WVPTI Informer: February 27, 2013
DOE Issues Guidance Letter Pertaining to ADA Amendments Act
The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague letter concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (Amendments Act). The letter and Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) provides guidance to the obligations of public schools under Section 504 and details the specific Section 504 regulations that requires students with disabilities to have an equal opportunity for participation.
The Amendments Act, which took effect January 1, 2009, amends the ADA, as well as the Rehabilitation Act and broadened the meaning of disability and, in most cases, shifts the inquiry away from the question of whether a student has a disability as defined by the ADA and Section 504, toward school districts' actions and obligations to ensure equal education opportunities.
The Dear Colleague letter and FAQ discuss the various obligations of school districts, such as the requirement to evaluate students for disability, and provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities, as well as the changes made by the Amendments Act.
The Dear Colleague letter is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201109.html.and The Q&A is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-504faq-201109.html.
Changes to Part B Regulations Relating to Parental ConsentThe Department published changes in the Federal Register to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Final Regulations that will take effect March 18, 2013. These revisions are related to parental consent to access public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid). The USDOE has developed a summary that can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/reg/idea/ part-b/idea-part-b-parental-consent--one-pager.pdf
The USDOE also developed a Question and Answer which can be located at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/reg/idea/part-b/idea-part-b-parental-consent--qa.pdf
Social Security Announces Additional Compassionate Conditions
Social Security added an additional 35 Compassionate Allowances conditions, bringing the total number of conditions in this category to 200. Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. By Social Security’s definition, these conditions are so severe that Social Security does not need to fully develop the applicant’s work history to make a decision; therefore, they have eliminated this part of the application process for people with a condition on the list. For additional information or to access the Compassionate Allowance list go to: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/
WV State News
Anti-Bullying Program Receives National Recognition
Harrison County's Anti-Bullying Program, We Take A Stand, is gaining National Recognition. This is a program that encourages students to unite and defend their bullied peers. Bullying is shunned with three key student groups in the program: Champions - students who are bullied;; Knights - those who support bullied students;; and Defenders - the peacekeepers or watch dogs who stand with others to put an end to bullying. The idea is simple and is implemented with guidance: Kids are influenced by their peers! Having the Knights with the Champion, being surrounded with friendship and courage, backing him/her up - puts a stop to the bullying right away. For additional information about this Anti-Bullying Program visit: http://www.wetakeastand.com/
Board of Ed Seeks Public Comments
The West Virginia Board of Education is accepting public comment on five separate policies that are out for review until March 18, 2013. Among these are revisions to Policy 5314.01 - Autism Mentor policy which establishes the standards for the autism mentor classification, Policy 2520.13 - Common Core Content Standards for Career and Technical Education, and Policy 4336, West Virginia School Bus Transportation Policy and Procedures Manual. For a complete list of policies out for public comment, or to make comments go to the WV Department of Education website at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies.
DHHR (OMCFH) & WVBTT to Host Public Hearings
- The Department of Health and Human Resources, Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health (OMCFH), and WV Birth to Three has posted Education Act, for public comment. They will also be hosting public hearings at the following dates, locations and times:
- March 26, 2013 - South Charleston - 10:00 am - 12:00 noon - Marshall University Graduate College
- March 27, 2013 - Flatwoods - 2:30 - 4:30 pm Days Hotel - WV EIICC Meeting Room
- March 28, 2013 - Morgantown - 9:30 - 11:30 am Center for Excellence in Disabilities,
The application is available for review at: www.wvdhhr.org/birth23
Student Video Could Win Big Money
WV students in 6th through 12th grade could win as much as $500 for creating a 3-minute video using judging will be based on originality, creativity, adherence to the theme and overall quality. Submissions for 2013 will be accepted until March 31.
The contest is sponsored by the WV Department of Education and the West Virginia State Bar. For an application or for the complete rules: http://wvde.state.wv.us/wvstatebar or contact Michael Frazier with the West Virginia State Bar at 304-697-4370, 304-553-7220, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Trainings and Events Around the State:
- April 6, 2013 - One4All Disability Expo 2013 from 10:00am-2:00pm @ the Huntington HS Gym
- April 10-11, 2013 - WV Association for Positive Behavior Support Network 3rd Annual Conference @ Summersville Arena & Conference Center. For additional information:
- April 12-13, 2013 - Family Leadership First 19th Annual Families Conference In Your For additional information call 304-421-0915.
- April 16-17, 2013 - Wrightslaw Special Education Law & Advocacy Boot Camp is being sponsored by the West Virginia Advocates in South Charleston, WV. For more information go to: http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/13.04.wv.htm
- April 29-30, 2013 - Effective Advocacy Strategies for You (EASY) a free two-day event designed to provide resources for individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families and community members so they may be effective advocates. For additional information: http://cedwvu.org/advocacy/easy-conference-registration.php
- May 14, 15, or 16, 2013 - WV Developmental Disabilities Council is offering training on ALTERNATIVES TO GUARDIANSHIP, presented by Dohn Hoyle from the ARC of Michigan. For additional information or to register call or e-mail Linda Higgs @ 304-559-4884 or Linda.email@example.com
- West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council is accepting applications for Council Members until April 1, 2013. The council currently has openings for two member positions for individuals who have developmental disabilities who live in southern WV and one At-Large position for a representative of a local and non-governmental agency or private nonprofit group in WV. For additional information or to obtain an application call: (304) 558-0416 or TDD:(304) 558-2376