Voices From the Field: Interview with Paulette Tattersall

Paulette Tattersall

Paulette Tattersall DipPharm, MSc, is the Northeast Director of Prevent Blindness, a national organization whose mission is to prevent blindness and preserve sight. She is also Co-Chair of Children’s Vision Massachusetts (CVMA), a 70-member coalition of parents, health professionals, educators and organizations who work together towards building a statewide systematic approach to vision care for Massachusetts children.

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Commemorating The ADA and Announcing a New Resource to Support Students with Long COVID

Cross-posted from the Office for Civil Rights Blog


July 26, 2021

ED Seal - OfficialThis week, we celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a watershed civil rights law that mandated the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Since its enactment in 1990, the ADA has played a crucial role in expanding protection against discrimination in education. Schools across the country—serving students from pre-K through graduate school—must make their offerings available and accessible to all students, including those with and without disabilities.

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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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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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OSEP Releases Fast Facts on Asian, Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Asian Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Asian Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Hispanic and/or Latino Children with Disabilities

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. 

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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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