November 21, 2013 | Issue 75     
Pardon our unplanned break, but it's been one event after another since we last connected! We're very happy to be back and bringing this information to you.


50th Year Celebration of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act)
On Friday, November 15, the White House hosted an observance of the 50th Anniversary of the DD Act, signed into law by President Kennedy in 1963. This event marked an opportunity for the intellectual and developmental disability community to review the accomplishments of the past, examine current challenges, and look ahead to the future of disability policy. The event included speakers from the Administration and representatives from a number of disability organizations. The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Leadership was invited to participate in this important occasion. Picture: (left to right) Leslie Cohen (AUCD President), Julie Fodor (Past AUCD President), and Olivia Raynor (AUCD President Elect, Tarjan Center at UCLA and CECY Director).

Opening remarks by Claudia Gordon, White House Office for Public Engagement here.

Inclusive Higher Education: Moving Good Ideas to Great Outcomes
There were 200 highly engaged participants at this November 16-17, 2013, conference in Washington DC. This event included over 16 breakout sessions, workshops, distinguished speakers (Michael Yudin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Service; Sharon Lewis, Deputy Administrator Administration; and, Madeline Will, Chief Policy Officer of the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination on Community Living). CECY members Olivia Raynor, Wilbert Francis, Catherine Campisi, and Katharine Hayward presented “Promoting Inclusion in Postsecondary Education through VR funded College to Career Programs.”
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Career Pathways and Education Committee Supports California Department of Education's $250 Million Career Pathway Investment Trust Fund
The California Department of Education (CDE), in partnership with the California Workforce Investment Board's Career Pathways and Education Committee (CPEC), will develop an investment strategy in its implementation of the $250,000,000 California Career Pathways Trust Fund (CCPT). Through a Request for Application process (RFA), CCPT funds will expand career-based education opportunities for all learners, serve as a catalyst in creating meaningful partnerships among the private sector and career technical education (CTE) programs, and link CTE programs with regional partnerships that are focused on supporting industries that are driving regional economies. The charge, in part, for the CPEC members is to model for burgeoning regional partnerships how to ensure that education and workforce development and career-based education approaches are clear, effective, and consistent across different funding streams and systems. This will position California's expansive workforce development and leverage CTE resources at the regional level to support its diverse industries and workforce.

News Release here.

CDE's California Career Pathways Trust has a webpage devoted to AB 86. Although the Request for Applications is not expected to be released until January 2014, it may be helpful for some of you to begin thinking about this fiscal option here.


25th Annual APSE National Conference: Livin' the Dream...Building the Future for Employment First!
Location: Hyatt Regency; Long Beach, CA
Dates: July 1-3, 2014
Early Registration ends: March 14, 2014
You Spoke, APSE Listened! This year’s conference will feature a wide array of high quality breakout and poster sessions on the latest innovations in employment for people with disabilities. Featured sessions will focus on state-of-the-art practices in integrated employment in the areas of transition from school to work, veterans, mental health, autism, organizational change, public policy and funding, consumer, family and self-advocacy, and more. (This event will feature 2009 prices to celebrate 25 years of the APSE National Conference.)
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Use of Social Security Work Incentives to Promote Work-Based Learning in Youth Employment and Training Programs
This report examines AmeriCorps as a model that includes an income exemption which allows youth with disabilities who are Social Security beneficiaries to participate in work-based learning experiences and receive a living allowance or stipend without it impacting their benefits. An overview is initially provided about the importance of work-based learning experiences, including service learning, particularly for youth with disabilities and the current state of policy and practice regarding the use of the AmeriCorps income exclusion. Recommendations are then provided for increasing the scope and utilization of the existing AmeriCorps exemption and for the expansion of similar incentives to other youth employment and training programs serving transition-age youth with disabilities such as those funded under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).
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Think College Stories
Think College publishes personal stories from students, families, and postsecondary education professionals related to postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. Tell them what going to college has meant. What has been learned? What kinds of experiences have there been? What has been challenging? What has been surprising?
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AAIDD 2014 Annual Meeting: "Embracing Complexity: Inclusion, Participation, and Citizenship" Call for Presentations
Location: Orlando, FL
Dates: June 23-26, 2014
Early Registration ends: December 6, 2013
The 138th AAIDD Annual Meeting, Embracing Complexity: Inclusion, Participation, and Citizenship, will provide researchers, clinicians, practitioners, educators, policymakers, local, state and federal agencies, and advocates with cutting edge research, effective practices, and valuable information on important policy initiatives in complex times. The conference will have thought-provoking plenary sessions concerning emerging issues and the complexities that these issues bring to people’s lives and the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. This conference will also identify ways in which professionals can prepare themselves and their organizations to embrace the complexities brought on by ever-changing contexts in research, policy and practices.
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Cal-TASH Conference
Location: San Francisco Airport Marriott; Burlingame, CA
Dates: March 7-8, 2014

There are three outstanding keynote speakers lined up for this conference: Mike Remus will speak at lunch on Friday, March 7; Mia Mingus will present at lunch on Saturday, March 8; and Cal-TASH will wrap up the conference with Ann Turnbull on Saturday, from 3-5pm!
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Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program: Community of Practice (CoP) Monthly Webinars
Next Webinar: December 11, 2013; 12pmPT
Webinars are held the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 12-1:30pmPT
The CoP Webinar theme for this quarter is "Taking Employment First to Scale - Finessing Key Features of a Sustainable Employment First Model."
More Info >>


SSI Payments are Going Up (Just Enough to Keep Up with the Rising Cost of Living)!
From Disability Scoop, monthly payments will increase next year for people with disabilities receiving benefits from Social Security, including Supplemental Security Income. The Social Security Administration said that benefits will rise by 1.5 percent in 2014. The automatic adjustment known as COLA is intended to account for higher cost-of-living and is triggered by law when inflation goes up. The change will take effect starting December 31, 2013, for the nation’s 8 million SSI recipients and will begin in January 2014 for the 57 million Americans receiving Social Security.
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"Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue: Participation Metrics" Report
The U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration held a Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue in May 2013 to help examine the impact of existing federal regulations and legislation on the successful transition from school to work of youth with disabilities, and to provide ideas on how to improve their transition outcomes. This report was created based on the input received. The input provided will frame future efforts to work together strategically to develop a plan to improve transition results for youth with disabilities by 2020.
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Healthy Transitions: A Pathway to Employment with Chronic Health Conditions and Other Disabilities
To better understand the interdependence of health, wellness, and employment, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) commissioned a study on health care transition in 2012. ODEP frames its youth-policy work around the Guideposts for Success (Guideposts), a series of principles articulating what all youth, including those with disabilities, need to transition successfully into adulthood. One key element of the Guideposts is Connecting Activities, which emphasize access to programs, services, and activities that help youth prepare to self-manage their health care needs, pursue meaningful careers, and make informed choices in their lives. A policy brief, "Healthy Transitions: A Pathway to Employment for Youth with Chronic Health Conditions and Other Disabilities" presents highlights from that research study.
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NCWD/Youth Releases New Practice Brief on Connecting Activities and Youth Development and Leadership
NCWD/Youth published a new Innovative Strategies Practice Brief entitled "Youth Development and Leadership: Opportunities to Develop Connecting Competencies." The brief provides practical examples from promising and exemplary youth programs for implementing youth development and leadership opportunities that help youth develop "Connecting" competencies. Some of the youth programs featured in this brief have been recognized by NCWD/Youth as Innovative Strategies. NCWD/Youth Innovative Strategies feature programs and organizations that serve youth with disabilities either as a target population or as part of other youth populations.
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