With two new guidance documents, federal education officials are clarifying issues facing both young children with disabilities and those transitioning to adulthood amid the pandemic.
The U.S. Department of Education issued question-and-answer documents in recent weeks aimed at two very different groups — infants and toddlers with disabilities who are just starting their educational journey, as well as transition-age students and adults receiving services through vocational rehabilitation.
The guidance comes in response to questions the Education Department has received from stakeholders across the country about how to provide services to those with disabilities in light of COVID-19.
In the case of infants and toddlers participating in programs provided under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, federal officials are addressing how meetings can be held remotely and how timelines for providing services might be affected.
In addition, the guidance outlines what should happen if services cannot be provided according to the child’s individualized family service plan as a result of the pandemic.
With regard to older students, the Education Department is making clear how services designed to prepare those with disabilities for employment can continue. Notably, the agency said that work-based learning experiences for students with disabilities can happen online rather than in-person.
In addition, the Education Department is spelling out what to do about students with disabilities who graduated from high school earlier this year who missed out on pre-employment transition services because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Q&A document also covers a host of other issues including what to do if vocational rehabilitation services take longer to complete or if additional services are needed because of COVID-19.
Excerpted from “Education Department Addresses Special Ed Concerns Related To COVID-19” in Disability Scoop. Read the full article. Read or download the latest Q & A. Review other Q & A documents that the Office of Special Education Programs has provided related to COVID-19.