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Promoting and Maintaining Career and Technical Education for Students with Disabilities: State strategies developed during the COVID-19 pandemic

Date Posted: Friday, October 15, 2021
By: Colleen E. McKay, Marsha Langer Ellison, Emma L. Narkewicz

The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges for the provision of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for Students with Disabilities (SWDs). Many schools were forced to rapidly pivot to providing remote or virtual learning rather than the hands-on learning common to CTE. Despite challenges, state policymakers, educators, workforce administrators and CTE personnel responded to pandemic exigencies, leveraged funding and developed strategies to promote and maintain CTE for SWDs. This brief describes adaptations used by states to respond to challenges with CTE for SWDs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The lessons learned provide policymakers with opportunities to incorporate these promising approaches beyond the pandemic to support the aims of the
Strengthening Career and Technical Education for
the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to address barriers
to CTE and to meet the needs of youth with disabili
ties to prepare them for the workforce.

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