A guest blog by Courtney Hansen, Special Education Advocate
Courtney is a non-attorney special education advocate. She advocates at the local, state, and national level for disability rights, and blogs about it at www.inclusionevolution.com
I first shared our family’s story on this blog two years ago. A lot has changed since then, although many things remain the same.
My now 8-year-old twin boys, one who has Down syndrome and the other typically developing, are still included in the same general education class. They still love playing sports together, and our family still leans on our “village” of teachers, therapists, and friends to move forward. Still, this year’s COVID-19 pandemic has set us on a trajectory of change and uncertainty that often feels unsustainable.
Kristen Kushiyama, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Most schools in the United States shut their doors almost two months ago and switched from traditional classrooms to distance learning environments.
Families moved to adapt to at-home school settings while also having to shift their own work schedules and environments. Teachers, many of whom also had to account for their own children’s schooling, raced to prepare learning packets and modify in-classroom instruction to support their students from afar.
U.S. Department of Education grant-funded centers started to release resources and materials specific to helping support families, educators and service providers during a pandemic.
NOTE: 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
By Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)
Throughout its 100-year existence, the nation’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) program has continually adapted and evolved to meet changing public needs. This spirit is certainly evident today, as state VR agencies respond to the rapidly shifting employment landscape triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.