Guidance issued from The Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) regarding potential misunderstanding that has recently circulated within the educational community. As school districts nationwide take necessary steps to protect the health and safety of their students, many are moving to virtual or online education (distance instruction). Some educators, however, have been reluctant to provide any distance instruction because they believe that federal disability law presents insurmountable barriers to remote education. This guidance addresses those misconceptions. This guidance document can be found at: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/frontpage/faq/rr/policyguidance/Supple%20Fact%20Sheet%203.21.20%20FINAL.pdf
On March 12, 2020, the United States Department of Education released a guidance document regarding the provision of special education services to children with disabilities during periods of school closures due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The guidance document is in a question and answer format, and addresses requirements under both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504). In summary, the guidance provides that if a school district closes in response to the Coronavirus crisis and does not provide any educational services to children without disabilities, the school district is not required to provide any services to children without disabilities during that same period of time. Once schools reopen, the school district will be required to make every effort to provide children with disabilities with special education and related services consistent with their individualized education programs (IEPs).
The guidance document provides much more detailed information regarding the rights of children with disabilities, and the responsibilities of school districts to meet the needs of those children, during school closings in response to the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, you can find the full text of the guidance document at the following link: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/department-releases-covid-19-idea-related-q/, or contact PIC or the Delaware Department of Education.
COVID-19 & Students with Disabilities
Resources for schools
Delaware Division of Public Health – COVID-19 Resources
Tips for keeping safe
As we are adjusting to the reality of social-distancing, Delaware, like many states is working to ensure the provision of services to infants and toddlers, while maintaining the health, safety, and confidentiality of children, families and practitioners. This brief video produced by the Families, Infants, and Preschoolers Program (FIPP) out of North Carolina, shows how you can use tele-intervention during this time of social distancing and includes an overview of system requirements, how to plan a visit, the three parts of a virtual visit, and what conducting a tele-intervention visit looks like in action. Please note, what tele-intervention can look like will vary from state-to-state.
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