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NEW U.S. Department of Education Officials to Host Special Education Listening Sessions in Texas
ED announced that representatives from OSERS and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will conduct a series of listening sessions in Texas during the week of Dec. 12. The sessions provide members of the public an opportunity to comment on the timely identification and evaluation of students with disabilities, as well as the delivery of special education and related services to all eligible children under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. OSERS has also set up a Blog for interested parties to submit written comments. This Blog will be open for comments from December 5, 2016 through January 6, 2017.


NEW FACT SHEET: Reducing Recidivism for Justice-Involved Youth
ED announced the release of new guides and resources to help justice-involved youth transition back to traditional school settings. The resources include: a guide written for incarcerated youth; a newly updated transition toolkit and resource guide for practitioners in juvenile justice facilities; and a document detailing education programs in juvenile justice facilities from the most recent Civil Rights Data Collection.

Improving Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities in Juvenile Corrections Website
For practitioners working with justice-impacted youth with disabilities, OSERS' Office of Special Education Programs has created a new, easy-to-use Website that provides technical assistance to ensure that those students are given the supports they need to successfully transition out of a juvenile justice facility.


NEW Interagency Policy Statement on Early Childhood Homelessness
The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Education (ED) announced the release of an interagency policy statement on early childhood homelessness. The statement recommends ways early childhood and housing providers at the local and state levels can collaborate to better meet the needs of pregnant women and families with young children who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The statement is being released due to the importance of addressing early childhood homelessness, as this infographic shows. In the United States, infancy is the age at which individuals are most likely to enter shelter or transitional housing, followed by ages one to five, and homelessness during pregnancy and in the early years is harmful to children's development.

 Interagency Policy Statement on Childhood Homelessness (PDF, 994KB)


Early Childhood Privacy and Confidentiality FAQ
OSERS' Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has released a guidance document, Understanding the Confidentiality Requirements Applicable to IDEA Early Childhood Programs Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 284KB). The purpose of this document is to assist early childhood programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with addressing privacy and confidentiality questions. This document is intended to provide responses to frequently asked questions to facilitate and enhance states' implementation of IDEA privacy and confidentiality provisions and can be used in conjunction with the 2014 side-by-side guide of the IDEA and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Confidentiality Provisions.


Google Hangout Celebrating the 30th Birthday of IDEA, Part B, Section 619 and IDEA Part C
This October marks the 30th Anniversary of the passage of Public Law 99-457, which established Part C and mandated Part B, Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Watch the below Google Hangout with OSERS' Office of Special Education Program's (OSEP) Acting Director Ruth Ryder and distinguished guests discuss how the law has impacted the early childhood field.

Check out the other celebration videos and visit the 30th Anniversary page for more.


Happy Birthday PL 99-457!
October 3–7, OSEP celebrated 30 years of early intervention services and preschool special education under IDEA. Visit the 30th Anniversary Webpage to review a week of activities highlighting the impact of early childhood provisions in IDEA. We shared our own stories, and those of parents, practitioners, researchers, and even individuals who received early intervention and preschool special education services as a result of this law. Don't forget to connect with us on social media using the hashtag #babyIDEAis30!


ESSA: A New Education Law
"With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will."
— President Barack Obama

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and represents good news for our nation's schools. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation's national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students, including students with disabilities.


Earlier Spotlight Items


 Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Special Education—A Multi-Year Disproportionality Analysis by State, Analysis Category, and Race/Ethnicity
 Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs—A Webinar Series Kickoff




OSERS is committed to the broad values of inclusion, equity and opportunity for infants, toddlers, children, youth and adults with disabilities to actively participate in all aspects of life. OSERS promotes inclusion, ensures equity and creates opportunity as we strive to improve results and outcomes for children and adults with disabilities.


OSERS Mission

To improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations
for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

In implementing this mission, OSERS supports programs that help educate children and youth with disabilities and provides for the rehabilitation of youth and adults with disabilities. OSERS provides a wide array of supports to parents and individuals, school districts and states in two main areas—special education and vocational rehabilitation—through its two main components: OSEP and RSA.

OSERS Vision

All Americans with disabilities will live and thrive with their disabilities in their own communities.


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Last Modified: 12/02/2016