New Guidance Reaffirms Importance of Full Implementation of IDEA Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) sent a letter to its state and local partners reiterating its commitment to ensuring children with disabilities and their families have successful early intervention and educational experiences in the 2021–2022 school year.

This letter outlines a series of question and answers (Q&As) as children and students return to in-person learning. The Q&As focus on topics to help ensure that — regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic or the mode of instruction — children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and that infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services.

The Q&As document on Child Find Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the first Q&A in the series and reaffirms the importance of appropriate implementation of IDEA’s child find obligations, which requires the identification, location and evaluation, of all children with disabilities in the states. An effective child find system is an ongoing part of each state’s responsibility to ensure that FAPE is made available to all eligible children with disabilities.

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Last modified on August 24, 2021

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Information Technology Specialist, U.S. Department of Education