Category Archives: Organizations

Transition for Students with Disabilities in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems

Students with disabilities are over represented in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems.  This training webinar (December, 2013) provides information on the laws and regulations for providing transition services for students with special needs in both systems, as well as strategies, tools and action steps for practical application.

The presenting organization is the Juvenile Law Center,which is “the oldest non-profit, public interest law firm for children in the United States. Founded in 1975 by four new graduates of Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Juvenile Law Center has become a national advocate for children’s rights, working across the country to enforce and promote the rights and well-being of children who come into contact with the justice, child welfare and other public systems.”


More resources are available at the Juvenile Law Center’s website.

Fall River Center Empowers Disabled

This center in Massachusetts provides opportunities for people of all ages with disabilities, including youth programs to help them develope needed skills for adulthood. (Article posted in the SouthCoastTODAY, January 2, 2014)

For more than 25 years, the Southeast Center for Independent Living has been a beacon of hope for disabled people in Greater Fall River, helping them sharpen the skills they need to lead happy, productive lives.

According to Lisa M. Pitta, executive director of the Fall River-based nonprofit agency, the philosophy of independent living maintains that individuals have the right to choose services and make personal decisions. In collaboration with other organizations and agencies, SCIL provides a variety of services to empower people with disabilities to maintain independence and overcome obstacles.

….Last summer, 36 high school students and young adults with various disabilities participated in TAP (Transition to Adulthood Program), acquiring employment skills and learning fiscal responsibility before entering the workforce.

Program Coordinator Lucy Loureiro says that eight of the young men and women were asked to continue their employment once the summer program ended. The participants worked in law offices, daycare centers, supermarkets, auto body shops, Charlton Memorial Hospital and other sites. Salaries were grant-funded at no expense to the employer.

Read the article in its entirety here.

Visit the Southeast Center for Independent Living website here.

Pennsylvania program helping youth with disabilities prepare for adulthood

The United Way of Allegheny County’s “21 and Able” Program is  Entering its Third Year Helping Bridge Gap from Youth to Adulthood for Those with Disabilities.

In the first two years of 21 and Able, the effort has worked on public policy and has continued to work with local, state and national partners on potential changes. In 2013, a new pilot program was launched that seeks to help people with disabilities better fit into companies. Giant Eagle, The United Way, Allegheny County and Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services have partnered on the Career Transition Liaison Project.

“The career transition liaison is embedded into the company,” said Mary Esther Van Shura with Allegheny County. “The reason for doing that is frequently when individuals are in corporations or in any business it’s not just knowing the technical aspects of the job, but also the culture.”

The career liaison will reach out to various school districts and will work with employed individuals to ensure their success in the company. Since the project’s start in August five young people with disabilities have been hired by Giant Eagle in positions such as meat wrapper, front end clerk, bakery clerk and produce clerk. Giant Eagle is in the process of screening 14 additional students from 11 area schools. The idea came about from the embedded journalist model.

Continue reading here.

Observing the 50th Anniversary of Developmental Disability Act and National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The White House Blog Post, by Claudia Gordon,  Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement. Novembr 21, 2013

Last week, the White House hosted a celebration for the 50th Anniversary of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act), originally signed into law by President Kennedy in 1963 as the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963.  The event marked a unique opportunity for the intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) community to celebrate the accomplishments of the past, examine current challenges, and look ahead to the future of disability policy.  Speakers from the Obama Administration and representatives from several disability organizations were featured.

And on November 13, in honor of October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 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).

Continue reading here.

NICHCY Loses Its Funding

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) is no longer in operation. Our funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) ended on September 30, 2013. Our website and all its free resources will remain available until September 30, 2014.

This is the message the appears when entering the NICHCY website. Organizers of the site encourage everyone to collect anything from the website they would like to be able to use during that time.