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Supporting Students with Disabilities Tip Sheet During COVID-19 School Closures


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About This Lesson

Use our COVID-19 school closures guidance for supprting students with disabilities.

Guidance includes:

  • Key points to consider
  • Resources for parents
  • Apps for children with special needs
  • Websites
  • Digital modification
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Recommendations

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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation, and ensures special education and related services to these children.

The 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.

The challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic are many and have forced school districts across the nation to take necessary steps not only to protect the health and safety of students, but also to address the academic, and social emotional needs of our most vulnerable students. Although distance learning quickly became the default solution for the more than 54 million students displaced by school closures, it is not the most accessible choice for the nearly 7 million students identified as students with disabilities under IDEA.

Recent guidance by the U.S. Department of Education and the department’s Office for Civil Right (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) sought to clarify guidance and information to state and local education agencies on the legal obligations to provide a free and appropriate public education required by IDEA.


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