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OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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2013 News from OSERS

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blue flag bullet PROMISE FAQ for Applicants
This FAQ provides an explanation of various provisions included in the Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) program's notice inviting applications (NIA) in order to assist potential applicants in designing their proposed projects. PROMISE was proposed by the Obama Administration to improve the education and career outcomes of low income children with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

(06/20/2013)

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blue flag bullet OSEP Dear Colleague Letter on Braille
The purpose of this letter is to provide guidance to states and public agencies to reaffirm the importance of Braille instruction as a literacy tool for blind and visually impaired students, to clarify the circumstances in which Braille instruction should be provided, and to reiterate the scope of an evaluation required to guide decisions of IEP Teams in this area. This letter also identifies resources that are designed to help strengthen the capacity of state and local personnel to meet the needs of students who are blind or visually impaired.

(06/19/2013)

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blue flag bullet OSEP Dear Colleague Letter on Suggested Model for Written Notification of Parental Rights regarding Use of Public Benefits or Insurance
On February 14, 2013, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) published the final regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to amend rules governing the use of public benefits or insurance. These amendments include a new requirement for public agencies to provide written notification to a child’s parents before accessing a child’s or parent’s public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) for the first time and annually thereafter. To assist states and public agencies in implementing this new requirement, we are providing a model written notification, which you may wish to provide to school districts in your state to use to meet the new requirements. 

(06/19/2013)

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blue flag bullet Applications Now Available to Improve Education and Employment Outcomes for Low-Income Children with Disabilities
Today, the U.S. Department of Education published a Notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for a new competitive grant program, Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE). PROMISE was proposed by the Obama Administration to improve the education and career outcomes of low income children with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The program is designed to serve children with disabilities, ages 14-16, who are receiving SSI and their families.

(05/21/2013)

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blue flag bullet Join the Conversation for Change—National Online Dialogue to Shape Federal Strategies to Assist Young People with Disabilities as They Transition from School to Work.
The U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration will host the event May 13-27, 2013, and invite policymakers, educators, service providers, families, youth, the advocacy community and others to join this conversation to improve transition outcomes. To register for and participate in the dialogue, visit the Federal Partners in Transition feedback community.

(05/10/2013)

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blue flag bullet Year of College and Career initiative.
The Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) launched its new YCC Website, a portal for OSERS to share transition news, events, youth-specific information, and a range of other resources.

(04/15/2013)

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blue flag bullet PROMISE Public Input Notice (PIN), Now Closed.
The PROMISE Public Input Notice (PIN) is now closed. It was made available February 15 until 5:00 PM EDT March 17, 2013, for public input on key program areas. Comments were also posted on the PIN Blog, now closed.

PIN Cover Memo: Word (37KB) | PDF (158KB)
PROMISE PIN: Word (252KB) | PDF (387KB)

(02/15/2013)

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blue flag bullet Final Regulations Related to Parental Consent for the Use of Public Benefits or Insurance
The Department is issuing Final Regulations related to parental consent for the use of public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) to pay for services under Part B of the IDEA. The regulations will be effective on March 18, 2013.

(02/12/2013)

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blue flag bullet ED Clarifies Schools' Obligation to Provide Equal Opportunity to Students with Disabilities to Participate in Extracurricular Athletics
Today, the Department's Office for Civil Rights issued guidance clarifying school districts' existing legal obligations to provide equal access to extracurricular athletic activities to students with disabilities. The guidance makes clear that schools may not exclude students who have an intellectual, developmental, physical, or any other disability from trying out and playing on a team, if they are otherwise qualified. This guidance builds on a resource document the Department issued in 2011 that provides important information on improving opportunities for children and youth with disabilities to access PE and athletics.

These documents are a response to the GAO recommendations from their 2010 report which states that “the Secretary of Education facilitate information sharing among states and schools on ways to provide opportunities in [physical education] PE and extracurricular athletics to students with disabilities.”

(01/25/2013)

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Last Modified: 06/09/2014