Today’s technology allows everybody the excellent opportunity to earn a quality education. If you have a disability that impacts your ability to learn, the online distance learning format can offer you specific accommodations as you obtain your degree. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provides educational advancement opportunities for all students with disabilities.
If you are disabled, you may fit into one of these eight classifications: mobility impairment, medical impairment, hearing impairment, mental illness, learning disability, vision impairment, intellectual disability or acquired brain impairment. Just because an individual may have one or more of the above limitations does not mean they cannot attend academic programs to achieve a quality education or to enhance their professional life. With online distance learning programs, disabled students have the same opportunities that non-disabled students have, without a doubt.
Do online learning programs adjust or modify their standard procedures for someone who has a disability?
Many online programs do just that! With today’s advanced technology, most online schools are glad to accommodate those with disabilities. How so? Depending on the disability, online learning can be beneficial. It allows a student to work in the comfort of their own home and the chance to sit, walk or rest when they need to; therefore, eliminating travel concerns, such as getting to school and transitioning from class to class.
For some students, certain timeframes are more productive than others; therefore, online programs allow disabled students the chance to learn at their optimum time of the day for learning and retention. Coursework can also be modified as professors can allow extra time for assignments, examinations, and projects if needed. Avoiding large classroom settings is often very important to those who suffer from anxiety disorders. Communicating through online forums give the disabled student the opportunity to gather their thoughts and interact with others positively.
Also, most online schools offer unique options, such as voice-to-text programs, speech recognition programs, Braille keyboards, and audio recordings, as well as, the use of video lectures that feature subtitles, for those who are visually or hearing impaired. Eye tracking technology can also help a student issue commands to their computer which in turn speaks for the student. In most instances, an online class can be presented to a disabled student in a variety of ways and gives them the liberty to review assignments as many times as needed.
Although there are many advantages of online learning formats for the disabled student, they can still face some obstacles. Typically, special needs programs cost the student higher tuition. Furthermore, equipment cost to accommodate special needs students can be quite pricey, including higher bandwidth needed for visual aids.
What should I do for help?
When seeking assistance, you must provide documentation regarding your disability, including your diagnosis and what limitations you may be facing while attending an online learning school. You must do extensive research to determine if your chosen school can accommodate your needs. If you find that they do not, don’t be afraid to express your concerns and recommend that they offer disability options so you, as well as, others can take advantage of their online learning experience.
SEE: The Best Online Schools for Students with Disabilities for valuable information detailing schools that excel in aiding online students with disabilities.
SEE ALSO: Navigating an Online Education for Students with Disabilities is also a beneficial infographic penned to help those with disabilities make the most of their online experience.