The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022

The longstanding direct support workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to closures of critically needed services and a denial of access to community-based supports.
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Capitol Correspondence - 08.31.21

New DOE Guidance Reaffirms Importance of IDEA

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

The letter includes a Q&A document focused on early intervention and ensuring children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE), regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic or the mode of instruction.

“The pandemic didn’t alter IDEA’s guarantee of FAPE. This school year will be important for children, students, and educators,” said Katherine Neas, acting assistant secretary of OSERS. “These guidance documents are one more example of federal technical assistance available to help states ensure student success.” 

In addition, DOE also released the Return to School Roadmap, which provides resources and supports for students, parents, educators, and school communities returning to classrooms this school year.