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News You Can Use

NEW Guide for Developing Special Ed. Parent Advisory Groups

SPAN and the NJ Department of Education just launched a new resource, "Special Education Parent Advisory Groups in New Jersey:  A Guide to Developing and Running an Effective SEPAG."

The very teamwork and collaboration that are at the core of IDEA are also at the core of Special Education Advisory Group (SEPAG) development. SEPAGs engage parents, community leaders, and school district staff in collaborative teamwork to improve education, not only for those with disabilities, but for all children.

SPAN Connecting to International Disability Advocacy Efforts

In October 2016, The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) hosted Jessica Lim, a Fellow from Brunei. Jessica works in Brunei, South Asia, at Learning Ladders, a non-profit organization that provides services to children with autism spectrum disorders. During her stay in the U.S., Jessica was deeply involved for three weeks in SPAN activities. She learned how SPAN is committed to empowering families as advocates and partners in improving education, health, and mental health outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth.

When Jessica visited the US, she was part of the YSEALI

New Resource on Health Coverage Options now available

This guide was created for parents and professionals who need to understand health coverage options for the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities.  It describes different types of health coverage plans, what federal and state laws apply to these types of plans, how those laws affect what benefits are covered, and it provides tips on accessing benefits.

Ensuring that children receive the full range of intervention available through their health coverage is a collaborative effort between parents and professionals.

U.S. Education Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

Source:  US Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Education released three new sets of guidance today to assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. These guidance documents clarify the rights of students with disabilities and the responsibilities of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn.

 The guidance released today includes a parent and educator resource guide; a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) and question

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