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April 7, 2020Advocacy Matters

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and IDEA/504 

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender 

April 7, 2020 

#AdvocacyMatters Segment 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and IDEA/504 


National, state, and local special education advocates closely watched the CARES Act and we worried that there would be an outright waiver of special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act).  That did not happen. 

Instead, Congress allowed the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to report to Congress within 30 days with recommendations on any waivers Secretary DeVos deems necessary under IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act for Congress to consider. 

This is important.  If you care about special education, you must act now.    

Advocates of special education must urge Congress to oppose any recommended waivers of the IDEA or the Rehabilitation from Secretary DeVos during COVID-19. 

#AdvocacyMatters.  There are 2 things that our community can do.   

If you are part of an organization sign onto a national letter, written by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD (Consortium on Citizens with Disabilities)), that will be delivered to Congress that strongly opposes any waivers to IDEA or the Rehabilitation Act during COVID-19.  This call to action is only for organizations.  The deadline to sign onto the letter is 12:00 pm on April 9.  The CCD co-chairs include The Arc of U.S.; National Center for Learning Disabilities; Autism Society of America; National Disability Rights Network, and the Council of Parten Attorneys and Advocates; and National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools.  

This letter is only for local, state, or national organizations. 

As an individual advocate, you can act by emailing your members of Congress and tell them not to adopt any waivers for educational services under IDEA. 

You can find all of these to act upon at 

Remember, #AdvocacyMatters.  Act today to protect the IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act in education today.