OSEP Update: Celebrating Improved Outcomes!

Improving Results for Youth and Children with Disabilities

October 2016: In this Issue

TOP NEWS: OSERS Celebrates Disabilities in October!

Laura Schifter

This month OSERS is celebrating both Down Syndrome and Learning Disability and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness! We have had the opportunity to connect with our partners who work on behalf of children with these disabilities, and many families and individuals who are conquering any challenges presented by these disabilities, on Twitter and the blogosphere.


For LD/ADHD Awareness, check out some wonderful stories on the OSERS blog, as well as this webinar on Intensive Intervention, presented by Department-funded centers, the National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) and the Accelerating the Academic Achievement of Students with Learning Disabilities Research Initiative (A3).


We've also partnered with many organizations to share family and research perspectives on Down syndrome (DS) -- check out this DS Awareness page for posts, as well as the OSERS blog. 

Finally, don't forget to add your voice to the DS Twitter Chat, hosted by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, today, October 26th at 4:00pm ET. Follow the Twitter hashtag #DSchat2016 for questions, answers, and loads of information!

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INSIDE OSEP: Ruth's Report

Message from Ruth Ryder, Acting Director

Hello Leaders!

We've accomplished a lot this month! We were very pleased to have the opportunity to connect with so many folks in the field, and to learn how our laws have affected their lives and work. OSEP also had a chance to participate in the Division for Early Childhood International Conference, to discuss "Knowledge, Implementation, and Evaluation." Visit the DEC conference page for more information.


We also announced our upcoming Combined Federal Programs Meeting, which will take place December 12-13, 2016,  and will give State education agency participants the opportunity to engage together around implementing the ESSA.

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#babyIDEAis30 Hangout


OSEP celebrated the 30th Anniversary of IDEA's early childhood provisions earlier this month, sharing perspectives from families, researchers, policy makers, advocates and more. Visit the 30th Anniversary page for access to our video playlist-- including a wonderful message from ED Secretary John King. From this page, you can also view the Google Hangout, which featured practitioners who highlighted the importance of PL 99-457. Don't forget to visit the OSERS Blog and Twitter (#babyIDEAis30) for some amazing stories and resources!

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RESOURCE CENTER: New policy documents and featured TA resources

Policy: Educational records, parental rights, and early childhood FAQ


  • September 23, 2016: Letter to Kashyap addresses the question of whether the right to examine education records afforded by IDEA is limited only to parents of children who already have been deemed eligible for special education services, or if the right also extends to children with suspected disabilities. OSEP states in this letter that the information in the child’s education records could be needed to help the parent decide whether he or she wishes to pursue IDEA’s dispute resolution options to resolve any disagreement with the public agency’s determination that the child is (1) not suspected of having a disability under IDEA or (2) is ineligible to receive, or continue to receive, special education and related services. Therefore, a parent’s right to inspect and review a child’s education record also extends to parents who suspect their child may have a disability.



OSEP Dear Colleague Letters, memos, and policy letters

may be found on the Department's website.

New Professional Development Resources from IRIS!

IRIS Center

 IRIS Center: District-Level Professional Development

The IRIS Center is proud to offer a new school- and district-level platform for professional development. This online solution to district PD needs provides a high degree of flexibility for teachers and customization and affordability benefits for administrators.

New Module on Secondary Transition

This new IRIS Module defines and discusses the purpose of interagency collaboration and addresses the importance of partnering with agencies to improve outcomes for students with disabilities who are transitioning from high school.

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ED Update: ESSA guidance and more

King, Duncan and Obama

This month President Barack Obama announced that in 2015, the nation's high school graduation rate reached a historic high of 83.2 percent!


On October 12, the Department issued final regulations to help ensure new teachers are ready to succeed in the classroom and every student is taught by a great educator.  The regulations aim to

bring transparency to the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs, provide those programs with information to help them continuously improve, and respond to educators who do not feel ready to enter the classroom after graduation.


Finally, new ESSA Guidance:


  • ESSA Title IV, Part A Guidance – Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program (October 21, 2016)
  • ESSA Early Learning Guidance (October 20, 2016)
  • ESSA Schoolwide Guidance (September 29, 2016)

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          FROM THE FIELD: Check out the OSERS Blog!

          Madison Essig, student

          We have had some amazing opportunities to connect with parents and individuals with disabilities throughout the month during our celebrations for Down Syndrome Awareness, LD/ADHD Awareness, and the 30th Anniversary of PL 99-457! 


          • The OSERS blog is jam-packed with stories about success in the face of challenges, and what early intervention and early childhood education has meant for families and individuals with disabilities. Read more about Madison Essig, pictured left.
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          ENGAGE WITH US

          ED on Instagram @usedgov

          The US Department of Education is now on Instagram! Follow us @usedgov, where we're sharing the amazing stories of educators and learners across these United States!

          Follow us on Twitter @Ed_Sped_Rehab

          Twitter Logo Blue

          OSERS is on Twitter with the latest from special education advocates, educators, families and students. Follow us @Ed_Sped_Rehab and tell your friends. We'll see you in the Twittersphere!


          Catch our Snaps!

           What's "My Story" today?  ED's Office of Communication and Outreach now features different initiatives and events on our new Snapchat account.  Add us at @usedgov!!

          Send Us Your Feedback and Comments


          We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions for TA opportunities? Parent resources? Webinar topics? Ideas for things to include in future newsletters? Send them to Charlotte Stein at charlotte.stein@ed.gov.

          If you know someone who would like to subscribe to the OSEP newsletter, encourage them to sign up HERE!