SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

November 16, 2022 | Issue 53 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

The SPAN 35th Anniversary Gala Is Only 26 Days Away!

JOIN US as we recognize the 28-year career of Diana Autin, present awards to seven deserving honorees, and gather in celebration of SPAN's many accomplishments over the last five years. For tickets, sponsorships, journal ads and more information, click here.

Text Link

SPAN 35th Anniversary Gala Invitation image

Important News

Virtual Forum announcement image
Diana Autin image

How Schools are Helping Special Education Students Recover From the Pandemic:

A Virtual Forum - Today

The pandemic’s impact on academic and social-emotional issues has been especially deep for students with disabilities. It has been felt not only in the classroom but also in areas including student mental health and the loss of crucial momentum in the learning journey of these most-vulnerable students.

This forum will focus on the pandemic’s impact on students who sometimes receive less attention in broader conversations about special education.

Education Week staff will talk with experts and educators about:

  • how the pandemic complicated challenges for these students and 
  • what schools are doing to make up for lost time and services due to the pandemic

Diana Autin, Co-Executive Director of SPAN, will be the featured panelist during the discussion about compensatory services and transitioning students.

Register for the Forum and Submit Questions for Panelists here


Decorative image.

Informal Removals of Children with Disabilities from School

An informal removal is defined by the US Department of Education as an action taken by school staff in response to a child's behavior that excludes the child for part or all of the school day without documentation.

Informal removals can happen through parents being asked to pick-up their child, shortened school days, or hours spent in "time out" rooms. The use of informal removals for students with disabilities circumvents the federal laws that protect their rights.

The Office of Civil Rights(OCR) issued guidance on discriminatory practices in discipline for students with disabilities in July 2022. The topic of informal removals is addressed in the guidance because of how often they appeared when the OCR was investigating complaints against school districts. The guidance makes it clear that children who are informally removed have the same rights as those who have been officially suspended.

Review the OCR Guidance Document here

Read a comprehensive article about this topic here

View the US Department of Education's Discipline and Behavior Guidance Webinar

Promoting Family Engagement and Early Identification of Developmental Delays: The Role of Act Early Ambassadors

Learn the Signs, Act Early image

"I love helping families use "Learn the Signs. Act Early" materials. Seeing the glow of relief that emerges across families' faces knowing that they now have LTSAE tools to help them observe their child's developmental milestones, learn fun engaging activities to promote healthy development and speak with their doctor when they have a concern. This is so rewarding to me as a LTSAE parent champion."

New Jersey Act Early parent champion

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC's) "Learn the Signs. Act Early" (LTSAE) program includes a network of Act Early Ambassadors. Ambassadors work to improve the early identification of developmental delays in young children.

They engage families and transform systems to support family-engaged:

  • Developmental monitoring
  • Healthy child development
  • Early identification efforts

Deepa Srinivasavaradan, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives at SPAN and LTSAE Ambassador for NJ, co-authored an article about how ambassadors use LTSAE resources to empower families and improve early identification in their communities.

Read the entire article from Zero to Three here

Learn more about SPAN's Early Childhood Initiatives here

Upcoming Events

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event This Week

REAL Transition Partners:

How Do I Get the Job I Want?

November 30 2022

Noon - 1:00 PM

Employment should be an expectation for youth/young adults with disabilities.

In this webinar, we will discuss:

  • Ideas to help you figure out what kind of job you want
  • Things to consider before starting a job search
  • Tools to help you complete applications
  • Preparing for interviews

Register here

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse


Decorative image

SPAN Youth Hub Discusses Practicing Self-Advocacy

Speaking up for yourself, your needs, wants, and challenges are essential to becoming your best self-advocate. Discover how to start practicing in today's blog post, "Practicing Self-Advocacy."

Click here to access the blog 

Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

Join the SPAN Team - View Open Positions here

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Instagram