Resources for Educators & Families Adjusting to Distance Learning

Image of computer screen with people pictured in smaller screens, using the Zoom technology

Just remember, we’re all in this together, even if we are at a distance.

Staff at the National Coordinating Center are aware that our diverse community is in need of a wide range of supports at this time. College staff and faculty migrated from classroom-based learning to virtual environments. Internships are being done remotely. Learning opportunities are being embedded in the home environment. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future.

Below are some resources we believe may be helpful as we all cope with this ongoing reality brought on by the COVID pandemic. We will be updating this page with new resources regularly. If you have a resource to share, please send us the information at

PLAIN LANGUAGE RESOURCES on COVID-19:  A listing of over a dozen videos, documents and presentations that explain a variety of issues related to COVID 19.  They may be useful to assist students who are preparing to return to campus in learning more about how to stay safe, as well as being helpful to those students that continue with distance education.

Teaching & Learning Online: Strategies for Supporting Students with ID is a webpage with tips for educators to support students with intellectual disability as they move to online learning environments, (physically) away from their peers and established schedules. This page shares lots of resources, including videos you can use to teach students how to use Zoom. 

Explore Access: Tools for Promoting Disability Access and Inclusion, created by Southwest ADA, defines what an accessible course is (and is not), suggests how to communicate with students, and provides examples and non-examples of slides, videos, meaningful links, and more. Universities are also providing guidance to their own faculty and all faculty.

Establishing a Remote Learning Routine and Environment is a list of simple, yet critical, things to consider when setting up a home learning (and working) environment. Excellent advice for educators, students, families… anyone!

Zoom Directions for Students, created by The Techie Teacher, is a simple, step-by-step guide to using Zoom on a computer or iPad. It uses plain language and photos.

U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights  video about online education and website accessibility. The Department has also issued two Fact Sheets about  Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students, the first on March 16 and a supplement on March 21. The department issued a new Q&A on June 22 document in response to inquiries concerning implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B dispute resolution procedures in the current COVID-19 environment.

Three recent webinars from the National Training and Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) focused on critical topics in these times.

  • Employment Preparation and Work Based Learning Experiences in a Virtual World
  • Strategies and Resources for Students with Complex Support Needs in Distance Learning Environments
  • Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Beyond - Using Social Media for Peer to Peer Engagement.
    Materials for these webinars and more are available on the NTACT Events webpage.  

Check out these Tips and Takeaways from virtual discussions with staff of college programs for students with ID on  supporting students’ social and emotional needshow to continue access to core academic content remotelyhow to provide employment supports onlinecommunicating with families.

The TIES Center at University of Minnesota Institute for Community Integration has produced a series of articles called Building Engagement with Distance Learning. Written for educators and families to support learning at home, there are 12 articles on a range of topics including time management, communication systems, embedding instruction at home, promoting engagement, and more. The articles are short and filled with helpful tips.