The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance on serving children with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. The guidance is perhaps the clearest we have received so far. For example, it states:
Some educators … have been reluctant to provide any distance instruction because they believe that federal disability law presents insurmountable barriers to remote education. This is simply not true. We remind schools that they should not opt to close or decline to provide distance instruction, at the expense of students, to address matters pertaining to services for students with disabilities.
The guidance notes that students with disabilities still must be provided a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), and suggests this may require educators to look at an individual student’s IEP to determine what services might be provided. But the tone of the guidance is clear – this is an unprecedented situation, and some flexibility (including with special education law timelines) will be needed as educators, parents and stakeholders collaborate to find creative ways to continue to serve students with special needs.
- Posted by CCIS
- On March 21, 2020