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For starters, online university students do not have to manage travel and transportation issues because online classes may be taken from the convenience of one’s own home.
Physical facilities, on the other hand, can be tricky.
Disabled students comprise a larger percentage of the U. And based on data from the Social Security Administration, the number of disabled U. There are several reasons for this steady climb, including the recent economic recession, an aging baby boomer population, and advances in technology that can identify disabilities more easily.
As Justin O’Sullivan, Associate Director of Disability Services at Kaplan University Online stated in a personal interview, "Because online learning provides convenient access for distance learners and is typically more flexible than your traditional brick-and-mortar institution, students with disabilities who may have required accommodations at fixed-facility schools may, in turn, find an online learning format permits them the opportunity to study without special arrangements." But exactly how is e-learning more convenient than traditional learning?
This is especially helpful for students who may require additional time to complete assignments.
In a personal interview, Nancy Dimitri, a retired federal government employee who is hearing impaired, shared that she enjoyed the UDL options computer-based training gave her during her employment.
In an online class, for example, a reading assignment may already be available in regular text (e.g., as a file) and as an audio file (e.g., MP3).
This automatically gives all students the flexibility of reading or hearing the information, saving it for use with assistive learning software like Zoom Text, reviewing the file as often as needed, and converting it into study notes.
With distractions and accessibility problems eliminated, all students will be able to access and better engage with the course content, ultimately making them more successful online learners. Making computer-mediated education responsive to the accommodation needs of students with disabilities.
Also, because online courses are naturally and increasingly developed with the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), many accommodations are already met for the benefit of all learners.
Therefore, there is rarely a need for a disabled student to feel compelled to disclose to classmates. Barrett pointed out, the unemployment rate among persons with disabilities continues to remain at more than four times that of the general population in spite of the fact that the majority want to work.
Instead the focus is on building an online community of learners who work together toward a common goal. "However," Barrett said, "one way of changing these employment figures may be the use of technology and how it is offered and facilitated with people with disabilities." Online education helps to alleviate this discrepancy by increasing technical fluency, which is one of the top skills employers look for in job candidates.
Keep in mind that online learning provides the above benefits for a lifetime of learning that can lead to personal and professional advancement. In fact, online learning allows students to leave college with documentation that they have many of the top soft skills employers desire.
Likewise, other daily incidental costs like food and clothing may be reduced; tax deductions may be available that can offset the cost of any needed home accommodations.