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.
Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.