About ED OFFICES


OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Current Section
RSA

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is OSERS?
  2. What is OSERS' mission?
  3. What programs does OSERS fund?
  4. What is the definition of disability?
  5. What are some of OSERS' major activities?
  6. What are some of the major laws and statutes authorizing OSERS and its activities?

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  1. What is OSERS?

    OSERS is the acronym for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, which is part of the U.S. Department of Education. OSERS is comprised of the:

    • Office of the Assistant Secretary (OAS)

    and three program components:

    • the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR),
    • the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), and the
    • Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).

  2. What is OSERS' mission?

    To provide leadership to achieve full integration and participation in society of people with disabilities by ensuring equal opportunity and access to and excellence in education, employment, and community living.


  3. What programs does OSERS fund?

    OSERS supports a wide range of programs and research aimed at helping individuals with disabilities.

    For more information visit OSERS' Grants & Funding opportunities.


  4. What is the definition of disability?

    There are over 40 different definitions of disability in United States federal law. One of the more prominent definitions of disability can be found in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA definition sets out the following criteria:

    • a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities
    • a record of such an impairment
    • being regarded as having such an impairment

  5. What are some of OSERS' major activities?
    • Implements IDEA.
    • Implements the Rehabilitation Act.
    • Administers basic state grant programs for IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act.
    • Improves employment outcomes for persons with disabilities.
    • Implements the Education of the Deaf Act, the Randolph-Sheppard Act, the Helen Keller National Center Act, the Assistive Technology Act, and the Act to Promote the Education of the Blind of March 3, 1879.
    • Supports basic programs through:
      • Research
      • Technical assistance
      • Parent and professional training and development programs
      • Monitoring
      • Client assistance programs
    • Administers programs that support three Special Institutions:
    • Develops strategic planning and performance measurement activities to implement the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA)
    • Develops and implements a long-range Disability Research Agenda
    • Provides technology-related assistance through state programs

  6. What are some of the major laws and statutes authorizing OSERS and its activities?
    • Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    • Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act)
    • Education of the Deaf Act (EDA)
    • Helen Keller National Center Act (HKNC)
    • Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (Tech Act)
    • Randolph-Sheppard Act (Vending Facilities for the Blind)
    • Act to Promote Education of the Blind on March 3, 1879

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Last Modified: 09/18/2014