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English Learner Education

English Learners with Disabilities

Data shows that many English Learners are inappropriately identified as students with disabilities, while other ELs' disabilities are overlooked, leading to a lack of necessary services. Through the resources provided on this page, DESE seeks to support educators' understanding of the complexities of identifying and supporting ELs with disabilities. It is essential that as Massachusetts educators, we pay close attention to the specific needs of our students.

Evaluating ELs for Special Education and Related Services

Using MTSS

Culturally responsive practices


Appropriate Accommodations

Additional Resources

Last Updated: December 9, 2020

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.