For Black and Brown students with disabilities, online instruction has often been a failure. It is also suboptimal for students with disabilities across racial groups, especially as teachers without training have had to shift instruction.
Many Black and Brown families include essential workers or individuals who are more vulnerable to Covid-19. Fewer Black and Brown communities are able to access services for students with disabilities and high-quality instruction for their children in public schools.
Monica Gonzalez, a special education teacher at Bret Harte Middle School in Hayward, California, said the online platform Google Classroom tends to exacerbate some of the issues faced in classroom instruction.
“I still have to figure out how to effectively provide small-group instruction using virtual breakout rooms, yet coordinate and balance whole-group virtual content instruction for my students,” Gonzalez said in a recent interview.
Saili S. Kulkarni is an assistant professor at San José State University with a research focus on disability, race and special education teacher preparation. She is a Public Voices Fellow with the OpEd Project.
This story about students with disabilities was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter.
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