COVID-19, Distance Learning and Special Education Resources
August 3, 2020
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has collected resources on special education, due process, early childhood special education, mental health, related services and protective procedures for schools and districts for use during the coronavirus pandemic. Administrators and educators preparing for children returning to school, continuing distance learning or using a hybrid model should find these resources helpful. This list will be updated as needed. Contact MDE’s Special Education division at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or suggestions.
Guidance for Delivering Direct Student Support Services: Staff Protective Equipment from Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
Teaching Remotely to Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) Students (PDF): This document was originally published by the Council for Exceptional Children's Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing and shared with permission. It has tips on working remotely with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Visit the CEC-DCD website.
Distance Learning: Resources, Tools and Guidance for Minnesota Educators from Northwest Service Cooperative
Online Professional Development Activities Related to Students with Disabilities Available Free or at Low Cost (from Washington state - Microsoft Excel file)
Free Educational Resources for Distance Learning from the California Department of Education
Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center Virtual Toolkit: free online modules on dozens of topics, tips for strengthening online engagement and many other resources.
Providing Transition-Focused Activities Online and At Home (National Technical Assistance Center on Transition)
NASDSE webinar: Virtual Learning for Students with Disabilities — The first half of this one-hour webinar focuses on data and compares various states’ requirements for holding an IEP meeting and ensuring the delivery of services during a time when schools are closed. The second half focuses on making the transition to online education, determining if a student is appropriate to receive services via online, parental supports, etc. The PowerPoint presentation is also available for download.
Online Education and Website Accessibility: YouTube video from the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education with information on ensuring web accessibility for students with disabilities for schools utilizing online learning during the COVID-19 outbreak.
U.S. Department of Education / Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Resources
Q-and-A on providing services to children with disabilities during coronavirus outbreak; supplemental fact sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities
OSEP issued a bulletin on March 31, 2020, naming the OSEP funding technical assistance centers that are hubs for providing resources focused on distance learning for students with disabilities during the COVID 19 school closures. View the bulletin from the U.S. Department of Education. The two primary hubs are the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) and Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center. In addition, the TIES TA center has resources on distance learning for students with severe cognitive disabilities.
COVID-19 resources for people with autism, their families, providers and educators from the Minnesota Autism Resource Portal.
Guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Mental Health Resources
Related Service Resources
The Minnesota Related Services organizations have met to help provide resources across disciplines. Please look to both your national and state organization and their websites to provide up to date resources and information on COVID-19. Links to the professional organizations are below with updated information.
School Social Work
Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists
Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center