U.S. Department of Education Issues New Guidance on Students Experiencing “Long COVID”
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services issued a new report stating those students suffering the long-term adverse health effects of COVID-19—otherwise known as long COVID—may be identified as students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Parts B and C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
According to the report, if students’ long COVID affect their educational achievement and functioning, they may be eligible for services under IDEA. Similarly, the threshold for protections awarded by Section 504 is whether long COVID substantially limits one or more of the student’s major life activities.
The report explains in detail how evaluation and implementation procedures will be conducted and clarifies that postsecondary institutions also have obligations under Section 504 to those students for whom the impact of long COVID meets the same eligibility requirements.