OSERS Spotlight Items from 2020
On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Acting Assistant Secretary and Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Commissioner Mark Schultz held his quarterly teleconference with vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other stakeholders to share current RSA events and answer questions about the VR program.
A frequently-asked questions document in response to inquiries from State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies concerning the fiscal management of the VR program as they seek to provide continuity of operations for individuals with disabilities in the current COVID-19 environment.
On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Schultz held a stakeholder teleconference with vocational rehabilitation agencies and other grantees to share their questions and concerns about the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 across the United States and the challenges it poses for vocational rehabilitation agencies and the delivery of services. Also, representatives of the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center presented on the technical assistance they are providing to vocational rehabilitation agencies as they engage in distance communication and virtual service delivery to individuals with disabilities. In addition, two State vocational rehabilitation agencies shared service delivery challenges they are facing in this health crisis.
If you have any questions, please contact your RSA state liaison.
A frequently-asked questions document about implementing performance accountability provisions under title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies seek to provide continuity of operations for individuals with disabilities in the COVID-19 environment.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced in a press release that the Department has released new information clarifying that federal law should not be used to prevent schools from offering distance learning opportunities to all students, including students with disabilities. This new resource from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) explains that as a school district takes necessary steps to address the health, safety, and well-being of all its students and staff, educators can use distance learning opportunities to serve all students.
Today in the Federal Register, OSERS issued a notice of interpretation (NOI) to:
Clarify current policy regarding the use of Federal Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) funds reserved for the provision of pre-employment transition services to pay for auxiliary aids and services needed by all students with disabilities in order to access or participate in required pre-employment transition services under section 113(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and
Announce a change in policy with respect to additional VR services needed by eligible students with disabilities that may be paid for with Federal VR grant funds reserved for the provision of pre-employment transition services and the circumstances under which those funds may be used to pay for those additional VR services.
There will be a public comment period from February 28, 2020 through March 30, 2020.
The U.S. Department of Education released the following webinar—Students with Disabilities and the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in K–12 Public Schools—as technical assistance to both support children with disabilities, and support the needs of those within school systems serving students.