RSA 2020 New Discretionary Grant Awards

In 2020, OSERS Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) provided over $17.1 million to fund programs that help to assist state and other agencies in providing vocational rehabilitation (VR) and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.

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What’s Your Vision?

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

What's Your Vision PSA

By David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind


As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) launched a new campaign emphasizing the importance of ensuring all Massachusetts residents, including those who are blind or visually impaired, have the opportunity to put their skills and talents to work, for the benefit of themselves and the Commonwealth’s employers and economy.

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Learning to Earn

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Kevin Urban

From Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation

Kevin Urban has strong math and foreign language skills, earned several college credits while still in high school, and loves creating visual art. Through his participation in Nebraska VR Pre-Employment Transition Services, he also learned a lot more about himself. He learned how to speak up for himself, knows he is not a fan of chaos or change, and says he is a hands-on and visual learner.

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California Career Innovations Success Story

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness MonthCalifornia Career Innovations logo (lightbulb)


The California Department of Rehabilitation partnered with San Diego State University Interwork Institute for a work-based learning initiative, the California Career Innovations (CCi).

The CCi initiative evaluates the effects and benefits of work-based learning experiences to prepare students with disabilities to enter post-secondary education and obtain competitive integrated employment.

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Oregon Commission for the Blind Student Honored with Dean’s Award

AmyRose

AmyRose with her “Dean’s Award of Excellence.”

AmyRose is finishing up community college and hopes to transfer to a 4-year college in the fall. In May, the dean of Clackamas Community College honored Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB) student AmyRose Bonano with the Dean’s Award. Over 50 people — staff, family, and fellow students — gathered on May 29 for an inspiring ceremony via Zoom.

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OSEP Releases Two New OSEP Fast Facts

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Office of Special Education Programs. Percentage of American Indian or Alaska Native Children With Disabilities by State, Ages 6 to 21, Served Under IDEA, Part B, in the United States (US): School Year (SY) 2018-19. Shows map of the U.S. In school year 2018-19, 1.35% of school aged children with disabilities in the United States were American Indian or Alaska Native. Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data Warehouse (EDW): “IDEA Part B Child Count and Educational Environments Collection,” 2018-19. http://go.usa.gov/xdp4T. Data for Wisconsin was suppressed due to questionable data quality. Data for Washington, DC was suppressed due to small cell size.

OSEP Fast Facts:
American Indian or Alaska Native Children
with Disabilities

OSEP Fast Facts: Black or African American Students with Disabilities. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Office of Special Education Programs. OSEP Fast Facts: Black or African American Children With Disabilities. Percentage of Black or African American Students with Disabilities by State, Ages 6 to 21, Served Under IDEA, Part B, in the United States (US): School Year (SY) 2018-19 and State Population Estimates of Black or African American, Ages 6to 21 in the United States: 2018. Shows map of the U.S. In 2018, Black or African American children comprised 13.8% of the population of ages 6-21. In school year 2018-19, 17.89% of school aged children with disabilities in the United States were Black or African American. Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data Warehouse (EDW): “IDEA Part B Child Count and Educational Environments Collection,” 2018-19. http://go.usa.gov/xdp4T. Data for Wisconsin was suppressed due to questionable data quality. 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

OSEP Fast Facts:
Black or African American Students
with Disabilities

By the Office of Special Education Programs

OSEP is excited to release two new OSEP Fast Facts that take a closer look at our IDEA 618 data on race and ethnicity.

For the American Indian or Alaska Native Children with Disabilities and Black or African American Students 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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Spotlight on Oregon Commission for the Blind’s Pre-ETS Program: Daniel Bair

Daniel Bair Playing a Violin


Many people are familiar with the Oregon Commission for the Blind (OCB)’s work helping seniors and adults, but helping youth successfully transition from school to the workforce though pre-employment activities, or “Pre-ETS”, is another significant part of what we do.

Perhaps because we’ve held it for 45 years, one of our more well-known Pre-ETS programs is the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP). Serving youth ages 16-20 with low vision, SWEP helps prepare youth to live independently and enter the workforce. With programs in Portland and Salem, students typically work between 25-30 hours per week at worksites related to their career interests.

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Voices From the Field: Interview with Cindy Hillyer

Promoting Equity in Children’s Vision Health

Cindy Hillyer

Cindy Hillyer is the director of the Office of Early Childhood Education at Minneapolis Public Schools. Throughout her career, Cindy has led public health and education initiatives focused on cross sector collaboration and advancing equity. She currently serves on the University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration Advisory Board; the Executive Committee of the City of Minneapolis Child Friendly City Initiative and chairs the Minnesota Early Childhood Vision Health Task Force-a National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health-Better Vision Together team. 

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Teamwork Makes the Dream Job Work

Daniel Robertson
by Lamisse Williams, Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR) Counselor


Meet Daniel Robertson, a management information systems student at the University of Idaho who recently obtained his second paid summer internship at HP.

Daniel worked with counselors at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho who informed him about how the university offers students on the autism spectrum a ray of support services through their Raven Scholars Program. This is how Daniel first heard about HP’s Spectrum Success Hiring Program.

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