Distance learning for students with disabilities and IEPs is going to be tough. The Superintendent of Maryland schools has just announced that schools will remain closed at least until April 24. She said that the Maryland State Department of Education would ensure that all students, and specifically students with disabilities, including learning disabilities, autism, or behavioral concerns would be served. I expect that over the next week, distance education in Maryland will ramp up, including implementation of IEPs (Individual Education Programs). Individual school systems are supposed to have plans on their websites “very soon,” and the Superintendent said today that we will have to be “very creative in serving students with disabilities.” Parents are concerned that students with disabilities will be at a disadvantage and will need good advocacy to ensure their needs are met.
I am hearing two very clear concerns from my clients at this time– whether children will receive appropriate, accessible remote instruction / distance learning and school work given their specific IEPs, and whether the IEP process will continue via phone or video conference. I do believe that both of these things are possible and that they are required by law. Parents should expect that IEP meetings will get back on track soon.
Here’s how I will approach these concerns:
First, with compassion and patience for both educators and parents who are all doing the best they can in this unprecedented time.
Second, by insisting that schools follow guidance from both the Maryland State Department of Education, and from The U.S. Department of Education.
As always, each individual child’s needs are different. Please reach out if special planning is needed for your child.
THIS BLOG SHOULD BE USED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY READER AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. If you need advice from a special education attorney, please schedule a calL.