SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.
Happy Valentine's Day image

February 14, 2024 | Issue 117 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division logo

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Right to Language Access for Students

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Lau v. Nichols, affirming the right of English Learners to participate meaningfully in the educational programs offered in public schools. This decision helped usher in a mandate requiring public schools to take affirmative steps towards meeting the language needs of their students. The Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division in the U.S. Department of Justice has worked for decades to enforce this mandate and ensure that the rights of English Learners are fully protected. The section has undertaken dozens of enforcement actions to address deficiencies in school programs for English Learners, and has published numerous resources for students, their families and their schools to clarify the requirements of Lau and federal law.

To learn more about how the Department of Justice has worked to enforce this mandate, and to access the resources they've published, click here.


US Census American Community Survey logo

Census Bureau Dropping Controversial Proposed Change to Disability Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau is no longer moving forward with a controversial proposal that could have shrunk a key estimated rate of disability in the United States by about 40%, the bureau's director said on February 6.

The announcement comes just over two weeks after the bureau said the majority of the more than 12,000 public comments it received about proposed changes to its annual American Community Survey cited concerns over changing the survey's disability questions. SPAN's own Diana Autin was part of a CCD workgroup that provided comments opposing the proposed change.

In short, based on proposed changes to census questions, many advocates believed that the responses could have lowered the estimated share of the U.S. population with any disability from 13.9% of the country to 8.1%.

To read more, click here.

National Parent & Youth Helpline Now Open

National Parent and Youth Helpline logo

On January 9, Parents Anonymous, Inc. announced that its National Parent & Youth Helpline will now offer immediate emotional support through calls, texts, and chats answered by trained and caring staff 24 hours a day and seven days a week to parents, caregivers, and youth up to 25 years old. These expanded services are supported by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the United States (U.S.) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award with 100 percent funded by ACF/HHS.

To learn more and access the helpline, click here.

Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event This Week

Decorative image

Intervention & Referral Services: Understanding How It Works

February 21, 2024

7:00 - 8:30 PM EST


Understanding the interventions and supports at your child's school.

Join us to learn what Intervention & Referral Service (I&RS) is and the role parents play in the process of ensuring their child is receiving the support they need.

  • What is a multi-tiered system of support?
  • Who makes the referral?
  • Who receives the assistance?
  • What do all these terms mean?

This workshop will be presented in both English and Spanish.

To register, click 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
SPAN Youth Hub image showing a youth painting

Hobbies to Try in 2024

Read our latest youth blog post, "Hobbies To Try in 2024," on how they can improve mindfulness and mental health. 

To access the post, click here.

Subscribe to The Bridge by CLICKING HERE

Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

Join the SPAN Team - View Open Positions here

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Instagram