Study: Families say students with disabilities are not getting needed services

The study is about California, but where else might something similar be happening?

Writing for EdSource on 8 October 2021, Carolyn Jones reported that advocates for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund ( and others had filed a complaint requesting an injunction for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The complaint alleges that the State of California discriminated against students with disabilities by enacting a state law that “sharply limits alternatives to in-person classes, leaving families whose children are at higher risk from COVID-19 with only one option: Independent Study” (E. E. et al., 2021, p. 3) an option that apparently does not include appropriate accommodations.

According to Ms. Jones’s reporting,

“Some kids are not getting any education at all right now, so this issue is urgent,” said Claudia Center, legal director of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, one of the groups that filed the complaint on behalf of families in late September. “We’ve heard from dozens of families so far who are affected by this, but we think it’s the tip of the iceberg.”

If services are being denied in California, that would be a dang big iceberg. But, what if similar processes are being followed in other states or localities? What would be the weight of that iceberg?

[Flash of the electrons to Michael G., who alerted me about this story.]


E. E by and through her guardian ad litem A.J. and L.N. by and through his guardian ad litem K.N., on behalf of themselves and a class of those similarly situated; and DISABILITY RIGHTS EDUCATION & DEFENSE FUND vs. STATE OF CALIFORNIA; CALIFORNIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION; and CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (2021, 28 September). CASE NO. 4:21-cv-7585: Complaint for injunctive and declaratory relief for violations of Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794.

Jones, C. (2021, 8 October). California independent study sparks equity concerns for students with disabilities: Independent study does not always provide services to students with special needs, families say. EdSource.