We can rise to the challenge of educating students with disabilities during COVID-19

Updated: May 19, 2020

This article orignally appeared in Gadfly on April 24, 2020 Lindsay Jones, Erin Mote, Lauren Morando Rhim and Eric Tucker.

COVID-19 has delivered countless challenges for essential workers, from nurses and doctors risking their lives due to shortages of PPE to grocery clerks maintaining calm amid hordes of panicked shoppers.

For educators, running a newly virtual classroom when students and staff are experiencing unspeakable loss and illness among their family and loved ones is impossibly difficult. It is particularly challenging to meet the needs of students with disabilities, given the absence of familiar routine. Yet in these challenging times, it’s critical that we pay heightened attention to serving the most vulnerable among us.

As founding members of the Educating All Learners Alliance, we have seen firsthand how schools across the country are identifying (and inventing) practical ways to educate students with disabilities and ensure that their civil