This morning OSEP and OCR posted some additional guidance. “Supplemental Fact Sheet” Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities.” This is an important document, and please take the time to read it thoroughly and discuss it with your educational team.
A few quotes that should be considered when discussing services for our students:
U.S. Department of Education (Department) does not want to stand in the way of good faith efforts to educate students on-line.
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.
In this unique and ever-changing environment, OCR and OSERS recognize that these exceptional circumstances may affect how all educational and related services and supports are provided, and the Department will offer flexibility where possible.
It is important to emphasize that federal disability law allows for flexibility in determining how to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities. The determination of how FAPE is to be provided may need to be different in this time of unprecedented national emergency.
The Department encourages parents, educators, and administrators to collaborate creatively to continue to meet the needs of students with disabilities.