Randy Johnson is a father and grandfather who was born into a large close-knit family. After graduating from high school, he attended Widener University before serving in the Army for four years. Randy worked in the power generation field for twenty years. He has been married to his childhood sweetheart for over thirty years and they have three children and one grandchild. Randy is known as Pop-Pop to his grandson, and they were featured in episode eight of the Preschool During the Pandemic video series developed by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.
Rich La Belle is the CEO of Family Network on Disabilities, which has served persons with disabilities and their families throughout Florida and the U.S. for over 35 years. Prior to becoming CEO in 2005, Mr. La Belle practiced law for nearly 20 years, concentrating in the areas of disability law, including special needs trusts. Mr. La Belle and his wife are the parents of four grown children, including those who have disabilities.
Introducing a Supplemental Tool to Help Stakeholders Engage with New Fast Facts
By the Office of Special Education Programs
OSEP is excited to release a new Fast Facts on School Aged Children 5 (in Kindergarten) Through 21 Served Under Part B, Section 618 of the IDEA along with a new supplemental tool, Hand In Hand, which is intended to be used alongside the new OSEP Fast Fact.
Cross posted from ED’s Homeroom Blog
Posted by Timothy Lawson, May 13, 2021
A Free All-Virtual Showcase of Game-Changing Innovations in EdTech
developed through ED and Programs Across Government
The ED Games Expo is an annual showcase of game-changing innovations in education technology (EdTech) developed through programs at the Department of Education (ED) and across the federal government. Since 2013, the Expo has been an in-person event at venues across Washington, D.C. Because of the COVID-19 national emergency, the 2021 ED Games Expo is moving online, from June 1 – 5, for an entirely virtual experience. Hosting virtually provides the unique opportunity to engage a national audience and to present content mindful of the pandemic and useful for educational programming in the summer and going forward.
Vanderbilt University and Tennessee State University have partnered on an interdisciplinary personnel preparation grant funded by the Department of Education. The program prepares scholars in the fields of audiology, deaf education, and speech-language pathology to meet the needs of infants and young children with hearing loss and their families. We interviewed one scholar from each university.
Nicole Brigham is a second-year Audiology student at Vanderbilt University on the pediatric specialty track, which involves additional coursework and practicum experience that prepares students to work with infants and children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Shelby Fromm is a first-year student at Tennessee State University in the Speech-Language Pathology program, while also participating in a collaborative training grant at Vanderbilt University focusing on children with hearing loss.
By the Office of Special Education Programs
OSEP is excited to release two new Fast Facts that take a closer look at our newly released 2018–19/2019 state level data files on the IDEA Section 618 Data Products website.
ED: How did you begin your career in early childhood?
During my undergraduate work, I completed an internship at the University of North Carolina’s TEACCH Autism Program. From this experience, I knew I wanted to work with individuals with autism. I began my career as an inclusive preschool and kindergarten public school teacher. As a teacher, I was unaware of many specific interventions or resources used to support the social, language, and behavioral skills of students with autism. Fueled by my desire to support students with autism in classrooms, as well as the teachers serving those students, I began my doctoral program in 2008 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I was fortunate to be funded through an Office of Special Education Program leadership grant: Interdisciplinary Preparation in Teaching, Research, and Service focused on Young Children with Autism and Their Families. When I graduated, I accepted a postdoctoral research position at 3C Institute, a small business that focuses on research and development. After completing my postdoctoral work, I returned to the University of North Carolina as a Research Scientist at Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute. At FPG, my work focuses on supporting the use of evidence-based practices for children with autism using a variety of professional development approaches including coaching and interactive, online modules.
By the Office of Special Education Program
OSEP is excited to release two new Fast Facts that take a closer look at our IDEA 618 data on race and ethnicity.
For our Asian Children with Disabilities and Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities Fast Facts we present data from the data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 including that collected through child count, educational environments, discipline and exiting data collections.
Happy Birthday, IDEA!
By George Sugai
Professor Emeritus, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut
The 45th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is particularly meaningful to me and to students with disabilities for four main reasons.
First, my career as a special educator began in Aurora, Colorado in the Fall of 1974. Although we were definitely “attempting to figure things out,” we developed the district’s first IDEA-shaped resource rooms for elementary, middle, and high school students with emotional and behavioral disorders; we wrote many of the first IEPs; and we created and implemented some of the first behavior intervention plans. IDEA gave us the vision, expectation, accountability, and responsibility to greatly enhance our special education efforts. For the first time, the education of students with disabilities and their families became a protected right and a reality rather than an informal afterthought. In addition, special education became an integral component and priority in general education.
The Personnel Who Deliver the Promise of IDEA into the Lives of Children and Families: A Reflection on the 45th Anniversary of IDEA
By Jane E. West, Ph.D.
I began my journey as a special educator in 1973. My first job was as a paraprofessional for students with emotional disturbance. The program was intended to transition students who had been in psychiatric hospitals back into public school. Our classroom was housed in a trailer on the playground of an elementary school in the Bronx.
Fresh out of college with a degree in literature, I was very keen on poetry. With the support of the teacher in charge of my class, I developed a curriculum on poetry. Much to my delight, the students were all in. They wrote some magnificent poems. Shortly after we finished the unit, the principal announced a school wide poetry contest. Elated, I met with him and provided the students’ work for submission to the contest. After looking at the poems briefly, he returned them to me saying, “There is no way those students could have written those poems.” I was devastated.