OSEP's July 2023 Update: Director's Message | ED Updates | Announcements | Featured Resources

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OSEP Update

    A Newsletter for OSEP Grantees and Interested Stakeholders

July 2023

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In This Issue:

From the Director

Valerie C. Williams

Message From OSEP Director,
Ms. Valerie C. Williams

Dear Friends!

I’m looking forward to seeing you in person later this month at our Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference. Your interest in attending the conference has been overwhelming, and OSEP staff have planned a thought-provoking and engaging conference. Let the countdown begin!

As we plan for our time together, I am mindful of members in the special education family who have passed away since our last in-person conference in 2019 — including our own Judy Heumann and Tom Hehir, as well as Dempsey “DJ” Markey, a tireless advocate in Louisiana. 

Additionally, I recently learned of the passing of another individual who led a remarkable life worthy of celebration. Don Triplett passed away at the age of 89, June 15. Based on the news articles I read, Don lived a full life. He was an alumnus of Millsaps College, worked as a bank teller, travelled to at least 35 countries, went to Hawaii 17 times, played golf, sung in a choir and was a beloved citizen of Forest, Mississippi. Don was also featured in a PBS documentary last year and was featured in numerous print articles.

Why was Don so prominently featured in the media? Because Don was the first child diagnosed with autism in 1943 by psychiatrist Leo Kanner. The book and documentary “In a Different Key” featured Don’s life and the lives of others with autism.

One question posed (that I’m looking forward to exploring further) is how Don’s family and community supported Don in leading a rich and rewarding life while so many other individuals with autism struggle mightily. Clearly, Don’s parents were disability rights pioneers — they quickly realized that institutionalizing Don was a mistake, took him to Johns Hopkins University to learn more about his abilities, ensured that he received an education, and financially planned for Don’s adult life.

Empowering infants, toddlers, children and adults with autism is a critical issue. Earlier in June, we met with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn about the updated data from the National Autism Prevalence Study. The big headline from their study was that nearly 3% of children (1 in 36 children) in the United States have been identified on the autism spectrum disorder. This represents a 320% increase since 2000 when the prevalence rate was 1 in 150 children. The most recent results also show that Asian/Pacific Islander, Black and Hispanic children now have higher identification rates of autism than White children. However, other data from Education Trust and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center show that racial disparities occur in access to early intervention and early childhood special education screening, identification and referral.

While there is universal consensus that early identification and intervention are crucially important in improving outcomes for children with autism, it still takes too long for children with autism to be identified. On average, an identification takes 43 months for children with autism who also have an intellectual disability and 53 months for those without an intellectual disability. I hope you’ll take some time reviewing the results and think about how we can continue to maximize opportunities for people with autism.

Finally, I want to give a big shout out to the 11 states that participated in the National Autism Prevalence Study: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated. 

In solidarity,



Dose of Data: Did You Know?

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In school year 2021–22, 12% of children with disabilities, ages 5 (in kindergarten) –21, who received special education and related services under Part B of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were identified with autism in the U.S., outlying areas and freely associated states.

Map of the United States displaying the percentage of students with autism, ages 5-21, by state

To further explore this data visualization, go to: Options for July 2023 Dose of Data — Infogram.

IDEA Section 618 Data Submission Dates

OSEP has finalized the due dates for IDEA section 618 data submissions:

Part B Due Dates:

  • 2022–23 Part B Child Count and Educational Environments — Aug. 30 (NEW!).
  • 2022–23 Part B Dispute Resolution — Nov. 15.
  • 2022–23 Part B Assessment — Jan. 10, 2024.
  • 2022–23 Part B Personnel — Feb. 21, 2024.
  • 2022–23 Part B Exiting — Feb. 21, 2024.
  • 2022–23 Part B Discipline — Feb. 21, 2024.
  • 2022–-23 Part B Maintenance of Effort and Coordinated Early Intervening Services — Aug. 21, 2024.

Part C Due Dates:

  • 2022–23 Part C Child Count and Settings — Aug. 30 (NEW!).
  • 2022–23 Part C Dispute Resolution — Nov. 15.
  • 2022–23 Part C Exiting — Feb. 21, 2024.

Under EDFacts Modernization, states and entities are expected to submit high-quality IDEA Section 618 data that can be published and used by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) as of the due date. Starting with the 2022–23 IDEA Section 618 data, states and entities will be expected to conduct data quality reviews. OSEP expects states and entities to take one of the following two actions for all business rules and edit checks triggered in the EDPass or EDFacts Metadata and Process System (EMAPS) system prior to the due date:

  1. Revise the data uploaded or entered in the appropriate submission system to address the business rule/edit check.
  2. Provide a data note addressing why the data submission triggered the business rule/ edit check.

There will not be a resubmission period for the IDEA Section 618 Part B data.

IDEA Part C EMAPS CC and Settings Data Tool

The IDEA Part C Child Count and Setting Data Tool, developed by DaSy, is designed to provide assistance to IDEA Part C data managers and other users of EMAPS. The tool offers a way to ensure accuracy of IDEA Part C Child Count and Settings data prior to official submission. The Part C Child Count and Setting Data Tool allows states to enter data and flag errors. Corrections can then be made prior to data entry and submission in EMAPS. The intended audience for this tool is Part C data managers and coordinators, plus other users of EMAPS.


ED Updates

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Expect, Engage and Empower: Successful Transitions for All!

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is excited about the positive reception of the May 10 kickoff for its initiative to improve postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities, "Expect, Engage and Empower: Successful Transitions for All!"

We are currently planning the next event, which will continue to focus on challenging the field to join OSERS to raise expectations, engage families earlier, and empower all who support transition services to measurably and significantly improve postsecondary outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and their families.

We will announce the event, date and details as soon as that information is available.

In the meantime, visit OSEP’s Expect, Engage, Empower: Successful Transition for All page for more information about this initiative.


If you have any questions, contact the planning team at OSEP-EEE@air.org.



OSERS Meeting with Ambassador Zackios of the Republic of the Marshall Islands

H.E. Gerald Zackios, ambassador from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), met with OSERS leaders June 16.

OSERS and RMI discussed RMI’s current eligibility under IDEA Part B and the possibility of expanding eligibility to also include Part C.

The RMI is a sovereign country that qualifies for select U.S. federal programs. The nation is a former territory administered by the U.S. and plays a critical role in U.S. national security matters today. 

The scope of U.S. federal programs in the RMI is receiving increased attention as the two nations work towards renewing our Compact of Free Association that expires Sept. 30.

Photo of H.E. Gerald Zackios, ambassador from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), with OSERS leaders

News From States

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How Georgia is Tackling Special Education Teacher Shortages

Georgia’s Division for Special Education Services and Supports has been implementing a teacher retention/provider program for three years to address shortages in the critical area of special education. EdNote blog recently featured the program, the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy.

Georgia focused on keeping new special education teachers in the classroom through partnerships with institutions of higher education and the CEEDAR Center.

In the 2021–22 school year, 84% of teachers who completed the program returned the following year, highlighting the program’s success. The program, which has 220 participating districts, also supports special education directors and building leaders. “We are learning lots about what works and practices that are ineffective. It is fun to watch this grow,” said Georgia State Director of Special Education Wina Low.

Moving forward, Low hopes to turn this into a two-year model to continue supporting special educators early in their career. This project was made possible by the State Personnel Development Grant awarded through OSEP.

Several young students in a special education class sit in a circle while a teacher reads and acts out a story

News From Our Centers

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Foundations of Accessible Educational Materials

Introducing the AEM Takeaway series! The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center) developed a collection of quick videos on topics surrounding accessible educational materials and technology. Each takeaway is a concise presentation by the AEM Center team and professionals in the field sharing their practical perspective, explaining important terms, concepts and practices. With each takeaway, you will find additional resources to delve deeper.

Have an idea for a new AEM takeaway topic? The AEM Center values your input! Please send it to our team at aem@cast.org

AEM Takeaway Series Foundations of Accessible Educational Materials
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Center for the Integration of IDEA Data’s System Documentation Supports Sustainability and OSEP Monitoring Requests

Center for the Integration of IDEA Data’s (CIID) documentation resources can help support engagement with OSEP for Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS) 2.0 and is a key support for sustaining special education data integration projects.

Special education departments in state educational agencies will be asked to show that they meet the requirements of OSEP’s General Supervision Part B Data Protocol with documentation of data systems and processes.

The CIID Documentation Crosswalk provides a table and checklist illustrating which CIID resources, when completed, fulfill OSEP’s requests.

The CIID Documentation Crosswalk table and checklist
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COVID-19 and Digital Equity

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted nearly everyone, especially those who are deaf-blind.

Ava Bullis, a 17-year-old with Usher syndrome, looks back on the early days of COVID in this new article from the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, COVID-19 and Digital Equity for Deaf-Blind Learners: My Experience and the Importance of Self-Advocacy.

Find out how she navigated this difficult time in her life and how it has shaped the person she is today.

A teenage girl works on a laptop. There is a large monitor screen on the wall in front of her.
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National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative — Webinar, Part 3

The NTACT:C will host the third of a three-part webinar series, — Part 3, July 13, at 2 p.m. EDT.

NTACT:C will share resources and best practices regarding contemporary mental health-related issues, risk factors for transition professionals’ awareness, and how transition professionals may support students and youth to thrive in the face of challenges.

Register here.


New National Center on Intensive Intervention Self-paced Modules on Progress Monitoring!

What is progress monitoring? How do you select an appropriate academic progress monitoring tool for the target behavior? What do you need to consider when collecting, graphing, and analyzing academic progress monitoring data?

The NCII has developed three self-paced courses to support educators and leaders in learning more about progress monitoring. These courses include:

Each of the courses includes 30- to 60-minute self-paced modules, a collection of resources highlighted in the module and a course completion certificate.

What is Progress Monitoring?

Showcasing Implementation in Action

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Inclusive Practices in Virtual Learning Programs

The Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES) released new virtual learning resources for districts and virtual schools. These resources are a result of collaborating with leaders from multiple virtual learning programs and organizations and interviewing administrators from five virtual programs.

CITES Virtual Learning Resources include an overview of the research findings, profiles of five virtual programs and resource documents on topics such as supporting assistive technology, accessible education materials, and accommodations and individualized education program (IEP) or 504 Plans in virtual settings and Professional Learning: Accessibility and Assistive Devices in Virtual Environments. Accompanying guides aligned with questions and check lists that schools and districts can adapt are also available.

Reach out to the CITES team with questions at cites@cast.org.

5 circle pictures of people using headphones or laptops arranged in groups, pairs or alone

Personnel Development Resources

New Brief! — Take a Seat at the Table: The Role of Educator Preparation Programs in Teacher Registered Apprenticeship Program

This new brief highlights the crucial role of educator preparation programs (EPPs) in expanding apprenticeships. Learn how EPPs can support the development of high-quality, apprenticeship programs in your community.

Read Here

Young adult wearing a backpack with right arm raised and reaching up.

In Case You Missed It


National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative — Webinar Part 2

The NTACT:C hosted the second of a three-part webinar series, June 8.

The webinar addressed practices and resources for transition professionals regarding contemporary mental health-related issues for individuals who have reached the developmental period associated with transition services. The webinar also highlighted tips and strategies for partnering with families, assisting students and clients to provide support for friends, and to care for themselves.

Access the recording.

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Podcast Series on Pursuing Equity at the Intersection of Language, Culture and Disability

The National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) announced the launch of their podcast series on Pursuing Equity at the Intersection of Language, Culture and Disability. The podcast highlights the invaluable contributions of thought leaders from the live sessions delivered in 2022.

Pursuing equity at the intersection of language, culture, and disability

Get to Know Us Better

Connect with OSEP Online

Want to connect with OSEP? We have many opportunities for you!

Newsletters: Subscribe to the OSEP Update, OSERS Newsletters, Early learning Newsletter and other ED newsletters, journals and updates

Social Media: Find information on the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ social media accounts, including Twitter, the OSERS Blog, and YouTube

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Learn More about OSEP

The mission of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is to lead the nation's efforts to improve outcomes for children with disabilities, birth through 21, and their families, ensuring access to fair, equitable, and high-quality education and services. Our vision is for a world in which individuals with disabilities have unlimited opportunities to learn and to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives.

Visit these sites to learn more about OSEP, State Educational Agencies, and OSEP funded Technical Assistance Centers.

OSEP Home Page: Find the OSEP landing page on the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) website

Federal and State Contacts: Find general overview information about federal and state contacts, including links to state special education departments and state early intervention and early childhood special education programs

IDEA by State: Find your state education agency’s contact information that’s on file with ED and OSEP’s contacts for your state

Resource Centers: Learn about the types of centers funded by ED and OSEP that are relevant to the IDEA

OSEP IDEAs That Work: Find federal resources for stakeholders and grantees

If you have questions or comments, please send them to Dr. Josiah Willey at 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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