Overcoming the challenges of online learning for students with disabilities

The COVID-19 pandemic will have far-reaching consequences for years to come. The past year has caused significant disruption to the education system, with the need to maintain safe distances resulting in a rapid shift to online learning. The swift nature of this change and the lack of tangible government support in this area have been detrimental for many schools and students.

This effect is particularly pronounced for students who live with disabilities. In some ways, online learning may provide inclusivity for students who have difficulties navigating the traditional classroom environment. However, the nature of online learning and its reliance upon technology that isn’t always well-designed for group education can leave some students at serious disadvantages. Closed captioning accuracy in live teaching video calls is often subpar, and not all online tools are compatible with assistive technology. Besides, the disruption in itself causes additional stress to students with mental, emotional, or learning challenges.

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