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  • Judge: Lawsuit over pandemic-era services to NYC students with disabilities can proceed

    Mar 31, 2024

    A classroom is empty with the lights off.
    Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

    The Gothamist – A class-action lawsuit filed by students with disabilities and their parents claiming the city Department of Education failed to provide them with services during the pandemic will proceed, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

    The lawsuit was filed in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, demanding that the education department provide services like remote learning devices. The case was dismissed in 2022, but an appeals court later overturned that ruling.

    Lawyers for Advocates for Children New York, the group that brought the lawsuit, said they will now begin discovery in the case.

    “[Students] didn’t have access to the necessary equipment to even access remote learning,” said Rebecca Shore, the director of litigation for Advocates for Children. “Or their parents didn’t read English and so couldn’t understand the instructions on how to access remote learning. So students with disabilities in particular suffered greatly during the remote learning that was provided in New York City.”

    Shore said the plaintiffs aren’t seeking any monetary compensation. Rather, they are asking the department to create a better system for students with disabilities to get remote learning services.

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