Public Policy |

Action Alert: Support Students with Disabilities During Distance Learning

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Tell Governor Walz: Support Students with Disabilities During Distance Learning 

We are now several weeks into the 2020-2021 school year, and students with disabilities are still not getting the support they need to be successful during distance learning. Advocates have been working with state agency staff and given recommendations about how to improve distance learning, such as:

  • flexible in-person supports at home or another learning setting
  • guidance to school districts about options for individual services that will meet students’ needs
  • and much more

Even though we have shared these recommendations multiple times, the learning support needs of students with disabilities are not being met.

We need YOUR help TODAY to make sure Governor Walz understands the issues facing children and youth with disabilities statewide, and to urge agency leadership to respond.

Here’s what you can do to make an impact:

  1. Copy the message below, and paste it into the email form on Governor Walz’s website at
  2. Add a short personal story about the challenges and barriers your family has faced with distance learning this year. A good place for your story might be after the third paragraph of the sample language.
  3. Submit the message today with the subject “Support Students with Disabilities During Distance Learning”.

Send this message to Governor Walz:

Dear Governor Walz,

As a teacher, you understand the critical importance of education for Minnesota’s children and youth. Many students with disabilities access supports that help them be successful in learning. A free, appropriate public education is their right, and it is the state’s legal obligation.

We appreciate the language included in your Executive Order 20-82, to help make sure that the education-related needs of students with disabilities are met during the pandemic, but it does not go far enough.

So far this year, the needs of students with disabilities have NOT been met. The system has failed them during this pandemic, and we NEED your leadership to ensure real change.

Advocates have submitted a list of recommendations to state agency leadership that could help students with disabilities be successful this school year. These recommendations will make more tools and options available for families, to better meet the individual needs of students with disabilities.

We NEED MDE and DHS take urgent action on these recommendations. They are critical to ensure the state meets its obligation to provide a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities. 

Please make sure agency leaders respond to and implement advocates’ recommendations, so that students with disabilities can access the education supports that help them learn and grow.


Thank you for your quick response to this action alert. 
We are grateful for your advocacy in this critical time!