Children with Special Needs, need Parents with Special Skills!
September 2020

News for Schools!

This newsletter is the third of a new, periodic series for school and special education leadership about all things connected to Special Education.  

We will provide resources and information for teachers and other school staff working with students with disabilities and their families. 

This issue has  information about our upcoming Lunch and Learn on Education for Incarcerated and Detained Youth and a great new resource for Educators on Trauma.  

We also have resources for the families and students you serve.  For example, here is a great resource for families seeking to find affordable computers and internet access.  We also recently put together a list of our most popular Spanish Language Resources for families, you can find them here to share with your families who might be interested.  

Finally, we are happy to share that Connections Beyond Sight and Sound is offering a free training in basic ASL, in English AND Spanish.  This 4-part Basic ASL series will be on Thursday evenings in September from 7:30-9:30pm.  You can find all of Connections Beyond Sight and Sounds' trainings for professional and families working with students who are deaf/blind hereFamilies should free free to join the Basic ASL series anytime.  Connections will also be releasing mini-grant applications later this year for projects supporting students who are deaf/blind or have Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI).

Please let us know at, what information would be most helpful to receive, and please .
SchoolTalkDC - Voices of Change Conference - September 14 - 24

AJE is happy to share this information to help teachers provide great secondary transition services in this virtual setting.  AJE is hosting Got Transition for three sessions about Navigating the Transition to the Adult Healthcare System during the conference - one session for Educators, Parents and Youth.  

School Talk's FREE Voices of Change (Virtual) Programming starts today and runs for the next two weeks.  They are offering scheduled citywide events on Wednesday, September 16 and Wednesday, September 23.

Voices of Change is designed to equip your middle and high school students with disabilities with knowledge and skills to lead self-determined lives through opportunities to LEARN, LEAD, and ACT. Your students will engage with youth leaders, community-based organizations, and local entrepreneurs and artists who shed light on postsecondary pathways to work, education, and independent living.

Register your class online today! To register larger student groups or multiple classes, email us at

Lunch and Learn on Education for Incarcerated and Detained Youth.    

We have a  Lunch and Learn on the Education of Jailed and Detained DC Youth on September 29th.  For more information about the education that DC youth are receiving while they are detained, please see this blog post.  You can register here.


We are also very excited to offer a training for parents and other community members on DC Residency in partnership with the Children's Law Center.  We know that the COVID-19 response and distance learning have impacted many DC families' situations and we are happy to share information and resources around residency.

In addition to these event, AJE, with support from SchoolTalk, will be hosting a series of community conversations about Race and Special Education this fall.  This series will generate a list of recommendations by DC families to make Special Education more equitable.  

Look for more information soon!   You can find all of our Lunch and Learns and other upcoming events on our online calendar.
New Resources on Trauma specifically for Educators 

AJE is excited to share new Trauma Toolkit for Educators and School Administrators, we hope that it helps schools implement the requirements of the Student Fair Access to School Act.  



AJE still is open and taking calls from families!     
During this time, our staff remain available to assist and support families and professionals. Our team is working remotely and the office is closed, but we are available to talk with families via Zoom and other technologies.  

For assistance, please call 202-678-8060, and press 1 to reach our intake line where you will be connected 
to the AJE Advocate of the Day.  You can also leave a detailed message there.  We are returning calls as soon as possible.  

You may also email us at

We have several new on-demand trainings for families our Special Education Thursday webinars are still a great resource for families!

Our Blog is another resource for families, we have posts about

We also have resources there to help families support their student with a disability, including

We recently gathered many of our Spanish-Language materials in one place, you can find those materials here.   

Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF) has acquired the District of Columbia Association for Special Educations (DCASE)  

Many DC Special Educators are familiar with both DCASE and MANSEF's work serving students with disabilities in nonpublic settings.  The two organization have collaborated for many years and have now merged.  MANSEF will have a dedicated staff member working as the DC nonpublic school liason focused on advocating for DC students served by MANSEF member schools.  See press release for more information.
Resources for families of students with disabilities and special health care needs from HSCSN

Resources for Secondary Educators on Including Health Care Transition in Your Transition Planning Work with Students

Transition planning for students is intended to prepare them for life after school - specifically further education/job training,  independent living and employment.

Knowing how and when to access medical care in the adult system is part of independent living, as is understanding your own medications and diagnosis.  However, we understand that many families and educators don't know how to support this transition to adult medical care systems as part of the secondary transition process.  

Thankfully, Got Transition, a project of The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health has created some great resources to help schools and families support students.  
You can find all these, and more, at the Got Transition website.    
Are you an Early Childhood Educator?  Upcoming Opportunity for Parents of Children 0-3! 

About AJE:
Advocates for Justice and Education is the federally designated Parent Training and Information Center and the Health Information Center for DC. AJE seeks to empower families, youth, and the community to be effective advocates to ensure that children and youth, particularly those who have special needs, receive access to appropriate education and health services.
Our passion is empowering families by equipping parents and students with disabilities with the tools they need to be their own advocates.

Have questions?  We are here to educate, advocate and empower. Contact us today!
Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc.| (P) 202.678.8060  | (F) 202.678.8062 |

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