Mar 18

Resources for Educating Students with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Crisis

As the world determines how to handle the escalating outbreak of COVID-19, education leaders across the country are facing difficult and enormously impactful decisions. We hope this resource guide will assist educators and school practitioners in developing comprehensive plans for students with disabilities and creating effective and high-quality learning environments for all during this evolving national transition. 

Telepractice Services and Coronavirus/COVID-19
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA offers guidance around telepractice for speech-language and audiology services.

Making Online Learning Accessible for Students With Disabilities
Andrew I. Hashey and Skip Stahl (Published by Council for Exceptional Children)
This academic article explores foundational considerations related to online learning, including advantages of and potential barriers to online learning environments, accessibility and utilization of resources, implementation, and evaluation of accessibility.

G Suite for Diverse Learners

Google for Education offers products with accessibility in mind, to accommodate differing needs and learning styles. This webpage provides an overview of and framework for how their tools are designed to be accessible for all.

Tips for Helping Your Child Learn at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak
The Inclusive Class
The inclusive Class provides a list of practical ways in which parents can support their child’s digital learning experience.

Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19
Mapping Access Project
The Mapping Access Project offers suggestions for intentionally designing online course materials to be as accessible to all as possible.

What’s in My Therapy Bag?
Miss Jamie, OT
This blog from a school-based OT offers ideas for materials that schools can assemble and send home to students or that parents can gather and use with their child while in-person OT services are unavailable.

Online Educators’ Roles in Supporting Students With Disabilities
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute
This webinar highlights recent research concerning the experiences of educators in fully online schools as they work to serve students with disabilities, covering issues like instruction, supervision, relationship building/collaboration, and IEP compliance.

Supporting Students with Disabilities in K-12 Online and Blended Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute
The Institute supplies educational teams with content designed to support the planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs and services for students with disabilities enrolled in online and blended learning environments, including disability-specific recommendations.

Virtual Course Design: Accommodating Students with Disabilities
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute
This report documents the work of online course designers as they strive to achieve accessibility for all students, particularly those with disabilities.

Joint Webinar on COVID-19 Guidance for Students with Disabilities 
This webinar discusses released guidance documents and how best to ensure students with disabilities are educated during this time of school closures and national crisis.

Executive Functioning in Online Environments
UDL On Campus
This resource provides strategies for supporting executive functioning in online environments, which may be particularly helpful for students with ADD, ADHD, or other health impairments.

Information Overload: Executive Function & Cognitive Load
University of Maine at Augusta
This tutorial on online course design explores further considerations related to executive functioning skills, in order to improve support for students with attention, focus, memory, or organizational skill needs.

OCR Short Webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility
U.S. Department of Education
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) presents this short webinar on online education and website accessibility.

Resource Hubs

The following organizations have developed a wide range of tools, resources, frameworks, and guidance documents related to educating students with disabilities. We hope these resource hubs are useful for educators and school practitioners during this national emergency as they plan and prepare to meet the needs of their individual students.

Free Learning Tools
CAST offers a number of robust, free, research-based learning tools to help educators develop flexible learning environments for all students, including those with disabilities.

Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities
COLSD provides guidance on important topics for improving the outcomes of students with disabilities as they participate in online learning (e.g., blended, supplemental, and full-time virtual settings.)

Online/Blended Learning
Center on Technology and Disability
CTD highlights free, high-quality resources and events on all aspects of assistive technology, including online learning.

All-Member Forum
Council for Exceptional Children
CEC’s member forum* message board includes a wide range of educator-led conversation topics such as preschool considerations, holding IEP meetings, and instructional strategies.
*While we tried to focus our effort on curating a list of accessible, free resources, we did want to highlight CEC’s message board given its focus on educator-led connections, although access to the member forum is contingent on CEC membership. 

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials
National Center on Accessible Educational Materials
NCAEM offers resources and technical assistance for educators interested in learning more about and implementing materials and technologies usable for learning across the widest range of individual variability, regardless of format or features.

Coronavirus: Latest Updates and Tips
Understood provides tools and information to help at home, at school, and at work on issues that impact learning, special education, talking with kids, and the workplace.