NY Court Orders School to Provide In-Person Instruction to Student with Autism

Aug 2, 2020 | Advocacy, Assistive Technology, Covid-19

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered a school district to provide in-person services to a student with a disability who could not access distance learning. The order affirmed a magistrate judge’s recommendation.

The case involved a 5 year old Autistic student who could not access remote services. The court held that the school district must provide the in-person services contemplated in the student’s plan, to the extent they can be provided safely in light of the pandemic and in accord with guidance from health authorities.

The student’s mother, a single mom to two Autistic children, had already located service providers who were willing to provide in-person services to the student during COVID-19. The court ordered the school district to either use these service providers or locate other qualified and willing service providers.

Finally, the court ordered the school to conduct an assistive technology evaluation to assess the student’s needs and the software required to delivery instruction remotely, to the extent some services could not be provided in person due to COVID.