On March 21, 2020, the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued additional guidance to public schools across the country (the “March 21 Guidance”). The March 21 Guidance addresses the Department of Education’s concern that school districts may be reluctant to provide distance learning opportunities to students due to a perception that compliance with federal disability laws “presents insurmountable barriers to remote education.” The March 21 Guidance further explains that:

  • Schools “should not opt to close or decline to provide distance instruction, at the expense of students, to address matters pertaining to services for students with disabilities.”
  • Current exceptional circumstances may affect the method of service delivery to children with disabilities.
  • Schools should consider using online, virtual and telephonic methods of service delivery.
  • If technology presents a barrier to access or if the instructional materials are not available in an accessible format, “educators may still meet their legal obligations by providing children with disabilities equally effective alternate access to the curriculum or services provided to other students.”
Print:
EmailTweetLikeLinkedIn
Photo of Alyce Alfano Alyce Alfano

Alyce focuses her practice in the area of School Law. She has experience with special education, regular education, bullying, residency and disciplinary issues. She regularly speaks on the topic of special education law for various organizations in Connecticut and nationally.

Photo of Andreana R. Bellach Andreana R. Bellach

Andreana represents boards of education in education law matters, labor relations and employment law, including labor negotiations for certified and non-certified staff, grievance arbitration, freedom of information hearings, student disciplinary matters, special education disputes, and education policies and practices. Andreana frequently speaks on…

Andreana represents boards of education in education law matters, labor relations and employment law, including labor negotiations for certified and non-certified staff, grievance arbitration, freedom of information hearings, student disciplinary matters, special education disputes, and education policies and practices. Andreana frequently speaks on education law and labor relations matter.

Photo of Peter J. Maher Peter J. Maher

Peter Maher is a member of the School Law Practice Group where he represents public school districts in a variety of general education, special education, and labor and employment law matters.  Peter frequently presents on various school law topics and provides professional development…

Peter Maher is a member of the School Law Practice Group where he represents public school districts in a variety of general education, special education, and labor and employment law matters.  Peter frequently presents on various school law topics and provides professional development training for school personnel and professional groups.  As a former special education teacher, Pete regularly draws on his teaching experience in counseling clients, as he is able to provide not only legal advice but also practical perspective.  Prior to joining Shipman & Goodwin, Peter served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas I. Vanaskie of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.