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Department of Education Says Transition Services Must Continue During Pandemic
Published October 20, 2020
Government officials remind schools and vocational rehabilitation centers of their duty to help students with disabilities transition into adulthood.
The realities of the COVID-19 pandemic are still setting in for some families who have teenage children with disabilities. While the transition from childhood to adulthood can be difficult for many youths, those living with a disability face an additional challenge. Families must be well-informed about a child’s abilities and needs, as well as what services are available for them in the community. The United States Department of Education recently distributed a letter clarifying the ongoing duty that schools and vocational rehabilitation centers have to continue providing much-needed transition services during the pandemic.
It is only with the necessary support that children with disabilities can continue to flourish into adulthood. Obtaining employment or pursuing continuing education are key elements of the transition. For some, this may mean starting with an internship, mentorship or apprenticeship. Under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education (IDEA) Act, all students who are eligible for an IEP must have some level of transition services. These services should be outcome-oriented and set measurable post-graduation goals based on transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills. In addition, a student’s IEP must provide for the services that will allow a student to pursue these goals.
The United States Department of Education recently a letter to special education and vocational rehabilitation administrators across the country. The letter addressed the government’s expectations regarding the transition services available during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Education reiterated the importance of transition services, and affirmed the expectation that service providers will continue to provide transition services during the pandemic. The Department acknowledged that there would continue to be some flexibility, given the societal changes and health concerns that remain in effect due to the pandemic.
The Department of Education encourages schools and vocational rehabilitation centers to “use the flexibility afforded under the (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and the Rehabilitation Act to engage in innovative strategies, involving students and youth with disabilities and their families in the transition and pre-employment transition processes as early as possible.”
Parents who are concerned that their children are not receiving the transition services that they need to thrive into adulthood should consider reaching out to a special education attorney for immediate assistance.
The dedicated team of special needs advocates at Littman Krooks, LLP, has a comprehensive understanding of the educational and transitional support requirements pertaining to students with special needs. They use this knowledge to ensure that every student gets the education and support they need and deserve. Littman Krooks has been helping New York families for over 30 years. The knowledgeable attorneys at Littman Krooks can be reached 914-684-2100. Contact us at https://www.littmankrooks.com/.
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