
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Cambridge Center post-doc

Post Doctoral Position Available at the Cambridge Center

The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies is looking for a Post Doctoral Fellow (Post Doc) to assist with grant supported research starting August 16, 2008. The Post Doc will work with Philip N. Chase, Incoming Executive Director of the Cambridge Center on an evaluation project involving a Web-enabled middle school mathematics curriculum.
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Down Syndrome education group

Here’s a message I got.

The Down Syndrome Educational Trust is now Down Syndrome Education International. We have adopted a new name that better reflects the wide reach of our work. The charity now reaches many thousands of frequent web site readers in over 170 countries, customers in over 60 countries and donors in nearly 40. Our new Open Access publishing initiative will bring all of our books, teaching materials and films online by the end of 2009.
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Asst prof at Hopkins

Johns Hopkins University
School of Education
Department of Special Education

Severe Disabilities and Autism
Assistant Professor Position

The School of Education invites applications for a special education faculty position in severe disabilities and autism. Responsibilities include teaching graduate courses, advising master’s and doctoral students, engaging in scholarly activity, participating in school and university committees, developing and coordinating partnerships with area school systems, and seeking external funding for creative initiatives.
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Nebraska-Lincoln position

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL), Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, announces an Assistant/Associate Professor rank tenure-line faculty position with an emphasis in mild/moderate disabilities, beginning August 2008. The department offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs to a diverse student body. Faculty members are expected to engage in the full range of research, teaching, and service activities consistent with the requirements of a research university, such as teach undergraduate and graduate courses in special education; advise and supervise licensure, masters, and doctoral students in special education; conduct an active research program; pursue external funding; and contribute to area, college, and university governance. Candidates must have the following qualifications: earned doctoral degree in Special Education or related area with emphasis in children and/or youth with mild/moderate disabilities; ability to teach at the post-secondary/higher education level; ability to advise and supervise practicum experiences for licensure, undergraduate, and graduate students; and established record or potential for scholarly productivity and proven track record or potential for external funding. To be considered for the position, applicants must go to http://employment.unl.edu and complete the Faculty/Administrative Information Form, requisition 070941. Then send a cover letter addressing your interests and qualification, a current vitae, and the names of three references to: J. Ron Nelson, Ph.D., Search Committee, 202 Barkley Center, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0732 (phone 402.472.0283; email at rnelson8 [at] unl [fix the dot] edu). Application reviews begin January 30, 2008; position open until filled. The University of Nebraska is committed to a pluralistic campus community through affirmative action and equal opportunity and is responsive to the needs of dual career couples. We assure reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act; contact Dr. J. Ron Nelson at 402.472.0283 for assistance. Women and members of traditionally under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

GA ST postdoc

Two year Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Language and Literacy with Special Populations

The Center for Research on Atypical Development and Learning (CRADL), in coordination with the Department of Psychology and the Department of Educational Psychology & Special Education, at Georgia State University, Atlanta, have postdoctoral positions available for 2008 in their Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Post-Doctoral Research Training in Language and Literacy with Special Populations Program.

The goal of the training program is to offer individualized research experiences within the context of interdisciplinary research teams. Program faculty members have projects designed to empirically validate educational interventions that promote language or literacy development in special populations: children, adolescents, and adults at risk for, or with, identified disabilities. Faculty members represent the disciplines of psychology, special education, and communication disorders. The two-year fellowship will provide trainees with intensive training in designing field-based intervention research with special populations (both group and single-subject designs), analysis of existing data bases using advanced statistical techniques (e.g., HLM), and in professional development, including grant writing, and professional presentations and publication. Fellows will NOT serve as project directors and will have the opportunity to pursue their own research interests within the context of the ongoing research projects.

Salary: $50,000 per year with full health care benefits.

Detailed information about program faculty and their research projects is available at the Center for Research in Atypical Development webpage http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwaty/ies.html

Questions? Contact Program Co-Directors Drs. Rose A. Sevcik or Amy Lederberg at rsevcik[nspam]@gsu.edu or alederberg[nospam]@gsu.edu (remove “[nospam]” from the addreses).

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the positions are filled.