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INDIANA: 15 percent of students have special education needs

Mar 18, 2020, WFYI, Indianapolis: Closed Schools Raise Tough Questions For Accessibility, Special Education Support https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/closed-schools-raise-tough-questions-for-accessibility-special-education-support Communities are figuring out how to educate more than 1 million kids suddenly at home, making accessibility questions even more pressing. The governor announced Wednesday all schools across Indiana are closed to help combat the spread of COVID-19. … Some accommodations, McNulty says, can be provided at home, but others aren't always easy to replicate outside of school. More than 164,000 special education students in the state make up about 15 percent of public school enrollment in Indiana, and McNulty says some schools aren't as prepared as others to adjust lessons for all students. "It's more work to take materials that were not accessible and to now deal with that and somehow make them accessible than it would have been to either purchase, or curate or create them in an accessible way from the start," he says. McNulty hopes the sudden heightened awareness of education support for kids spurs lasting changes in education more broadly. Like offering students more independence by showing them how to access accommodation tools like text-to-speech themselves, and creating or curating accessible materials for all students more consistently.