Update: Will Coronavirus (Covid-19) Affect Services for My Disabled Student?
October 12, 2020 Update: The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), within the US Department of Education, Issues a Q/A document in response to inquires concerning implementation of IDEA Part B provision of services in the current Covid-19 environment. In an excerpt from the document, OSEP states, "no matter what primary instructional delivery approach is chosen, SEAs, LEAs, and individualized education program (IEP) Teams remain responsible for ensuring that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is provided to all children with disabilities. If State and local decision require school to limit or not provide in-person instruction due to health and safety concerns, SEAs, LEAs, and IEP Teams are not relieved of their obligation to provide FAPE to each child with a disability under IDEA." Read more by clicking on the link below:
Read the full document here: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/qa-provision-of-services-idea-part-b-09-28-2020.pdf
July 1, 2020 Update: US Dept. of Ed. Issues Q/A on IDEA Part B/C Procedural Safeguards During Pandemic. In response to inquiries, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released “Questions and Answers (Q&A)” documents concerning implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B and Part C procedural safeguards in the current COVID-19 environment. Read more by clicking on the links below:
Read the Q/A on Part B Procedural Safeguards
Read the Q/A on Part C Procedural Safeguards
April 27, 2020: In considering possible waivers as a result of the coronavirus-related school closures, US Department of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, announced: "There is no reason for Congress to waive any provision designed to keep students learning." and, “. . . there is no reason that a student's access to FAPE cannot continue online, through distance education or other alternative strategies.” The secretary’s announcement upholds the tenants of both IDEA and The Rehabilitation Act, which protects the right of a student with disabilities to a free, appropriate public education-FAPE. This is a victory for students, parents, and advocates! My IEP Advocate will continue to monitor news and developments and keep you updated.
March 25, 2020: Many of our client families are concerned about the recent school closures and are asking if the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak will affect special education services for their disabled student. In a clarifying statement from the US Department of Education: "To be clear: ensuring compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), † Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act should not prevent any school from offering educational programs through distance instruction." Read the entire fact sheet here:
More Information and resources:
Below is a link to a fact sheet for families of students with disabilities, provided by the US Department of Education: Q&A on Services for Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus 2019 Outbreak
Below is a resource link to the US Department of Education for parents on issues surrounding disability services, school closures, and more related to the Covid-19 outbreak:
From the Florida Department of Education Press Office on March 17, 2020 at 5:46 PM. Subject:Florida Department of Education Announces Additional Guidance for the 2019-20 School Year:
The FLDOE website posted this statement, “To support students with identified IEP-related services who may have a disruption in services, school districts are given flexibility for the remainder of the school year to provide alternative services or delay services until later in the summer months, in coordination with a student’s parents and IEP team.”
My IEP Advocate is monitoring updates from the US Department of Education- Check back here for further information