Indiana Distance Learning: What to Know, Part 2

August 28, 2020 | Disability Legal Services of Indiana

Has your child with a disability made inadequate progress on his/her IEP goals since the pandemic started? Or has your child regressed in his/her skills? If so, he/she might be entitled to compensatory services.

Many students with disabilities failed to receive (and some still aren’t receiving) the special education and related services listed in their IEPs due to Covid-19 school closures and/or distance learning. While we’re certainly living in an unprecedented time, schools nevertheless have to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with IEPs and Section 504 Plans.

Failure to make educational progress or regression may indicate a denial FAPE, entitling your child to compensatory services. Compensatory services can sometimes be mandated as the result of a special education complaint or a due process hearing. Other times, schools offer them once a parent points out the problem.

Many schools acknowledge that all students regressed due to the Covid-19 school closures and/or distance learning. Your child’s school may therefore be providing remediation for all students. Remediation is not, however, the same as compensatory services. Compensatory services must be designed to meet the unique needs of a student.

Since most schools are now back in session, pay extra attention to how your child is doing. Ask your child’s teacher for input. You can even call a case conference committee meeting to discuss your child’s present levels of performance to help determine if your child has failed to make progress or regressed.

You can review these resources for more information on compensatory service issues as they relate to Covid-19 school closures and/or distance learning:

From the Indiana Department of Education: Addressing COVID-19 Special Education Service Interruptions: Recovery Services, Compensatory Services, and ESY

From the U.S. Department of Education: Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak 

From the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates: COPAA Covid-19 Resources

As always, if you have education-related questions or concerns regarding your child with a disability, feel free to contact us via phone: 317.426.7733, via our website or complete an application for assistance online at: DLSI Application for Services.

The statements contained herein are provided for informational purposes, are not to be considered legal advice, and should not be construed to form an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact an education attorney.

Read Part 1