Within the Division of Learning Services, the Office of Special Education administers state and federal funds to support services for students and adults with disabilities. This office also oversees the operation of three school systems administered by the State Board of Education. These are the Missouri School for the Blind, the Missouri School for the Deaf and the Missouri Schools for Severely Disabled. Through their outreach programs and consulting services, these school systems assist local school personnel and families throughout the state in meeting the needs of children with disabilities.
The Office of Special Education consists of the following sections:
First Steps (Birth to 3): This section works with other state and local agencies to coordinate the Missouri First Steps program, which provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
Effective Practices: This section works with local school districts in developing and improving special education services for students (ages 3-21) with disabilities.
Compliance: This section monitors special education programs for students with disabilities ages 3-21, in all public schools and approves private agencies to serve students enrolled in public schools. The section also conducts Child Complaint investigations.
Data: This section coordinates the collection, analysis, and reporting of special education data to to help districts and the state meet reporting requirements and improve decision-making.
Sheltered Workshops: Sheltered workshops provide employment for adults with disabilities. The Office of Special Education provides financial and technical support for all approved sheltered workshops in the state.