Latest news


Posted 5/22/14

According to data released by the U.S. DOE's National Center for Education Statistics, despite the fact that graduation rates are going up across the county, students with disabilities continue to lag behind their more typically developing peers. Read more here.

Posted 4/29/14

An MTV documentary set to air this weekend takes a look at the transition from high school to college of two brothers with autism. See here for more information.

As the public struggles still to make sense of the loss of Avonte Oquendo earlier this year, legislators have proposed a few means of tracking students with developmental disabilities and stopping them from running out of their schools and away from the school staff who are charged with keeping them safe. Read in the Daily News about legislation proposed by Councilmembers Wills and Gibson calling for creation of a voluntary database controlled by the NYPD.

Posted 4/25/14

The conversation about charter schools in NYC matters very much to families of students with disabilities. Read "The big losers in NYC charter fight: students with disabilities," in the Washington Post.

Read more about students with disabilities and the Common Core in the Huffington Post in "Don't Believe the Hype: Students with Disabilities Should Benefit from the Common Core" by Laura Shifter, Todd Grindal and Thomas Hehir.

The Southern Education Foundation has released a new report on juvenile justice, youth with disabilities and education, "Just Learning: The Imperative to Transform Juvenile Justice Systems Into Effective Educational Systems." On the report, see an editorial in the New York Times here and additional coverage here.

Posted 4/23/14

Read Geoff Decker's piece in Chalkbeat on parents waiting for information from the City about how their children's performance on this year's standardized tests will effect promotion.

Posted 4/8/14

Read more on charter schools and students with disabilities in NYC in the New York Times.

Posted 4/7/14

See Salon's piece, "When Charter Schools Try to Crowd Out Marginalized Public School Kids."

Posted 4/1/14

The Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City Schools released a report yesterday on how Avonte Oquendo went missing from his public school in the fall. For coverage of the report and the family's response see Chalkbeat, The New York Times, Schoolbook, DNAInfo, NY1, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post.

Posted 3/28/14

In an editorial by the New York Times, the Board notes that excessive punative policies are used across the country, and minority students with disabilities fare the worst. See the editorial and the reporting on the in the Times and on Chalkbeat. To read the report itself, see here.

For a story on WNBC about delays in busing for students with disabilities see here.

Posted 3/27/14

The federal government is looking to compel businesses to significantly increase the number of people with disabilities that they employ. For more, see Disability Scoop.

Posted 3/25/14

Read a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times on the need to shift the conversation in NYC on school reform from Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children.

Federal legislators are pressing for increases in spending over the next decade necessary to bring special education up to full funding. See Michelle Diament's piece in Disability Scoop here.

Worth reading in the New York Times, "Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney," by Ron Suskind.

Posted 3/10/14

To read about the effect of NYC's special education reform on students who may need additional supports than their schools can offer, see Aimee Sabo's piece on Inside Schools.

Employment numbers for people with disabilities in the US continue to fall. See Research on Disability for details.

Posted 3/7/14

The Leadership Team at the DOE's Division of Teaching and Learning under Phil Weinberg was announced last week. These Deputy Directors could be poised to make significant changes in access to learning for all students, including students with disabilties. For details see Chalkboard here.

Posted 3/3/14

The DeBlasio administration has reviewed the co-location plans inherited from the Bloomberg administration and denied space sharing plans for 3 district programs and 3 Success Academy Schools after finding they either placed elementary and high school students in the same building or that they would have a negative impact on programs serving students with disabilities already located in those buildings. See Chalkbeat, New York Times, NY1, Huffington Post, Daily News, SchoolBook, and Capital New York.

Posted 2/28/14

Mayor DeBlasio has lifted his moritorium on new co-locations announcing procedures to seek greater community input on space plans. See Chalkbeat and Schoolbook.

Posted 2/25/14

NYC Schools' Chancellor Farina gives more detail on her plans for the DOE. Read Sarah Darville's interview with the Chancellor on Chalkbeat.

New Jersey has settled a lawsuit brought by advocates who argued that too many of New Jersey's students with special needs were sent to separate schools outside their home districts rather than receiving appropriate services. See Yasmeen Khan's piece on SchoolBook.

The Independent Budget Office says there were problems with the data they analyzed in their recent report on charter schools and students with disaiblites. Data provided to them by the DOE which they thought reflected all students with disabilities only, in fact, reflected those students receiving special education supports full-time. For more, see here.

Posted 2/21/14

The Chancellor talks about special education at the PEP meeting. See Chalkboard here.

Posted 2/14/14

See here for more information on how the federal government plans to fund tracking devices for young people with autism.

Another student with disabilities was able to leave his school unattended this week. Fortunately, he found his way home, but his mother plans to file suit against the city as a result. See the Daily News and NY1 for more.

Posted 2/12/14

In New Jersey, the State and disability advocates are about to settle a 7-year-old lawsuit that challenged the state's track record on educating students in the LRE. See here for more details.

Posted 2/10/14

Christina Samuels writes in Education Week about how graduation-rate gaps in many states between students with disabilities and their more typical developing peers raise the stakes for next year's first-ever federal evaluation of how well states are serving their special education students.

Posted 2/4/14

The federal government will fund tracking devices for students with autism. See Disability Scoop.

Posted 2/3/14

Mayor DeBlasio has appointed 5 new members to the Panel for Education Policy. That list includes Lori Podvesker an advocate for students with disaiblities and a member of the ARISE Coalition. See Chalkbeat.

"Avonte Oquendo's Death Hits home for Special Needs Families."

Posted 1/23/14

Daniel Dromm is the new Chair of the City Council's Education Committee. See Chalkbeat.

Horribly, the four month search for Avonte Oquendo, a 14 year old with autism who was able to walk out of his school unaccompanied this fall, has ended as his remains are found. See Chalkbeat, Daily News, Schoolbook, New York Times, NY1 and the WSJ.

Posted 1/22/14

Advocates are reacting to the NYS proposal to allow some students with disabilities, not eligible for Alternate Assessment, to be tested at their instructional ability rather than their chronological grade year. See the Huffington Post.

Posted 1/21/14

The State Education Department is creating a panel of students with disabilities to advise on special education policies. See Patrick Wall's piece on Chalkbeat.

Posted 1/15/14

The New York City Independent Budget Office has released a report on attrition in charter schools showing that students with disabilities at charters generally leave at a much higher rate than both general education students in charters and students with IEPs in traditional public schools. Additionally, charter schools enroll a disproportionately lower share of students with disabilities than community schools. Read the report here.

Fewer people with disabilities were working in December 2013 than the same month in 2012. See Research on Disability.

Posted 1/10/14

Carmen Farina, who Mayor Deblasio appointed as the new schools' Chancellor (Gotham Schools, New York Times, NY1, NY Post, and the Daily News) started work today. See Gotham Schools. Uruslina Ramirez will be Farina's Chief of Staff.

Posted 1/2/14

For coverage of concerns of parents with disabilities about how their children will get to school in the new year if they were previously transported by the closing companies, see FoxNY and CBS New York.

Posted 12/20/13

With several large bus companies declaring bankruptcy, City education officials are scrambling to find transportation for about 40,000 public-school students when they return from the break on January 2nd.   See coverage in today’s Daily News

Teachers of some students with disabilities are raising concerns about the new assessments rolling out along with the Common Core Standards.  See Patrick Wall’s piece in Gotham Schools.

Posted 12/19/13

For more on the lawsuit filed on behalf of parents claiming their children were wrongly sent to emergency rooms by their schools which could and should have resorted to other, less traumatizing methods for solving behavioral problems, see Beth Fertig on SchoolBook.

Posted 12/17/13

On behalf of a group of NYC parents, Legal Services of New York in the Bronx has filed a law suit to prevent public schools from sending children to the emergency room against parents' wishes and in the absence of an immediate medical need. The suit asks for training for staff in city schools on the issue and for damages for the families named in the suit. See Lisa Fleisher's piece in the Wall Street Journal.

Posted 12/16/13

Across the country, despite the fact that employment rates are rising, employment rates for people with disabilities have declined. See Research on Disability's coverage of the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability report.

Posted 12/9/13

Mayor Bloomberg announced that graduation rates in gereral are up in the City and gradution rates for students with disabilities rose 7 percent last year. See Gotham Schools and SchoolBook for more information.

More families of students with disabilities are pursuing impartial hearings seeking funding for schools that can provide their children with appropriate supports and services. See Rachel Monahan's piece in the Daily News.

Posted 12/5/13

A low-income family has won funding for a private special education school for their daughter with a learning disability after a three-year battle with the DOE. Read more about the case here.

The Fund for the Public Advocacy has released another report on NYC's special education reform. The report, authored by Perry and Associates, can be accessed here.

Posted 12/4/13

Families frustrated by transportation woes for students with special education needs have enlisted the advocacy help the former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union.  Read here about their call for improvements, including creating an independent advocate who would serve as a liaison between families and the Office of Pupil Transportation.

Posted 11/27/13

Special education advocates, including the ARISE Coalition, offer advice to the new Mayor. See coverage in SchoolBook.

Read, "'We're Losing Our Little Boy': One Family's Heartbreaking Fight For Their Son's Education," in the Huffington Post.

Posted 11/26/13

See City & State for a piece on how the Common Core Standards effect students who are English Language Learners and students with disablities.

Posted 11/25/13

Mayor Elect, Bill DeBlasio's Transition team will include Kim Sweet, Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York and a member of the ARISE Coalition. See Gotham Schools, SchoolBook, and Capital New York.

Posted 11/21/13

While investigating school safety in the aftermath of the disappearance of a student last month, News 4 New York's I-team is able to walk into 7 of 10 schools without being stopped. See the story here.

Posted 11/19/13

NYC announced changes to safety protocols following the disappearance of a 14-year-old from his District 75 program in Long Island City last month. See Beth Fertig's piece on the Chancellor's announcement here.

Posted 11/18/13

We recommend reading the commentary in Education Week on, "A Promising Adademic Model for Students with Disabilities."

Posted 11/15/13

Read an op-ed in the New York Times from Lori McIlwain, the Executive Director of the National Austism Association. "The Day My Son Went Missing: Wandering Is a Major Concern for Parents of Children With Autism."

Posted 11/14/13

For news we love, see, "A Boy's Life With Cerebral Palsy, Revealed in Tumblr 'Aaronverse'," in the New York Times' City Room.

Posted 11/12/13

See Gotham Schools and NY1 for information about NYSED's decision that NYC has "systemically violated the law by failing to provide crucial behavioral supports for students with disabilities." To read the State's decision, rendered in response to a complaint filed earlier this year by Advocates for Children of New York, see here.

Posted 11/08/13

The New York Civil Liberties Union has released a report, “A, B, C, D, STPP: How School Discipline Feeds the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” that discusses, among other things, the fact that students with disabilities receive suspensions at about twice the rate as their peers without disabilities.   Read about the report on SchoolBook and access the report here.

Posted 10/30/13

Senator Charles Schumer has proposed that the federal Justice Department to provide tracking devices to parents who wish to monitor their children with autism and other developmental disorders who wander. See Disabilitiy Scoop.

Posted 11/6/13

See Sarah Darville's coverage of the New York City Council's Oversight Hearing on Special Education Reform.

State Board of Regents Chancellor, Meryl Tisch, says that NYC's network structure has failed students with special education needs and English Language Learners. See Patrick Wall's piece on Gotham Schools.

Posted 10/29/13

As the search for the missing NYC student with Autism continues, parents and advocates share thoughts on what went wrong and offer protections that should be in place to protect students. See pieces from Al Baker of the New York Times and Beth Arky from the Child Mind Institute.

Posted 10/18/13

A recently disabled school principal has been relegated to her school’s basement because a wheelchair lift that would allow her access to the main floor of her building hasn't been installed. See the NY Post.

Posted 10/15/13

See both of Melissa Russo's pieces on NBC News' Investigations on special education busing -- "School Bus Headaches" and "DOE Responds to Students Being Trapped on School Buses."

Posted 10/4/13

For news about the Center on Reinventing Public Education's report on charter schools and special education see Gotham Schools here.

Posted 10/2/13

See Fox News' Arnold Diaz' two part reporting on special education busing in NYC at the start of the 2013-14 school year here and here.

Posted 9/25/13

Most of the NYC schools ranked as top NYS schools serve only selective groups of students and students who are English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities are often poorly represented in those schools. See NYI.

Posted 9/18/13

To read and hear Beth Fertig's piece on WNYC on the overuse of EMS by the NYC public schools go here.

See Lindsey Christ's piece, "Mother says overcrowded bus creates problems for autistic students."

Posted 9/16/13

Go here to listen to Yasmeen Khan's WNYC piece on a travel training program for youth with disabilities in NYC.

Read here about a conversation between NYS Commissioner King and a NYC principal about NYC students with disabilities and high schoool choice.

Posted 9/12/13

A professor of physical therapy is buidling mobility devices for toddlers with physical disabilities. See "Giving Mobility When Legs Can't" in the New York Times.

Posted 9/10/13

On the first day of the 2013-14 school year, the New York Daily News features advice from a number of experts in the education field. Two ARISE Coalition members are included there -- writing about the need for a new Chancellor with knowledge about the system and for "a multiyear plan — with budgets and measurable annual goals — for how the city will build the necessary capacity to bring all students up to par." Read more here.

Posted 9/9/13

See Geoff Decker's piece, "Advocates say city is agreeing to pay special ed costs less often," in Gotham Schools.

Parents of students with special education needs at some of NYC's charter schools say they were pressured to remove their children from those schools. See Juan Gonzalez's reporting in the Daily News here and here.

For a wonderful piece on parenting a child with special needs see Lori Podvesker's piece on Resources for Children's Resource This.

Posted 9/3/13

Read Rachel Howard's (Rachel is the Executive Director of Resources for Children) piece in SchoolBook on the test scores and students with disabilities, "New Tests Expose Inequities for Students with Disabilities."

Posted 8/20/13

As predicted standardized test scores for third through eigth grade students fell sharply across NYS and NYC. Scores for Black and Hispanic students, for English Language Learners, and for Students with Disabilities fell the most. See here for information from the NYC DOE. Read coverage of the issue at the Daily News, Gotham Schools, NY1, the New York Times, SchoolBook, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

Posted 8/8/13

See here for an interview on Gotham Schools with Corinne Rello-Anselmi, Deputy Chancellor for the NYC DOE's Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners.

Posted 7/24/13

NYC's Comptroller's Office has released an audit on the special education database, SESIS, which NYC began using in 2010. See the press release here and the audit itself here.

Posted 7/22/13

See and listen to Reema Khrais' piece on WNYC about ARISE's recent Assistive Technology event.

Posted 6/4/13

Inside Schools has posted a piece questioning the lack of Integrated Co-Teaching classes for Gifted and Talented students. Read it here.

Posted 5/7/13

Read Yasmeen Khan's, "School bus issues continue to dog special ed community."

Posted 4/29/13

Principal Rashid F. Davis has written a piece for SchoolBook on the benefits to co-teaching. Read it here.

Posted 4/11/13

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) has filed a complaint with the New York State Education Department against the NYC Department of Education (DOE) for its failure to provide students with disabilities necessary behavioral supports as mandated by law. See here for more information from AFC and see SchoolBook and WABC TV for coverage.

Posted 4/10/13 

See quotes from ARISE members on the intersection of students with disabilities and the roll-out of the Common Core standards in Yasmeen Khan's piece on SchoolBook.

NY1's New Yorker of the Week last week is about a coach who helps youth with disabilities build their skills through basketball. See Roma Torre's piece here.

Posted 4/1/13

The NYC DOE has released some liimited data on the first phase of the special education reform. See Philissa Cramer's piece on Gotham Schools.

Posted 3/15/13

The Independent Budget Office has released an analysis of schools the City wants to close this year. Once again, they serve large percentages of students with disabilities and English Language Learners. See Gotham Schools, SchoolBook and NY1.

Posted 2/28/13

For news on how the first day back to school after the bus strike affected students and families see Gotham Schools', "Return of yellow school buses brings relief and new challenges," and Lori Podvesker on SchoolBook.

For news on how the day went for drivers and matrons see SchoolBook, The New York Times, the Daily News, and NY1.

Posted 2/21/13

See Ben Adler's piece in City Limits, "Advocates Pan City's Record on Disabilities."

Read news about the end of the NYC school bus strike in Gotham Schools, NY1, the New York Times, the Daily News, the New York Post, SchoolBook, and the Wall Street Journal. And for a parent's perspective see Marni Goltsman's blog, Capturing Autism.

Hear Yasmeen Khan's piece on WNYC, "NYC School Bus Strike Takes Toll on Disabled Kids."

Bryan Strommer, a student at the Lab School, has launced an anti-bullying campaign in NYC. Read about it here.

Posted 2/19/13

Watch Lindsey Christ's piece, "Some low income students without buses have issues with car service programming" on NY1.

Posted 2/15/13

See the ARISE Coalition's oped on the bus strike, "Disabled students, left out in the cold," in the NY Daily News.

Read about the recent federal guidelines requiring schools to make sports teams accessible for children with disabilities in the Daily News.

Posted 2/13/13

See Yoav Gonen and Yorena Mongelli's, "Hardships mount for NYC families with special needs children due to school-bus employee strike" in the NY Post.

For coverage of the City Council's Committees on Education and Finance's joint hearing on the bus strike see Gotham Schools, NY1, SchoolBook, and the Daily News.

And for coverage of the strike in the New York Times see here and here.

Posted 2/11/13

Advocates say that policies to help parents cope with the bus strike fall short. See Emma Sokoloff-Rubin's piece in Gotham Schools.

Posted 2/7/13

See Sailing Autistic Seas for a parent's perspective of navigating transportation during the strike.

See Eileen Riley-Hall's excellent commentary, "The kids who get left behind," in the Albany Times Union on students with disabilities and standard academic assessments.

Posted 2/4/13

See Gotham Schools, "For one family, bus strike means 8 busses, 4 trains, and few options."

Posted 2/1/13

News coverage on the strike and the effect it has on students with disabilities and their famliies continues. See Art McFarland's piece on Eyewitness News and two pieces on NY1 available here and here.

In other news, Districts are required to give disabled student-athletes access to sports or create leagues for them. See the Associated Press and guidance from the Federal Department of Education for more.

Posted 1/25/13

For more news on the strike, and, in particular, its effect on families of students with disabilities, see coverage on Gotham Schools, SchoolBook and the Village Voice.

Posted 1/17/13

The strike is on and parents and advocates have voiced many concerns. See WPIX, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, and SchoolBook.

Posted 1/16/13

See NY1's "Bus Strike Could Keep Many Children With Special Needs From Class."

Posted 1/15/13

A school bus strike is very likely in NYC. See SchoolBook, NY1, the Daily News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post.

Posted 1/14/13

After a number of principals complained in the press, the DOE is now rolling back some new policies regarding funding for students with disabilties in NYC public schools. See Gotham Schools' "After backlash, City tweaks special education funding rules."

Posted 1/14/13

Advocates in Chicago have filed a lawsuit charging the city with failing to provide timely special education services for students with disabilities transitioning to preschool. See "Chicago Faulted on Learning Disabilities."

Posted 1/8/13

See Inside School’s, “Applying to middle school with an IEP,” highlighting recommendations and tips from Advocates for Children for families during the admissions season.

An audit of the New York State Education Department by the State Comptroller’s office found that while the state spends around $2 billion a year on preschool for children with disabilities, NYSED has not visited and audited a single contractor involved in the program since 2007.  See David Halbfinger’s piece in the New York Times. 

Posted 12/19/12

The Campaign for Educational Equity has released two reports showing New York State is failing to provide students with a constitutionally mandated adequate education.   Access both, Essential Resources: The Constitutional Requirements for Providing All Students in New York State the Opportunity for a Sound Basic Education and Deficient Resources: An Analysis of the Availability of Basic Educational Resources in High-Needs Schools in Eight New York State School Districts here.

Posted 12/17/12

The Office of the Special Investigator for the New York City DOE has found that a Brooklyn principal cut special-education services from her high school and forced teachers to change records of students with disabilities inappropriately.  See Yoav Gonen’s, “Brooklyn principal short-changed special ed kids to cash in:  DOE Documents.”

Posted 12/15/12

Advocates for Children and the Alliance for Quality Education released recommendations to protect preschool special education programs at a press conference in Albany. In those, they encouraged the state to vigorously audit programs and improve financing procedures. See here for more.

A Brooklyn school has been accused of cutting special education services to cut school costs. See here for more.

Posted 12/14/12

An audit by the NYC Comptroller's Office has found problems with special education billing over recent years. See Yasmeen Kahn's piece on SchoolBook here.

Posted 12//7/12

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged the NYC DOE with false billing of the federal Medicaid system for counseling services for low-income pupils with special needs.  See Beth Fertig on SchoolBook.

Posted 10/24/12

The UFT says that test scores went down in schools that participated in the first phase of the City's special education reform. See the Daily News.

Posted 10/22/12

For press coverage of the New York City Council's hearing on transportation services see the Daily News, NY1, SchoolBook, and Good Morning NY.

Posted 10/11/12

Recruiting efforts are underway in NYC in response to a chronic shortage of speech-language pathologists. See Yasmeen Kahn in School Book.

Posted 10/10/12

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights says that, from 2009 to 2011, the agency received more complaints about disability issues than ever before in a three-year period. See Nirvi Shah's piece on Education Week.

Posted 10/5/12

While NYC public school classes continue to be over-crowded, the UFT has raised concerns that the number of NYC's special education classes that are overcrowded has doubled in the past year. See Gotham Schools and Inside Schools for more on this.

To learn more about current challengees families are having in obtaining related services for preschool children with special needs see DNAInfo.

Posted 9/25/12

For coverage of Deputy Chancellor Rello-Anselmi’s visit to the Citywide Council on Special Education and her discussion about special education reform (now being called “A shared path to success”) see Yasmeen Kahn’s piece on SchoolBook and Rachel Cromidas on Gotham Schools.

Posted 9/21/12

See Education Week for coverage of recommendations made by the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination calling for reform of instruction and testing used to measure progress of students with severe cognitive disabilities.

Posted 9/19/12

See the 28th issue of Bank Street College of Education's Occasional Papers, "Inclusive Classrooms: From Access to Engagement."

Posted 9/14/12

See City Limits for an oped on the City's special education reform efforts from our founding organization, Advocates for Children. See "On special education, school department must do its homework."

Posted 9/13/12

Bryan Stromer, the student representative to the Citywide Council on Special Education, writes on SchoolBook, "Students must speak up for real inclusion."

To read about some of the City's special education bussing woes this year see the Daily News', "Brooklyn parents fume as buses don't show," and "City socks busing company that took schoolkids on five-hour rides home."

Posted 9/12/12

See Lindsey Christ's series on NY1 on changes to special education contracts in New York City and how they are affecting students and providers here, here, and here.

updated 9/12/12

For more news on the special education reform see DNAinfo's "Special Ed Changes Create Battle to Find Kindergarten Seats," and Beth Fertig's piece, "Families Struggle with New Special Education Rules," on SchoolBook.

Posted 9/5/12

See Al Baker's article in the New York Times for coverage of the Fund for the Public Advocacy's report on the special educaiton reform and Yoav Gonen's piece in the New York Post for an update from a parent's perspective on her son's need for a classroom placement under the reform.

Posted 9/4/12

See Inside Schools "Here's Help for Special Ed Parents," for information parents of students with disabilities need to know as the school year begins.

Posted 8/28/12

For more on the NYC special education reform see "Special Education Reform Brings City More in Line with National Trend," on SchoolBook.

Posted 8/9/12

New York City's high needs schools -- those with high poverty rates and lareger percentages of students with special education needs or English Language Learners -- have low standardized test scores. See Lindsey Christ on NY1.

A report from the Government Accountability Office says that students with disabilities face massive challenges using federal services that are supposed to help them transition from high school and into college or the workforce.   See here for a piece on the Huffington Post.   See here for the report itself

Posted 8/8/12

The New York Times reports that students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be suspended as their non-disabled peers, with the highest rates among black males with disabilities. See Motoko Rich's piece here.

Posted 8/7/12

Go here to listen to Shael Polakow-Suransky, the Chief Academic Officer of the NYC DOE on the Brian Lehr show on the special education reform and announcing office hours and a new hotline for parents of students receiving special education supports.  For more on this see Patricia Willins’ piece on SchoolBook and Pam Wheaton on Inside Schools.

Posted 7/30/12

The new Deputy Chancellor for Special Education talks about moving forward with the special education reform and improving data collection and analysis around the reform. See, "At a critical moment, a new special education chief takes over."

Posted 7/20/12

The New York Times has another piece on the whistleblower teacher who complained that his school was failing to meet the needs of his students. See, "On Special Education, Spurned Teacher is Vindicated."

Posted 7/10/12

A bill now in Albany could give families an option to send their children to religious schools for special education placements. See the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

For more on concerns of advocates about the implementation of the special education reform. See Yasmeen Kahn's piece on SchoolBook.

Posted 7/3/12

A proposed bill on charter schools and special education services has some concerned. See Gotham Schools.

Posted 6/21/12

Advocates for Children of New York and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest have filed a law suit against the DOE claiming that the City has failed to provide critical translation and interpretation services for parents of students with disabilities who do not speak English. See Rachel Monahan's coverage.

Posted 6/20/12

At the Citywide Council for Special Eduction meeting the incoming Deputy Chancellor for Special Education answered questions about the special education reform. See SchoolBook for more details.

Posted 6/15/12

For coverage of the New York City Council hearing on Special Education Reform see Lindsey Christ on NY1, Gotham Schools and SchoolBook.

Posted 6/14/12

See Jaye Bea Smalley's, "New Special Education Policies vs. Failed Special Education Policies," on New York City Public School Parents.

Posted 6/11/12

The ARISE Coalition and several of its member organizations have expressed concerns about the implementation of the special education reform - calling on the DOE to address key concerns immediately as they continue to roll out the reform. See Philissa Cramer's piece, "City has released only scarce data from early special ed reform," and Ben Chapman and Rachel Monahan's piece in the Daily News.

Posted 6/8/12

NYC's Panel for Education Policy approved budget formula changes to the special education funding plan. See Grace Tatter's article in Gotham Schools.

Posted 5/24/12

See Micheal Powell's article in the New York Times, "Helping Special Education Students, and Paying With His Career."

Posted 5/22/12

See Jessica Campbell's profile of a full inclusion school, "At The Queens High School of Teaching, A Model of Inclusion."

Posted 5/18/12

The state is preparing to implement a clause in its charter school law that requires the schools to serve their fair share of high-needs students, including proporational rates of students with disabilities. See Rachel Cromidas' piece in Gotham Schools.

Some groups are urging caution as the City's special education reform moves forward. See Phillisa Cramer's piece in Gotham Schools.

Posted 5/16/12

Additional high schools, including several highly coveted ones, will be exempted next year from meeting their special education targets under the reform. See Meredith Kolodner's piece on Inside Schools, "Elite & audition schools get special ed pass."

NYC will be adding special education teachers to their roster next year. See The Wall Street Journal for details.

Posted 5/3/12

At a City Council hearing advocates testified about the overuse of 911 for handling discipline concerns in schools. See Gotham Schools, the Daily News, and SchoolBook.

Yoav Gonen writes in the New York Post that the UFT and some principals are worried about funding for students with disabilities.

Posted 5/2/12

See Bryan Stromer's excellent piece on SchoolBook, "Why should a disability limit high school choice?"

Read Yoav Gonen's piece in the NY Post, "State English Tests Dissed Deaf Students."

Posted 4/23/12

To learn about the state's current proposals on graduation requirements for students with disabilities see Anna Phillip on the New York Times' SchoolBook.

Posted 4/20/12

Changes to state tests hit many students with disabilities twice as hard. See Jessica Campbell's piece in Gotham Schools.

Posted 4/19/12

Laura Rodriguez, the DOE's Deputy Chancellor who leads the Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners, will be retiring at the end of the school year. See Gotham Schools and SchoolBook.

Posted 4/1/7/12

Read Micheal Winerip's "Keeping Students' Mental Health Care Out of the E.R."

Posted 4/9/12

To read about the DOE's Parent Information Sessions on their special education reform see "Acquainting parents with new special ed plans," on SchoolBook.

See Marni Goltsman’s blog entry on Inside Schools, “Why exclude special education students?”

Posted 4/5/12

Tension is building in school communities over the special education reforms. Read Merdith Kolodner's article, "Parents fight to keep out special ed kids." in Inside Schools.

Posted 3/30/12

Small schools that have opened to replace larger closing schools serve fewer students with with special education needs. For a thoughtful analysis of available data see Jackie Bennet's piece in Edwize.

Posted 3/28/12

The city is planning to move a program for students with disabilities now located in East New York and several parents say their children are being left behind either because there is insufficient room at the new location or because travel time will make the new site unfeasible. See the story in the Daily News.

Posted 3/22/12

Read "Will overcrowding undermine special education reform?" in Inside Schools.

Posted 3/14/12

See Inside Schools' for news on the application process to kindergarten for students with disabilities, "Special Needs Children Need Not Apply."

Posted 2/22/12

The City's top middle schools are also being told to serve greater numbers of students with disabilities under the special education reform. See Meredith Kolodner's piece in Inside Schools.

Posted 2/15/12

More recommended reading -- Beth Fertig's piece on SchoolBook, "Do High-Needs Students Affect a School's Grade?"

Posted 2/14/12

See DNAinfo for a piece on parents' concerns as the special education reform continues to roll-out and a related guide to kindergarten admissions for parents of students with disabilities.

Posted 2/13/12

The Independent Budget Office has released data analysis of student populations at the schools NYC plans to close showing a high concentration of students with disabilties, English Langauge Learners, and students who are overage for thier grades. See the report itself here and a Gotham Schools piece.

Posted 2/9/12

Recommended reading -- "From a School Facing Turnaround, a Tale of Academic Perseverance" in Gotham Schools.

Posted 2/7/12

For an interesting piece on service dogs and children with disabilities see the New York Times Magazine's article, "Wonder Dog".

Posted 2/6/12

Parents, advocates (including the ARISE Coalition), and several of the NYC mayoral candidates held a press conference to discuss the implications of school closure policies on at-risk students, including students with disabilities. See Gotham Schools, School Book, and the Daily News.

Posted 2/2/12

Next fall the DOE will require NYC's screened and selective high schools to admit greater numbers of students with IEPs. Read more in Ben Chapman's Daily News piece.

Posted 1/30/12

Read Comptroller John Liu's "Audit Report on the Procurement of Direct Student Services by the Department of Education."

Posted 1/27/12

See Gotham Schools and SchoolBook for information about Governor Cuomo's budget proposals as they relate to preschool special education and early intervention services.

Posted 1/18/12

See Pam Wheaton's piece on Inside Schools, "Walcott okays roll-out of special ed reform."

Posted 12/7/11

See Principal Phil Weinberg's piece on SchoolBook about "The Failed Potential of the Progress Reports" and his concern that the reports create a disincentive for schools to work with students most at-risk or for schools to work collaboratively and share best-practices.

Posted 11/30/11

To read about DOE contracts with private companies and a discussion on SESIS see Adrienne Day's "10 Percent Wrong" in City Limits.

Posted 11/29/11

See Jillian Jonas' piece in Gotham Gazette on how "Barriers Keep Many Disabled New Yorkers Trapped in Poverty."

Posted 11/15/11

Mandate relief proposals from SED to the State Regents were approved - with a big change - the proposal to eliminate the school psychologist at many IEP meetings was taken off the table. See Gotham Schools.

Posted 11/15/11

For an interesting piece on the special education reform and the need for some students to remain in self-contained settings see Beth Fertig's piece, For Some Special Ed Students, Inclusion is Deferred.

Posted 11/10/11

Stuggling with Special Education Charter Schools Join Together. See Gotham Schools.

Posted 11/7/11

NYC's high school progress reports will now award extra credit to schools that move students with disabilities to less-restrictive environments. See Gotham Schools.

Posted 10/25/11

To read about Chancellor Walcott's statements on SESIS, see Gotham Schools.

Posted 10/20/11

The UFT has concerns about NYC's new Special Education Student Information System read here.

Posted 10/15/11

NYC charter schools serve lower percentages of students with disabilities and English Langauge Learners than community schools. See the Daily News.

Posted 8/24/11

Inside Schools posts information about busing questions for students with disabilities.

Posted 8/12/11

Parents need a voice in teacher evaluation. See NYC Public School Parents Blog.

Posted 8/4/11

Students with disabilities were less likely to be included in school-wide activities in the 2010-11 school year than in the prior year. See Ben Chapman's Daily News article.
Posted 7/18/11

For an interesting article on NYC charter schools and students with disabiltiies see the New York Times.

Posted 7/12/11

NYC will increase class sizes for students in Integrated Team Teaching classes. See Daily News.

Posted 5/26/11

Evaluations for students with disabilities necessary to receive special education supports and services are backed up. See Gotham Schools.

John King is the new State Education Commissioner. New York Times and Gotham Schools.

40% of teacher evaluations will be based on test scores. New York Times.

City officials agreed to restart the citywide education council voting process. Gotham Schools.

Posted 5/25/11

Elections for district and citywide parent councils, including the Citywide Council on Special Education, have been extended under criticism that the elections were flawed.   See Gotham Schools.

Posted 5/10/11

Read Marni Goltsman's blog entry, When autism makes 1st grade too hard, on Inside Schools.

Posted 4/21/11

A first grade student at a NYC public school was handcuffed. See the Daily News article here.

Posted 4/21/11

Dennis Walcott begins work as New York City's new Chancellor of Education. See the story on NY1.

Posted 4/21/11

State budget cuts may force several specialized schools for students with disabilities to close. See the Daily News and NY1 for more detail.

Posted 3/4/11

Meredith Kolodner of the New York Daily News reports on the DOE's failure to provide Transition Support Services and to plan for students with disabilities exiting high school. See her article here.

Posted 3/3/11

Data just released by New York State education officials calculates that under 17% of students with disabilities in New York State graduate college and career ready. See the New York Times article for more detail.

Posted 2/8/11

A report released by the New York Civil Liberties Union shows that New York City schools have been overusing suspensions as a disciplinary tool, and students with disabilities have been particularly affected. See here to read the report. See here, here, and here for press coverage.

Posted 1/28/11

New York City’s Independent Budget Office released a report on the schools the Department of Education wants to close next year.   The report shows that those schools have more students with higher needs than others in the system – including students with disabilities.   Read the report here.   See NY 1’s coverage of the report here.  To read a statement from Advocates for Children on the closing schools see here.

Posted 1/27/11

The special education reforms which are being piloted this year in 265 Phase 1 schools will be rolled out to the remainder of all city schools a year later than was originally planned. See the Inside Schools piece here citing a memo from Chancellor Black to principals announcing the plans.

Posted 1/25/11

New York City Board of Education Chancellor Joel Klein has announced his resignation and Mayor Bloomberg has announced his intent to appoint Cathleen Black. See some of the press reports here, here, and here.

The Center for Fiscal Equity released a report, "Diploma Dilemma: Rising Standards, the Regents Diploma, and Schools that Beat the Odds" finding that: NYC high schools with similar students vary dramatically in their ability to help those students graduate, particularly with Regents diplomas; and that students entering high school least likely to graduate have poor eighth grade reading and math skills, limited English proficiency, disabilities, irregular attendance, or are overage. The read the report see here.

Posted 11/10/10

For more press coverage of the start of the school year and students with disabilities see a second article from the Daily News on busing concerns and a piece on accessibility issues in the Daily News as well. See also, the New York Post for an article on access to kindergarten.

Posted 09/27/10

See Meridith Kolodner's article about busing woes for students with disabilities at the start of the 2010-11 school year in New York City.

Posted 09/20/10

Go here to read about the September meeting of the Citywide Council on Special Education on the curent changes in special education in NYC.

Posted 09/20/10

See here for coverage of Save Our Schools, a NYC coalition of parent leaders, parents, activists, and elected officials, and their call for the city to stop relying so heavily on standardized tests.

Posted 09/20/10

To read press coverage on the new New York State standards for proficiency in English and Math, and the results of the annual exams for students in grades three through eight see here and here.

Posted 07/30/10

See Sharon Otterman's New York Times article, "A Struggle to Educate the Severely Disabled" describing the efforts of a family and school to educate a young man with significant disabilities. And see here for Letters to the Editor on the piece. (Posted 06/28/10)

Posted 06/24/10

See Lindsey Christ's piece on NY1, "Special Ed Programs May Face City, State Budget Cuts."

Posted 06/14/10

The number of students receiving special education services in New York City rose considerably this year. See the report on NY1.

Posted 06/01/10

Read about the Celebrate Inclusion event co-sponsored by Parents for Inclusive Education and the Department of Education at Inside Schools and see the report on NY1.

Posted 05/19/10

State records show that NYC's charter schools enroll far fewer of the most severely disabled students than traditional public school. See the Daily News article here for more.

Posted 05/04/10

Jennifer Medina of the New York Times reports on the progression of the special education reforms in New York City. See the article here

Posted 04/29/10

Meredith Kolodner of the New York Daily News reports that students with disabilities are falling victim to the fierce battle to find space for charter schools inside city school buildings.  See the article here

Posted 03/23/10

For an intersting editorial on Civil Rights in Education from the New York Times see here.

Posted 03/16/10

Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio held a town hall meeting for parents of NYC public school students. Raphael Rivas from the Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled spoke up on behalf of students with disabilities. See the coverage from the Park Slope Courier here.

Posted 03/15/10

New York State and New York City released graduation data for the Class of 2009 (2005 cohort). See the State's data here, and the City's here. See also press coverage from Gotham Schools, the New York Times, and the New York Post.

Posted 03/10/10

The Federal House of Representatives approved a bill to restrict the use of forcible restraint and seclusion, in which children are held down, drugged or isolated in a locked room to control their behavior. Read about it here.

Posted 03/05/10

See the New York Times article on resources for parents of students with learning disabilities from Saturday, Febraury 27.

Posted 03/01/10

Parents of students with disabilities are extremely concerned about the effect the City’s school closings and program re-locations will have on their children.  To learn more see Maura Walz's pieces and all the related comments on Gotham Schools here and here, and read a statement from Advocates for Children here.

Posted 02/24/10

To see analyses of the Department of Education's plans to reform special education see Gotham Schools, the New York Daily News, the Staten Island Advance, and the New York Post.

Posted 02/04/10

A new study done by Aaron Pallas, a professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College and Jennifer Jennings, an assistant professor at New York University, shows that small high schools, particularly those that have replaced large high schools formerly housed at the same sites, don’t always enroll the neediest students including those with special education needs. See here and here for more information about the study.

Posted 09/23/09

The beginning of the school year got off to a rocky start for some students with disabilities and their families who depend on specialized bus services to get to school on time.    See NY1 reporter Lindsey Whitton Christ’s piece and Rachel Monahan and Meridith Kolodner’s article in the Daily News.

Posted 09/22/09

The New York State Board of Regents voted on July 27, 2009 to elect Dr. David Milton Steiner as New York State Education Commissioner and President of the University of the State of New York.  Read the press release from the Regents here.

Posted 07/28/09

On July 3, Chancellor Klein created a new cabinet level position at the Department of Education.   He appointed Laura Rodriquez as Chief Achievement Officer for Special Education and English Language Learners.   That same day, Garth Harries provided the Chancellor with a memorandum listing recommendations regarding New York City’s special education system. The Chancellor has made those recommendations public and is requesting comment by mid-August.  To view Harries’ recommendations and learn more about Ms. Rodriquez, go to DOE’s press release here. To view the ARISE Coalition response to Mr. Harries' recommendations see here.

Posted 07/13/09

On June 8 the Department of Education made known that Garth Harries, the Senior Coordinator for Special Education, will also be leaving at the end of the month to become an Assistant Superintendent of Public Schools in New Haven Connecticut. See the DOE's press release here.

Posted 06/08/09

Linda Wernikoff, the Executive Director for Teaching & Learning Special Education Initiatives at the New York City Department of Education, has announced that she is stepping down at the end of the school year. For more information see the Gotham Schools article, “City’s top special ed official will leave at school year’s end.” In addition, Dr. Marcia Lyles, the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, under whose auspices the Office of Special Education Initiatives operates. Dr. Lyles will be leaving to serve as Superintendent of the Delaware Christina School District. See "City’s top educator has been offered Delaware superintendency", and the DOE's press release for more detail.

Posted 05/20/09

A report released by the Public Advocates office on April 30, 2009 analyzing NYC’s high school graduation and discharge trends from 2000-2007 found that the NYC high school discharge system may be artificially increasing the city’s gradation rate by excluding at-risk students, including those with disabilities, who leave school without diplomas.    The report contains several disturbing findings regarding the discharge of students receiving special education services highlighting the fact that the special education discharge rate for students in self-contained and District 75 classes has increased over the years. The report can be downloaded here.

Posted 04/30/09

The New York City Department of Education has announced another full-scale review of the special education system. Stay tuned for more information on this topic as the DOE plans develop and the advocacy community weighs in.

Posted 01/22/09 by Andrew Tirrell

See Philissa Cramer's series of entries on this issue.

See The New York Teacher for a description of Garth Harries’ appearance before the Citywide Council on Special Education.

Read testimony regarding this issue submitted to the City Council by ARISE Coalition members.

Over the past few months the ARISE Coalition and Parents for Inclusive Education (PIE) have sponsored a series of speak outs for parents and caregivers of students with special needs in each of the New York City boroughs. Parents, caregivers, grandparents, concerned educators, and community activists came in large numbers to the forums. Despite a few positive stories about concerned and dedicated teachers and principals they had met along the way, they also told stories about their children being left out of school-wide activities and programs, and a lack of progress in general. They painted pictures of being treated as 2nd class citizens, experiencing a lack of sensitivity at the school and district levels regarding their children, low expectations for their children, and segregation of youth with special needs from their general education peers. The speakers were convinced that their children were being left behind while the general education population made strides. Thanks to all of you who came and spoke as well as all who came to support others from the communities who we support. We'll be in touch soon about steps in response to the speak-outs.
Posted 01/16/09 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here , here and here to read more about these efforts
The New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief has issued a report to the Governor that includes some recommendations we find troublesome as they pertain to special education. Governor Patterson has not acted yet on the report. No new legislation has been introduced. Please check back on the website for further developments with regard to the report and any advocacy efforts around the recommendations.
Posted 10/29/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the report
New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. calls on the Schools Chancellor to immediately review its transportation policies to end the "confusion and mismanagement."
Posted 10/29/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the press release
Rachel Monahan of the Daily News reports on a DOE attempt to use a copy of an old evaluation to satisfy a parent's request for a new one.
Posted 10/20/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the article
Rachel Monahan of the Daily News reports on continuing special education issues at Bed-Stuy's Frederick Douglass Academy IV.
Posted 10/14/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the article
Meredith Kolodner of the Daily News follows up with a new article regarding special education bus routes.
Posted 9/16/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the article
Elizabeth Green of the New York Sun writes about the shortage of placements for New York students with disabilities.
Posted 9/16/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the article
New York City Public Advocate investigates special education placement shortage.
Posted 9/9/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the article
Meredith Kolodner of the Daily News and Amisha Padnani of the Staten Island Advance write about cuts in special education bus routes.
Posted 8/22/08 by Andrew Tirrell

Click here to read the Daily News article

Click here to read the Staten Island Advance article

The Council on Great City Schools 2008 Report on improving its District 75 programs.
Posted 8/05/08 by Andrew Tirrell

Click here to read the Council's report

Click here to see the ARISE Coalition's letter to Chancellor Klein regarding the report.


ARISE Coalition's response posted 9/30/09
Yoav Gonen of the New York Post writes about the DOE's proposal to cut the number of District Family Advocates.
Posted 8/04/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the article
New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum's Report about the Inadequacy of the 311 system for Parents of Children with Special Needs.

Posted 7/08/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the report
Results of ELA and Math Testing of Students with Disabilities Released.
Posted 7/08/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to see the results
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli Issues Report Citing DOE Delays.
Posted 7/07/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Click here to read the report
Chancellor Klein Announces New Special Education Service Delivery Report For All Schools.
Posted 06/17/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Full Article...
Delays for Special Education Middle Schoolers.
Posted 6/16/08 by Andrew Tirrell
Full Article...

Katie, Age 6



Under law, a transition plan to support successful post-school employment and education must be developed for every student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) by the time they reach the age of 15. The plan must include a statement addressing the transition to adult life and information on the student’s unique needs, preferences and interests. The plan should lay out goals with regard to training, education, employment, and independent living skills necessary for success as an adult. In order to help you plan we have created a fact sheet on students’ rights in transition planning and expanded our on-line resources below.




If a student receives special education services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) entitles him or her to certain rights in planning for transition to life after school.  Make sure you are familiar with those rights and consider ways you can help assure the most successful transition planning for your child as he or she prepares for life after high school.   

Students’ rights in transition planning

To download a copy of our factsheet on Transitioning from High School see here.

  • At the age of 12, students must begin to receive vocational assessments, which take information from interviews with the student, parent/guardian, and teacher and are intended to help students begin their planning for life after high school.
  • At the age of 15, all IEPs must include the following pieces specific to transition from school to post-school activities:           
    • A statement of the student’s needs.
    • Age-appropriate, measurable goals for post-secondary life based on appropriate transition assessments that relate to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills.
    • A list of activities to help the student achieve those goals.
    • A statement of responsibilities expected of the student, family, school or other agencies to promote the student’s transition plan.
  • In the year the student exits or graduates from school, the school must complete a Student Exit Summary detailing present levels of performance, any accommodations or supports the student will require, post-secondary goals, and a list of agencies to provide support to achieve those goals. 
  • All students with disabilities have a right to stay in school or return to school until the year they turn 21, or achieve a Local, Regents, or Advanced Regents Diploma. (See below for more detail.)
  • After students complete high school or turn 21, they will no longer be entitled to special education services under the IDEA, but they will be entitled to accommodations for disabilities as well as services from certain government agencies listed below under other laws.  This is an important shift as it signals the young person’s move from a system where they were entitled to services (services should have found them) to one where they are eligible for accommodations and/or services (they need to seek out the accommodations and/or services).

How can parents encourage students to participate in their own transition planning?
In helping your child plan what to do and where to go when he or she finishes high school, help him or her consider his or her next steps and what he or she will need to achieve transition goals.   Think about the things that interest him or her, things that he or she is are good at, and skills he or she can develop to determine what is right for him or her as an individual.  Once your child has decided on a career or educational pathway to explore, you will need to help him or her think about what to do to get there. 

  • Transition planning works best when students are involved, so prepare your child to self-advocate.
  • Encourage young people with special education needs to read their IEPs and transition plans, or assist them with reading and understanding both.
  • Help students identify their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and goals. 
  • Encourage students to think about long-term goals and what they need to do to reach them.
  • Help your child understand his or her disability and teach him or her to ask for the supports they need.
  • Discuss your child’s medical needs with him or her.
  • Introduce students to adult role models with disabilities.
  • Encourage experience and independence.

What does your child need to know? 
Young people should talk to their guidance counselors, but they should think beyond that, too.   They should think about their strengths, skills, and interests, and consider multiple options.

  • If your child is thinking of going to college, help him or her explore options and understand how it will be different from high school.  
  • Once in college, students with disabilities will need to self-identify and request services from their schools.   Every college has an office of accessibility.  

Where else can you go for free information?

  • Casey Life Skills provides tools to help you prepare for adulthood.   - (206) 282-7300.
  • Career Cluster Videos can be found at and are another good place to find out more about job possibilities.
  • Career Zone is maintained by the New York State Department of Labor and is a good place to explore careers related to strengths, skills, and talents - (877) 226-5724.
  • Disabled Person is another database where people with disabilities can search by job title, job description, key words, and location to find possibilities for life after high school.  - (760) 420-1269.
  • The Federal government sponsored Exploring Your Career Options site at and Kids.Gov: Job Resources at are two other good places to look.
  • The How-To Career Resource Library at is a good place to explore the typical path to finding employment in a number of areas.
  • Kids as Self Advocates (KASA) is a national project created by youth with disabilities. They have helpful tip sheets on education and work- (334) 230-5441.
  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD) has information about employment and youth with disabilities.   - (877) 871-0744 extension 154.
    • Have your child give thought to whether or not, and when he or she would like, to disclose information about his or her disability to employers and schools.   For more information on the rights to privacy and disclosure of disability, see NCWD’s 411 on Disability Disclosure.
  • New York State Job Zone is an online tool to help identify strengths, skills, and talents, explore occupations, and search education and training databases.  - (877) 226-5724.
  • O-Net Online allows an individual to search careers by keywords and find out the necessary knowledge bases, skills, abilities, education, technological skills, and employment outlook for jobs of interest. 
  • has a page dedicated specifically to transition and employment
  • is a website dedicated to improving educational and employment outcomes for people with disabilities.   - (391) 424-2002.
  • We Connect Now is a website created by college students to serve college students with disabilities.
  • Students should consider going to job fairs run by their schools or the NYC Department of Education.

What can parents do to help assure better transition plans? 

  • Inform your child’s teacher if your child wants to lead the IEP meeting.  He or she can always ask for help during the meeting if it gets too tough.
  • Communicate with the rest of the IEP team early about assessments required under law for developing transition plans.
  • Urge transition planning to begin earlier than at age 15.
  • Talk to agencies already involved with your child and get their help related to transition planning,
  • Identify new possible resources to help your child transition to life after high school.
  • Practice job interviews and/or asking for accommodations with your child.

Diploma options in New York State

In thinking about life after high school, it is important to think about a student’s educational path in high school.  Every student should know his or her diploma goals.  New York State currently offers four different diploma options: Advanced Regents Diploma, Regents Diploma, Local Diploma, and non-diploma options that include the Career Development and Occupational Students (CDOS) Commencement Credential and the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC).  In addition, some people earn a GED (General Education Development).  Make sure you know the requirements for each option so you can work to make sure your child is on track to complete those requirements before turning 21. 

For specific information on the available options we urge you to review the following sites:

Post-Secondary Education and Career Options
As students begin to think about life after high school, they need to consider all their options.   Whether a student plans to go to a college or a trade school, or find a job right away, here are some resources for information and support during that transition period. 

For students looking for academic support as they head to college programs 

  • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP):  Available at colleges in the SUNY system.  Provides access, academic support and financial aid to students who show promise for mastering college-level work, but who may not otherwise be admitted.  (518) 443-5793.
  • Talent Search Program: Provides college advisement and tutoring. Young people should start by becoming members atThe Door.  Walk-in Monday–Thursday 2:00 to 5:00 pm. (212) 941-9090.  
  • US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights:  To learn about your child’s rights and responsibilities as a college student, see the federal government’s Department of Education website or call the Office of Civil Rights at (800) 421-3481.
  • Goddard Riverside Community Center – Education and College Access Program: Provides one-to-one college counseling, mentoring and tutoring for students, and training for professionals engaged in the field of college counseling.

For students seeking information about GED programs

For students who need help with job placement?

  • Next Generation Center: Based in the Bronx. The center offers job training and placement for youth ages 18 to 24. Walk in from 2:30 – 4:30 pm.  (718) 589-4441.
  • NYC Workforce 1 Career Centers: City run career centers with job placement services, job listings, computers and printers.  Offer some on-site training in computer skills and possible vouchers for additional job training.   Offices in all five boroughs.  (718) 960-2458.
  • Young Adult Internship Program:  Twelve-week paid internships (25 hours per week) for young people who are not in school or working.
    • Young people should start by becoming members at The Door. Walk-in Monday–Thursday 2:00 to 5:00 pm. (212) 941-9090.  
    • The Young person must live in one of the following zip codes to participate in YAIP - 10034, 10040, 10033, 10032, 10031, 10039, 10030, 10037, 10035, 10023, 10024, 10025, 10026, 10027, 10009, 10002. Call (212) 941-9090 for the most current information.

For students interested in job training, job readiness support, and help finding employment

  • Center for the Independence of the Disabled (CIDNY): Runs two programs for Queens students with disabilities ages 14 to 21 and their parents, Strides and Step up.   To find out more contact Aillen Aponte, Youth Services Coordinator, at 646-442-4152
  • Covenant House:   Provides job training for those interested in working as bank tellers or certified nurses aids, or in the culinary arts, construction, customer service, or computer fields.   Open to youth between 17 and 21 years old.  Offices in all five boroughs.  Call (212) 613-0300 for more information. 
  • Exalt: Brooklyn-based, 10-month intensive training program and follow up support for students between 15 and 20 who are enrolled in school. (347) 381-8100. 
  • Henry Street Settlement:  Based in Manhattan.  This two-week job training course also provides job placement, job referrals and help for ESL job seekers. (212) 478-5400.  
  • Non-Traditional Employment for Women (NEW):  Six-week program preparing women for careers in the construction, utilities and transportation industries.  Must be 18 and have high school diploma or GED.  (212) 627-6252. 
  • Project Hire: Based in the Bronx, this 20-week program provides training for men and women in carpentry, painting, plumbing electrical wiring, and building maintenance.  Provides placement after training. No GED required for youths 19 and up. Younger individuals may be admitted with high school diploma or GED. (718) 289-5589. 
  • Strive:  Four-week job training program in computer literacy, interviewing, and other skills (for youths 17 and up).  (212) 360-1100. 
  • This Way Ahead:  A four-month program for students looking to gain job skills. Young people should start by becoming members at The Door:  Walk-in Monday–Thursday 2:00 to 5:00 pm.  (212) 941-9090.  
  • Year UpOne year intensive job training program (with pay) for youths between 18 and 24 years old who have achieved their high school diploma or GED.  (212) 785-3340.

For students looking for scholarship assistance

  • Through the Looking Glass offers college scholarship to students who are under 21 and who have a parent who has a disability.  The website also includes links to additional scholarship opportunities for students of parents with disabilities and students with disabilities.

For students with on-going health care needs

Government agencies that may provide support as your child transitions to life after high school 
The definition of disability at adult agencies differs from that of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Please do not assume that a young person will qualify to receive services simply because he or she had an IEP as a child.  Visit agencies and websites for more information about eligibility and application processes.

  • The Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES – VR):The state agency (formerly known as VESID) that provides vocational and rehabilitational services including job training and counseling, for youth and adults with physical, psychiatric, mental health, or learning disabilities, and may provide support for individuals with disabilities while attending college.
    • Bronx – (718) 931-3500                                  Queens – (718) 271-8315
    • Brooklyn – (718) 722-6701                             Staten Island – (718) 816-4800
    • Manhattan – (212) 961-4420
  • The Office of Mental Health (OMH):  The state agency serves New York residents with mental health needs. Programs overseen by OMH include inpatient and outpatient programs, community support, residential, supportive housing, and family care programs.  1-800-597-8481.
  • Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD):  OPWDD provides services to eligible individuals, including supports for independent living, supportive and supervised residences, work and day activities, health care services and service coordination. Find information about eligibility, assessment, and housing initiatives on their website, or contact a center:
    • Bronx and Manhattan - (212) 229-3000         Queens – (718) 217-4242
    • Brooklyn - (718) 642-6000                              Staten Island – (718) 983-5200
  • Social Security Administration (SSA):  .  SSA funds programs that provide benefits for people of any age who are unable to do substantial work and have severe mental or physical impairments.  Apply online or call (800) 772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for an appointment. 
    • Social Security Disability Income (SSDI): Adults with disabilities may qualify to receive social security disability income as a “child” benefit under a parent’s social security earnings record if they became disabled before reaching adulthood.  A person who is eligible for SSDI will automatically become eligible for Medicare after receiving SSDI benefits for two years. For more information, see here
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI):  SSI benefits are available to adults or children who are disabled or blind.  They are not based on prior work history.  The applicant must have limited income and resources to qualify.  Seehere for more information.  SSI recipients qualify for Medicaid.  To apply, see here.
    • PLANS To Achieve Self-Support (PASS):   An SSI provision to help individuals with disabilities return to work by allowing individuals with disabilities to set aside money and/or other things they own to pay for items or services needed to achieve specific work goals.
  • U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP): ODEP works to influence national policy and promote effective workplace practices to ensure that the workforce is inclusive of all people, including people with disabilities.  ODEP’s website includes some helpful information for youth with disabilities seeking employment.   See here for details.

Independent agencies that may be able to offer you and your child support during the transition process

For a list of independent agencies that may be able to offer advocacy support during the transition process see our About us and Resources pages.
This document represents only a partial list of organizations offering resources for people with disabilities.  It is a list in progress.   Please feel free to contact if you have suggested additions.
The ARISE Coalition does not endorse any of these sites or programs.