How Is COVID-19 Continuing to Impact Education in the 2020-2021 School Year?

In Spring 2020, the first Access and Engagement survey examined how COVID-19 was impacting the education of U.S. and Canadian children and youth with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities and deafblindness.

We know that the impact of COVID-19 is continuing in the 2020-2021 school year. Through a collaborative effort the authors of the original survey have updated the questions so we can identify the successes and challenges being experienced by students and professionals. From October 30 to November 30, 2020, data were collected for the second Access and Engagement study. In spring 2021, we will publish a comprehensive report. Meanwhile, please check back to our Results page in 2021 for periodic updates as we analyze the data.

Who Could Participate?

Any U.S. or Canadian:

  • Family member or guardian of a child with a visual impairment
  • Teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI)
  • Orientation and mobility (O&M) specialist

We want to hear from ALL family members and guardians, TVIs, and O&M specialists regardless of the way in which children are or are not receiving education this fall. Thank you for helping us recruit an inclusive and diverse sample by sharing survey opportunities with members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.

How Are the Findings Going to be Used?

AFB and other collaborators (see list below) are already sharing study findings from the first Access and Engagement study. The data from this second study will help us to continue to document both the COVID-19 created and systemic issues impacting the education of students with visual impairments. More importantly, it will allow us to work together to develop solutions to ensure children with visual impairment have an accessible, engaging, and equitable education.

How Can I Stay Informed?

Please sign up to receive the fully accessible report we anticipate releasing in March 2021. If you have ideas, comments, experiences, please email access_report@afb.org to share them with Dr. Rosenblum and the other authors of Access and Engagement and AFB staff who focus on public policy initiatives.

Collaborating Organizations

The following 22 organizations, companies, and universities are collaborating on this project.