A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

The Teacher's Guide to the U.S. Department of Education - September 2000

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) supports programs that help educate children and youth with disabilities, provides for the rehabilitation of youth and adults with disabilities and supports research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. OSERS is divided into the following three offices: the Office of Special Education Programs, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

The Office of Special Education Programs

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) administers programs that relate to the free and appropriate public education of all children, youth and adults with disabilities. OSEP oversees programs to expand and improve special education and administers grants to state education agencies to help state and local districts serve children and youth with disabilities. The office also monitors state programs to ensure that students with disabilities receive an appropriate education and that their rights and those of their parents or guardians are protected. OSEP also administers programs to train special education teachers and conducts research in improved methods of special education. Some grants are given to all the states according to a formula prescribed in congressional legislation authorizing the program; others are awarded to individuals or institutions on the merit of competitive applications.

Thomas Hehir, 202-205-5507
E-mail: thomas.hehir@ed.gov

The Rehabilitation Services Administration

The Rehabilitation Services Administration allocates grants to state vocational rehabilitation agencies to help individuals with physical or mental disabilities obtain employment through medical and psychological assistance, job training and other individualized services. Severely disabled individuals receive priority. The administration also funds programs that train rehabilitation professionals, enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities, increase their

employment opportunities and enable people with severe disabilities to live more independently with their families or in their communities.

Fred Schroeder, 202-205-5482
E-mail: fred.schroeder@ed.gov

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) primarily carries out a program of research and related activities designed to maximize the full inclusion, employment, independent living and economic sufficiency of individuals with disabilities. Its research activities specifically emphasize improving the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act. NIDRR focuses on applied research, such as (1) the transfer of rehabilitation technology to individuals with disabilities, (2) the widespread distribution in usable formats of practical scientific and technology information, and (3) the identification of effective strategies to enhance the opportunities of individuals with disabilities to engage in productive work and live independently. NIDRR funds are also used to support rehabilitation research, demonstration projects and related activities, including training people who provide rehabilitation services or who conduct rehabilitation research. In addition, NIDRR supports projects to disseminate and promote the use of information concerning developments in rehabilitation procedures, methods and devices, as well as data analyses on the demographics of disability.

Katherine Seelman, 202-205-8134
E-mail: kate.seelman@ed.gov

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