Ideas that Work, office of special programs U.S. Department of Education

The contents of this website were developed in part under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M150052. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government or Project Officer, David Emenheiser.

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Central Ohio BBB's Laws of Life Essay Contest - Writing from the Heart
The Laws of Life Essay Contest is a character-themed essay competition for students, originally created by Sir John Templeton in 1987, and adopted by BBB’s Center for Character Ethics in 2009 as a vital component of the future leaders programming. The contest challenges young people to discover through reflection and writing what matters most to them in their own lives and the principles they believe should guide their behaviors and choices. The Central Ohio BBB Laws of Life Essay Contest is a competition of the best Laws of Life essays written by middle school students in BBB’s 21 county service area. BBB’s Center for Character Ethics sponsors the contest to encourage schools and communities to engage in this enriching and valuable experience.   The final submission date is March 1, 2019.  For the full article please click on the title. 
Vanderbilt Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Survey for Parents

We are currently seeking families of individuals with complex communication needs to complete a survey on communication systems and AAC services.   The goal is to gather information that will help improve the awareness of AAC services, AAC implementation strategies, and barriers of accessibility of communication systems and services.  Please take this survey or distribute it to people who may be interested in taking this survey. Copy the link below into your web browser:

Ohio Department of Education Revised Accommodations for English Learners 1-24-2019 Notification
Following a review of the Department’s commitment to English learners and appropriate assessment accommodations, the Department updated its Accessibility Manual, Ohio’s State Test Rules Book and Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) Test Administration Manuals. The updates ensure accommodations for English learners, including language translation, are not determined by time enrolled in U.S. schools or the number of years a student has been identified as an English learner.  Please review the notification above for a complete listing of revisions. Revised Accommodations for English Learners  
Dear Colleague Letter - Early Intervention Services (EIS)

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)  OSEP has published a new policy letter (December 20, 2018), regarding screening and whether it should be included as part of an evaluation for an infant or toddler suspected of being deaf or hard of hearing, as well as, information on the applicable evaluation timelines and required protocols under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Additional OSEP Memos, Dear Colleague Letters and Policy Letters are publicly available online.

Black and White Picture of Jeanith Ryle, Information Specialist, OCECD Who Passed Away December, 20, 2017 Jeanith Ryle's Memorial Bench from OCECD Unveiled at Marca Industries by Marion County Board of DD, December, 2018

Jeanith Ryle passed away just over one year ago on December 20, 2017. She was one of the strongest, most passionate women you could meet and made a significant local impact for those in Marion County with developmental disabilities. Jeanith was not only a longtime board member serving for more than ten years on the board for the Marion County Board with DD; she was a parent to Katie, a young adult with a developmental disability (DD). Jeanith also dedicated 20 years of her life assisting other families in Ohio as an Information Specialist with the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD).  To honor her memory and her important work for the DD population, the OCECD purchased a bench with a plaque that reads, “In memory of Jeanith Ryle for her lifelong dedication to serving children with disabilities.”   A small dedication was held to unveil the bench, which will be placed at Marca Industries where her daughter, Katie, attends day services. Present that day were Jeanith’s husband, Les, as well as three of her four children; Katie, Brooke, and Chris (Gregory could not attend). Jeanith’s mother, Grace Ratterman, and grandchildren, Jase and Adyson, and Chris’s fiancé, Allison Decker.  Representatives of MCBDD, Marca, and OCECD came to share their memories of Jeanith and present the bench to the family.  Click on the title of this article to read the entire article! See Pictures Above!

Use This 'Smile Amazon' Link and Amazon Donates to the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities
It's easy, just click on the link below, place your order through Amazon, then copy and paste this "Smile Amazon" link in your Favorites list and use it everytime you order!  It doesn't cost you anything to use it!  Our name will show up in the top middle of your screen once you use it.  OCECD receives a 1/2% donation of your total order from Amazon each time this link is used! We thank you for supporting the children with disabilities in Ohio!!  Tip: Make it easier using the Smilematic browser extension which will automatically redirect you to AmazonSmile whenever you shop at Amazon!  Here's our custom link: OCECD Smilematic
If You Shop Kroger, Use Their Community Rewards Program and Help OCECD Serve Kids!

To use the Kroger Community Rewards Program:
Register online at
Be sure to have your Kroger Plus card handy if you have one and register your card with our organization after you sign in.  OCECD number is VK317 in the Kroger Rewards Program. Click on this article's title for more instructions. 

OCECD Publications to Download Free
OCECD's informational publications are free.  Click on "Read More" to download them in English or Spanish.  The publication list, fact sheet and training descriptions can also be downloaded.  If you need information on other topics call OCECD's Executive Office at 740-382-5452 or 844-382-5452. 
Download One Page Tip Sheets on IEP, ESY, Evaluation, Transition, Communication and More
 Click on "Read More" to be able to Read and Download One Page Informational Sheets on Individual Education Program, Extended School Year, Progress Reports, Evaluation/Evaluation Team Report, Independent Educational Evaluation, School Work, Informed Parental Consent, Postsecondary Transition, Related Services, and Communication. 
Welcome to our Website
Our website is now more easily accessed by parents and professionals with the intuitive navigation. This site has new sections to the left titled For Parents, Newsletters, Multicultural, Preschool, Reading Mentoring, Disability Definitions, Public Policy and Policy Letters. We hope these are helpful. If you have any suggestions, please contact Lee Ann Derugen, Webmaster at  If you are a parent needing assistance, please call 740-382-5452 or email   Click here to view our Website Privacy Policy Website Privacy Policy or see a link for it in the footer of each page.  Click here to view our Website Accessibility Statement. 
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