Essay: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

The agency known as OSERS, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, is an agency that I wanted to pay particular attention to, because it services those who need extra help and brings benefits to the people of special needs. As an aspiring teacher, equality will be evident in my classroom and integration of children with special needs will be something I experience. ‘OSERS is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages’ (‘OSERS’). This agency has an important history, is important to my career as a teacher, and has passed regulations that impact the lives of people with special needs.
When defining exactly what OSERS is, it is a broad agency that helps research and provides opportunities such as jobs and education rights. According to the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability Website, ‘OSERS provides a wide array of support to parents and individuals, school districts, and states in three main areas: Special education, vocational rehabilitation and research’. According to the Department of Education, there are three goals established by OSERS: To increase OSERS’ organizational capacity to promote successful outcomes for individuals with disabilities; to integrate disability issues and ensure participation of individuals with disabilities at the national, state, and local level; to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Each individual is different; therefore, this agency can dedicate time to researching about a specific disability and try to make adaptations for the individual’s job or regular day at school.
To begin the history of OSERS, it is part of the United States Department of Education. It was made official by the signing of the 1979 Department of Education Organization Act. Jimmy Carter, the president in 1979, signed the act. Carter stated in his speech presiding the signing, ‘At no time in our history has our Nation’s commitment to education been more justified. At no time in our history has it been more obvious that our Nation’s great educational challenges cannot be met with increased resources alone’ (‘Jimmy Carter’). Before OSERS, along with other agencies that were created to benefit special needs and various services, acts such as the Randolph-Sheppard Act was established. According to the Education Department, the Randolph- Sheppard Act of 1936, promoted employment for the blind and provided opportunity to access jobs with the vending service. Acts such as the Randolph- Sheppard Act made differences in peoples lives even at the base employment level. OSERS, however, when established in 1979, brought together and provided a broader means of resources. ‘OSERS supports programs that serve millions of children, youth, and adults with disabilities’ (‘OSERS’). Today the Office of Special Education Rehabilitative Services is located in Washington D.C along with many other Agencies. OSERS supports and works on many programs, projects, and institutions.
My industry is Education; therefore, I will be influenced by OSERS with the most important item in my class, the students. As an education student, we are consistently taught about how students with disabilities will be and have been integrated into the classroom. For example, a student that is blind may be provided brail that has been specially created to enhance that certain lesson. OSERS provides research on how that particular student will function. The student will then be integrated in with the rest of the students. Another example is listed on the Department of Education website that provides resourceful e-books for students who cannot be in class everyday (‘OSERS’). OSERS works with my industry by expanding certain programs or regulations that teachers and educators would have to know and work by. As an educator or employer you cannot discriminate or single out against anybody; therefore, OSERS makes it easier for individuals to be integrated into a job or school. If the office provides regulations, then those are required to be followed when working with those of special needs. As listed above, the rehabilitation part of OSERS is of importance. ‘Rehabilitation is to return someone or something to a good or healthy condition, state, or the way of living’ (‘Cambridge’). OSERS uses the rehabilitative aspect to always improve the learning or working environment.
Two regulations created by OSERS that will impact my work are the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. ‘IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities’ (‘OSERS’). This act is important because it will impact me in my work as a teacher because if I am to have a special needs student in my class, I have to ensure they are getting the most out of their education. Regardless of disability, I have to witness that everybody is treated the same. This is also important because if I was to single-out a student because of a disability it is both against regulations and against the right of the student. The Rehabilitative Act of 1973 is, ‘ The federal legislation that authorizes the formula grant programs of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living, and client assistance’ (‘OSERS’). The Rehabilitation Act is important to me because I may have a co-worker as a teacher that has impairment and receives discrimination even though they can perform their job just as well. As a teacher, somebody can have a hearing impairment and still provide a clear lesson to students; however, I may see that co-worker is being discriminated against by administration, and then it would be my job to report it to somebody.
In conclusion, I learned a lot of beneficial information regarding the OSERS. I believe the most beneficial fact I learned is that it is important that students with disabilities are provided with what they need. As a future teacher, I will always keep the guidelines of OSERS in check.

Source: Essay UK -

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