Webfinder: Spring Cleaning

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STEP 1: Clear out the clutter! – The University of Illinois Extension Service offers practical advice on sorting, organizing, storing, and getting rid of stuff. You’ll find more clutter-busting tips at Live Simple: Rule Your Stuff and Surprising Strategies for Finally Organizing Your Space.

STEP 2: Where to Donate Goods – If you’re doing spring cleaning, you may find things to get rid of that are too good for the trash. What to do with them? Our ‘Where to Donate Goods’ page can help! Includes recycling info, too.

STEP 3: Resell that stuff! – Thinking about having a yard sale to get rid of some of that extra stuff? Download the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Reseller’s Guide to screen for hazardous products that should go in the trash instead!

STEP 4: Safeguard your Personal Data – Getting rid of old financial/legal documents, as well as old electronics that may contain sensitive information, can be an important STEP of de-cluttering. But it can also pose a risk to your personal data. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse offers practical advice on how to do it safely! See also Disposing of Old Computers links. A Pack Rat’s Guide to Shredding includes a printable graphic you can keep near your shredder as a handy guide (2015, Federal Trade Commission).

STEP 5: Recycle! – After you’ve removed all your personal data from unwanted electronic items, what are you going to do with them? If they’re too old or aren’t working, you can e-cycle them! The South Plainfield Recycling Drop-off Program accepts televisions, computers, monitors and other electronics items; see South Plainfield Recycling Program website for details. Click here for more recycling links.

STEP 6: Safe Disposal of Old Medicine – Did you find unneeded and/or expired medicines in your medicine cabinet? It’s NOT a good idea to put them in the trash or flush them down the toilet! Instead, see Unused Medicines: Safe Disposal to find out how to get rid of them safely! NOTE: April 28, 2018 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day!

STEP 7: Appraise Old Paintings, Antiques, & Collectibles [UPDATED LINK!] – Did you find any old paintings, antique objects, or possible collectibles while you were clearing out the attic? Want to find out more about them? The Smithsonian American Art Museum offer some tips and resources to help you. See also PBS’s Antiques Road Show.

STEP 8: Clear Out the Fridge – Kitchen shelves full of old cans? Old food in your fridge/freezer? How do you know what to keep and what to toss? FoodSafety.gov has advice for you. See FoodSafety.gov. & related links for more info, and handy charts you can print out & save.

STEP 9: *THE REALLY ICKY STUFF* [UPDATED LINK!] – The U.S. EPA provides extensive help on dealing with Mold, Moisture, and Your Home. More icky stuff? Here’s some information on Bedbugs and Other pests.

STEP 10: Let the (Green) Cleaning Begin – Once the clutter’s finally gone (well… reduced?) it’s time to start cleaning! Oregon Metro offers these tips for eco-friendly non-toxic cleaning. See also: Rodale’s 8 Must-Haves for a Nontoxic Cleaning Kit and Rodale’s Spring Clean your Kitchen. For information on cleaning products, see Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning and EPA Safer Choice.

STEP 11: Stain Solutions – For tougher cleaning problems, the University of Illinois Extension has lots of good advice! The FabricLink Fabric Care Center offers stain removal guides, laundry tips, information about fabric labels & laundry products, and related resources.

STEP 12: Caring for your Treasures – Heritage Preservation has a wealth of information on caring for family heirlooms, keepsakes, and other heritage objects. See also: CCI Caring for Objects and ICON Caring for your Collection.

STEP 13: Don’t Forget those Electronics! – This 2013 piece from Lifehacker has tips on how to clean up and speed up your computer or smartphone.

Revised March 2018

DISCLAIMER

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Webfinder: People with Disabilities

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Disability.gov is no longer available. Many of these resources, covering benefits, civil rights, community life, education, and employment, are now linked at the U.S. Department of Labor. See also Federal ADA and Disability Resources, Disability Assistance, and Disability Benefits Q&A. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Home Page includes an introduction to the ADA, plus design standards, business requirements, links to other Federal Agencies with ADA responsibilities, and more (U.S. Department of Justice). The N.J. Division of Disability Services primarily serves people who have become disabled as adults, whether through illness or injury, but also has a toll free hotline (1-888-285-3036) providing information and referral assistance for people with any type of disability.

Call 2-1-1 when you need to find state or local resources to address urgent needs or everyday concerns, including health & mental health services, food banks, shelter, rental or utility assistance, adult day care, Meals on Wheels, transportation, childcare, crisis intervention services, job training, education, and more. 2-1-1 is free, confidential, multi-lingual, confidential, TTY accessible, and available 24/7. Specialists will guide callers to the most helpful available resources. Visit the website for more information. NOTE : 2-1-1 calls are generally toll-free; however, if you are calling 2-1-1 from your cell phone, please check with your cell phone service provider first to find out whether you will be charged for the call. You can also reach 2-1-1 by dialing 877-652-1148. (United Way, in partnership with the State of New Jersey)

AbleData – A comprehensive database for information on “products, solutions and resources to improve productivity and ease life’s tasks.” Includes New Jersey Resources & Organizations (Maintained for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Dept. of Education by New Editions Consulting). Disability Information & Resources [EXPECT SOME BROKEN LINKS] is an extensive directory of websites offering information on topics ranging from all kinds of disability-related products & services (assistive devices, medical supplies, clothing, etc.) to health, political, and legal issues (by Jim Lubin; site includes advertisements). See also UCP Disability Resources (United Cerebral Palsy).

Accessible Housing Resources – A listing of information sources relating to Accessible Homes and Universal Design, including web resources, products, and manufacturers & distributors. Part of AbleData.

Assistance Animals for the Disabled – See Service Animal Basics and related links.

Deafness Information – Information & resources related to deaf and hard of hearing children from birth through age 21. Covers topics such as ASL, assistive technology, deaf culture, deaf education, early intervention, interpreting, literacy, multicultural considerations, transition beyond secondary education, and more. (Gallaudet University)

Disability etiquette – See Friends with Disabilities and related links.

Disability Rights New Jersey – Provides free services to eligible New Jersey citizens with disabilities. Services include information & referral, technical assistance & training, legal & non-legal advocacy, and outreach & education. (Non-profit organization)

Disaster Preparation for Individuals with Disabilities – People with disabilities often need additional time and assistance to prepare for a disaster. This page offers a printable brochure (in English and Spanish) with some basic practical advice, and a link to NJ Register Ready, a free and confidential program which allows residents with special needs to register with emergency response agencies, so emergency responders can better serve them in an emergency (New Jersey Office of Emergency Management). The Red Cross offers a free booklet you can download and print, Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs (American Red Cross, Department of Homeland Security and FEMA). See also Ready.gov. For more general resources on dealing with disasters, see our Disasters Webfinder.

Driving: Wheelchair Symbol Plates and Persons with a Disability Placards [UPDATED LINK!] – Information on how to obtain special parking privileges in New Jersey if you are temporarily or permanently disabled. (N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission)

Employment Info – See U.S. Department of Labor Disability Resources. For additional resources, see South Plainfield Public Library’s DIVERSITY EMPLOYMENT links and EMPLOYMENT LAW, HEALTH, & SAFETY links [UPDATED LINK!].

Library Services for People with Disabilities – See BOOKS & READING links for people with special needs. Locally, the South Plainfield Public Library offers audio books, large print books, free audiobook & ebook downloads and homebound delivery. Call us at (908) 754-7885 for more information.

National Center on Workforce and Disability – Fact sheets on many Specific Disabilities, with links to related resources.

National Council on Independent Living – Selected links to organizations, agencies, and other resources for the disabled and their families.

National Federation of the Blind – A directory of resources for living, working, learning, and recreation, plus information about vision loss, state & local organizations, publications, and products & technology.

Parent Center Hub: Disabilities Fact Sheets – Information about the full spectrum of disabilities in children, including developmental delays and rare disorders (Center for Parent Information and Resources, formerly National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities). See PARENTING: Special Needs Children for more links to selected resources for parents of children with disabilities. (South Plainfield Public Library)

Physical Activity and Disability – General fitness advice for those with disabilities or chronic illness – use the menu on the right to navigate. Click on Articles for more resources on sports, exercise, nutrition, fun & leisure, and more, including advice for specific disabilities (University of Illinois). Disabled Sports USA offers nationwide sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent disability, plus regional chapters, online magazine, info on dozens of specific Adaptive Sports from Archery to Yoga, and more. See also Paralympic Games and Special Olympics.

Rehabilitation Information  – Links to agencies, organizations, and online resources for treatment, benefits, and services; organized by subject. (National Rehabilitation Information Center)

Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center – Links to a wide range of information covering health, assistive technology, employment, legal issues & services, relationships, and more. Also offers links to state and local resources. (National Spinal Cord Injury Association; site includes advertisements)

Starting a Business for People with Disabilities [UPDATED LINK!] [Link opens a PDF] – Links to entrepreneurship resources that help and support people with disabilities (U.S. Small Business Administration). For general resources on starting a business, see Useful Websites: BUSINESS.

Traveling with Disabilities – ‘Preparing for your trip in advance will help to ensure that your travel is accessible, safe, and enjoyable. Each country has its own standards of accessibility for travelers with disabilities, and many countries do not require accommodations similar to what you might find in the United States.’ This page provides guidance to help you review your needs and conduct necessary research before you travel (U.S. State Department). Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions provides information on security regulations which apply to traveling with medications and medical equipment (U.S. Transportation Security Administration). Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality has an assortment of resources and articles on travel for people with disabilities. Use the menu on the left to navigate the site. Includes links to access information for major airlines [EXPECT SOME BROKEN LINKS]Emerging Horizons and Barrier Free Travels [UPDATED LINK!] (formerly Have Disabilities, Will Travel) provide information & news on accessible travel for wheelchair users, slow walkers, and boomers. By Candy Harrington, author of Barrier Free Travel. America the Beautiful Access Passes [NEW!] are available free for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. They provide free entry to National Parks and other federal recreation sites; see the linked page for details.

See also:
BOOKS for SPECIAL NEEDS READERS
EMPLOYMENT LAW, HEALTH, & SAFETY
PARENTING & FAMILY: Special Needs Children
Webfinders: Learning Disabilities

Links updated February 2018.

DISCLAIMER

Webfinder: Kids’ Sports & Coaching

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  Universal Class Continuing Education Coaching Little League Basketball

Coaching Boys Into Men – Aimed at helping coaches to reduce disrespectful or dangerous attitudes and behaviors toward women, this site offers coaching tips, advice and useful anecdotes from great coaches and players. NOTE: The coaches’ kit and related materials are free to download, but you must go through a checkout process and provide your name, address, & email to get them. (Family Violence Prevention Fund; non-profit organization)

Competitive Sports: Helping Kids Play it Cool – Sometimes the pressure to succeed on the field or in the court can be overwhelming. Learn what you can do to help your child keep things in perspective. There are related pages for Kids and Teens. (Nemours Foundation)

Concussions in Sports – Information for coaches, athletes, and parents on how to prevent and recognize concussions. See also Heads Up – Learn About Concussions [UPDATED LINK!]. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Eating for Sports – Basic sports nutrition advice for kids & teens (Nemours Foundation). See also Tips for Coaches: Eating Disorders in Athletes and Compulsive Exercise [NEW!] (National Eating Disorders Association).

Injury Prevention for Parents: Sports & Recreation – Parents can help prevent serious sports- and recreation-related injuries by supervising their children at play, learning proper coaching techniques and making sure kids always wear proper safety equipment. These safety tips can help you keep your kids safe both on the playing field and off (Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC). See also Kids’ Sports Safety (MUSC Children’s Hospital).

Little League Baseball & Softball – The official site for Little League Baseball & Softball offers tips and resources for parents, coaches, players, and others involved in the sport. Includes a Challenger Division for boys and girls with physical and mental challenges. See also Pop Warner Youth Football & Cheerleading, and U.S. Youth Soccer. Locally, the South Plainfield Recreation Department offers T-Ball, Teener Ball, Ponytail Softball, and more; see also South Plainfield Junior Baseball Club. [NEW!]

MomsTeam™ – Practical advice on youth sports parenting from a team of experts, professionals and sponsors. ‘Dedicated to making sure that youth sports is safe, affordable, stress free and more fun!’ (Formerly Youth Sports Parents; site includes advertisements)

Sports and disabilities – See People with Disabilities Webfinder: Physical Activity and Disability.

Play Positive™ / Responsible Sports – Videos offering helpful advice and information for parents & coaches, designed to encourage good sportsmanship and build character. (Liberty Mutual Insurance and partners; hosted on YouTube)

Sport Psychology – Short articles and links on applied sport psychology, with separate sections for athletes, parents, coaches, & psychologists, plus sections on health & fitness and injury & rehabilitation. (Association for Applied Sport Psychology)

Sports Medicine Center for Parents – Tips on everything from finding the best sport for your kids to preventing and handling injuries. (Nemours Foundation)

Steroid Abuse – Resources and publications about the dangers of steroid use. See also Drug Facts for Teens: Anabolic Steroids. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Streetplay [Archived page; some media features may not work.] – Organized team sports not what you had in mind? This website is dedicated to informal street games such as handball, stickball, stoopball, hopscotch, jumprope, marbles, and others. Includes how-tos and more. See also International Kids’ Games. (These sites include advertisements)

Links updated February 2018.

DISCLAIMER

Webfinder: Investment

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Business Opportunity Scams – ‘Looking for a job or to earn extra income? Buying into a business opportunity that makes big claims about what you can earn might sound like the answer…. Learn about your rights and the seller’s responsibilities under the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule, and questions to ask that can help you avoid a rip-off. ‘ (Federal Trade Commission)

Financial Markets : FAQs – Explains the different types of financial products available through U.S. financial markets, such as equities, derivatives, money markets, foreign exchange, and savings bonds, along with information on interest rates and regulation. Includes links to related sites. (U.S. Treasury Department)

Insured or Not Insured? – Explains what types of investments are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and which are NOT insured – even when they are offered by a bank. (2013, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)

Investor Education – A variety of online investor education resources for investors of all ages (North American Securities Administrators Association). Learn About Investing offers printable Investor Education booklets, videos, and related resources (Investor Protection Trust; non-profit organization).

Investor.gov – Online resources to help you invest wisely and avoid fraud. Topics covered include Introduction to Investing,  Researching Investments, and Protecting Your Investments. Also offers calculators, glossary, and other useful tools, plus specialized resources for Youth, Seniors, Military and other groups. See also Investor FAQ and Investor Alerts & Bulletins. (U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission)

Investor Knowledge Quiz (PDF) [UPDATED LINK!]  – How much do you really know about investing? Take this short quiz and test your knowledge. Avoiding Investment Scams (PDF) [UPDATED LINK!] warns investors about classic types of investment fraud and helps investors spot and avoid the types of persuasion tactics fraudsters use. (FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; non-profit organization)

Investors: Protect Your Money – Advice and alerts on a wide range of investment products (529 plans, annuities, bonds, mutual funds, private offerings, retirement accounts, securities and more) along with other information to help you avoid problems in today’s complex world of investing. See also SaveandInvest.org. (FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; non-profit organization)

SmartCheck.gov [NEW!] – Free tools to check the background of financial professionals and stay informed on the latest fraud schemes. It only takes a few minutes! (U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC])

Social Funds: Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment – ‘Comprehensive information, contacts & resources on socially responsible investing.’

U.S. Treasury Products – Explains the difference between different types of bonds, how Treasury auctions work and how to participate, and how Treasury products fit into your savings strategy, plus detailed information on how to buy, redeem, reinvest or convert selected U.S. Treasury securities such as savings bonds, treasury bills, and treasury notes. (U.S. Department of the Treasury)

The following websites are some popular sources for market quotes, plus financial news & information: [NOTE: Online quotes may be delayed, except where indicated]: Bloomberg Markets, Google Finance, MarketWatch, Morningstar, Motley Fool Investment, MSN Investing, Value Line, Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance.

DISCLAIMER

Links updated 1/18

Webfinder: Personal Finance 101

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Ask the Money Doctor – A volunteer panel of qualified CPAs answer questions from consumers regarding their financial planning issues. You can read past Q & As or submit your own question. Part of the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy website, which has a variety of free tools & info designed “to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage of life” (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). Consumer.gov [NEW!] provides easy-to-read instructions on the basics of making a budget, opening a bank account, understanding your paycheck, avoiding scams, using debit, prepaid, & phone cards, managing credit & debt, and more (Federal Trade Commission). Smart About Money offers ‘practical articles, worksheets, tips and valuable resources from across the Web to help you understand and manage your money’ (National Endowment for Financial Education; non-profit foundation). See also Money Management Library (2009 – 2014, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco).

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Advice and FAQ about credit cards, mortgages, loans (including student loans), debt collection, and more, plus information about credit discrimination, foreclosure help, and an online complaint form.

Consumer Reports: Money News – Blog posts offering helpful information and tips on personal finance, investment, banking & credit, retirement, and more. See the New England Federal Credit Union‘s Financial Resource Center for more helpful tips & info.

Debt Collection Rights & Responsibilities – The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. This page has some questions and answers about your rights under the Act. See also Dealing with Debt for related information. (2015 – 2016, Federal Trade Commission)

Electronic, Mobile, and Online Banking – Explains how to do your banking electronically. Includes information about mobile wallets, direct depost, and related topics. Part of Federal Reserve Consumer Help [UPDATED LINK!] which offers additional advice on bank accounts & services, consumer credit, mortgages, foreclosure, debt, fraud, and more. (Federal Reserve Board)

Financial Records: How Long to Keep Tax Records and Other Documents – Explains what financial, tax, and other documents you should keep, and how long you should them (2016, Consumer Reports). See also Recordkeeping  [NEW!] (2018, Internal Revenue Service) .

Financial Calculators – Should I refinance my mortgage? Rent or buy? How much do I need to save for my child’s college education? How much for retirement? These interactive financial calculators and other tools will help you with some of the day-to-day financial questions and concerns that may arise in your life or business (Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco). See also Practical Money Skills Calculators (Visa, Inc.).

Government Benefits – A free, confidential, and easy-to-use online screening tool to help you find out whether you qualify for U.S. or state government benefits. (U.S. Government website)

Pinch Pennies in the Right Places – Explains how to save more money by looking at discounts in total dollars saved, not at the percentage of the discount (2016, New York Times). For more practical tips on thrifty living, see Affluenza (PBS).

Retirement Plans – Information to help you choose and set up a retirement plan. Describes different types of retirement plans, including IRAs and  IRA-Based Plans, 401(k) & 403(b) Plans, and many others. Includes links to relevant tax forms, publications, and related resources (Internal Revenue Service). The Social Security Retirement Planner provides detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits under current law, and points out things you may want to consider as you prepare for the future. Includes calculators to test out different retirement ages or different future earnings amounts (Social Security Administration).

Student Debt Repayment – Advice on what options you have if you are falling behind on your student loan payments, plus other financial help for students. (CFPB, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

DISCLAIMER

Links updated January 2018.

Webfinder : Baseball

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Ballparks of Baseball – A site devoted to everything about baseball parks, past, present and future. (Site includes advertisements)

Baseball America – Biweekly magazine covering baseball at every level, with player stats, team info, and an emphasis on finding the best players in high school, college and the minors and tracking their progress. (Some content is available only to paid subscribers)

Baseball for Beginners – Do you have a friend or family member who needs a few lessons in the basics? This page offers a brief overview of the game, explains key player statistics, and defines common terms. (From Ken Burns’ Baseball, PBS)

Baseball Hall of Fame – In addition to honoring baseball’s greatest, the website includes special online exhibitions on America’s Pastime, such as a colorful history of the baseball uniform, the sacrifices and contributions of baseball during World War II, a gallery of original World Series programs, the Latin American love affair with baseball, and more!

Major League Baseball – Official site with news, schedules, standings, player stats, links to teams, and more (site includes advertisements). See also Minor League Baseball. The World Baseball Softball Confederation website will tell you what’s happening in baseball and softball around the world.

Negro Leagues History – A brief history of the ‘Negro Leagues’, plus Team Histories and Player Profiles (Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, MO). Black Baseball ‘is dedicated to the generation of ballplayers who were denied the opportunity to play in the major leagues because of factors other than their ability to play the game of baseball.’ Click on ‘Basic History’ in the menu for team list and videos about players & teams (by James A. Riley, author of The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues; site includes advertisements). See also Baseball and the Negro Leagues: A Symbol of America (by Mike Mencarini, Marquette University undergraduate student) and Crossing the Color Barrier: Jackie Robinson and the Men Who Integrated Major League Baseball (LA84 Foundation).

Sports Medicine – See Sports Medicine links and TeenZone Fitness links.

Sports Science – See Sports & Science links.

Webfinder: New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s that time of year when many of us give serious thought to goals we want to accomplish during the coming year. If you’re making New Year’s Resolutions, we’ve put together some good resources that might help you get started… and succeed!

Lose weight / get fit

Quit smoking / drinking / drug abuse / gambling

Change careers

Start a business

Be a better parent

Get out of debt / start saving

Read more

Volunteer in your community (See also: Volunteer Match, Serve.gov, Volunteer.gov, All for Good, and Senior Corps.)

Learn to speak Spanish (English, Japanese, etc…)

Reduce stress

Research your family tree

Go back to school

Plant a garden

Get more tech-savvy

Travel

And a few more general resources you may find useful:

Links updated December 2017.

DISCLAIMER

Webfinder : Learning Disabilities

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Additude Magazine – Information and support for families and adults living with ADHD and learning disabilities. Includes practical advice about raising children, expert Q&A, and resources to help students with attentional or learning differences succeed at school. (New Hope Media LLC; site includes advertisements)

Books for Special Needs Readers – Links to information & resources on books and reading for adults and children with special needs.

Disability Discrimination: Frequently Asked Questions [NEW!] – Explains federal laws Section 504 and Title II, and laws relating to accessibility & services and disability harassment in public schools, public colleges &  universities, and public libraries. See also Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [NEW!] and Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools [NEW!] [Link opens a PDF]. (U.S. Department of Education)

Do 2 Learn – ‘Thousands pages of social skills & behavioral regulation activities & guidance, learning songs & games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment & life skills.’ This site offers many free resources, but also sells related products. (By computer engineer Dr. Dorothy Strickland, Virtual Reality Aids, Inc.)

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center – This page is designed to help families understand their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), connect with other families, and find high-quality resources related to caring for infants, toddlers and young children with disabilities. See also Disability Discrimination links, above.

LD Support and Resources for Parents – “A wealth of information on understanding learning disabilities, negotiating the special education process, and helping your child and yourself.” (Learning Disabilities Association of America; site includes advertisements)

Learning Disabilities: Understood – Expert information and tools for parents of a child with a learning disability. Covers learning & attention issues, school & learning, friends & feelings, family, and more. (National Center for Learning Disabilities et al.)

Learning Disabilities Articles – A collection of articles for parents covering topics such as diagnosing a learning disability, learning problems in teens, types of learning problems, your right to special services, and more. (HealthyChildren.org, American Academy of Pediatrics)

NJ Special Needs Education Resources [NEW!] – Links to state information & resources on special education, including Standards & Assessment, State & Federal Regulations, Parental Rights in Special Education, Programs, Assistive Technology, Directories & Resources, Special Education Complaint Investigation Forms, and more. (2017, State of NJ)

Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) – A non-profit organization committed to empowering families as advocates and partners in improving education and health outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth with special needs. SPAN is the statewide Parent Center for New Jersey.

Links updated 11/17

DISCLAIMER

Webfinder: Adult & Continuing Education

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CAUTION! Before signing up or paying for any education program, please verify that the school or program is properly accredited. A complete list of recognized accrediting agencies may be found on the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION website.

LOCAL RESOURCES:

South Plainfield School District: Adult Education [UPDATED LINK!] – Information on local adult education programs including Adult High School, Adult School Brochure, and Trip List.

Middlesex County College Continuing Education – Information about non-credit certificate programs and courses to support career and professional development, career training center, and more. To find out more about courses, programs, payments, and transfers, see Middlesex County College Information for Adult Students.

GENERAL RESOURCES:

Distance Education Accrediting Commission – The accrediting agency for distance education (formerly Distance Education and Training Council). Includes a searchable directory of accredited distance education high schools and postsecondary institutions offering a variety of programs from non-degree through bachelors, masters and professional doctoral degree levels. A complete list of recognized accrediting agencies may be found on the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION website.

GCF Learn Free – Free tutorials, articles, and other learning materials aimed at helping you improve the technology, literacy, and math skills needed for success in both work and life. Covers a wide range of subjects from operating ATMs and reading subway maps to using office software and running a home-based business. For learning on the go, download a free mobile app for iOS, Android or Kindle. (Non-profit organization: Goodwill Community Foundation)

Mobile Apps to Support and Enhance Online Courses – Links and resources for using mobile apps in three areas of online learning: Learning, Connection to the University, School or Organization, and Connection to the Instructor. (United States Distance Learning Association)

Online College-level Courses – See Open Educational Resources for Learners [NEW!] (University of Massachusetts) and Sites for Seniors: Education (South Plainfield Public Library).

Links updated November 2017.

DISCLAIMER

Webfinder: Meditation & Stress Reduction

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Relaxation Techniques for Health: What You Need To Know – Reviews the scientific evidence for the effectiveness – or ineffectiveness – of relaxation techniques in managing a variety of health problems. NOTE: Relaxation techniques are generally considered safe for healthy people, but those with serious physical or mental health problems should discuss relaxation techniques with their health care providers. (2016, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

6 Mindfulness Exercises That Each Take Less Than 1 Minute – Quick & easy mindfulness exercises for people who don’t want to do formal meditation (2013, Psychology Today; site includes advertisements). Quick Stress Relief has advice to help you recognize when you’re stressed and learn techniques for quick stress relief when you need it. The same site offers lots of additional advice on Stress Relief and Emotional Health. (2015, HelpGuide.org)

Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress – A brief overview of the benefits of meditation and different techniques for meditating. (2014, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Guided Meditation Audio [AUDIO] – If you’re having trouble getting started with meditation, this free audio from the Portland Insight Meditation Community will guide you through the basic practice of mindfulness meditation. The site also offers additional guided meditation audios [AUDIO] for deepening your practice. Basic Relaxation Audios [AUDIO] from the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Counseling Center are free audio downloads to guide you through two different relaxation techniques – the Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique and the Combination Relaxation Exercise. For many additional free audio downloads, see The Mindfulness Solution [AUDIO] (Ronald D. Siegel, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School) and Free Guided Meditations [AUDIO] (UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center). The American Chronic Pain Association offers a five-minute online guided relaxation video [NEW!] [VIDEO] designed to help you let go of physical stress.

Stress – Links to additional information on different kinds of stress and how to manage stress, plus related resources. (U.S. National Library of Medicine)

Stress Management – Explains how stress affects your physical & emotional health, and suggests a variety of techniques for controlling stress (2014 – 2015, American Heart Association).

Physical exercise can also help reduce stress! Check out our Fitness, Sport, & Physical Therapy links for some good exercise resources. For additional mental health resources, check out our links to information about Mental Health, Self-Help, & Support Groups.

ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS!

The South Plainfield Library offers CHILDREN’S MEDITATION for kids aged 7 – 12. Please check with the Children’s Room staff for schedule.

Links updated November 2017.

DISCLAIMER