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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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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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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OSEP Releases Fast Facts: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities

Header: OSEP Office of Special Education Programs. Title: OSEP Fast Facts: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities. Body: Percent of percent of the population, ages birth through 2, served under IDEA, Part C in the United States: 2018-19. Image shows U.S. map. Separate text box reads: The percent of the population, receiving early intervention services under IDEA, Part C, for the United States and Outlying Areas is 3.48%. Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Metadata and Process System (EMAPS): "IDEA Part C Child Count and Settings," 2018-19. https://go.usa.gov/xd6j9. These data are a snapshot count collected by states in the fall of the identified year. U.S. Bureau of the Census. "2018 State Population Estimates by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin". Data accessed July 2019 from http://www.census.gov/popest

By the Office of Special Education Program

In 2018–2019, 409,315 Infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, with disabilities and their families received early intervention services under IDEA Part C.

Our new Fast Fact: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities takes a closer look at what our 618 data tells us about this population. For this Fast Fact, we present data from the data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 on Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities who receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Data presented includes that collected through child count, settings, and exiting data collections.

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ Office of Special Education Programs. OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance. Percentage of Students with Disabilities Identified with Emotional Disturbance, Ages 6 to 21, Served Under IDEA, Part B, in the United States: School Year 2018-19. Map of United States. In SY 2018-19, the percentage of students with disabilities identified with emotional disturbance is 5.45%. States report a range from 1.65% to 17.36% of students with disabilities identified with Emotional Disturbance. Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data Warehouse (EDW): “IDEA Part B Child Count and Educational Environments Collection,” 2018-19. https://go.usa.gov/xdp4T. Data for Wisconsin suppressed due to questionable data quality. Iowa does not use the specific disability categories when classifying a student as eligible for special education.]

By Office of Special Education Programs


We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback we got on our first release, OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Autism, and are excited to present OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance. For this Fast Fact, we present data from the 12 data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 on children identified with a primary disability of emotional disturbance. Data presented includes that collected through Part B child count, educational environments, discipline and exiting data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618. 

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Ruby’s Story: Inclusion, Self-Advocacy, and a Future that Could Include College

Note:  October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Ruby stands on stage with a microphone waving to the crowd during NW Buddy Fest 2018

Ruby stands on stage with a microphone waving to the crowd during NW Buddy Fest 2018

By Maria Rangel, Ruby’s mother


My daughter Ruby and I share a love for taking pictures on our phones and capturing memories. We have hundreds of photos of things we did this summer.

One morning as she was getting ready to go to her first day of eighth grade, she asked me to print some pictures on her phone, I said “no, later when you come back from school.”

She then insisted.

“Now for school. Share,” she said.

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Technical Assistance to Improve Postsecondary Transition Services

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.

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Effective Personnel for ALL: Attract, Prepare, Retain

Logo: Effective Personnel for ALL Attract, Prepare, Retain

In April, through the 2019 Symposia Series — Effective Personnel for ALL: Attract, Prepare, Retain, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)  kicked off a focused effort to support States in their work to address personnel shortages. The Series focused on three critical areas: attracting new personnel to the field, preparing them for a successful career, and retaining them longer term. It explored what we know from existing evidence and established best practices, as well as innovative approaches across the country that are making a difference. If you have not been able to participate in this year’s Symposia Series, we invite you to view the archived events at the Virtual Symposia Series webpage.

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