Ed Department Ramps Up Disability Related Compliance Reviews
With a slew of new actions and additional resources, federal education officials are taking steps to ensure that students with disabilities and their families can access school services.
The U.S. Department of Education said that its Office for Civil Rights will “soon launch” 100 compliance reviews focused on digital accessibility.
The reviews will target K-12 schools and districts, postsecondary institutions, state departments of education, libraries and vocational rehabilitation services, the agency said.
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Officials indicated that they will be looking at whether everything from online learning to school websites and platforms used to communicate with parents or provide them resources are in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The crackdown was announced as the Education Department held a first-ever virtual summit aimed at helping schools and communities support students with disabilities and mental health needs.
In addition to the new compliance reviews, the Office for Civil Rights said it is introducing a 20-part series of how-to videos to help educators understand their responsibilities in terms of website accessibility and what technological barriers exist for parents and students with disabilities in modern education.
The Office for Civil Rights said that its National Digital Accessibility Team has resolved more than 1,000 digital accessibility cases since its inception less than three years ago. The video series, which was released in partnership with the ADA National Network, is informed by those experiences, the agency said.
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