OSEP releases infographic on infants and toddlers with disabilities

Header: OSEP Office of Special Education Programs. Title: OSEP Fast Facts: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities. Body: Percent of percent of the population, ages birth through 2, served under IDEA, Part C in the United States: 2018-19. Image shows U.S. map. Separate text box reads: The percent of the population, receiving early intervention services under IDEA, Part C, for the United States and Outlying Areas is 3.48%. Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Metadata and Process System (EMAPS): "IDEA Part C Child Count and Settings," 2018-19. https://go.usa.gov/xd6j9. These data are a snapshot count collected by states in the fall of the identified year. U.S. Bureau of the Census. "2018 State Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin". Data accessed July 2019 from http://www.census.gov/popest

 

WASHINGTON (June 25, 2020) – The Office of Special Education Programs released an OSEP Fast Facts infographic to provide a summary of infants and toddlers with disabilities.

The infographic looks at infants and toddlers with disabilities served under Part C of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act from 2018 – 2019.

Data collection authorized under IDEA Section 618 showed 3.48% of infants and toddlers in the U.S. and outlying areas receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C.

Part C of the IDEA addresses provisions related to formula grants that assist states in providing early intervention services for infants and toddlers birth through age two and their families. Part C regulations implement the early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities.

OSEP Fast Facts is an ongoing effort to display data from the 12 data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 into graphic, visual representations with the intent to present 618 data quickly and clearly.

Visit the OSEP Fast Facts page for existing and future Fast Facts.

OSEP Fast Facts: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities

View OSEP Fast Facts.

Department releases IDEA dispute resolution in COVID-19 Q-and-A documents

Questions and Answers. IDEA Dispute Resolution During the COVID-19 Environment

WASHINGTON (June 23, 2020) – The Department of Education released two Questions-and-Answers documents to address dispute resolution during the COVID-19 environment June 22.

Each document provides answers to inquiries received by the department’s Office of Special Education Programs. Responses address concerns related to implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) while accounting for the COVID-19 pandemic.

These documents do not impose any additional requirements beyond those included in applicable law and regulations, and they do not create or confer any rights for or on any person, according to the documents.

View Part B Q-and-A

View Part C Q-and-A

View the department’s COVID-19 information and resources page.

View IDEA-related COVID-19 information and resources.

OSEP Releases Infographic on Students With Emotional Disturbance

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ Office of Special Education Programs. OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance. Percentage of Students with Disabilities Identified with Emotional Disturbance, Ages 6 to 21, Served Under IDEA, Part B, in the United States: School Year 2018-19. Map of United States. In SY 2018-19, the percentage of students with disabilities identified with emotional disturbance is 5.45%. States report a range from 1.65% to 17.36% of students with disabilities identified with Emotional Disturbance. Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data Warehouse (EDW): “IDEA Part B Child Count and Educational Environments Collection,” 2018-19. https://go.usa.gov/xdp4T. Data for Wisconsin suppressed due to questionable data quality. Iowa does not use the specific disability categories when classifying a student as eligible for special education

WASHINGTON (May 6, 2020) — The Office of Special Education Programs released an OSEP Fast Facts infographic that provides an overview of children identified with emotional disturbance.

Data collected under Section 618 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) showed that 5.45% of student with disabilities in school year 2018-19 were identified with emotional disturbance.

The OSEP Fast Facts on children identified with emotional disturbance visually displays Section 618 Data to help users compare information about children identified with emotional disturbance versus all disability categories.

OSEP Fast Facts is an ongoing effort to display data from the 12 data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 into graphic, visual representations with the intent to present 618 data quickly and clearly.

Visit the OSEP Fast Facts page for existing and future Fast Facts.

OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance

View OSEP Fast Facts.

Secretary DeVos Reiterates Learning Must Continue for All Students, Declines to Seek Congressional Waivers to FAPE, LRE Requirements of IDEA

U.S. Department of Education

April 27, 2020

Contact: Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today reaffirmed her long-held position that individualized education must take place for all students, including students with disabilities. As a result, the Secretary is not recommending Congress pass any additional waiver authority concerning the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), reiterating that learning must continue for all students during the COVID-19 national emergency.

As requested by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Secretary DeVos examined certain federal education laws to determine what, if any, additional waiver authority the Secretary believes is necessary to provide limited flexibility to state and local education agencies during this unprecedented time. The Secretary determined there is no reason that a student’s access to FAPE cannot continue online, through distance education or other alternative strategies.

“We undertook this task acknowledging the reality that most students and teachers are at home today; yet, America’s teachers want to keep teaching and students need to keep learning,” said Secretary DeVos. “While the Department has provided extensive flexibility to help schools transition, there is no reason for Congress to waive any provision designed to keep students learning. With ingenuity, innovation, and grit, I know this nation’s educators and schools can continue to faithfully educate every one of its students.”

As the Department reviewed applicable federal law, it did so with these core principles in mind:

  • The health and safety of America’s students, teachers, parents, and administrators is a top priority.
  • Learning must continue for all students.
  • Decision-making must be based on what is best for students, not the “system.”
  • Parents must be informed about the impact waivers will have on their children’s education and consent to those changes.
  • Services typically or historically provided in person must naturally occur differently.

While not advising any waivers to the core tenets of IDEA, the Department is requesting that Congress consider additional flexibilities on administrative requirements under the Perkins Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the IDEA.

The Secretary requested that Congress defer the work or repayment requirements or allow credit to be given for the service obligation for recipients of IDEA personnel preparation grants (personnel development scholarships) if employment was interrupted by COVID-19.

Regarding the Perkins Act, the Secretary is also recommending a waiver that would allow local education agencies (LEAs) to keep any funds allotted to them for the 2019-2020 academic year that they have not spent during the COVID-19 national emergency. Without this waiver, LEAs would otherwise lose this money and have to return it to the state.

The Secretary also requested Congress to permit Vocational Rehabilitation funds to be used to replace expired or spoiled food products at Randolph-Sheppard vending sites required to close due to COVID-19, thus providing support to vendors and allowing facilities to reopen more efficiently following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Secretary recommended several additional waiver authorities relating to the Perkins Act, the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the IDEA, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For a complete list of waiver recommendations and to access the full Recommendation of Waiver Authority report to Congress, click here.

The Department continues to update ed.gov/coronavirus with information on COVID-19 for students, parents, educators and local leaders.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following websites: coronavirus.gov, cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, and usa.gov/coronavirus.

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View Department of Education Press Releases

Urging States to Continue Educating Students with Disabilities, Secretary DeVos Publishes New Resource on Accessibility and Distance Learning Options

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 21, 2020
Contact: Press Office
(202) 401-1576 or press@ed.gov

New Fact Sheet Provides Additional Information on How Distance Learning Can be Used to Meet Students’ Needs During COVID-19 National Emergency

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today 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.

“It was extremely disappointing to hear that some school districts were using information from the Department of Education as an excuse not to educate kids,” said Secretary DeVos. “This is a time for creativity and an opportunity to pursue as much flexibility as possible so that learning continues. It is a time for all of us to pull together to do what’s right for our nation’s students.”

“Nothing issued by this Department should in any way prevent any school from offering educational programs through distance instruction,” she continued. “We need schools to educate all students out of principle, rather than educate no students out of fear. These are challenging times, but we expect schools to rise to the occasion, and the Department stands ready to assist you in your efforts.”

As the fact sheet states, schools “… should not opt to close or decline to provide distance instruction, at the expense of students, to address matters pertaining to services for students with disabilities. Rather, school systems must make local decisions that take into consideration the health, safety, and well-being of all their students and staff. To be clear: ensuring compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act should not prevent any school from offering educational programs through distance instruction.”

To help schools provide distance learning in compliance with federal law, this fact sheet explains:

  • The Department recognizes that exceptional circumstances may affect how special education and related services and supports are provided to students with disabilities, and the Department will offer flexibility.
  • School districts must provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities, and the provision of FAPE may include, as appropriate, special education and related services that can be provided via computer, internet, or phone.
  • Although online learning must be accessible to students with disabilities, federal law does not mandate the specific methodologies by which distance education must be provided.
  • In instances where technology is not accessible or where educational materials are not available in an accessible format, educators may still meet their legal obligations by providing equally effective alternate access to the curriculum or services provided to other students.

The Department will continue to work with state and local leaders to identify any additional areas where it can provide resources to support educators in their important work, and both OCR and OSERS are available to provide technical assistance during these uncertain times. The Department continues to update www.ed.gov/coronavirus with information for students, parents, educators, and local leaders about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following website: www.coronavirus.gov.

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View department’s press release.

U.S. Department of Education Releases Webinar, Fact Sheet for Protecting Students’ Civil Rights During COVID-19 Response

U.S. Department of Education Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 17, 2020
Contact: Press Office
(202) 401-1576 or press@ed.gov

WASHINGTON — The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education released today a webinar on ensuring web accessibility for students with disabilities for schools utilizing online learning during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In addition, OCR published a fact sheet for education leaders on how to protect students’ civil rights as school leaders take steps to keep students safe and secure. These resources will assist education leaders in making distance learning accessible to students with disabilities and in preventing discrimination during this Administration-wide response effort.

As more schools across the nation shift to distance learning, OCR’s webinar reminds decision makers of their responsibility in making distance learning accessible to students with disabilities, unless equally effective alternate access is provided. Online learning tools must be accessible to students with disabilities, and they must be compatible with the various forms of assistive technology that students might use to help them learn. The webinar advises school leaders to routinely test their online activities to ensure accessibility.

“OCR’s accessibility webinar is intended to remind school leaders at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels of their legal obligations to ensure that all students, including students with disabilities, can access online and virtual learning programs,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus. “Students with disabilities must have access to educational technology utilized by schools, and OCR will continue to work to ensure that no student is excluded from utilizing these important tools.”

In addition, the new fact sheet released by OCR presents information on the rights of students with disabilities during school closures and includes tips for preventing incidents of discrimination. It also includes information on ensuring that no student is discriminated against based on race, color, or national origin. The document reminds schools of their legal obligation to comply with non-discrimination obligations under civil rights laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and provides tools to assist schools in facilitating distance learning for all students.

These communications follow a previous letter from Assistant Secretary Marcus to education leaders on preventing and addressing potential discrimination associated with COVID-19. The Department continues to update www.ed.gov/coronavirus with information for students, parents, educators and local leaders.

For additional resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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Department releases COVID-19, IDEA-related Q-and-A

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Questions and Answers. Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Outbreak. Image of coronavirus provided by CDC.

U.S. Department of Education releases Q-and-A document addressing COVID-19 and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (Coronavirus Image: Centers for Disease Control)

WASHINGTON, DC (March 12, 2020) – The Department of Education released a question-and-answer document pertaining to students with disabilities and COVID-19 today.

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ (OSERS) document answers questions schools might have about students with disabilities and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as related to the COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, outbreak.

“In order to ensure that students with disabilities continue to receive the services guaranteed by IDEA and Section 504, the Department has published a Q&A document for state and local educational authorities,” the department said in a press release. “This information answers the most common questions schools have about when and how they must provide instruction, including when to consider use of online or virtual instruction and other curriculum-based instructional activities.”

The department press release also included the announcement of COVID-19 outbreak guidance related to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

The release stated the department would announce additional guidance in the coming days and post it to the department’s COVID-19 page.

View departments’ press release.

View the department’s COVID-19 information and resources page.

View the OSERS Q-and-A on providing services to children with disabilities during coronavirus outbreak.

View department’s ESSA and coronavirus guidance.

View the department’s FERPA and coronavirus Q-&A document.

OSEP Releases Infographic on Students with Autism

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Office of Special Education Programs. OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified with Autism. Map of U.S. showing percentage of students with disabilities ages 6 to 21 served under IDEA Part B and identified with autism in School Year 2018-19. In SY18-19, the percent of students with disabilities IDed with autism equals 11%. States reported a range from 1 to 15 % of student with disabilities IDed with autism. Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data Warehouse (EDW): “IDEA Part B Child Count and Education Environments Collection,” 2018-19. Download: https://go.usa.gov/xdp4T

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 6, 2020) – The Office of Special Education Programs in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announced the release of an infographic on students with autism.

The infographic displays data collected as part the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s Section 618 requirement for states to submit data about infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities birth through age 21.

The autism infographic launched an OSEP data collection initiative called OSEP Fast Facts.

“OSEP Fast Facts enable us to share and promote 618 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) data in a new and interactive way,” wrote OSEP in a blog post. “Our first OSEP Fast Facts presents 618 data on students identified with autism.”