How School Closures Are Impacting Special Education. What You Need to Know. #AdvocacyMatters

April 17, 2020 / #AdvocacyMatters

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is presenting new challenges daily. Our new "normal" is enough to overwhelm anybody. But, for parents trying to navigate homeschooling and access to special education services for their children, it's even more difficult.

With that in mind, Disability Rights Ohio has put together a Special Education & COVID-19 Outbreak, Frequently Asked Questions resource. We created this document to answer the most common and concerning questions parents have right now about their child's services.

Our FAQ examines when a school district must provide educational services during the shutdown. Additionally, it covers what to do if your school district is recommending a revised IEP in light of the crisis and how related services such as mental and behavioral health may be received at this time.

In addition, the document explains what the difference is between compensatory education services and Extended School Year (ESY) services and how both may be utilized during the summer. We believe the most important thing parents can be doing right now is to stay in contact with your child's school district and keep detailed documentation of your communication and steps that are being taken. Your child may be entitled to significant compensatory education and your documentation will be key if that is deliberated.

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has made it clear that any educational services provided to students during this closure must be accessible to students with disabilities. However, the reality is that receiving these services will take collaboration on everyone's part. In addition, we urge you to remember that the situation is constantly changing. So, our guidance may change as well. And, as always, we recommend you put the health and safety of your family first.

Remember, you and your child are not alone. DRO is here to help. As always, if you have specific questions about your child, please call our Intake at 614-466-7264 or 1-800-282-9181, press option 2, and leave a voicemail. We will return your call. Because when it comes to your child's educational services, #Advocacymatters.

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