June 2017

In This Issue
Quick Links
Legislative Action Center
Save the Date
Spring workshop by
Educational Enterprises
June 2nd

Beach Bash
September 10th in Belmar

February 7-10
: National CEC Convention & Expo 
Newsl etter E-Blast Editor
Amanda Jans

Newsletter Editor
NJCEC Copy Editor
Dr. Anne DeGroot
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please email newjerseycec@gmail.com 

For more information, please visit www.njcec.org
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Budget Proposal Concerns
A Call to Action 
The Trump Administration released its fiscal year 2018 budget, and it dismisses the needs of children and youth with exceptionalities. The proposed budget calls for deep cuts to the U.S. Department of Education funding. Without adequate funding for special and gifted education and early intervention programs, efforts to close the achievement gap will be hindered, overall student achievement will lag, high school graduation rates as well as college access and completion rates will decline.

A major concern to CEC is the complete elimination of funding for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program, the only dedicated federal investment for students with gifts and talents. It is well documented that students with gifts and talents have learning needs requiring specialized educational services if they are to reach their potential.

CEC calls on Congress to reject the Administration's budget proposal, repeal the sequestration caps, and increase appropriations for key education and health programs in order to maximize opportunities for children and youth with exceptionalities.

Visit CEC's Legislative Action Center to tell your members of Congress TODAY to invest in programs for children with exceptionalities and support public education and oppose private school vouchers! We need to maintain the momentum as we advocate for needed investments in special and gifted education, early intervention and research programs.
                                          -CEC Policy Insider
CEC Supports Equity in Charter Schools
The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS) Equity Coalition, along with many partners including CEC, issued a statement to the Trump Administration, 115th Congress, and U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, that the academic success of all children should be a priority. The letter asked for support to uphold three principles (access, quality through accountability, and civil rights) in support of the nearly 300,000 students with disabilities attending public charter schools as well as those interested in attending a charter school.
  • Access - Students with disabilities must be assured of equal access to charter schools and this must be reflected in application and enrollment policies that align with federal civil rights statutes and regulations.
  • Quality Through Accountability- The Administration must ensure that the charter sector continues to prioritize development and replication of quality schools driven by robust accountability standards.
  • Civil Rights - The Administration must continue to support the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights in order to leverage its authority to ensure that students' civil rights are protected in every education setting, including public charter schools.
Read more on charter schools in CEC's Policy on Children with Exceptionalities in Charter Schools and CEC's publication, Charting the Course: Special Education in Charter Schools.
                                          -CEC Policy Insider
The Department of Education recently issued a notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year 2017.

Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities - National Center for Improving Teacher and Leader Performance to Better Serve Children with Disabilities and National Center for the Development and Dissemination of Digital Open Educational Tools and Resources Supported by Evidence to Enhance Personnel Preparation and Professional Development for Educators for Students with Disabilities.

The purposes of this program are to
- help address state-identified needs for personnel preparation in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education to work with children, including infants and toddlers with disabilities
- ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children.

The deadline for submitting an application is July 6. 

Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities - Research and Development Center on Developing Software to Adapt and Customize Instruction in Digital Learning Environments to Improve Results for Children with Disabilities and Educational Materials in Accessible Formats for Children and Students with Visual Impairments and Print Disabilities.

The purposes of this program are to
- improve results for students with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration and use of technology
- support educational activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for students with disabilities
- provide support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom
- provide accessible educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner.

The deadline for submitting applications is July 10. 
Assistive Technology
The Assistive Technology Center
is located at
1005 Whitehead Road Extension, Suite 1
Ewing, New Jersey 08638
Toll Free: 888-322-1918

Technology Lending Center

Join the Technology Lending Center (TLC) and start borrowing from our wide selection of assistive technology devices, including computer access technology, communication devices, adapted toys, and an impressive array of equipment used for daily living.

Membership is FREE!

TLC Membership Benefits:

- borrow equipment for up to six weeks
- receive Advancing Opportunities' newsletters
- ask any questions about assistive technology

For more information, please visit
www.assistivetechnologycenter.org and select the
TLC link to view all of the items available.


Assistive Technology Tip

Approximately 1.5% of the world's population-through ALS, cerebral palsy, autism, traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson's disease or others-are living with speech disabilities. This is the reality that Talkitt, an innovative new technology from Voiceitt that can translate indecipherable language into clear communication, is determined to change.

Talkitt enables those with motor, speech, and language challenges to easily communicate using their own voice. It translates unintelligible pronunciations into understandable speech. The software-based solution can run on any smartphone, tablet, or computer, allowing the user to communicate freely with anyone, anywhere. An individual with a speech disability will record a word and then that person (or a caregiver with the ability to understand them) will link the utterance to a word on the application. Language is no barrier, as any can be selected. The system draws on this voice database to facilitate communication with people the user comes into contact with on a daily basis.

"This isn't standard speech recognition," said Danny Weissberg, the cofounder and CEO of Voiceitt. "We are using pattern recognition which is personalized for the speaker. For example, a person with Cerebral Palsy might say 'sho-ko-la' when he really means to say 'chocolate.' The app will recognize that based on the user's own personalized, pre-recorded dictionary."

Picture your world where everything you say is met with the furrowed brows and quizzical expressions of people legitimately, though futilely, trying to understand you. Formerly cut-off by an inability to express themselves, people with communication challenges can enjoy greater independence, well-being, and social interactions.

For more information, please visit http://www.abilities.com/community/talkitt.html.
Events Coming Up 
This information is provided as a courtesy by NJCEC.
NJCEC does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information.
Save the Date! 
Educational Enterprises (EE)  

Educational Enterprises provides services for adaptive equipment, assistive technology,  augmentative/alternative communication, behavior analysis, inclusion strategies, transition, diverse therapies, and more. Workshops are being offered this spring.   
For more information, please visit www.bergen.org and select   Educational Enterprises. You can register online here for upcoming workshops.
Also, please read about the new services that Educational Enterprises has to offer.

Autism Family Services of New Jersey's
13th Annual Beach Bash 
When: September 10th 
Where: Belmar, NJ

This free event benefits individuals and their families living with autism spectrum disorders. Beach Bash includes organized activities, DJ, arts and crafts booth, informational vendors, lunch, beach games and more. Families have an opportunity to network and partake in organized activities throughout the day. Also included in the day's activities is a free surf camp featuring Surfer's Healing (separate registration required).

For more information, please visit The Family Resource Network. You can register or donate here.
2018 National CEC Convention & Expo
When: February 7-10, 2018
Where: Tampa Convention Center
333 S. Franklin Street
Tampa, FL 33602