Each week, LD OnLine gathers interesting news headlines about learning disabilities and ADHD issues. Please note that LD OnLine does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside websites.
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ICT Results (Belgium)
This story looks at the European Union's EUAIN project and its successors which connect the publishing industry in Europe with accessibility organizations. The dream is to make all new publications simultaneously available in formats such as Braille, large print and audio. This will mean the blind, the partially sighted and people with reading disabilities such as dyslexia have the same access rights to information as the rest of society.
Malibu Times (CA)
Ending a year of controversy, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education voted last Thursday to drop confidentiality clauses in agreements with parents of special education students.
Nashoba Publishing (MA)
As part of the process of hiring a new special education director for Harvard, Massachusetts Public Schools, the top four candidates participated in a public forum. Candidate Michael Meyer remarked that identifying a child with special needs in middle and high schools can be a bit more difficult because the teachers don't have "ownership" of the students like they do in the elementary level.
Tulsa World (OK)
Oklahoma State education officials conducted an impromptu inspection Thursday of special education student records at the troubled Tulsa Academic Center. A compliance audit of the Center was triggered by a combination of student, parent and school employee complaints to the state and by media reports.
Ave Maria Preparatory School of Sarasota, Florida will graduate 8 high school seniors today. Founded in 2004 by Sister Gilchrist Cottrill, the school serves students with a wide range of special learning needs: LD, ADD, ADHD, autism, Asperger's syndrome, delayed development, sensory disorders and auditory processing deficits.
A University of Maryland coach and the private remedial Highlands School, which works exclusively with students with learning disabilities like dyslexia, ADHD and hearing issues, will create a new new community outreach center for parents who have many questions and little help.
Nashoba Publishing (MA)
As part of the process of hiring a new special education director for Harvard Public Schools, the top four candidates participated in a public forum. As the parent of a former special education student, candidate John Mara knows well that there needs to be a partnership with administration and parents, he said.
The New York Times
A Publishers Weekly article says, with large print books, size is not all that matters. A new company, Read How You Want, issues not only large print editions of books but also more unique typefaces that serve a range of readers with special disabilities - things like eye-tracking problems, dyslexia and other reading impediments.
Loudoun Times-Mirror (VA)
Parents and advocates for special education students in Loudoun County are protesting proposed state regulations, saying they would be a step backward for Virginia. Comments on the changes must be received by the Virginia Department of Education by June 30.
A year after pledging to spend more than half a million dollars to identify and help dyslexic students, the Houston, Texas Independent School District has diagnosed just 70 additional children, according to HISD records. Only 326 children in the 200,000-student school district are considered dyslexic several thousand below the number experts say they would anticipate.
Nashoba Publishing (MA)
As part of the process of hiring a new special education director for Harvard, Massachusetts Public Schools, the top four candidates participated in a public forum. Candidate Steven Kaplan said one of his priorities is keeping special education students in the district. According to Mr. Kaplan, "It starts with holding classes for potential special education teachers."
Community Press and Recorder (OH)
The EdChoice program, introduced in 2006, gives Ohio students whose public schools have been on Academic Watch for at least three years the opportunity to improve their educational environment by providing funding for them to transfer to a private school. While this and other programs are helpful to those students with general education needs, the fact remains that students with disabilities require special attention and should benefit from the same freedom of choice.
Jason Cunningham and his wife, Tracy initially resisted the thought of medicating Jason's two sons, Christopher and Patrick, for their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Once they tried it and saw the difference it made, they were sold. But occasionally, it was like the medication was taking a day off. Patrick had been sick with a cold, and to help relieve his symptoms he had been given a cold medication that contained pseudoephedrine. As it turns out, pseudoephedrine is a medication that cancels out the effects of the ADHD medication that Christopher and Patrick take.
Daily Sentinel (CO)
Karoline Fry, Delta High class of 2008, always tried harder because she thought she wasn't all that smart. Because she worked really hard, Karoline always had a B average, she said, so she wasn't tested for learning disabilities. But school just kept getting harder, so after a heart-to-heart talk with her mom, at the beginning of her senior year, Karoline asked to be tested for learning disabilities. The results of several weeks of testing showed Karoline was both dyslexic and had an auditory learning disability.
Pasadena Star-News (CA)
California state legislators advanced a bill Thursday aimed at exempting special education students from having to pass the high school exit exam to receive high school diplomas. It would provide a two-year exemption for disabled students who complete all of the requirements for graduation but do not pass one or both sections of the California High School Exit Exam.
Nashoba Publishing (MA)
As part of the process of hiring a new special education director for Harvard Public Schools, the top four candidates participated in a public forum. Candidate Pamela DeGregorio said a major tool in special education is learning what the disabilities are and educating the teachers as well as the parents.
The Lake Wales News (FL)
Communication, cooperation, trust, and fun are the keys to leadership. Teacher Jock Willers uses a ball as a metaphor to help children practice these skills. He recently used his techniques — a combination of Exceptional Student Education and gifted education teaching strategies — at Vanguard School, which specializes in teaching students who learn differently.
Pensacola News Journal (FL)
The traveling exhibit "Destination Anywhere" opens at Pensacola Junior College. The exhibit, presented by VSA arts and Volkswagen of America Inc., showcases the works of 15 artists with disabilities, ages 16 to 25, living in the United States.
Statesman Journal (OR)
A school counselor answers a question from parents about how to best help their daughter achieve school success in the special education system. She notes that developing a good relationship with teachers and specialists is key.
After tangling in litigation for close to a decade, the District of Columbia school system agreed in 2006 to work quickly to pare down a backlog of cases related to special education services it had failed to provide to students with disabilities. Two years after the decision in the class action, the backlog of cases is still large, and growing. But school officials and lawyers representing the plaintiffs are renewing efforts to work together to fix the mess.