Urging States to continue educating students with disabilities, DeVos Secretary publishes new resource on Accessibility and Options Distance Learning New fact sheet provides additional information on how distance learning can be used to meet needs of the students during COVID-19 National emergency 21 March, 2020 Contact: Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov
  • WASHINGTON - secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today the Department has published new information to clarify that federal law should not be used to prevent schools offer distance learning opportunities for all students, including students with disabilities. This new resource of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) explains that as a school district takes steps to address health, safety and welfare of all students and staff educators can use distance learning opportunities to serve all students.

    "It was very disappointing to hear that some school districts were using information from the Department of Education as an excuse not to educate children," said DeVos Secretary. "This is a time for creativity and the opportunity to seek the greatest possible flexibility so that learning continues. It is a time for all of us to pull together to do what is right for the students of our nation."

    "Nothing published by this Department should in any way will prevent any school offering educational programs through distance learning," he continued. "We need schools to educate all students in principle, instead of educating student no fear. These are difficult times, but we hope that the high schools of circumstances, and the Department is ready to assist you in your efforts."

    As the fact sheet states, schools "... should not choose to close or refuse to provide distance learning at the expense of students, addressing issues for services students with disabilities on the other hand, school systems must make local decisions that take into account health, safety and welfare of all students and staff to be clear:.. ensure compliance with the individuals with disabilities Education Act (IDEA ), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and Title II of the Act Americans with Disabilities should not prevent any school offering educational programs through distance learning. "

    to help schools provide distance education in accordance with federal law, this fact sheet explains:

  • the Department recognizes that the exceptional circumstances that may affect the man was in education and related services and special supports are provided to students with disabilities, and the Department will offer flexibility
  • The school districts must provide. a free and appropriate education (FAPE) to students with disabilities, and the provision of FAPE may include, as appropriate, special education and related services that can be provided through the computer, Internet, or telephone.
  • While online learning should be accessible to students with disabilities, does not require specific methodologies by which federal law should provide distance education.
  • where the technology is not accessible or where educational materials are not available in an accessible format, educators can still fulfill its legal obligations by providing alternative access equally effective curriculum or services provided to other students.

    Department Conti nue to work with state and local leaders to identify any additional areas where they can provide resources to support educators in their important work, and both OCR and OSERS are available to provide technical assistance during these uncertain times. The Department continues to update www.ed.gov/coronavirus with information for students, parents, educators and local leaders on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    For more information about COVID-19, visit the following website: www.coronavirus.gov

  • Tags. : Releases DisabilitiesDistance EducationCoronavirusPress

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