In This Issue:
Message From OSEP Director,
Ms. Valerie C. Williams
It’s the fall conference season and OSEP staff are attending the annual conferences of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE). Since the COVID-19 pandemic, these conferences have become more vital for our profession, so we can learn from each other’s successes and strategize on the future of special education. It’s not a surprise to me that the conference themes are “Fostering Resilience, Enhancing Sustainable Results” and “Building Bridges - From Vision to Practice.”
During both conferences I will be stressing the importance of collaboration in improving outcomes for children with disabilities. When Congress reauthorized the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2004, it included findings for Part D of IDEA, the section of IDEA dedicated to the National Activities to improve education of children with disabilities. Here are the first three Congressional findings:
(1) The Federal Government has an ongoing obligation to support activities that contribute to positive results for children with disabilities, enabling those children to lead productive and independent adult lives.
(2) The systemic change necessary, which benefits all students including children with disabilities, requires the involvement of States, local educational agencies, parents, individuals with disabilities and their families, teachers and other service providers, and other interested individuals and organizations to develop and implement comprehensive strategies that improve educational results for children with disabilities.
(3) State educational agencies, in partnership with local educational agencies, parents of children with disabilities, and other stakeholders, are in the best position to improve education for children with disabilities and to address their special needs.
While some parts of IDEA are showing their age, these findings are still relevant in 2023 as they were in 2004. In meeting our Federal obligations, our Research to Practice Division works amazingly hard to fund programs in every State. Check out our Database and see which programs OSEP funds in your State. We have also updated our list of technical assistance centers, which number nearly forty. They develop great resources that can often be used at the local level (both for early intervention service providers and school personnel). Please bookmark these pages and spend some time reviewing these grant programs and technical assistance centers. It will be time well spent.
During the conferences I will also be highlighting our Federal support for States and districts to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. State educational agencies reserve IDEA State-level funds for similar purposes as we do under IDEA Part D. Some of those activities were highlighted during the OSEP Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference, but I’m looking forward to learning more about these Federally supported activities and how they are making a difference.
Thanks for your continued partnership, collaboration, and passion to serve children and students with disabilities.
Did You Know?
In federal fiscal year 2023 (FFY23), 35% of OSEP’s discretionary investments were in the area of personnel preparation and 14% were in the area of technical assistance and dissemination.
Source: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, P. L. 117-328, Div. H, Title III, 136 Stat. 4459, 4891 (2022).
Upcoming Data Inputs Deadline
2022–23 Part B and Part C Dispute Resolution Data Due Nov. 15
The 2022–23 Part B and Part C Dispute Resolution data are due on Nov. 15.
Submit these data via EDFacts Metadata and Process System (EMAPS). User guides for these data submissions are available in the EMAPS system and online:
- EMAPS IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution User Guide PDF
- EMAPS IDEA Part C Dispute Resolution User Guide PDF
Questions should be directed to the U.S. Department of Education's Partner Support Center (PSC). The PSC is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday and can be reached by the following:
School Year 2022–23 Assessment Data Files and Metadata Enabled in EDPass Nov. 6, Due Jan. 10
The school year (SY) 2022–23 Assessment data file and metadata were enabled in EDPass on Nov. 6. These data are due by Jan. 10.
OSEP uses the SY 202–23 Assessment data on children with disabilities to pre-fill Indicator 3 of the IDEA Part B State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) and for the IDEA Part B Result Matrix, which impacts the states/entities IDEA Part B determinations. Additionally, these data will be published in the SY 2022–23 IDEA Assessment data file and associated products (e.g., static tables and OSEP Fast Facts) as well as IDEA’s annual report to Congress.
Remember to use the EDFacts Business Rules Single Inventory (BRSI) to prepare the submission. The Partner Support Center has developed an EDFacts BRSI training video available on the Modernization TA Videos page of the EDFacts Community of Practice website.
EDFacts and EDPass Requirements
Under EDFacts Modernization for both sets of data, states/entities are expected to submit high-quality Part B and Part C Dispute Resolution data that can be published and used by the U.S. Department of Education (Department) by the Nov. 15 due date and high-quality IDEA Assessment data that can be published and used by the Department by the Jan. 10 due date.
OSEP will expect states/entities to take one of the following two actions for all business rules/edit checks that are triggered in the EMAPS and EDPass system before the due date:
- Revise the data entered in EDPass or EMAPS to address the business rule/edit check; or
- Provide a data note addressing why the data submission triggered the business rule/ edit check.
There will not be a resubmission period for the Part B and Part C Dispute Resolution data or IDEA Assessment data.
OSEP encourages states to review the year-to-year reports provided in EMAPS for the Part B and Part C Dispute Resolution. Similar to the 2022–23 Part B Child Count and Educational Environments and Part C Child Count and Settings process, OSEP will manually conduct the following post-submission year-to-year data quality checks for both the Part B and Part C Dispute Resolution data submission and the IDEA Assessment data submission:
- Zero counts submitted for entire file
- Counts switched between line items in a group
Data identical to counts reported in the previous year.
This session will target the recent OSERS initiative 3E: Expect, Engage, Empower. This initiative challenges our field to raise expectations, engage families earlier, and empower all who support students with disabilities to improve postsecondary outcomes. Come join staff from the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACTC) who will share information and resources about evidence-based transition practices and predictors leading to improved student outcomes. These resources can be used by state educational agencies and educator preparation programs to ensure transition is included across the lifespan.
October Symposium Recording is Available
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) hosted the first session for the 2023–24 OSERS symposium series “Belonging: Building and Sustaining Environments that Support High Expectations, Engagement, and Empowerment for All!” virtually on Oct. 25. A recording of the event is now available.
The second blog in a series of blog posts on secondary transition from OSERS on student-led decision-making in schools is now available.
Additional updates on important resources, events, and information will be posted on OSEP’s Expect, Engage, and Empower: Successful Transition for All homepage.
If you have any questions, please email the planning team at OSEP-EEE@air.org.
Technical Assistance Calls
OSEP’s monthly technical assistance (TA) calls are intended for OSEP grantees. The registration links and recorded content are available on the Monitoring and State Improvement Planning program page of the IDEAs That Work website. The OSEP monthly TA calls generally occur on the second and/or fourth Thursdays of the month at 4 p.m. ET. Check the OSEP monthly TA call webpage for the schedule of topics and registration links.
OSEP plans to cover the topics of State Personnel Development Grants and the State Systemic Improvement Plan during the November call.
State Performance Plans / Annual Performance Reports
Thank you to those who responded to the final 30-day comment period for the IDEA Part B SPP/APR information collection. OSEP is working to finalize the new information collection package.
The FFY 2022 Part B and C SPP/APR is scheduled to open in the APR Tool Dec. 18, and will close Feb. 1, at 11:59 p.m. local time. Documentation will be updated and posted to the SPP APR Resources page soon.
IDEA Part B/C Grants
The Part C grant application package expires on Dec. 31. The new package materials were entered into the Federal Register for the start of the 60-day public comment period on Sept. 28 and will stay open until Nov. 27.
Updates were made to Section III (Use of Funds) to incorporate the guidance provided in the FFY 2023 Part C grant memo on how to account for proposed expenditures under Section III C (Direct Services). In addition, a question has been added to Section III F (Totals) regarding the subgranting of IDEA funds.
OSEP will notify states when the updated Part C grant package enters the Federal Register. We look forward to receiving your feedback during the public comment period.
Differentiated Monitoring and Support
OSEP posted the newly released Child Find/Evaluation Protocol for Part B. Find this protocol and links to the Part B 619 Child Find Assessment and the Part C Child Find Assessment on the Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS) page under General Supervision.
In October, OSEP announced the cohort 4 states and released three Part B DMS monitoring reports:
OSEP monitors all IDEA Part C and B programs through its Differentiated Monitoring and Support 2.0 system (DMS 2.0). DMS 2.0 is a cyclical monitoring process that focuses on states’ general supervision systems.
To review monitoring reports, resources, and other support documents related to OSEP’s monitoring activities (e.g., DMS 2.0, DMS reports, and older monitoring reports), refer to the DMS section on IDEA’s website.
The following information collections are out for public comment on the Federal Register. Refer to the respective links to make comments regarding each collection.
State and EIS Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements Under Part C (1820-0682) closes Nov. 13.
Annual State Application Under Part C of the IDEA of 2004 (1820-0550) closes Nov. 27.
National Parent Involvement Day — Nov. 16
OSEP is excited to share that Secretary Cardona and several other U.S. Department of Education senior officials will host a live webinar for parents and families to celebrate National Parent Involvement Day — Nov. 17 at 7p.m. ET.
This high-energy event will focus on the Department’s commitment to supporting parents and the success of their children and will feature the Secretary and other senior Department officials in conversation with Grace Bastidas of Parents Magazine.
October Awareness Events
Last month, OSERS recognized numerous disability awareness events with featured blogs.
Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month
Two young adults from the National Center for Learning Disabilities’ Young Adult Leadership Council share their experiences leading with learning disabilities:
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Victoria, a young adult with Down syndrome, is making her dreams come true as she pursues a culinary arts degree:
Blind Awareness Month/Blind Americans Equality Day/White Canes Safety Day
Three OSERS blog posts highlight OSEP-funded orientation and mobility programs, and the pathways six people took to get to the orientation and mobility profession:
Learn about Protactile language, a language used by people who are DeafBlind, and a Protactile language program funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration in OSERS.
Decision-Making & Accessible Formats
Did you know that special education and civil rights laws guarantee access to education and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities? As a result, states, school districts, universities, and career training agencies are obligated to provide accessible formats to individuals with disabilities who need them.
Are you unsure of what actions need to be taken so that learners who need accessible formats receive them promptly? Check out Decision-Making & Accessible Formats.
Email the National Center on Accessible Education Materials at email@example.com for support.
2023 619 National Survey
The results are available from the 39-question survey sent to Part B, Section 619 Coordinators in the 60 states and entities in July 2023. The questionnaire, co-created by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), covered these seven topic areas: state administration, funding, eligibility, services, preschool least restrictive environment (LRE), early childhood systems, and personnel.
- States and entities reported they provided preschool special education services to 716,382 children under IDEA in school year 2019-20.
- There were 54 respondents: all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and three entities (Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands).
- Most 619 coordinators are in the Department of Education, either with or co-located with, a Special Education or Early Learning unit.
- Most states use almost all of the Part B eligibility categories for preschool special education eligibility.
In 9 states, children may receive 619 services at age 2 (or a specified age between 2 and 3) if they will turn 3 during the school year. Some states have enacted the Part C Extension Option, which allows children served in Part C and eligible for 619 to continue to receive Part C services beyond age 3.
The National Center on Improving Literacy released a step-by-step guide to implementing multi-tiered systems of support in reading (MTSS-R). This six-step guide can be used by school teams to learn the key elements of MTSS-R and develop an implementation action plan.
The What and Why of the Statement of Services and Aids
The PROGRESS Center recently released a new course, The What and Why of the Statement of Services and Aids, that explains the IDEA requirements for the statement of services and aids, the critical role of the statement of services and aids in the development of a high-quality IEP, and how to differentiate between specially designed instruction, related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications and supports.
This course can be used as a self-paced learning opportunity, within in-service professional learning, or by faculty supporting preservice educators and/or administrators. It is part of a larger series of courses covering IEP components. Additional courses in the series will be added over time.
Register for Document Accessibility Training!
Improving access to data and information leads to greater engagement by more diverse stakeholders, including individuals with disabilities. In the Weiss Center’s upcoming training Document Accessibility: A Basic Overview Incorporating Universal Design, attendees will learn to address the top three components of an accessible document across all platforms: navigation, image description, and graphic design choices.
Join the Weiss Center on Nov. 16, and discover how to create accessible documents, use accessible headings, write effective alt text, and optimize documents for assistive technology.
Register: Document Accessibility: A Basic Overview Incorporating Universal Design.
New Inclusive Tech Teaching and Learning Practices and Action Steps
Check out the Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES) updated teaching and learning practices.
The refinement of the CITES framework is based on an evidence review of current research and understanding gained from the project’s Framework Development Districts.
The teaching and learning practices and action steps were updated recently and as part of that process, new self-assessments for teaching and learning are now available.
Check out the new tools and email the CITES team with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect with OSEP Online
Want to connect with OSEP? We have many opportunities for you!
Learn More about OSEP
OSEP is leading the nation's efforts to improve outcomes for children with disabilities from birth through age 21, and their families, ensuring access to fair, equitable, and high-quality education and services. Our vision is for a world in which individuals with disabilities have unlimited opportunities to learn and lead purposeful and fulfilling lives.
Visit these sites to learn more about OSEP, state educational agencies (SEAs), and OSEP-funded TA Centers.
OSEP Home Page: Find the OSEP landing page on the ED website.
Federal and State Contacts: Find general overview information about federal and state contacts, including links to state special education departments and state early intervention and early childhood special education programs.
IDEA by state: Find your state educational agency’s contact information on file with ED and OSEP’s contacts for your state.
Resource Centers: Learn about the types of centers funded by ED and OSEP that are relevant to the IDEA.
OSEP IDEAs that Work: Find federal resources for stakeholders and grantees.
If you have questions or comments, please send them to Dr. Josiah Willey at email@example.com.
This newsletter may reference and contain links to external sources. The opinions expressed in these sources do not reflect the views, positions, or policies of the Department Education, nor should their inclusion be considered an endorsement of any private organization.