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US Department of Education (DOE)

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) in the US Department of Education supports programs that help educate children and youth with disabilities, provides for the rehabilitation of youth and adults with disabilities and supports research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. By providing funding to programs that serve infants, toddlers, children and adults with disabilities, OSERS works to ensure that these individuals are fully included in school, in employment, in life. OSERS also provides funds to programs that offer information and technical assistance to parents of infants, toddlers and children with disabilities, as well as members of the learning community who serve these individuals.

For more information about OSERS visit:

DOJ/U.S. Department of Education Issues a Joint Guidance on Meeting the Communication Needs of Students with Hearing Loss

November 15, 2014

The Rights of Public School Students to Effective Communication

November 12, 2014: The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division together with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services issued joint guidance about the rights of public elementary and secondary students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities to effective communication. The guidance includes a letter to educators, a Frequently-Asked Questions document, and a summary Fact Sheet, and is intended to help schools, parents, and others understand schools’ obligations under federal law to meet the communications needs of students with disabilities. The guidance documents are available in HTML and PDF versions on  The Dear Colleague Letter and Fact Sheet are also available in Spanish in PDF versions.

To find out more about the guidance documents or the ADA, call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800.514.0301 or 800.514.0383 (TTY), or access its website.

HLAA Comments on Tech Research for People with Hearing Loss

May 28, 2014

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) filed comments with the US Department of Education regarding the proposed priority of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) – Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program – Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC).

The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposed a priority for the establishment of an RERC on Improving the Accessibility, Usability, and Performance of Technology for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The RERC must focus on innovative technological solutions, new knowledge, and concepts that will improve the lives of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

HLAA had subcontracted with a similar RERC, the RERC on Hearing Enhancement at Gallaudet University. Funding from that award supported the Hearing Assistive Technology Training (HAT) we provided to consumers across the country. We consistently had a long waiting list of people who were eager to take that training and who in turn shared their knowledge with other consumers. The result was thousands of consumers across the country, many of whom had no information about HAT at all, learned about the kind of technology that would best help them in their daily lives. That RERC was up for renewal in 2013, but was not renewed. Instead, NIDRR determined it was time to review the charge for that RERC. They did so, and opened up the new priority for comments.

In our comments to NIDRR, we support their new priority and suggest several avenues for research that NIDRR.

Read the complete guide [View PDF]

Guide to Frequently Asked Questions Individuals with Disabilities Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the nation’s special education law. First enacted three decades ago, IDEA provides billions of dollars in federal funding to assist states and local communities in providing educational opportunities for approximately six million students with varying degrees of disability who participate in special education.

Read the complete guide [View PDF]

HLAA Submits Comments Regarding New Research
Interagency Committee on Disability Research (Public Meeting)

August 18, 2008

The interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) requests comments from organizations representing individuals with disabilities to suggest specific ways to improve future disability and rehabilitation research to benefit individuals with disabilities on a variety of topics impacting people with disabilities and how well existing federal research programs are responding to the changing needs of individuals with disabilities.

Read HLAA’s comments [View PDF]

Comments of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance to the U.S. Department of Education on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

July 23, 2007

The Hearing Loss Association signed on to comments sent by the deaf and hard of hearing alliance to the Department of Education on IDEA Part C - early intervention programs for infants and toddlers.

Read HLAA’s comments [View PDF]