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Invisible Disabilities

Not all disabilities are apparent from the outside. These physical, emotional, or neurological conditions—known as invisible, or non-apparent, disabilities—can limit or challenge a person’s movements, senses, or activities, and can impact that person’s ability to learn or work. These conditions affect students and educators more than you may think.
teacher and student interacting
Published: October 17, 2021


traci arway

What to Know About Invisible Disabilities

Learn how to support students and educators with disabilities that aren't apparent.
Asian teacher in mask working with 2 students in classroom

Supporting Students with Differing Abilities

Inclusive education policies and practices ensure all of our students have the skills they need to thrive in their schools, careers, and communities.
teacher mental health

Advocating for and Supporting At-Risk Educators

The NEA's Office of General Counsel held a virtual conversation to discuss important details about accommodations and leave through the Americans with Disabilities Act as they relate to COVID-19.

Proper Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Educators know that we still do not have everything needed to ensure the proper implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). We know that educators are in the best position to speak up for their students and advocate for their needs.

Podcast: Educating Students With Disabilities in a Pandemic

April Burch is a paraprofessional currently working in clerical services and co-founder of Cooking Autism, a nonprofit that helps educators offer life skills programs to children with disabilities. As a mother to two sons with special needs herself, she discusses the unique experience of educating students with disabilities during a pandemic.

NEA’s IDEA Cadre: Educators Leading The Way 

The NEA’s recently-formed IDEA Cadre are a group of nearly two dozen educators with expertise from various special and general education disciplines from diverse geographic, demographic, professional, and paraprofessional backgrounds. The IDEA Cadre works collaboratively to identify and respond to current and emerging issues through the creation of resources and trainings to support our membership and the students they serve.  

The group works in four main areas, called domains, that include elevating the voice of members who are experts in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; creating and providing resources and professional development to NEA members; strengthening and establishing new partnerships with disability organizations; and dispelling the monolithic perceptions of individuals with disabilities. Stay tuned for more updates on the great work our IDEA Cadre is doing here. 


Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
special education IDEA

Fully Fund IDEA

Tell your Senators to support the Keep Our Pact Act (S. 72/H.R. 764), which would create a mandatory 10-year path to fully funding both Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.