Use of joint discretionary grant funding from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to provide technical assistance (TA) to State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs), and Career and Technical Education (CTE)
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos believes in the innate potential of every student and knows that access to high-quality services are an essential part of local, State, and Federal efforts to improve outcomes for all students and youth with disabilities. OSERS is seeking input from the public, particularly SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, parents and CTE educators, and other relevant stakeholders on how best to provide TA to States in order to improve postsecondary transition services to all students and youth with disabilities. Additionally, OSERS seeks input on how best to strengthen and expand coordination and collaboration with OSERS Parent Training and Information Centers and other relevant TA centers.
In September 2014, OSEP and RSA jointly made a 5-year award to establish and operate the National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities (NTACT/Center). The Center was funded under the TA and Dissemination Program as authorized under sections 663 and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481(d), and section 303(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C 793(b). The current project period ends on December 31, 2019.
The grant was awarded to provide TA to SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, and other vocational rehabilitation (VR) service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, exit high school ready for postsecondary success.
Specifically, the current Center has five primary goals that support State’s efforts to improve transition and postsecondary education and employment for students with disabilities:
- Youth and young adults with disabilities receive and participate in evidence-based and promising practices in secondary transition services and supports.
- SEAs and LEAs implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies, including early warning and intervention systems to reduce dropout and increase graduation rates.
- Students with disabilities participate in career-related curricula so they are prepared for postsecondary employment and careers.
- Students with disabilities receive rigorous academic preparation so they are prepared for success in postsecondary education.
- SEAs, SVRAs, LEAs, and local VR offices use data-driven decision-making to develop their respective plans and reports.
As a matter of general practice, the Department regularly reviews its investments to ensure the most efficient and effective use of federal funds. Additionally, we consider feedback from the field, including feedback from TA recipients, and we want to hear directly from you what has worked well, what could be improved, and what changes should be considered as we recompete this grant. In particular, we are interested in exploring the provision of TA as it relates to future investments, and are seeking your input across four areas: 1) current challenges, 2) products (that should remain in use and new products needed to address critical needs), 3) strengthening TA, and 4) coordination and collaboration.
To help us in our review, we ask that you only address the following questions in the comment section below. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as the name of a child or school personnel, a Social Security number, an address, a phone number or an email address in the body of your comment. Comments containing the aforementioned information, or that do not address the below questions, will not be allowed to remain on this site.
This blog will be open for comments through October 2, 2019.
- What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?
- Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?
- What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?
- What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?
- Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?
- Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?
- How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?
OSERS appreciates your support and suggestions as we continue efforts to expand, strengthen, and improve TA to States in their work to provide high-quality transition services to all students and youth with disabilities and their families.
We look forward to receiving your comments on or before October 2, 2019.