How do students fare after HS?

The transition from high school to work, post-secondary education, and other alternatives is a challenge, especially for students with disabilities. In “Diplomas Count 2015: Report and Graduation Rates—Next Steps: Life After Special Education“, Education Week writers present their 10th analysis of how high-school graduates make that transition. Here’s how Christina Samuels, one of the contributors, described the work:

Each year, hundreds of thousands of students in special education graduate from their high schools.

And then what happens?

In the 10th annual edition of its Diplomas Count report, Education Week tries to answer that question.

The report is a blend of journalism and reseach: the Education Week Research Center delved into federal data to offer an important snapshot of where students with disabilities end up after they leave high school. My journalist colleagues and I give life to those numbers by talking to students as they make important future decisions about college and about work.

For example: Do students with disabilities tell their colleges about their special needs, or do they try to go without any of the supports they may have used in high school? (The answer: most of them do not disclose.) For students who are headed directly to the workplace, have they been taught how to advocate for themselves? (The answer: it’s hit-or-miss.)

Recommended reading.

Sprout Film Festival in Winchester Virginia

thumbnail for Sprout trailer

The Arc & Sprout Film Festival, screening films featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will take place in Winchester, VA, on Tuesday 11 November through Friday 14 November 2014! This four day festival is presented by The Arc of Northern Shenandoah Valley and will take place on the days and at locations as follows:

  • Tuesday – Alamo Drafthouse Cinema 10am & 6pm
  • Wednesday – Bright Box Community Theater 7pm
  • Thursday – Woodstock Community Theater 10am
  • Friday – Shenandoah University 2pm

Anthony Di Salvo, Executive Director of Sprout, will be presenting the films and running a Q&A at all the screenings. Throughout the four days there will be a variety of short documentaries, narratives and music videos screened. Get additional information and view a trailer about the festival.

NCD meeting 20 July 2009

National Council on Disability (NCD) has invited people to attend a meeting and contribute to a discussion of policies, practices, and etc. that affect individuals with disabilities. Although this meeting is not precisely centered on special education, I’ve posted it here for the benefit of those of us who work with families, on transition issues, or are concerned with other aspects of special education where larger issues of public policy intersect with special ed.

June 17, 2009
Dear Friends and Colleagues:

On behalf of the National Council on Disability (NCD), it is my pleasure to invite you to attend NCD’s next quarterly meeting, which will take place at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, 30 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, July 20, 2009, and ending at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22, 2009. This meeting is open to the public.

NCD is an independent federal agency, composed of 15 members appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the U.S. Senate. NCD’s purpose is to promote policies, programs, practices, and procedures that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities, and that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society. To carry out this mandate we gather public and stakeholder input, including that received at our public meetings held around the country; review and evaluate federal programs and legislation; and provide the President, Congress, and federal agencies with advice and recommendations.
Continue reading NCD meeting 20 July 2009

New IRIS module

The IRIS Center, a resource for teaching about special education and disabilities, announced the availability of new materials.

The IRIS Center, in collaboration with the PACER Center, is proud to present the latest addition to its growing family of online interactive modules: Collaborating with Families.

Claire Morgan, principal of M. T. Watkins Middle School, and her staff have noticed that, although they enjoy good parental involvement from some families, they usually see the same core group at every volunteer opportunity or school event. They wonder why this is the case and how they might go about increasing involvement, especially among the families of students with disabilities. Join Principal Morgan and her staff as they work through the process of learning more about such families and develop ideas to engage all of the families in their school.

To view Collaborating with Families, please go to

Many more IRIS resources can be found at