How Online Learning Benefits a Disabled Learner
Disabled learners are categorized into eight groups based on their disabilities – intellectual disability, acquired brain impairment, vision impairment, learning disability, hearing impairment, mobility impairment, mobility impairment, mental illness, and medical impairment. Since some people are mentally and physically challenged, it doesn’t imply that they can’t perform well in their studies. With online learning, education isn’t laborious for disabled learners.
Disabled learners studying online find it less difficult and more fulfilling to acquire knowledge. Although it is hard for learners with disabilities to be admitted to traditional schools, this isn’t the case when it comes to virtual learning platforms.
In fact, most high schools, universities, and colleges have begun conducting virtual learning. Presently, online learning is growing rapidly, and many disabled learners are getting registered. Also, technology is playing a crucial role in offering the best education solution to disabled learners. Learners can pick their own place for study or schoolwork.
Additionally, learners with disabilities find it easy to learn in a virtual learning environment since it provides them adequate time to finish homework and enables them to walk, rest, and sit when there is a need.
Benefits of Online Learning for Disabled Learners
There are some advantages of online learning for students with disabilities that they can get without trouble. These benefits are as follows;
1. Learning Disabilities
Online learning offers disabled learners space and time to work. Through online learning, disabled students can watch videos and review course materials as many times as they wish. Through online learning software and information technology systems, learners with visual processing disorder or dyslexia can manipulate digital texts by changing size and font styles to process information effectively.
2. Physical Disabilities
Online learning enables physically disabled learners to learn from their comfort zone without commuting or rushing to school. Integrated technologies like voice-activated and voice-to-text programs are available for learners who can’t type.
3. Visual Impairments
Visually-impaired learners can access computers easily so that they can attend their classes instead of commuting to school. Adaptive technologies such as audio recordings, voice-to-text software, and braille keyboards are offered for their studies.
4. Hearing Impairments
Hearing impairment students can utilize technology so as to make their life more comfortable. Through online learning, such students can view video classes with titles and subtitles, which they can experience in traditional classrooms. Hearing-impaired learners can interact with other students and teachers through emails and forums.
5. Psychiatric Disabilities
Students with psychiatric disabilities can learn and work from the comfort of their homes. When it becomes hard for students to cope with anxiety, their comfort zone can assist them in studying better through online learning.
For students with disabilities, two significant factors are crucial at each level; flexibility and convenience. Virtual learning offers convenient access for online students, and it’s more flexible compared to brick-and-mortar learning methods.
Children have no hassle of commuting since they can attend classes from home. Students with disabilities can set their workspace based on their personal preferences. This will enable them to progress well in their studies.
Additionally, online learning offers disabled students with flexibility which isn’t available in face-to-face classrooms. Virtual programs are developed according to Universal Designed Learning (UDL) standards. Through this, the course is presented in numerous ways.
For instance, reading assignments that are offered in texts is also available in audio form. This gives learners the flexibility to read and review lectures whenever they want.
Virtual programs rely more on interactive learning, such as closed-captioned videos, graphics, and visuals. There are regarded as great levelers. These studies enable learners to select and share what they need. Such studies and programs ensure anonymity about their disabilities. Through this, students can work together in order to achieve one goal.
How Virtual Learning Eliminates Discouragement for Disabled Learners’ Minds
Since virtual learning offers convenience, learners feel free to take part in learning compared to when they are in a noisy and loud environment which has an impact on their concentration. Less competition and lack of pressure from other students reduce the anxiety of judgment or failure. Online students can access the resources they require easily, and this boosts their overall performance. Also, online teachers are encouraging students with disabilities to take part in virtual classrooms.
There are no large crowds in online learning, which makes children with disabilities to be uncomfortable. Consequently, learners can overcome shyness and be more encouraged due to the support of their loved ones at home.
With the choice of studying at their own pace, disabled high school students will be able to succeed. The freedom of plotting their schedules eliminates unnecessary pressure which many learners in traditional schools face. In most high school courses, regular and disabled learners can learn or take anytime they need while being directed by instructors in order to avoid emotional or mental fatigue.
Which Practices Make Online Classrooms More Accessible To Learners With Disabilities?
It’s a question that doesn’t get enough attention but has become increasingly relevant as the general population ages and more students who learn differently enter high school….
Among disabled learners, issues with the accessibility of online courses include barriers to accessing course content, getting help from instructors, and taking exams. For example, websites that provide information about assisted technologies can be difficult to navigate, and assistive technology itself can be expensive.
Accessibility issues can also include problems with course content; for example, it may not be available in alternative formats or in alternate languages if that’s required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The first step is making sure that your syllabus includes information about how you and your students can communicate about accessibility issues. This helps build a culture of inclusivity right from the start of the course. Educators are also discovering that they need to include information about disability-related accommodations in each course module rather than grouping it together somewhere on their syllabus or website; otherwise, students who learn differently will simply bypass this important information when they’re doing homework or searching for readings related to the next class session.
The second step is letting students know how you’ll provide accessible content and any other resources required for your courses, such as examinations, notes posted by the instructor, or procedures for acquiring extra time during exams. It’s a good idea to have students sign a form upon registering that states your policies on how you’ll make sure they’re provided accessible content and their access rights as students with disabilities.
It is helpful to incorporate questions about disability-related accommodations into the online forum where she interacts with her students. It is also important to ask your class whether anyone has concerns about using assistive technology, finding alternative ways of receiving course content if needed, or other issues related to being an “accessibility GPS” — getting the “satellite signal” from instructors’ classroom activities — rather than just accessing whatever resources they can find online.
Last but not least, it is recommended to include a final exam option other than a traditional paper-and-pencil test in your online courses. If you’re using software for testing, consider providing more time or having an instructor available to provide individualized help as needed.
Since technology is in every individual’s hand in the form of a tablet, phone, laptop, or computer, attending classes online is much better than traveling to high schools, universities, or colleges. Technology that is utilized for online learning enables visual and auditory aspects to be available to all students.
It is important to note that students with disabilities prefer virtual learning environments to brick-and-mortar environments. Since online learning is accessible, flexible, and convenient to all students with disabilities, it is the most attractive way of persuading and encouraging such learners to polish and develop their skills.
Today, the acceptance of disabilities requires to be advocated by professional and teaching staff, and accessibility guidelines require to be developed based on the requirements of learners, depending on their real-life experiences. Notably, the issue of disability is not a problem today since there are numerous tools, design standards, and teaching methods that make it easy for learners with disabilities to access everything.
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