New pamphlet offers guidance on serving students with disabilities during health crises

By: | September 15, 2020

LRP Media Group, a recognized leader in the special education publishing industry, has released Pandemics and Students With Disabilities: Practical Guidance for Providing FAPE. Written in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this 62-page pamphlet by school attorney Erin D. Gilsbach identifies the specific steps districts should take to ensure students with disabilities receive appropriate instruction and services during a public health crisis.

The highlight of the pamphlet is the author’s eight-point plan, which identifies the essential tasks a district should perform (and revisit as necessary) to ensure it effectively supports all students with disabilities during a pandemic. These tasks include researching the crisis, communicating effectively with others, developing effective accountability procedures, and identifying students who may be at higher risk for illness. The pamphlet also provides an overview of the IDEA and Section 504 requirements, addresses potential pandemic-related accommodations, and discusses special education legal issues that might arise during a public health crisis.

“Districts are struggling to understand what they need to do to comply with the IDEA and Section 504 during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Julie J. Kline, Esq., LRP’s Executive Director of Education Content. “This pamphlet helps put them on the path to legal compliance.”

The pamphlet also shows educators how to:
· Ensure students with disabilities receive appropriate instruction and support services during extended school closures or distance learning.
· Respond to requests for accommodations that are not adequately supported by medical documentation.
· Add “online contingency” provisions to a student’s IEP or Section 504 plan in case the district needs to revert to distance learning.

Pandemics and Students With Disabilities: Practical Guidance for Providing FAPE is available for purchase from LRP Publications’ online store.


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