Special Education Guidance in Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in New York State
New York State schools must consider the needs of all students and strive to ensure that any plans for continuity of learning are equitable and available to all students. NYSED's Office of Special Education has released guidance, including on the provision of services to students with disabilities, including English Language Learners with disabilities.
Guidance from the New York State Education Department
- Parental Right to Decline Examination Waivers - May 27, 2020
- Supplement #1 – Provision of Services to Students with Disabilities During Statewide School Closures Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in New York State – Additional Questions and Answers - April 27, 2020
- Memo: Emergency Regulations for the Provision of Special Education Programs and Services and Due Process Procedures in Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in New York State - April 16, 2020
- Memo: Extension of the Subject Area Certification Requirement and SOCE Application Deadline for Special Education Teachers Who Teach a Special Class in Grades 7-12 - April 2020
- Provision of Services to Students with Disabilities During Statewide School Closures Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in New York State - March 27, 2020
- NYSED Guidance to Approved Special Education Schools Regarding Novel Coronavirus and Executive Order 202.4 - March 20, 2020
Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education & the Federal Government
- Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities - March 21, 2020
- Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak - March 12, 2020
- Webinar: Providing Services to Students with Disabilities During the 2019 Coronavirus Outbreak - March 12, 2020
- Guidance from the USDOE’s Readiness and Emergency Management in Schools Technical Assistance Center provides the continuity of learning key considerations such as:
- Designing for Unique Needs of All Students. Instructional design, course design and plans for support must be aligned with the skill level of age groups and abilities, including students with disabilities, to the greatest extent possible.
- Supporting System Orientation/Preparation. Orientation/preparation is necessary for faculty, staff, students, and parents on the use of continuity of learning systems to ensure true continuity and accessibility.
- Ensuring Accessibility. Not all students may have access to the Internet, phone lines, TV or radio at the same time, or at all, during a prolonged school closure or student absence. Therefore, it is important to offer a variety of methods of learning. Districts considering online learning will need to ensure that the means used complies with all applicable laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and Education Law S. 2-d, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which provides accessibility guidelines for students with disabilities.
Special Education Programs
Provision of education for students with disabilities is an important consideration when engaging in continuity of learning planning. Districts should plan how they will continue to meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and should be informed by the most recent USDOE Guidance: Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus disease Outbreak – March 2020) in this regard. The Department will be as flexible as state and federal laws allow and will continue to investigate and inquire about additional flexibility for provision of services for students with disabilities during the outbreak.
Featured Partner: INCLUDEnyc
INCLUDEnyc: Resources for young people with disabilities
INCLUDEnyc is a leading provider of training and information for young people with any disability (age 0-26) in New York City, their families, and the professionals who support them. Additional resources are available at INCLUDEnyc COVID-19 resources.