NCWD/Youth Kicks Off Professional Development Demonstration
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) is pleased to announce the selection of three sites across the country for the Youth Service Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Professional Development Demonstration and Evaluation (YSP/KSA Demo). This professional development initiative will provide four free full-day trainings in the core competencies that youth service professionals need to work with all youth; content-rich materials and resources; and pre- and post-training technical assistance from experts in youth development, workforce development, and disability. The evaluation will examine the effects of professional development on youth service professionals’ practices, organizational culture, and outcomes for youth.
Following a competitive nation-wide application process, NCWD/Youth selected the following sites:
- Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), Youth Services Division – Baltimore, MD
- City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department – Los Angeles, CA
- New York State Department of Labor – Albany, NY
With support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), NCWD/Youth seeks to demonstrate the value of and further grow a professional development system for youth service professionals to improve program quality and service delivery for all youth, including youth with disabilities. Sites have already begun aligning cross-system and post-secondary partners, selecting participants and identifying professional development goals. The trainings will kick off in January 2014.
“The YSP/KSA Demo represents a wonderful opportunity for youth service professionals in the greater Baltimore community to come together to demonstrate the value of and further grow a professional development system – ultimately improving the services we are able to offer to young people,” said Ronald Blake, Special Project Supervisor for the Housing Authority of Baltimore.
Since 1991, IEL’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD), which houses NCWD/Youth, has helped public and private sector leaders promote career readiness and successful transitions to adulthood for all youth – with a special focus on youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth. As IEL’s President, Marty Blank explains, “The youth service professionals who interact with young people each day, are the face of any program or system. If we are to improve outcomes for youth, we must build the competency and capacity of these key people."
To learn more or stay up-to-date on the YSP/KSA Demo, visit: www.ncwd-youth.info/ksa/demo.
NCWD/Youth Presented at Webinar on Pathways to Postsecondary Education for Youth in Juvenile Justice
On November 6, NCWD/Youth’s Patricia D. Gill presented on a webinar entitled Building Pathways to Postsecondary Education for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System. The webinar, hosted by the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), also included Yelena Nemoy of the National Youth Employment Coalition and Sophia Morel of the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment. Gill presented on NCWD/Youth’s Guideposts for Success for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System which highlight specific experiences, supports, and services that are relevant to improving transition outcomes for youth with and without disabilities involved or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.
IEL, NCWD/Youth Host Twitter Chat on Involving Families in Youth Mentoring Programs
The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) which houses NCWD/Youth hosts a weekly Parent-Teacher Twitter Chat. On November 20, the chat featured NCWD/Youth’s Patricia D. Gill and focused on NCWD/Youth's work around involving families in youth mentoring programs. The chat’s full archive is available online.
National Urban League Programs Receive Training on Juvenile Justice Guideposts
In October, 45 staff from National Urban League participated in an NCWD/Youth webinar on the Juvenile Justice Guideposts, a specific set of experiences, supports, and services that are relevant to improving transition outcomes for youth with and without disabilities involved or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice Guideposts, along with helpful resources and supportive policy recommendations, are fully explained in Making the Right Turn: A Guide about Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Corrections System. The staff from National Urban League’s multiple programs for adults and youth, including their U.S. Department of Labor funded Urban Youth Empowerment Programs, who joined the webinar were enthusiastic about the multiple resources shared and are looking forward to future trainings.
Institute on Community Integration Releases How-to Guide on Connecting People with Disabilities
The Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota has released a new guide entitled Friends: Connecting People with Disabilities and Community Members. This manual provides concrete, how-to strategies for supporting relationships between people with disabilities and other community members. It describes why such friendships are important to people with disabilities and why it is important to promote community belonging and membership. The manual includes specific activities to guide users in creating a plan for connecting people. It is designed for agency staff, but can be used by parents, support coordinators, teachers, people with disabilities, and others to support community relationships.
Obama Administration Publishes Mental Health Parity Regulations
On November 8, the Obama administration published regulations implementing the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which require that the financial requirements (such as coinsurance) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits) imposed on mental health and substance use disorder benefits cannot be more restrictive than those that apply to substantially all medical/surgical benefits.. Under this legislation, health insurance marketplaces cannot apply yearly or lifetime dollar limits on coverage of these benefits. The marketplaces also cannot deny anyone coverage or charge more for pre-existing conditions. The final rule is effective for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2014. For more information, see the final regulations and frequently asked questions about mental health parity implementation.
U.S. Education Department Announces First-of-Its Kind Resolution of Virtual Charter School Civil Rights Investigation
On November 6, the U.S. Department of Education announced that its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into an agreement with Virtual Community School of Ohio, an Internet-based, public charter school that serves approximately 1,200 students in Ohio, to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act for students with disabilities at the school. This first-of-its-kind resolution promises equal access to educational opportunities for students with disabilities in virtual charter schools.
“Students with disabilities who attend online public charter schools are entitled to all the protections of the federal civil rights laws that their peers receive at traditional public schools, including the right to receive a free appropriate education. Online schools also must take steps to ensure that the websites and online classrooms they use to promote their services and to educate students are accessible to individuals with disabilities,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. “Online education environments such as this in which students reside across the state and go to school together in a totally on-line environment, may present unique challenges. Nevertheless, these online schools must comply with the civil rights laws. I commend Virtual Community School of Ohio for agreeing to address these issues as part of its agreement with OCR.”
OCR will closely monitor the school’s implementation of the agreement.
The full press release is available here.
White House Announces First-Ever Student Film Festival
The White House is seeking submissions from K-12 students for the first-ever Student Film Festival. Films should address either how students currently use technology in the classroom or school or the role technology will play in education in the future. Finalists will have their short films shown at the White House. Finalist videos may also be featured on the White House website, YouTube channel, and social media pages. Submissions are due January 29, 2014.
White House Hosts Youth with Disabilities for Disability Mentoring Day
On November 13, the White House hosted 20 juniors and seniors with disabilities from five Washington, DC area high schools – the Chelsea School (Hyattsville, MD), Cardozo Education Campus (Washington, DC), Eleanor Roosevelt High School (Prince George’s County, MD), Falls Church High School (Fairfax County, VA), and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (Washington, DC). The students met with White House officials, including the First Lady’s Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen and Disability Community Liaison, Claudia Gordon. The students also participated in a workshop about soft skills necessary for workplace success, toured the White House and took part in a mentoring lunch session with visiting panelists.
New Resources on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Common Core State Standards
The National Center on Universal Design for Learning has released new resources on the intersection of UDL and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These tools and links illustrate the important way that the CCSS identify what educators need to address in their instruction while UDL guides how to design their instruction. Key resources include a crosswalk on UDL and the Literacy by Design Collaborative (LDC) framework and video examples showing lessons illustrating classroom instruction addressing both the UDL guidelines and CCSS.
Achieve and NCEO Release Report on Access to Diplomas for Students with Disabilities
Achieve and the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO), an affiliated center of the Institute on Community Integration, at the University of Minnesota, released a report to guide state policies with the goal of ensuring all students, including students with disabilities have access to a diploma that means something. The report explores the consequences of states having multiple diploma options, indicating that the correlation between numerous diploma options and the lower rate at which students with disabilities are currently earning a standard diploma results in fewer high school graduates and limits many students' ability to pursue educational and employment opportunities. The report also states that “the diploma must lead either to successful post-school outcomes or employment for students with disabilities.”
New Report Published on Re-entry for Formerly Incarcerated Adults
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights released a new report outlining a comprehensive policy agenda to ease the re-entry process entitled A Second Chance: Charting a New Course for Re-Entry and Criminal Justice Reform. The Second Chance report outlines a policy agenda for easing the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals into society. It examines the impact of four barriers that make re-entry more difficult and recidivism more likely—predatory prison phone rates; inadequate access to education; restrictions on employment; and restrictions on voting. The report discusses the consequences of these practices and makes a series of policy recommendations regarding their reform.
Achieve Announces Launch of Business Center for a College- and Career-Ready America
On November 13, GE Foundation and AT&T, along with Chevron and the Prudential and Travelers foundations collaborated with Achieve to launch the Business Center for a College- and Career-Ready America. The goal of the Business Center is to help businesses think more strategically about how best to support college and career readiness for all students. To strengthen the bridge between awareness and engagement, the Business Center provides a range of practical and customizable tools and examples of how business leaders can and do support standards-based education reform within and across states.
The Transitions RTC Publishes How to Keep a Job: A Young Adult Guide
The Transitions RTC has released this latest guide designed for young adults to help them be more prepared to start and keep a new job. The Transitions RTC is a national effort that aims to: improve the supports for youth and young adults, ages 14-30, with serious mental health conditions who are trying to successfully complete their schooling and training and move into rewarding work lives.
Call for Applications: Youth in Development Internship Program
The U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) is seeking applications for the summer 2014 Youth in Development (YiD) internship program. Applications are due January 29, 2014. The YiD program focuses on youth with disabilities from across the U.S. who are interested in international development and foreign affairs careers. The summer 2014 YiD internship program will bring a group of talented graduate students, recent graduates, and rising college juniors and seniors with disabilities to Washington, DC, for nine weeks. The program, sponsored by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation will include a one-week training and orientation program followed by an eight-week internship at an international organization in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. USICD will cover the cost of fully-accessible housing during the YiD program, reimburse travel expenses to and from DC, and provide a limited stipend.
NCWD/Youth Blog Posts
NCWD/Youth’s blog features current and relevant information related to the Guideposts for Success, Youth Development and Leadership, Innovative Strategies, Professional Development, and more!