OSERS Restructuring and Framework

October 1, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett has released a framework that communicates the way OSERS will focus its work to advance the Secretary of Education’s priorities and continue to make progress toward achieving its mission to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

The framework prioritizes rethinking all aspects of how we better serve infants, toddlers, children, youth, and adults with disabilities. It highlights OSERS’ commitment to support states in their work to raise expectations and improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities; to provide states flexibility to implement their programs within the constructs of the law; and to partner with parents, individuals with disabilities, and diverse stakeholders.

As an example of OSERS’ commitment to rethink anything and everything to ensure that it is in the best position to achieve its mission, Assistant Secretary Collett addressed in a blog the need to rethink special education to prepare each individual for successful careers and a meaningful life.

“This work is too important, the need is too urgent, and the stakes are too high for us to settle for anything less than whatever it takes to deliver on the promises we have made to individuals with disabilities and families in our country,” Collett said. “This will require an unwavering commitment to address any barriers that stand in the way of improving opportunities and outcomes for each person with a disability and to make needed changes at the federal, state, and local levels.”