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The Special Ed Advocate
         ISSN: 1538-3202    Issue 378
February 13, 2007     Subscribers: 45,665

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In This Issue:

1. It's Never Too Early to Plan for Your Child's Future
2. Making the Transition from School to Work
3. Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals
4. Great Transition Case! K.L. v. Mercer Island Sch. Dist (W.D. WA 2006)
5. Student Discount Program - Save up to 45% on Wrightslaw Books and Products
6. Transition Services & Plans
7. Coming Up! Wrightslaw Programs in CA, NC, ME, IL, LA, VA
8. Subscription and Contact Info

At Wrightslaw, our mission is to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the constantly changing world of special education and the rights of children with special educational needs. Do you know others who want to learn how to advocate for a child with a disability? Please forward this issue or the subscription page so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too.

1. It's Never too Early to Plan for Your Child's Future

As we deal with the day-to-day challenges of educating children with disabilities, it's easy to focus on the trees and forget about the forest.

The purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is "to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate education ... [to] prepare them for further education, employment and independent living."

In this issue, we take a closer look at the forest - transition planning and transition services to ensure that our children are prepared for further education, employment and independent living.

2.  Making the Transition to Life After School

"I want my son to be prepared to enter the workforce when he leaves school. How can we we combine No Child Left Behind with vocational goals?"

In Making the Transition to Life After School, Sue Heath answers this parent's questions: "Parents need to start thinking about the transition to adulthood when their children are toddlers. Schools are not required to address this issue until the child will turn 16."

"Although schools exist primarily to provide academic instruction, they must address the transition needs of children with disabilities. Look at these issues separately, starting with the legal definitions."

Sue writes about reading, No Child Left Behind, advocacy strategies, high-stakes tests and retention in Doing Your Homework. Click here to read more DYH articles.

3. Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals

As we enter the second half of the school year, many parents hear the clock ticking louder as graduation nears. If you don't hear this clock, don't worry. You day will come before you know it.

In Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals, Jennifer Graham and Pete Wright provide advice and checklists that will help your child make a successful transition from school to employment and/or further education.

The IDEA 2004 Transition Checklist describes the legal requirements of transition services plans. During your child’s high school years, the IEP team must adhere to these requirements.

While IDEA 2004 provides the legal requirements for transition services, there are things parents and students must do to prepare for life after high school. Get these checklists and lots of good advice in Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals.

Learn about the new requirements for transition services, read articles, and download free publications about transition in Transition Services and Transition Planning.

4. Great Transition Case! K. L. v. Mercer Island School District (W.D. WA 2006)

A few weeks ago, we told subscribers about the decision in K. L v. Mercer Island School District (W.D. WA 2006) that described higher standards for a free appropriate public education.

In K. L. v. Mercer Island, the judge found that the school failed to develop IEPs to address K. L.'s transition to independent living and self-sufficiency. The Judge found that “providing a ‘meaningful educational benefit’ under the IDEA requires programs and results which reflect that Act’s emphasis on preparation for self-sufficiency.”

“The IDEA is not simply about "access;" it is focused on “transition services . . . an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities . . . ” 20 U.S.C. 1401(3); 34 C.F.R. 300.29

Read the decision in J. L. and M. L., and their minor daughter, K. L. v. Mercer Island (WA) School District.

If you are interested in transition, you'll also want to read Rebutting Rowley? Independence and Self-Sufficiency Are the New Standards for FAPE.

More special education cases

5. Student Discounts - Save up to 45% on Wrightslaw Books and Products

Wrightslaw publications are excellent teaching and learning resources for students in colleges, universities, and law schools. To get Wrightslaw materials into the hands of these students, our publisher implemented a Student Discount Program.

Qualifying students are eligible for discounts of 25% to 45% on Wrightslaw publications and products. Learn more about the Student Discount Program.

6. Preparing for Employment: On the Home Front

As a parent, you are your child's first teacher. You are also your child's most important role model.

To be successful in life after school, young people with disabilities need to learn specific skills - goal setting, problem solving, decision making, self-knowledge, and self-advocacy.

As the parent of a child with a disability, you need to ensure that your child learns these skills. Preparing for Employment: On the Home Front describe the skills our kids need to learn, and that we need to teach and model for our children.

Pete and Pam offer this advice: "Your child needs to be strong and resilient. Teach your child to work hard, set high goals, and how to handle disappointments without giving up or giving in."

7. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in CA, NC, ME, IL, LA, VA

Wrightslaw offers special education law and advocacy programs taught by experts in the field.
Our Winter schedule includes programs in these communities:

February 20: San Diego, CA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training by Pete and Pam Wright

February 27: Charlotte, NC
- Special Education Law & Advocacy Training by Pete and Pam Wright

March 8: Bangor ME - Special Education Law and Advocacy Training by Pete Wright

March 17: Downer's Grove, IL - From Emotions to Advocacy Training by Pat Howey

March 20: New Orleans, LA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training by Pete and Pam Wright - FREE to Louisiana parents and providers!

March 24: Norfolk, VA - Special Education Law & Advocacy Training by Pete and Pam Wright

We are scheduling programs for 2007 and 2008. If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read Conference Information.

8. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. The Special Ed Advocate is published weekly (usually on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, with occasional breaks). Subscribers also receive "alerts" about events and special offers on Wrightslaw publications and products.

To subscribe, please go to https://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

To unsubscribe, please go to http://list.feat.org/scripts/wa.exe?HOME. Scroll down the list and click the link to "Wrightslaw" at the end of the page, then click "Join or Leave Wrightslaw." This will take you to the page where you can change your subscription options. Click "Leave Wrightslaw."

Please forward this issue of The Special Ed Advocate to others who share your interest in special education law and advocacy. If you were forwarded a copy of The Special Ed Advocate and want to subscribe, you can sign up through our website.

Read back issues of the Special Ed Advocate at the Archives.

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043

Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: webmaster@wrightslaw.com

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