WASHINGTON – August 25, 2021 – The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) supports the newly issued Q&A guidance from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) that reiterates its commitment to students with disabilities and the free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) they are entitled to, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic or the mode of instruction.
The Q&A document focuses on the Child Find requirement under Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and reaffirms that, under federal law, public schools must look for, find, and evaluate students who need special education services. An effective child find system is part of each state’s responsibility to ensure a free, appropriate, public education to all students with disabilities.
“Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many children with disabilities did not receive the services guaranteed in their IEP or evaluations,” says Lindsay E. Jones, President and CEO of NCLD. “Many districts have struggled to keep up with evaluations and have experienced backlogs. These guidance documents are critical because they reiterate the importance of Child Find in ensuring that students with disabilities get what they need to succeed in school.”
NCLD is pleased that the U.S. Department of Education issued this guidance to support states and districts to meet the needs of students with disabilities and their families in the upcoming school year. In addition, further guidance on meeting timelines, ensuring implementation of initial evaluation and reevaluation procedures, and determining eligibility for special education and related services among other topics is a welcomed announcement from the disability community.
Read the full statement here.
The National Center for Learning Disabilities’ mission is to improve the lives of the 1 in 5 children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities.
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Lindsay Kubatzky, Policy Manager
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