Today, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote a letter to educators and parents regarding new Centers for Disease Control recommendations and the recommendations’ impact on children with disabilities. This letter addresses the needs of students with disabilities as we move into a new phase in our response to the pandemic. The letter addresses the CDC’s February 2022 framework for identifying COVID-19 Community Levels and encourages schools to lead with equity and inclusion to ensure all students have access to in-person learning alongside their peers.
The letter includes sections on leveraging the individualized education program or Section 504 process to ensure schools have protections in place to protect in-person learning; continuing use of layered prevention strategies to keep school communities safe; and ensuring students receive education and services in the least restrictive environment.
For additional COVID-19 resources relating to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and OSERS, please go to Program Information: FAQs and Responses — Special Education & Rehabilitative Services page. You can also find more COVID-19 resources on ED's Disability Rights and COVID-19 Resources for Schools, Students, and Families pages.