2020 Marks 100 Years for Vocational Rehabilitation

On June 2, 1920, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Smith-Fess Act, known as the National Civilian Rehabilitation Act.  Two earlier congressional Acts had established vocational rehabilitation programs targeted to helping disabled World War I veterans transition to civilian life.  The Civilian Rehabilitation Act of 1920 took those models and created a program for all Americans with disabilities, and this year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of that action. The Civilian Rehabilitation Act established the federal/state rehab program and gave funds to states, with a 50-50, match mainly for vocational services, guidance, training, occupational adjustment, and placement services. … Read More »

New School Safety Website Launched

The U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services have joined together on a clearinghouse focused on school safety – www.SchoolSafety.gov.  The new website provides resources for K-12 school administrators, educators, families, and the law enforcement community to prepare for and deal with school safety and security. There are a number of resources available at SchoolSafety.gov.  These include an assessment tool to help schools evaluate their safety situation and an “action plan” template to help prioritize needed steps, as well as possible grant opportunities.  The site also has a secure feature for school personnel to share… Read More »

Education Department Addresses Privacy Concerns with Online Learning

With almost all schools in the country closed and many trying to provide virtual learning experiences, some questions have arisen about privacy of students and families.  Student privacy is covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) at the U.S. Department of Education has developed a fact sheet with resources to assist educators and families in navigating how to ensure privacy while providing virtual education.  SPPO has a number of resources on its website, including documents that address FERPA exceptions and a checklist to evaluate online educational apps. One question that… Read More »

Children’s Needs Addressed in Coronavirus Stimulus

In light of the current situation with COVID-19, Congress has been working overtime to address the needs of the country. The third stimulus package has been passed by both chambers of Congress and has been signed by the president. For LDA members, concerns have been raised about using this vehicle as a way to waive parts of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). While waiver language remains, hopefully any use of this secretarial authority will be limited and carefully crafted by the U.S. Department of Education. The CARES Act contains an Education Stabilization Fund that will provide $30.75 billion… Read More »

LDA Action Report: Together We Have a Powerful Voice

Over the past several weeks, LDA has been closely monitoring developments related to Congress’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the leading voice for individuals with learning disabilities, LDA knows the value of ensuring that your voice is heard and represented in Washington D.C. Over the past week,  LDA created a series of action alerts for members and LDA supporters to send to their U.S. Senators and Representatives. The first action alert was in opposition to a proposal that Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) offered giving the U.S. Secretary of Education authority to approve state waiver requests for any requirement of… Read More »