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OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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blue flag bullet Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! promotes early developmental and behavioral screening for kids
 Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! Celebrate your child's milestones.The U.S. Departments of Education and of Health and Human Services have launched Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! to encourage developmental and behavioral screening for children to support the families and providers who care for them. Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! will help families look for and celebrate milestones; promote universal screenings; identify delays as early as possible; and improve the support available to help children succeed in school and thrive alongside their peers.

(03/27/2019)

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blue flag bullet John Tschida is New NIDRR Director, Effective March 3, 2014.
John Tschida comes to NIDRR from the Courage Center, which recently merged with Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute to form the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (CKRI) in Minneapolis, Minn., where he served as vice president for public affairs and research. As a person with a spinal cord injury, he has personal as well as professional experience in issues of disability and access, and his work was deeply rooted in raising public awareness and aligning state law to support people living as independently as possible. Tschida also has served on a number of public and private boards designing policy or governance solutions to further the independence of people with disabilities, and worked closely with the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. He has written numerous articles on disability, healthcare and public policy for national and local news outlets and magazines.

Mr. Tschida returns to the D.C. area, where he was a Health Policy Research Fellow under the auspices of the National Rehabilitation Hospital’s (NRH) Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability and Managed Care funded by NIDRR (1997-2001). Tschida’s fellowship included acquiring his Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree in health policy at Georgetown University Graduate Program in Public Policy and doing his practicum at the NRH Research Center.

Mr. Tschida follows K. Charlie Lakin, Ph.D., as director of NIDRR. Dr. Lakin served as director from 2011 to February 2014.

(02/28/2014)

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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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Last Modified: 03/27/2014