Challenges for Rural Native American Students With Disabilities During COVID-19

Candi Running Bear, William P.A. Terrill, Adriana Frates, Patricia Peterson, Judith Ulrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly changed almost all aspects of people’s everyday lives. This included new challenges in the education of Native American students with disabilities who live in rural and remote areas of the United States. Native American students with disabilities living on reservations are served by local schools, tribally controlled schools, and Bureau of Indian Education schools under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In rural reservation communities during COVID-19, special education services for students with disabilities were significantly disrupted. Contributing factors were high rates of poverty, lack of adequate funding and staffing for health care, populations with higher rates of chronic illness, high percentages of homes with no running water or electricity, shortages of certified special educators, and barriers to alternative forms of education due to lack of access to high-speed internet and technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalRural Special Education Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Native American students
  • cultural and linguistic diversity
  • rural special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development


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