Mask Mandates May Pose Harms for Children with Disabilities

February 24, 2022

In a new Brownstone article, Patricia Doran argues that mask mandates may place an undue burden on neurodivergent children and those with disabilities. A recent lawsuit in Virginia insists that mask mandates protect disabled students and, therefore, equity. Others, including Doran, argue that cloth masks are ineffective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, and instead hurt children with dyslexia, who are unable to do phonics lessons while wearing masks.

Doran states, “We can and should make schools more accessible for children with disabilities during a pandemic, using ventilation, cleaning, streamlined transitions to individual remote or hybrid learning, attendance flexibility, and improved access to online curriculum. Technology can enhance access and build meaningful relationships with families, caregivers and healthcare teams, a critical component of ensuring access for students with disabilities. Differentiation and consideration on the part of school staff can help to meet specific individual needs.”

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(Source: Brownstone Institute, February 23rd, 2022)

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