Resources from the Office of Special Education Programs
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, or OSEP, GRADS360̊ website provides a treasure trove of information to help guide children and youth with special needs ages birth through 21, their parents, and service providers through special education programs. The GRADS360̊ site includes information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, of 2004 which authorizes funding for discretionary grants to support research, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.
In addition, the IDEA Part B “formula grants assist States in providing a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities age 3 through 21” (Part B, Sections 611 and 619). The IDEA Part C formula grants assist states in providing early intervention services for infants and toddlers from birth through age two and their families.
Here is just a sample of the various resources and tools available through the U.S. Department of Education’s OSEP GRADS360̊ site.
- Find your state lead to connect with your state’s OSEP Point of Contact directly for questions related to special education services. This list can also be useful for families planning an upcoming move to a new state. Be sure to contact the Customer Service POC first who will then connect you with the person who can further assist you with your specific questions.
- The IDEA site offers a lot of information to help students, parents, educators and service providers navigate through the IDEA to gain a better understanding of the act including both Parts B and C. It is a place to gather information and resources to help further guide you through special education programs.
- The Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 site provides a “one-stop shop” for resources related to the IDEA. Check out the chalkboard on the left side of the page that lists many specific topics which may be of great interest for families with special needs as a well for service providers (i.e., EIS, evaluation and reevaluation, Individualized Education Program, or IEP, Monitoring and Enforcement, private schools, and statewide and districtwide assessments). The information is available in downloadable documents and videos.
- The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Blog has stories and insights from other families with special needs who have perhaps experienced struggles and successes similar to your family’s.
- A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities which was recently published in January 2017.
- On the IDEA site, this Contacts page lists not only contact information for relevant OSEP POCs, but also includes a States and U.S. Territories Map to easily find Department of Education POCs in your state or territory, as well as links to subscribe to the OSEP and the Department of Education’s newsletters.
We encourage you to further explore the U.S. Department of Education’s OSEP GRADS360̊ website for more tools and resources which may assist you, your family, and service providers who work with families with special needs.