Advocacy During Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic creates extraordinary circumstances that require our patience and flexibility. Yet, even in these times, supports and services to students with disabilities cannot be put on hold. As parents, we can work with schools to find creative ways to keep our kids engaged. We do not know how long this pandemic may last, so we encourage parents to remain informed advocates for their children.

We’ve posted links to resources below, but keep in mind this is a rapidly moving situation and information changes quickly.

NEW YORK CITY

Accountability: If you feel remote learning is not being administered appropriately, you can still call Parent-311 at 718-935-2007 and get a transaction number. Email your transaction number and a brief description of the problem to specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov .

NYC DoE FAQs on Remote Learning for Families (3/24/2020)

NYC DoE Remote Learning Expectations for admin staff, related service providers, teachers, parents and students. (3/16/2020)

NYC DoE Teletherapy Guidelines for related service providers (OT, PT, SLP, counseling, etc). (3/17/2020)

NYC DoE iPad Loan Program for Remote Learning and Technical Support for using Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams and setting up remote learning account. (3/20/2020)

ASD Nest Support Project at NYU Steinhardt Resources for families and educators on Remote Learning includes practical info on setting up home environment, plus links to social story from Carol Gray about coronavirus. Peter Vermeulen’s post on ASD and Covid-19 tips is worth a read, especially the part about keeping positive and “pressing the context button.” (3/20/2020, and ongoing updates)

FAQs by NYC parents answered by Skyer Law includes what’s going on with scheduled IEP meetings and remote assessments. (3/21/20 and ongoing)

NY STATE

NY State Education Dept (NYSED) Chancellor Suspends State Testing. (3/20/2020)

NYSED Latest Guidance and Updates on Coronavirus for K-12.(ongoing updates) – Memo with Q &A on providing services to students with disabilities (3/27/20)

NY State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs has the TRAID Program, which provides access to assistive technology for any New Yorker with a disability.

NY State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Guidance on Covid-19. (ongoing updates)

New York Immigration Coalition Education Collaborative advocates and assists on immigrant and MLL/ELL education.

FEDERAL

Admittedly, a go-to source for all of us here: Wright’s Law has posted FAQs on FAPE, LEA and making up missed services due to COVID-19. (3/18/20)

Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates (CoPAA) COVID-19 resource page – includes advocacy alerts (ongoing).

US Dept of Education Coronavirus Information and Resources for School Personnel contains guidance (Q & A for Families, 3/12/2020) and factsheets (Supplementary School Guidance Factsheet 3/21/2020) for provision of FAPE to students with disabilities during the epidemic. (ongoing updates)

US Dept of Education FERPA and Covid-19 FAQs. (3/16/2020)

US Office of Civil Rights Enforcement Discretion on Teletherapy Factsheet with guidance for related service providers to use non-HIPAA compliant platforms during epidemic/emergency situations. (3/23/2020)

H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (full text) (3/24/2020)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Information and Resources on Coronavirus. (ongoing)