OSEP's April 2022 Update: Director's Message| ED Updates | Announcements | Featured Resources

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OSEP Update

    A Newsletter for OSEP Grantees and Interested Stakeholders

Spring is in the Air!  

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April 2022
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In This Issue:

From the Director

Valerie C. Williams

Message from OSEP Director,
Ms. Valerie C. Williams

Dear Friends,

March was an upside-down month in Washington.  It came in like a lamb with warm temperatures and hopes for an early spring and is leaving like a lion with fierce snow squalls and a ridiculously cold temperatures.  Similarly, Congress passed a budget through September 30th on March 10th with a modest increase in IDEA funds and 18 days later the President submitted his 2023 budget with a sizeable increase in Department of Education funds and grants  and a large increase in IDEA funds—including doubling the IDEA Part C grants to States.  Hopefully Congress will get back to regular order, hold timely hearings and endorse the President and Secretary Cardona’s desire to fully fund IDEA.

You may have noticed that in my contributions to the OSEP monthly so far, I am very interested in data on children with disabilities.  I highlight areas where I think we as a nation need to take a deeper dive into the data as it indicates that we’re not where we need to be for our children with disabilities.  Since April is Autism Acceptance Month, I think it’s a great time to dig into some data about children with autism.  The most recent information from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network shows that based on their samples from 11 States, 1 in 44 eight-year-old children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis and boys are eight times more likely to have an ASD diagnosis than girls.  If you haven’t examined the updated report, I highly recommend it.  Here’s the link to the report and it generated a lot of questions for me including:

  • What is the ASD identification rate in your State and school district? Are there discrepancies by gender, race or socio-economic status?  If so, do you understand the reasons for discrepancies?
  • At what age are children suspected with having an ASD typically receive an evaluation? Do certain racial or ethnic groups get evaluated later?
  • What percentage of children in your State and school district with ASD receive special education services?
  • How many children with ASD receive early interventions services in your State? At what age do children with ASD typically begin receiving early intervention services?  Are early intervention services for infants and toddlers with ASD provided equitably across your State?

A data point that the ADDM did not explore was educational environments for children with ASD.  Our IDEA section 618 data shows that children with ASD, intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities and deaf-blindness are mostly educated outside the regular education classroom and education within the regular education classroom has not appreciably changed between the 2012 and 2020 school years.  This data raises more questions and leads me to believe that we’re stuck in traditional service delivery models based on disability categories instead of ensuring a child is educated in the least restrictive environment.  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out the resources on supporting inclusive education for students with significant cognitive disabilities on the TIES Center website.  I really appreciate their understanding of how busy educators are and provide very impactful strategies to support inclusive education. 

In solidarity,



ED Updates

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Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

The Essential Conversations to Build Capacity through Family, School, and Community Partnerships

Join the Region 10 Comprehensive Center and the Wisconsin Urban Leadership Institute (WI-ULI) on Wednesday, April 13th at 9:00 am CT for Essential Conversations to Build Capacity through Family, School, and Community Partnerships. This webinar will promote effective practices and strategies to engage all stakeholders. To register, click here. For more information, please contact Jenna Allerson at jallerso@umn.edu.



Next TA Calls:

April 14, 2022 at 4:00-5:00pm (EDT) — SPP/APR Clarification  

Please join us for the first April OSEP National TA Call on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at 4:00pm (EDT). We appreciate States’ timely submission of the FFY 2020 State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report, as required, on February 1. OSEP staff are hard at work conducting the reviews and developing OSEP responses. As in past years, OSEP will offer each State the opportunity to clarify or correct the information submitted in its FFY 2020 SPP/APR, prior to issuing the Department’s 2022 determination for the State. OSEP will provide feedback through EMAPS on the State’s FFY 2020 SPP/APR data that OSEP will consider in making the Department’s determination under IDEA Section 616(d). In response to OSEP’s feedback, the State must submit to OSEP through EMAPS any corrected data and clarify any misunderstandings by OSEP about the data submitted. 

When: Apr 14, 2022 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: OSEP April National Technical Assistance Call   

Register in advance for this webinar: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

April 28, 2022 at 4:00-5:00pm (EDT) — Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS) 

OSEP will hold a second National TA Call on DMS 2.0 on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at 4:00pm (EDT). This month’s call will cover the stakeholder input process and the local component of the DMS monitoring activities. We will not be holding a DMS TA call in May and June, DMS Phase 2 onsite and virtual visits will be occurring during these two months.  

As part of the Universal TA OSEP is providing for DMS 2.0, we intend to host monthly DMS National TA calls to provide guidance on specific components of general supervision in coordination with our monitoring activities, or other guidance related to DMS 2.0.

Previous TA Calls:

March 10, 2022 at 4:00-5:00pm (EDT) 

Child Find Self-Assessment 

March 24, 2022 at 4:00-5:00pm (EDT) 

DMS Dispute Resolution: Due Process and Mediation 

(All National TA calls are recorded and typically posted within a week)

State Performance Plans / Annual Performance Reports (APRs)

We are in the process of reviewing SPP/APR submissions in preparation for the clarification period in April. The first OSEP National TA Call, on Thursday, April 14, 2022, will feature the SPP/APR clarification process.  As a reminder: 

  • Part C clarification process is April 12 – April 26, 2022
  • Part B clarification process is April 14 – April 28, 2022

IDEA Part B/C Grants

Thank you for posting your grant applications to fulfill the public participation requirements.  

Again, as a reminder: 

  • Part C applications are due to OSEP on May 13, 2022.
  • Part B applications are due to OSEP on May 27, 2022.

Part B Programs:

If your State has revised its Significant Disproportionality procedures since the initial submission of the Significant Disproportionality Form in 2020 or, you would like to provide additional information or clarification regarding your State’s definition for significant disproportionality, please submit an updated document to OSEP.  Revisions that require an updated form include modifications to your risk ratio thresholds, minimum cell sizes, minimum n-sizes, standards for measuring reasonable progress, and rationales for each, or the number of years of data used in making annual determinations of significant disproportionality. 

States that need to update their Significant Disproportionality Form should access the document from the OSEP website at https://sites.ed.gov/idea/grantees/#Grants,Part-B-Grants-Resources.   

Updated Significant Disproportionality Forms are due to OSEP no later than May 27, 2022, the same date as the FFY 2022 IDEA Part B grant application.

DMS 2.0

Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS)

OSEP’s next Technical Assistance (TA) Call on DMS is scheduled for April 28, 2022, and will review the stakeholder engagement process. Please check the OSEP Monthly TA Call page to register for the monthly calls, review previously recorded calls and information, and access the TA Call schedule. 

To review other resources and documents related to our monitoring activities (e.g., DMS 2.0, DMS Reports, and older monitoring reports), please refer to the DMS section on our IDEA website. 

Dose of Data

Dose of Data

OSEP has released new 2019-20/ 2020 state-level data files on the Department’s new Open Data Platform. A user can navigate to the IDEA Section 618 data products via the legacy site:  IDEA Section 618 Data Products (ed.gov). In addition to state-level data files, OSEP has released a number of static tables that provide commonly used percentages associated with the IDEA Section 618 data.

Did You Know? 

In SY 2020-21, the percentage of students with disabilities educated inside the regular class less than 40% of the day was greater than 43% for both school aged students with intellectual disabilities and school aged students with multiple disabilities and less than 13% for all disabilities in the US, Outlying Areas, and Freely Associated States.

Percentage of Students with Disabilities, Ages 5 through 21, by Educational Environment and Disability Category

The percentage of school aged students with disabilities receiving services in a regular class 80% or more a day increased by less than 2 percentage points between 2012 and 2020 in the US, Outlying Areas, and Freely Associated States for children with autism, children with intellectual disabilities, children with multiple disabilities, children with orthopedic impairments, and children with speech and language impairments. 

Percentage of Students with Disabilities, Ages 5 through 21, Receiving Services Inside a Regular Class 80% or More of the Day

Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts Data Warehouse (EDW): “IDEA Part B Child Count and Educational Environments Collection,” 2020-21. https://data.ed.gov/dataset/71ca7d0c-a161-4abe-9e2b-4e68ffb1061a/resource/c515f168-be9c-4505-a6d7-d52a47b9b2b7/download/bchildcountandedenvironment2020-21.csv

NCDB logo

New Publication on Access to the GEC

The National Center on Deaf-Blindness has a new publication for state deaf-blind projects called Understanding Access to the General Education Curriculum. It covers what the projects can do to help families and educators provide this access for students who are deaf-blind, including foundational information about academic content standards and academic achievement standards, and how they inform instructional planning.

National Center on Deaf-Blindness
Institute of Education Sciences


Research Highlights from the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER)

The Institute for Education Science’s NCSER funds research designed to expand knowledge and understanding of learners with and at risk for disabilities, from infancy through postsecondary settings. We share reports below on issues, findings, and events related to special education.

Integrating Social-Emotional and Literacy Learning in the Primary Grades features an interview with Drs. Ann Daunic and Nancy Corbett about their research on Social-Emotional Learning Foundations, an intervention that combines instructional strategies in literacy and self-regulation for young elementary school students at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders.

Improving the Reading Skills of Middle School Students with and at Risk for Disabilities celebrates Middle Level Education Month by highlighting current research projects that aim to support the literacy skills of middle school students with and at risk for disabilities.

Promoting Equitable and Sustainable Behavioral Interventions in Early Childhood features the reflections of former IES postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jun Ai on conducting research that addresses equity among young learners from underrepresented communities and advice to other emerging scholars from minoritized groups.

Center for Parent Information & Resources

Korean-English Glossary of Common IDEA Terms

The Glossary of Korean Translation of Common IDEA Terms is now available on the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) website.  Two community parent resource centers — the Community Inclusion & Development Alliance and  Open Doors for Multicultural Families — developed the glossary with support from OSEP and CPIR. The glossary is intended to provide accurate and reliable Korean translations of commonly used terms in special education. We hope that this glossary will help increase communication between educational professionals and Korean-speaking families in the U.S. and support professionals’ efforts to better engage with Korean-speaking families.

Progress Center

Upcoming PROGRESS Center Webinar: Using Parent and Youth Feedback to Inform High-Quality Educational Programming for Students with Disabilities

What can we learn from the experiences of families and youth to guide our development and implementation of high-quality educational programming for students with disabilities? Join the PROGRESS Center and the National Center for Learning Disabilities for a webinar featuring Stacy Hirt and Joey Hunziker on April 21, 2022 at 2:00 pm ET. The presenters will share findings from a series of focus groups with families and caregivers who had a child with an IEP during their school years and young adults who were supported with an IEP while in school. Click here to register for the webinar.

Lead for Literacy

Increasing Instructional Intensity Across Tiers of Support

Students with intensive reading needs, including those who score below the screener’s cut score and those in need of individualized intervention, should receive explicit, systematic instruction across a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework. Check out this infographic from the Lead for Literacy Center to visualize how MTSS looks at the classroom level.

DaSY - The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems

Part C Data System Functions Resources

This resource from the DaSy Center contains a list of Part C data system functions designed to assist in developing and enhancing high-quality state data systems. The primary audiences for this document are Part C coordinators and data managers, data system project managers, technical staff supporting state data systems, and possibly state data system vendors approved by the state. (While this list is designed specifically for Part C, many of the functions are applicable to Part B 619.)  The DaSy Center encourages state programs to work with DaSy Center staff for technical assistance (TA) on using this resource when they are considering or planning for a new or enhanced data system. DaSy Center TA could support state programs with developing a request for proposal (RFP) for a new data system as well as reviewing an existing state data system for possible enhancements. Learn more about Part C Data System Functions Resources.

New DaSy Center Blog Post! Data Dating

Imagine there is someone special with whom you would like to build a new relationship. Would you ask that someone out on a date, set a time and place to meet, have the date, set a second date, but not communicate directly with that someone? That relationship is doomed from the start, and yet this happens regularly in the world of stakeholder engagement. Read The DaSy Center’s latest blog post by Thomas McGhee II: Data Dating: Cultivating Effective Stakeholder Relationships.

In Case You Missed It

OSEP Leadership and Project Directors' Conference

Get ready! The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) will be holding its virtual Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference during the week of July 18, 2022.

Registration for the conference is open. Refer to the conference audience lists below to see who should attend. Whether planning to attend or present (or both!), everyone should register.

 Register HERE!

Check the Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference website for additional information and conference updates.

Progress Center

PROGRESS Center Webinar

In February, the PROGRESS Center hosted a webinar with Dr. Erik Carter focused on ten ways schools can foster belonging among students with and without disabilities. In the webinar, he highlighted new resources form the TIES Center focused on the power of peers and peer engagement. For those that were unable to attend live, view the recording of the webinar on the PROGRESS Center website. In addition, check out the recent Stories from the Classroom video where Xuan Truong shared her school experience and the importance of being included in a significant and meaningful way.

COVID-19 Resources

Department of Education

Check the Department's COVID-19 Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel web page for information and resources, including information and resources from other Federal agencies.

OSEP’s IDEA Covid-19 Questions and Answers and Resources

The National Center for Systemic Improvement is the primary source for TA resources during the COVID-19 national emergency for IDEA Part B programs. The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is the primary source for IDEA Part C programs.

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If you have questions or comments, please send them to josiah.willey@ed.gov.

This newsletter may reference and contain links to external sources. The opinions expressed in these sources do not reflect the views, positions, or policies of the Department Education, nor should their inclusion be considered an endorsement of any private organization.


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