Children are the silent victims of COVID-19.
The effects of COVID-19 on the elderly have been widely publicized, but the pandemic's effects on children--particularly those with disabilities and special needs--have drawn little public attention, leaving our children to suffer in silence.
Eric has physical and learning disabilities. His physical and occupational therapy services were disrupted when schools abruptly closed last March. His mom left her job to be home with him during COVID-19 and assists as best she can, but Eric's progress is digressing with remote services. Eric needs additional support to meet his developmental and educational needs while confined at home. Our goal is to help him get the services he needs at home until he can safely return to school.
Hannah is an excellent student who earns mostly A's. Her parents work low-wage jobs and struggle to make ends meet. Hannah's school loaned her a laptop for online learning, but she doesn't have internet access or an available hot spot. Her parents tried to add this essential resource, but simply couldn't afford it. With no email and no access to the online class, Hannah could not complete assignments. and is now "at-risk" of failing. Hannah needs basic tools to succeed, and we seek to get them for her.
You can help us change the story of children like Eric and Hannah.
COVID Support Project
Collaborative Outreach Via Individual Donations
During this unprecedented time, Academic Success Advocates is uniting the community in a cooperative outreach project aimed to counteract the negative effects of COVID-19 on the silent victims of our population--our children.
Our COVID (Collaborative Outreach Via Individual Donations) Support Project is a special outreach program that aids children with disabilities and disadvantaged families of our community who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
The project aims to increase availability and access to quality education programs, community resources, and health services for students with disabilities and those from low-income families who have suffered from widened disparities during the pandemic.
The goals of the COVID Support Project are to:
1) Advocate for programs, services, and resources to address emergent needs and counteract the negative impact of disruptions caused by COVID-19.
2) Develop a collaborative network of local agencies and providers willing to donate or significantly reduce service fees (e.g., therapy, counseling, evaluations, etc.) to accommodate the needs of disabled and disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19.
3) Increase access to appropriate educational tools and resources (e.g., low-cost internet, hot spots, assistive technology, etc.) for special needs and disadvantaged students by raising monetary and in-kind donations to offset costs.
4) Host community events that encourage families, donors, and providers to network, learn, and collaborate on best practices for supporting the special needs of disabled and disadvantaged students.
There is a national trend of overrepresentation of minority and low-income students in special education programs.
- Children of low-income families are more often diagnosed with intellectual disabilities than their peers.
- Minorities are represented in ESE programs more than any other group.
- Black students are often placed in more restrictive environments and disciplined more harshly.
The Equity in IDEA regulation was designed to address these persistent trends, but the U.S. Department of Education recently announced a 2-year delay in implementation. This delay comes at a time when COVID-19 has exacerbated disparities in educational opportunities for special needs and low-income families.
The regulation may be delayed, but our aid to these students can't wait. The COVID Support Project seeks to reduce marginalization of students from minority and low-income backgrounds.
Academic Success Advocates is committed to the goals of the COVID Support Project, but we can't do it alone. We are part of a community-building initiative called A Community Thrives. You can support our efforts by making a donation to our COVID Support Project. Your donation will help make a powerful difference in the lives of special needs and disadvantaged children in our community.