OCR/OSERS Resource on Long COVID

Today, as we recognize the thirty-first anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) have issued a new resource: Long COVID under Section 504 and the IDEA: A Resource to Support Children, Students, Educators, Schools, Service Providers, and Families.

To date, many students have contracted COVID-19 and are still experiencing its effects, in the form of what has come to be called “long COVID.” The resource from OCR and OSERS builds on guidance issued by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services concerning long COVID as a disability and clarifies that, for young children and students, long COVID can be a disability that gives rise to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) eligibility and may also be a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The resource reminds all members of the education community that existing procedures and protections under IDEA, Section 504, and the ADA apply to students of all ages whose long COVID is a disability. Read more about the Department’s work to support all students—including students with disabilities—as our nation continues to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 in our new blog post.

Today’s resource is part of OCR’s and OSERS’ sustained efforts to affirmatively advance equity, civil rights, and equal opportunity for students. We would appreciate your sharing it with your networks.

Thank you for your partnership in ensuring that all students with disabilities receive the supports and services they need in school.