OFFICES
US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Functional Statements > Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Sections

  1. Mission and Responsibilities
  2. Organization
  3. Order of Succession
  4. Functions and Responsibilities of OSERS Components
    1. Immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary
    2. National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
    3. Rehabilitation Services Administration
    4. Office of Special Education Programs
  5. Primary Delegations of Authority

I. Mission and Responsibilities

The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary on Departmental matters related to special education and rehabilitative services.  The Office directs, coordinates, and recommends policy for programs that are designed to:

  • Meet the needs and develop the full potential of children with disabilities through the provision of special educational programs and services.
  • Reduce dependency and enhance the productive capabilities of persons with disabilities through the provision of independent living and vocational rehabilitation services.
  • Increase knowledge about, foster innovation in, and improve the delivery of services for persons with disabilities through the performance of rehabilitative and special education research and demonstration activities.
  • Disseminate information about services, programs, and laws affecting persons with disabilities.

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II. Organization

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is under the supervision of the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services who reports to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary.  The Assistant Secretary provides overall direction, coordination, and leadership to the following major elements:

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research;
Rehabilitation Services Administration;
and Office of Special Education Programs.

In addition, the Communications and Customer Service Team, the Policy and Planning Staff, the Management and Support Staff, and the Grants and Contracts Services Team report directly to the Assistant Secretary.

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III. Order of Succession

In the event that the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services dies, resigns or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office and the office is thereby deemed to be vacant, as defined by the Vacancies Act, and the President has not designated in writing another individual to act as the Assistant Secretary, the Director, Office of Special Education Programs, as the designated “first assistant” under the Vacancies Act, shall perform the functions and duties of the office in an acting capacity. If both the offices of the Assistant Secretary and the Director, Office of Special Education Programs are vacant, or the time period during which the Director, Office of Special Education Programs may serve in acting capacity has expired, the individuals listed below the Director, Office of Special Education Programs, in the order shown, are authorized to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Assistant Secretary, except for any functions and duties that are required by law to be performed only by the Assistant Secretary or by someone officially acting in such capacity.

In instances where the office of the Assistant Secretary is filled, but the Assistant Secretary is absent, unavailable, otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the position, and/or there is a disruption in the normal channels of direction and communication, and there is no person officially serving in an acting capacity, and unless the Assistant Secretary or the Secretary, in writing, designates another individual to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary, the following officials, in the order shown, are delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the office of the Assistant Secretary, except for any functions and duties that are required by law to be performed only by the Assistant Secretary or by someone officially acting in such capacity:

  • Director, Office of Special Education Programs;

  • Deputy Assistant Secretary;

  • Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration;

  • Director, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research;

  • Executive Administrator

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Last Modified: 06/28/2013