New Skills for Youth Innovation Site Snapshots Released

June 23rd, 2020

Launched in 2016, JPMorgan Chase & Co. New Skills for Youth is a $75 million, five-year global initiative aimed at transforming how cities and states ensure that young people are career ready. In addition to the state-based investments, which Advance CTE led in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers and Education Strategy Group, JPMorgan Chase also invested in local innovation sites across the globe.

Today, Advance CTE released snapshots on two of these innovation sites, which document the progress of the local investments that aim to identify and implement the most promising ideas in career education, with a special focus on communities with the greatest needs. While each site has its unique context, each is working to improve and expand career pathways, hands-on work-based learning experiences and provide support for learners through sustainable partnerships between the education community and business and industry.

The two snapshots:

Greater Washington Region developed a four-year initiative to explore how the public and private sectors can work together to grow the local Information Technology (IT) economy throughout the Washington DC region.

Germany has launched the Zukunftsträger initiative to improve transitions from school to the workforce for the country’s vulnerable youth populations. 

While each site has its unique context, each is working to improve and expand career pathways, hands-on work-based learning experiences and provide support for learners through sustainable partnerships between the education community and business and industry. In total, over 205,000 students have been impacted by the local investments from JPMorgan Chase & Co. New Skills for Youth initiative, with the investments spanning over twelve sites in thirteen countries across four continents.

Each New Skill for Youth Innovation Site snapshot is now in our resource center. Review the total impact from all innovation sites in the summary report

Help us share!
Tweet: Over 205,000 students have been impacted by @jpmorgan and the New Skills for Youth local investments. The most recent snapshots of the Greater Washington Region and Germany have now been released by @CTEWorks. View their impacts at https://careertech.org/resource/series/nsfy-innovation-sites #CTEWorks

Navigating CTE During COVID-19: Principles for Supporting Work-Based Learning in COVID-19

May 27th, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has brought many challenges to Career Technical Education (CTE) over the past few months. One of the most persistent challenges has been providing work-based learning experiences – which offers an opportunity to reinforce and deepen classroom learning in a real-world setting – to learners amidst a health pandemic that has shut down much of the nation’s economy. With their doors closed, many businesses have had to cancel or indefinitely postpone any work-based learning programs. 

Amid these challenges, the response by schools, colleges, employers and work-based learning intermediaries has been largely ad-hoc. In some cases, employers have been able to maintain their summer internship commitments by onboarding and supporting interns remotely, just as if they were part of their staff who are already working from home. Certain industry engagement opportunities can be sustained virtually through video conferencing platforms. However, such piecemeal solutions can exacerbate inequities and further contribute to learning loss. 

As states address work to ramp up work-based learning and scale remote opportunities, they should consider the following principles:  Quality, Equity, Mentorship and Breadth. These principles should help establish a clear statewide vision for what work-based learning can look like in times of continuous disruption with a set of common expectations and resources for those managing work-based learning experiences on the ground. 

Reaffirm Quality: Learners should continue to be engaged in real work experiences that are aligned to their program of study and have opportunities to interact with colleagues and learn from professionals in the field. States can leverage intermediaries and build their capacity to support this principle. To ensure work-based learning experiences remain high-quality, states should maintain the high expectations they set for work-based learning experiences and:

  • Ensure that all work-based learning experiences require a strong training plan that focuses on technical and employability skill development. The learner, their instructor and employer should have clear expectations of what that training plan is. 
  • Encourage strategies for building relationships such as:
    • Assigning projects that can be completed remotely
    • Creating opportunities for regular check-in calls
    • Setting up opportunities for regular feedback. Feedback should not only support learner technical competency development but also employability skills- communication, teamwork, etc. 
    • Arranging virtual networking opportunities 
  • Develop and/or maintain a systems- and student-level approach to assessing equitable access, student participation and learning, and the overall quality of remote work-based learning programs. This includes assessing and disaggregating student and industry participation, student learning and attainment of knowledge and skills. Given the challenge of staying engaged in a distant environment, it may also be important to consider additional measurements such as tracking the number of engagements an employer has with the learner. 

Equity: Technology is the most obvious way to offer remote experiences along the work-based learning continuum. However, technology is not easily applicable to most career pathways and not all students have reliable access to broadband connections. Also, technology may not always be adaptable for students with special needs. States can promote equity by:

  • Examining demographic data to see which learners are getting access to remote internship and youth apprenticeship opportunities
  • Encouraging work that can be done remotely, without internet access.
  • Regularly checking in with local districts to help build capacity, if necessary (with an intentional focus on rural and urban districts)
  • Encouraging employers to continue offering paid internship and youth apprenticeship experiences or ensuring learners can earn academic credit as compensation for their work. To encourage compensation and relieve financial pressures put on employers to hire and compensate learners, states could:
    • Maintain employer incentives for offering work-based learning opportunities through tax credits or related policy levers.
    • Align existing summer youth employment programs with work-based learning activities.

Mentorship: Building relationships and networking is one of the most valuable experiences of any work-based learning opportunity. For economically disadvantaged learners, these relationships help build invaluable social capital that they can leverage throughout their careers.  As best as possible, states should promote these in-person networking experiences that a learner might receive in a traditional setting by:

  • Developing guidelines and templates for remote mentorship, including  mentor agreements that define the roles of the student, mentor and instructor
  • Identifying and making available technology that allows for virtual networking
  • Partnering with the state workforce agency, chambers of commerce and other industry associations to build remote micro-industry engagement opportunities such as virtual lunches and staff meet and greets at scale

Breadth: Some CTE programs of study, such as those in the Information Technology Career ClusterⓇ, are easier than others to transition to remote or virtual learning. While attending to all programs of study, states should address work-based learning experiences in the industry sectors that are more difficult to deliver in a remote or virtual environment. Intentional collaboration with industry experts, local businesses and chambers of commerce representing these priority CTE programs of study is one way to address this gap. Some approaches to expanding remote or virtual work-based learning opportunities to other Career Clusters include:

  • Investing in simulated work-based learning. West Virginia’s simulated workplace program has demonstrated strong outcomes, and many programs have weathered the transition to remote learning through creative solutions. 
  • Investing in virtual reality equipment or at-home laboratories to provide students with hands-on experiences.

These principles are intended to guide states in setting a vision for what work-based learning can look like in light of continuous economic and academic disruption. Given that these challenges are likely to persist for the foreseeable future, states have to rethink the way they deliver work-based learning. There must be intentionality behind providing remote work-based learning programs that maintain the same high standards as a traditional experience and extend opportunity to all students across geography or socioeconomic status. These principles are proposed to be the floor, not the ceiling, to what is possible during these novel times. States can build on these principles to create a policy environment that supports the needs of industry and puts learners to work. 

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

Check out this resource from Advance CTE, Connecting Classrooms to Careers: A Comprehensive Guide to the State’s Role in Work-Based Learning, to learn more about setting a statewide vision for work-based learning in your state!

New Resource: Talent Pipeline Management® (TPM) Resource Guide: A Compendium for High-Quality CTE

May 20th, 2020

Career Technical Education (CTE) provides learners of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers. At the heart of high-quality CTE programs is the partnership between employers and educators. Effective, two-way partnership between the employers and educators allows for CTE programs to adapt to the current needs of industry and address talent shortages, while also strengthening the quality of those CTE programs.

However, too often there are disconnects between employers and CTE programs, due to lack of coordination, common language and measures of success. To help bridge this gap, Advance CTE partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Education and Workforce to help develop the Talent Pipeline Management® (TPM) Resource Guide: A Compendium for High-Quality CTE

The guide is designed to both introduce TPM as well as enhance the existing TPM movement. It is composed of three major resources:

  1. Resource 1: CTE Orientation to the Employer Community
  2. Resource 2: Employer Orientation to the CTE Community
  3. Resource 3: Improving Employer Engagement in CTE through TPM

 

To develop these critical resources, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation convened a review committee of State CTE Directors and TPM practitioners from across the country to ensure the tools can simultaneously work for CTE and industry leaders. The resources can serve as a primer to CTE for employers (and to employers for CTE), as well as offer concrete and actionable steps to take to build strong partnerships across the two communities in support of CTE programs that fully meet the needs of employers and learners alike.

Help us share: 

Tweet: In partnership with @USCCFeducation, @CTEWorks has contributed to the TPM Resource Guide for High-Quality #CTE, offering guidance on how to build stronger partnerships between employers and CTE educators to improve student outcomes.  #TalentPipelineManagement #CTEWorks

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

This Week in CTE

May 15th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

MEMBER OF THE WEEK

This week, Advance CTE welcomes Melissa Hickey as the State CTE Director for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Melissa serves in this role while also leading Reading/Literacy for the state. Top of mind for Melissa is working with business and industry leaders as well as high school and community college leaders to engage in conversations to establish new industry-recognized credentials.

CTE AWARD OF THE WEEK

In Arizona, the J.O. The Unified School District continued the tradition of hosting the annual CTE awards program recognizing students who have completed their CTE program. In addition to the program concentrator awards, a Spirit of CTE Award is presented to a student, advisory board member and community partner for their impact and contribution to the success of the district’s CTE program. View the Spirit of CTE Award winners here. All achievements were announced virtually. 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Gavin Schmidt, a Custom, Collision and Restoration student from Batavia Career and Technical Education Center in New York practices his skills while social distancing. Gavin has found an innovative way to keep working on his industry skills by turning his home into a body shop. 

GRANT RECIPIENT OF THE WEEK

United Way of North Texas has announced its seventh round of grant recipients. On the list is Per Scholas, which helps the nation meet the demand of skilled workers in the technology sector. With this grant, Per Scholas will be re-skilling and upskilling learners in preparation for their re-entry into the workforce. 

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

The Fordham Institute provided a new analysis of data comparing workers with bachelor degrees to workers without one. In the end, job skills and on-the-job training is agreed upon as a necessity for upward mobility across industries. 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education has responded to the House’s proposed HEROES Act. View the letter, and all of our responses, on our COVID-19(Coronavirus) state resources page.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

This Week in CTE

May 8th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

This week we celebrate the expertise and skill of our educators nationwide. Follow @CTEWorks on Twitter and Follow us on Facebook for our messages of gratitude to all the CTE educators providing academic knowledge and real-world skills to learners, especially during this difficult time.

Students from the state of Utah have shared their words of appreciation for CTE educators. Read them here, in the latest CTE Directions Newsletter.

Twitter Chat of the Week

The ECMC Foundation hosted a Twitter chat on Thursday, to discuss with national partners what is needed to support students during COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Their conversation also covered what is needed to ensure the future of postsecondary is more equitable once we return from the current pandemic. If you missed the highlights, you can view the hashtag #ECMCFchat on Twitter.

Work-Based Learning Activity of the Week

Direct engagement with employers has presented its challenges during the current pandemic. However, the state of Wisconsin has partnered with organizations and local businesses to offer online job shadowing to CTE students. View the list of sessions they are offering in May!

Federal Policy of the Week

On Thursday, advocates took to Twitter to address the homework gap during the E-Rate Day of Action asking Congress to provide at least $4 billion in funding for home internet access through E-rate. This day of advocacy was led by the Alliance for Excellent Education. Follow these hashtags on Twitter to join the advocacy: #HomeworkGap and #Erate.

Resource of the Week

Advance CTE and Association for Career and Technical Education have released the Middle Grades CTE repository of resources. State and local leaders can leverage this repository as they begin to develop and expand high-quality CTE into the middle grades.

Happy Nurse Appreciation Week!

This week we celebrate all the nurses across our nation and shine the spotlight on our health occupations CTE programs. Recent and soon-to-be graduates are selflessly joining the workforce to serve the needs of their communities while earning credit toward completing their program of study. In the state of Massachusetts, 17 students from postsecondary institutions are now working, under guidance from the Governor, to fulfill their graduation requirements. Thank you, all!

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Navigating CTE During COVID-19: Challenges to Providing Work-Based Learning during COVID-19

May 7th, 2020

One of the most important components of Career Technical Education (CTE) is work-based learning (WBL). For learners, WBL is an opportunity to learn and gain hands-on, in-the-field work experience in their career pathway. WBL exists on a continuum beginning with career awareness and exploration experiences such as field trips, job shadowing, mentorship and industry engagement. At the end of the continuum, learners begin preparing and training for the workforce through experiences such as internships, apprenticeships and co-ops. Along the way, learners build relationships and develop technical and professional skills necessary to transition into the world of work after they complete their CTE program. 

This spring and summer, however, WBL has ground to a halt for most CTE learners. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has forced many American businesses to close their doors and, as a result, cancel or indefinitely postpone any WBL programs. Among the challenges facing State CTE Directors, policymakers and on-the-ground practitioners are: 

  1. Industry partners disengaging as they shift focus to cutting costs and long-term planning for a likely recession. 
  2. State and local government suspension of WBL programs. 
  3. Ensuring that any solution to virtual or distance WBL does not exacerbate inequities. 
  4. Knowing where to start. This is virtually unknown territory and many states and local leaders and businesses simply have no idea how to begin delivering WBL virtually or remotely. 

 

Some states and local school districts have been able to provide career awareness and exploration experiences for learners through video platforms. In South Carolina, WBL coordinators are creating virtual tour videos for learners to finish their WBL hours. Learners in Texas; the Kansas City region; Orange County, California and the District of Columbia are encouraging industry engagement by partnering with for-profit companies such as Nepris, a site that connects learners to industry professionals through live industry chats and virtual job tours. The platform, which usually requires a paid membership, is free to all users for a limited time because of the Coronavirus. Other platforms include ConnectED’s “A Day In the Life” YouTube channel. Completely free, learners can gain insight into career opportunities across a variety of industry sectors. Learners can hear from professionals and learn what their daily work entails, how they do their work, and the path they took to accomplish their career goals.  

While career awareness and exploration activities are easier to continue for learners with access to technology, career preparation and training still remains a challenge. Some private technology companies have converted their internship programs into virtual and remote experiences. Tech giant Hewlett-Packard plans to continue its summer internship program virtually for high school and college students in the Sacramento, California region. The company plans to send interns equipment so that they can connect online. However, the option to work virtually is harder to scale to other industry sectors. 

The lack of WBL opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic has significant implications for equity. Many of the go-to alternatives for remote WBL require access to video conferencing software, home computers or mobile devices and reliable internet access. The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted, and exacerbated, the digital divide that disadvantages rural and economically disadvantaged learners. 

Additionally, Black, Latinx and economically disadvantaged learners often have less access to the social capital (professional networks) that White and professional-class learners have. WBL exposes learners to careers and professionals who they otherwise may not have the opportunity to engage with. Research has shown these engagements have the potential to close racial and economic equity gaps and increase the likelihood that economically disadvantaged learners exposed to WBL will work in high-quality, high-paying jobs as adults. By limiting access to meaningful WBL, the Coronavirus could take away a critical opportunity for learners to get a leg up on their careers. 

WBL is a vitally important component of a learner’s education and career trajectory. The Coronavirus presents significant access challenges, but also creates an opportunity for creativity and innovation. In the weeks and months ahead, it will be vitally important for local and state CTE systems and the private and public sector to work collaboratively and push the creative boundaries on what an engaging and formative WBL experience can look like for learners and industry alike. 

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

Navigating CTE During COVID-19: Distance Learning for Nursing

May 6th, 2020

The current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and its imprint on the world has impacted education and workforce programs throughout the nation. Administrators, educators and learners are faced with new challenges as traditional classroom education has been largely disrupted and quickly replaced with distance learning. Though this may be the first time that many are using digital learning platforms or online educational content delivery, distance learning programs have been utilized for years and can be scaled or replicated during the pandemic.

The healthcare industry has unique challenges in providing high-quality
distance learning to learners since many of the required coursework is hands-on. Even before the Coronavirus pandemic, the need for a strong workforce of healthcare professionals was critical, with healthcare being one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted that between 2018 and 2028, the healthcare workforce
will grow by more than 14 percent. As demographic trends in the U.S. lead to a growing older population, the needs of new health care providers and support professionals will continue to be in high demand. 

Work-based Learning at a Distance 

Work-based learning opportunities and clinical learning requirements are central to many state licensing policies, and a major component of a high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program. Virtual clinical simulation technologies offer an alternative opportunity to gain experience with clinical decision-making without requiring learners to be physically present in a clinical setting. This technology can replicate many situations that healthcare professionals would experience by simulating real-world patient interactions and clinical experiences. For instance, learners using this technology through a computer screen or virtual reality (VR) simulator can take a detailed medical history, conduct a virtual physical exam and make clinical decisions in scenarios that would mimic real-life interaction. Additionally, the experiences using these simulators can be standardized, allowing for enhanced ability to examine competency across programs. A  large-scale study on simulation technologies, including virtual simulation conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) found that even in research cohort groups that had 50 percent of their traditional clinical hours substituted by simulation technology, no statistically significant differences were found in nursing licensing exam pass rates.

Competency Based Education and Distance Learning

Competency Based Education (CBE), which awards credit based on proving competency of content and not seat or class time, is also uniquely suited to distance education. As CBE programs are largely self-directed and allow learners to go at their own pace in different environments, they are a unique fit that aligns well with distance learning practices. CBE programs help to ensure quality as course completion is only achieved through demonstrated competencies. As distance learning is expanded, programs based on CBE can offer learners potentially a quicker way to program completion – which translates to a quicker ability to enter the workforce.

Benefits of Offering Distance Learning in Rural Communities

Rural areas face particular challenges and the need for a fully-equipped healthcare workforce. Distance learning presents opportunities for communities that have been historically underserved or have limited options for health sciences education programs in their own communities. Leading states including North Dakota, Idaho, Florida, Lousiana and Nebraska have continued to close access gaps by offering distance learning CTE coursework and opportunities. Some standout examples include: 

  • North Dakota’s Interactive Television program connects learners to remote sites in realtime via video to facilitate distance learning. It’s often used at the postsecondary level to enable students to gain access to coursework they need to earn a certification or degree; 
  • Louisiana launched a multifaceted effort combining technology and hands-on teacher supports to connect rural students with employers; and 
  • Idaho Digital Learning integrates CTE instruction into its online course catalog. Each course is aligned with state standards and facilitated by a certified teacher. 

CTE distance learning presents as a short-term challenge during Coronavirus, however, the work done now can offer long-term solutions to providing each learner in the nation with the opportunity for high-quality CTE.

View the new Distance Learning for Rural Communities Fact Sheet.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

New Middle Grades CTE State Resource Repository

May 5th, 2020

In late March, Advance CTE, in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), released Broadening the Path: Design Principles for Middle Grades CTE, which laid out a theory of action for advancing high-quality middle grades Career Technical Education (CTE) policies and programs. With the promotion of middle grades CTE in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), it is an ideal time for state and local leaders to consider how to best support and expand CTE in middle school.

Today, Advance CTE has released an extensive repository of state-level resources that state and local leaders can leverage as they begin to develop and expand CTE into the middle grades. The repository includes links to resources from all 50 states and Washington, DC, including state middle grades CTE standards, career development guidance and tools, work-based learning and Career Technical Student Organization supports, licensure requirements, state policies and more.

Starting next week, Advance CTE and ACTE will be releasing a series of blogs to lift up promising state and local practices across the core programmatic elements of middle grades CTE.  The first blog will focus on middle grades CTE standards, curriculum and assessment.

Broadening the Path: Design Principles for Middle Grades CTE and the new repository were created with the support of the Middle Grades CTE Shared Solutions Workgroup, comprised of national, state and local leaders, convened by Advance CTE with support from ACTE and generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

Navigating CTE during COVID-19: Best Practices for Distance Learning

April 27th, 2020

As education moves online in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Career Technical Education (CTE) programs are looking for ways to continue supporting learners virtually and offer high-quality educational opportunities. This edition of the CTE Research Review will synthesize some of the research on best practices for delivering distance learning. While these examples predate the pandemic, they can be a guide to CTE programs looking to implement or scale distance learning in response to the Coronavirus. 

A 2010 U.S. Department of Education meta-analysis of experimental and quasi-experimental studies from 1996-2008 found that distance learning is at least as effective as traditional classroom instruction and most successful for undergraduate and adult learners. Despite being a little dated, the findings from the studies examined likely hold true today. Some best practices identified for distance learning included giving learners an element of control over their learning (such as offering multiple options of learning tools), providing online simulations and building opportunities for individualized instruction and learner reflection.

In 2015, Hanover Research released a report outlining best practices in the development and implementation of high-quality distance learning. Some of the key findings included giving learners the opportunity to collaborate with each other as a means to further learner engagement and ensuring the course platform is easy to use with necessary information such as syllabi, schedules, readings and videos. Additionally, the authors examined the literature of best practices for online instruction specifically at the postsecondary level and cited Penn State’s World Campus’ recommended principles of effective online instruction. The original recommendations in detail are linked here and explain how to effectively engage in online instructing for the following teaching principles: actively engage in online instruction; practice proactive course management strategies; establish patterns of course activities; prepare for potential course interruptions; respond to student inquiries in a timely manner; establish a timely process for returning assignment grades; use the Learning Management System for communication and ensure course quality.  

A 2018 edition of Library Technology Reports focuses on the accessibility of distance learning programs for students with disabilities. Using the University of South Carolina’s Center for Teaching Excellence as a case study, the article identified best practices in online learning and accessibility for students with disabilities. Their recommendations are as follows:

  • “Provide step-by-step instructions for accessing the course and all course materials;
  • Offer multiple formats of materials, including Word and PDF documents;
  • Provide transcripts and closed captioning for all lectures, talks and synchronous or asynchronous interactions with students;
  • Use Sans Serif fonts to increase visibility and accessibility;
  • Use bold to display emphasis rather than color (for students with color blindness); and
  • Maintain ongoing one-on-one and group communication with students and offer accessible opportunities for interaction.”

In addition to these best practices, Advance CTE has compiled resources for distance learning. As the educational environment remains online to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus, these research-based best practices and resources can help guide CTE programs as they continue to provide high-quality learning opportunities. In future blogs we will highlight best practices related to delivering work-based learning and CTE-specific coursework online. 

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

COVID-19 Resources from the U.S. Department of Education: Part Two

March 31st, 2020

dThe U.S. Department of Education added a page to its website with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) resources and updates for elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. You can access this information at  www.ed.gov/coronavirus. The page will be continuously updated by the Department. Below are brief overviews of what can be found in some of the materials on issues with civil rights and students with disabilities. Advance CTE will continue to share posts with a breakdown of the resources, so keep checking the blog!

  • Addressing COVID-19 Risk in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students
    The Department issued a fact sheet discussing the importance of maintaining federal civil rights requirements during the Coronavirus pandemic. This fact sheet, located here, includes information on:

    • Denial of Access on the Basis of Race, Color, or National Origin – reminding school officials that they may not stereotype or make assumptions about a protected class in determining risk factors for school closures (page 2).
    • Obligations for schools under the Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to maintain education services for students with disabilities (page 2-3). 
  • Q/A On Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During Coronavirus Outbreak
    The Department issued a broad but informal guide on how local educational agencies (LEAs) and early intervention services can collaborate with state educational agencies (SEAs) to provide and ensure continued services for children with disabilities and their families. That document, located here, includes many questions that the Department has received and aims to provide guidance based on those questions. This includes:

    • Situations in which LEAs are required to continue to provide free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities (page 1);
    • Services that LEAs must provide when schools for children with disabilities are selectively closed (page 3);
    • Activities that IDEA Part B funds (page 5) and Part C funds (page 8) may and may not be used for during Coronavirus outbreak; and
    • When a state lead agency must continue to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities if offices are closed (page 7).
  • Webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility
    The Office of Civil Rights released a short webinar on ensuring accessibility of online education and websites for everyone – with a focus on ensuring that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in services, programs and activities. This webinar:

    • Urges that online education and websites should be accessible to those using assistive technology, such as speech recognition or eye-tracking software;
    • Recommends both automated and manual routine testing of websites to ensure that individuals are able to fully access the websites’ content using assistive technology; and
    • Directs any questions or technical assistance requests to be emailed to the OCR Web Access Team at OCRWebAccessTA@ed.gov.

      Samuel Dunietz, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

 

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