Voices From the Field: Interview with P. Kay Nottingham Chaplin

Vision and Eye Health for Young Children
Kay Nottingham Chaplin

Kay Nottingham Chaplin, Ed.D., is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Prevent Blindness, working primarily with its National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. She provides technical assistance about all aspects of a vision and eye health program, including early detection through screening and program evaluation and improvement. Dr. Nottingham Chaplin has worked in vision screening for 21 years. She assisted states in creating or revising vision screening and eye health guidelines, and serves as a panelist or presenter at webinars and lectures at international and national venues.

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IDEA46 | Transcending Barriers, Past and Present

IDEA 46

By Katherine (Katy) Neas, Deputy Assistant Secretary
Delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services


This month marks 46 years since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was enacted. I couldn’t let this anniversary pass without sharing some reflections about the importance of IDEA, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reaffirming the commitment of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to upholding this landmark civil rights law.

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Ella

NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month as well as Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.

Ella and Beth Johnson

Ella and Beth Johnson

My name is Ella, and I’m a junior at Irondale High School in Minnesota. This school year, I’m busy studying for advanced placement courses, playing percussion and coordinating audio equipment in my school’s band, and making time to read book recommendations from friends. I was diagnosed with dyslexia in fifth grade, and reading print books has always been challenging for me compared with most of my classmates. However, accessible digital books from Bookshare give me the same opportunities to learn, engage, and show what I know.

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What’s New at the National Instructional Materials Access Center

NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month

NIMAC Project Director, Nicole Gaines

NIMAC Project Director, Nicole Gaines

When typical textbooks don’t meet the needs of students with reading disabilities, visual impairments, or physical disabilities, the OSEP-funded National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) helps ensure that these students can obtain the accessible formats they need to engage and contribute alongside their peers.

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Deaf-Blind Projects Support Accessible, Virtual Connections to Transition

NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month

Teresa Coonts

Written by: Teresa Coonts, Project Director of Nebraska Deaf-Blind Project with input from Susan Brennan, Iowa Deaf-Blind Project

Deaf-blindness is one of the lowest-incidence of all IDEA disability categories; however, supporting students with deaf-blindness often involves a wide array of team members in many areas of expertise! To help meet the unique needs of these students, OSEP funds 53 State Deaf-Blind Projects, assisting districts, schools, and families in all States and territories as well as the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB). Collaboratively, we work to improve educational results and quality of life for children who are deaf-blind and their families. The Center and projects’ efforts include a national count of children who are deaf-blind as well as development and sharing of resources, strategies, and events.

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IRIS Center Resources Take Educators Back to Basics

IRIS Center Logo - landscape

If 20 years of serving educators has taught us anything, it’s that a return to the fundamentals of sound practice is always a worthwhile pursuit. As schools and teachers enter into a new school year marked by uncertainty and the ever-present possibility of sudden change, this foundational approach feels especially relevant.

In this spirit, the IRIS Center has just posted one new module and completed significant updates to two others that personnel in schools and districts can use for professional development and personalized learning. And, yes, these resources emphasize a back-to-basics method.

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts on the Race and Ethnicity of Children with Disabilities Served under IDEA Part B

Screen cap: OSEP Fast Facts on Race and Ethnicity OSEP Hand in Hand on Race and Ethnicity

By the Office of Special Education Programs

OSEP is excited to release a new OSEP Fast Facts: Race and Ethnicity of Children with Disabilities Served under IDEA Part B and new supplemental tool, Hand In Hand, which explore our IDEA, Section 618 data with the specific lens on race and ethnicity.   

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ED Welcomes Katherine Neas

Katy Neas

OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Katherine Neas

The U.S. Department of Education welcomes Katherine “Katy” Neas as the new deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

“The pandemic has been hard on all of us, but children with disabilities and specially those of color experienced great challenges. I am over the moon to be at the Department of Education at this historic time and to be part of the team of individuals who are working to ensure all students succeed in the upcoming school year.”

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Voices From the Field: Interview with Deborah Jackson

Desmond Jackson

Desmond Jackson

Deborah Jackson is the proud mother of Desmond Jackson, a member of the 2021 USA Paralympic Track and Field Team for the 100m event and the long jump. Desmond was born with a congenital birth defect, which resulted in an amputation when he was nine months old. He was the first above-knee amputee to run on a high school track team in the state of North Carolina. Desmond encourages other individuals with physical challenges to “get off the sideline and into the game!”

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