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OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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2011 News from OSERS
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blue flag bullet Transition Activities in OSERS

Over the last four decades, the transition of youths with disabilities from school to productive adulthood has received high priority from OSERS. Read the updated document for December, 2011.

(December 12, 2011)

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blue flag bullet October 2011 was National Disability Employment Awareness Month

During October 2011, OSERS featured innovative, employment-based projects and individual success stories on www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/deam-2011/index.html.

(October 6, 2011)

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blue flag bullet IDEA Part C Final Regulations published in Federal Register.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 Part C Final Regulations governing the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities were published September 28, 2011, in the Federal Register. These regulations are effective on October 28, 2011.

(September 28, 2011)

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blue flag bullet IDEA Part B Notice of Proposed Rule published in Federal Register.

In the September 28, 2011 Federal Register, the Secretary proposes to amend regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These regulations govern the Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities program, including the Preschool Grants program. The Secretary seeks public comment on these proposed amendments regarding the use of public benefits or insurance in which a child participates to provide or pay for services required under Part B of IDEA.

(September 28, 2011)

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blue flag bullet Posny Remarks on IDEA Part C Final Regulations

September 26, 2011 Video: OSERS Assistant Secretary Alexa Posny remarks on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Final Regulations, highlighting key changes.

The video is also available at idea.ed.gov.

(September 26, 2011)

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blue flag bullet Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Regulations

On September 6, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education released the final regulations for the early intervention program under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These final regulations will help improve services and outcomes for America's infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

Part C is a $436 million program administered by states that serves infants and toddlers through age 2 with developmental delays or who have diagnosed physical or mental conditions with high probabilities of resulting in developmental delays.

The final Part C regulations incorporate provisions in the 2004 amendments to Part C of the IDEA. Additionally, the final regulations provide states with flexibility in some areas, while ensuring state accountability to improve results and providing needed services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The regulations focus on measuring and improving outcomes for the approximately 350,000 children served by the Part C program with the goal of ensuring that such children are ready for preschool and kindergarten.

“As everyone who works in education understands, one of the most important things we can offer children is a high-quality early learning experience that prepares them for kindergarten,” said U. S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. “This is true for all children—but it’s especially important for infants and toddlers with disabilities to have access to high-quality early intervention services that prepare them to successfully transition to preschool and kindergarten. The Part C regulations will support the Education Department’s commitment to the goal of preparing more children with high needs with a strong foundation for success in school and beyond.”

The regulations should be published in the Federal Register in the next couple of weeks.

Part C Final Regulations:

(September 6, 2011)

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blue flag bullet Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On September 6, 2011, the Department released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the IDEA Part B regulations. Changes are being proposed to the regulations regarding when a State or local educational agency seeks to use a child’s or parent’s public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) to pay for Part B services. These proposed amendments to the Part B regulations would ensure the protection of the rights of parents and children and ensure that children with disabilities receive FAPE while addressing concerns raised by state educational agencies and local educational agencies regarding the burdens imposed by the current regulation.

The regulations should be published in the Federal Register in the next couple of weeks.

Part B Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

Note: This document has been delivered to the Office of the Federal Register but has not yet been scheduled for publication. The official version of this document is the document that is published in the Federal Register.

(September 6, 2011)

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blue flag bullet Department Awards $1.2 million to 11 Small Businesses to Develop Technology for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has awarded 16 grants of $75,000 each to 11 small businesses to conduct research and develop technology that makes life and learning easier for individuals with disabilities.

For instance, one grantee will develop a low-cost computer graphics screen-reader for the vision-impaired; another will develop and evaluate an accident prevention system for manual wheelchairs; and another will design and develop a foot-operated mouse for computers.

“These projects are designed to help people with disabilities maximize their job productivity and economic self-sufficiency,” said Alexa Posny, assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). “This is the first step of research and development in several areas that will enhance independent living and employment for individuals with disabilities.”

For more information, please go to the department's press release.

(March 23, 2011)

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blue flag bullet ALL MEANS ALL

In prepared remarks to the American Association of People with Disabilities, Secretary Duncan declared students with disabilities should be judged with the same accountability system as everyone else.  “I want to say—here and now, for the record—we are moving away from the 2 percent rule,” he stressed.  “We will not issue another policy that allows districts to disguise the educational performance of 2 percent of students.”  Instead, he continued, “We have to expect the very best from our students—and tell the truth about student performance—so that we can give all students the supports and services they need.” 

Since 2005, the Department has exercised its regulatory authority to permit states and districts to essentially shield certain test scores of students with disabilities when determining adequate yearly progress (AYP).  Specifically, proficient scores for up to 2 percent of all students within the grades assessed can be reported using alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards, and states without appropriate alternate assessments had been allowed, for purposes of AYP, to use a proxy, counting as proficient the scores of that 2 percent of students, regardless of how they actually performed. 

While the Department will continue to allow states with approved alternate assessments to use these tests, consistent with the regulation, until the development of new and improved assessments, the so-called “proxy rule,” which was discontinued back in 2009, remains off the table. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/blog/2011/03/celebrating_the_success_of_all_students/.

Also, a day earlier, Secretary Duncan and OSERS Assistant Secretary Alexa Posny stopped by Beers Elementary School in Washington, D.C. to get a close-up look at one school that is successfully integrating students with disabilities into the school culture.  To read more about their visit, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/blog/2011/03/duncan-and-team-get-first-hand-look-at-successful-inclusion-of-students-with-disabilities/. To read a blog posted by Assistant Secretary Posny, PLEASE GO TO http://www.ed.gov/blog/2011/03/inclusive-schools/.

(March 23, 2011)

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blue flag bullet AIM—Feb. 24–25, 2011

On Feb. 24-25, 2011, the members of the Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities (AIM Commission) will convene for the AIM Commission’s second full meeting. This meeting will focus on technological and legal issues that are related to accessible instructional materials. AIM Commission members will also discuss market model solutions, student accessibility to low-incidence/high cost materials, and the timeframes involved with modifying and receiving accessible instructional materials in a postsecondary environment.

On the evening of February 24, 2011, the AIM Commission will hold a public commentary session for all interested stakeholders. In addition to gathering public commentary on legal and technological issues, the public hearing will highlight stakeholders’ personal experiences related to obtaining instructional materials in a postsecondary environment.

Meeting Information:
download files MS Word (31KB) | PDF (27KB)

(February 7, 2011)

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OSERS News

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Last Modified: 01/25/2013