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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OSEP Releases Fast Facts on School Aged Children with Disabilities

Introducing a Supplemental Tool to Help Stakeholders Engage with New Fast Facts

Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data Warehouse. Data from 2012-2018 includes ages 6-21 and 2019 includes ages 5 (in kindergarten)-21. SY 2019-20 was the transition year for reporting 5-year-olds in Kindergarten in FS002 - Children with Disabilities (IDEA) School Age. States/entities had the option to report children that are 5 years old in the reporting categories "Age 5 (School Age)" and "Age 5 (Early Childhood)". The permanent change takes place in SY 2020-2  Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of Special Education Programs. Hand in Hand. A supplemental tool to help parents and other stakeholders engage with OSEP Fast Facts: School Aged Children 5 (in kindergarten) Through 21 Served Under Part B, Section 618 of the IDEA.

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.

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts on Part C and B New Data Files and Part B Personnel

Go to OSEP Fast Facts: 2018–19/2019 IDEA Section 618 Data. Image description: 2.95% to 3.7% is the increase in the percentage of the population of infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services under IDEA, Part C, birth through 2 years, from 2014-15 to 2019-20. 8.85% to 9.86% increase in the percentage of the population of school age students served under IDEA, Part B, from 2014-15 to 2019-20. Infants and toddlers with disabilities exiting Part C were more likely to be Part B eligible than any other basis of exit.

OSEP Fast Facts:
2018–19/2019 IDEA Section 618 Data.

Go to OSEP Fast Facts: Part B Personnel. Number of special education teachers and paraprofessionals employed or contracted to work with children with disabilities for ages 3 through 21 in school year 2018-19. 520,637 special education paraprofessionals. 429,486 special education teachers. 228,805 related services personnel. In school year 2018-19, 7,278,380 children with disabilities were served under IDEA Part B.

OSEP Fast Facts:
Part B Personnel.

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.

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IDEA45: Happy Birthday IDEA!

George Sugai
IDEA-45 logo. IDEA 45. #IDEA45 Years. 1975-2020. Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

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.

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IDEA45: Our Continued Passion

Michael Norman
IDEA 45th Anniversary logo

IDEA Deserves our Continued Passion, Advocacy, and Support

By Michael Norman


When I began an internship at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) in 1976, I knew little about special education and even less about state educational agencies (SEAs). I was a thirty-year-old doctoral student and former middle school principal. I had no idea that internship would change the entire trajectory of my professional life.

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts on Children With Disabilities Aged 3 through 5

OSEP Fast Fact on Children With Disabilities Aged 3 through 5

By the Office of Special Education Program

OSEP is pleased to introduce our newly released Fast Fact focusing children with disabilities aged 3 through 5 served under Part B, section 619 of the IDEA.

For the OSEP Fast Facts: Children 3 through 5 Served Under IDEA Part B Section 619 we present data from the data collections authorized under IDEA section 618 including that collected through child count and educational environments.

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OSEP 2020 New Discretionary Grant Awards

In fiscal year 2020, OSERS’ Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) provided over $71.7 million to fund programs that help educate children and youth with disabilities to assist states, local districts and other organizations to improve results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21.

Please read about these programs below.

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Charting the Path to Every Child Reading

NOTE: October is Learning Disabilities (LD)/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness (ADHD) Month.

Amy and Olivia Traynor

Amy Traynor, OTR, M.A., ATP, National Center for Learning Disabilities Texas Parent Advisory Council Lead

“Livvy speak” is the endearing term coined for the innocent one-off names or descriptions spoken by my daughter, Olivia, when she was in preschool. We adored it and rarely corrected her.

As a pediatric occupational therapist (OT), I recognized that all children, even siblings, develop differently. It didn’t surprise me that she has done things differently than her brother and they have approached “life” differently from the other.

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We Can Do Virtually Anything

Courtney Hansen

NOTE: October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

A guest blog by Courtney Hansen, Special Education Advocate

Courtney is a non-attorney special education advocate. She advocates at the local, state, and national level for disability rights, and blogs about it at www.inclusionevolution.com


I first shared our family’s story on this blog two years ago. A lot has changed since then, although many things remain the same.

My now 8-year-old twin boys, one who has Down syndrome and the other typically developing, are still included in the same general education class. They still love playing sports together, and our family still leans on our “village” of teachers, therapists, and friends to move forward. Still, this year’s COVID-19 pandemic has set us on a trajectory of change and uncertainty that often feels unsustainable.

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