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Online Learners with Disabilities | Origin: EL111

This is a general discussion forum for the following learning topic:

Assistive Technologies for the Online Learner --> Online Learners with Disabilities

Post what you've learned about this topic and how you intend to apply it. Feel free to post questions and comments too.

The percentages of different disabilities present in students really struck me, especially the number of students who do not report disabilities.  Occasionally, while teaching, I will realize a student has struggles with processing info or piecing info together, and I wonder if this is a student who is either unaware of the issue or is not self-reporting.  

I love it when students are very open about their anxieties, depression, or other issues with which they are struggling.  Most often, other students will reach out to be more supportive of the student, and the affected student's openess helps me know to do things differently.



While there are several good take-a-ways from this course, I really appreciated the idea of a FAQ page for students to discuss and gain clarity on the course.  It is easy for information to be complex and difficult to communicate so providing options for students to help others I thought was beneficial for all but primarily the students with learning disabilities.

I was surprised at the number of students with disabilities.  This section will help me better identify students with needs and to create content that will serve them better. 


Adding things in the lecture like check lists and putting important information in bold can help a student with cognitive learning problems. 


I have learned that not all students will inform the school of their disabilites because of the fear. I did assume of lot of my students were lazy but now I know different.


Providing checklists and organized content can help students with disabilities stay focused and on point.


Online instructors should be aware of three (3) specific definitions in the area of disabilities: Impairment, Accommodation and Accessibilities. Making a list of expectations, having patience and understanding that all students learn differently will help you as a instructor, be succussful

The most interesting course so far. Made me see things differently. I will certainlyn focus on this in the near future.

Online instructors need to be aware of inclusion in the class. Learners may have trouble with listening, reading, writing, speaking, reasoning, math and social skills. In face to face instruction you may be able to see these problem. I am online environment, communication and a relationship with the students can make the online learning better for all students. As instructor we need to be aware that conditions may exist in students and not to "expose" the students. 


As a parent with a disabled child, I can appreciate the lesson. Now that school is online due to Covid-19, we have had to change how we received education. instructors need to ensure that students with disabilities have as much access and assistance as possible. It starts with open communication and development of trust. Regardless of the disability, as humans we desire to be part of a community and education is no different. Instructors should have patience and understand the desire for all students to get an education. We can modify our teaching techniques to provide a good learning experience for all students.Thankfully, technology is improving the access and experience for students with disabilities. 

How to engage students that have learning disabities and intergrate them into your lessons.

I believe that one of the hardest hurdles to get across, is the learned actually letting the instructor know that there is a disability in the first place. There are federal rules against asking students if they have learning disabilities. And if they do not tell you up front, even with the most well thought out course building, you can really be thrown for a loop when the information shows itself.

I learned that Providing checklists and organized content can help students with disabilities stay focused and on point.

At first, I approached this thinking I had no students in my classroom with disabilities. Yes perhaps, there were no blind or deaf or obviously physically impaired students. However, I came to realize that I had ADHD students, students with anxiety disorders, and a student with a particular disability in her fingers that we had to explore and make accommodations for her to be able to perform activities in the lab. Already I had had to incorporate changes into my approach to students. This was an enlightening course.


LEARNED THAT IT IS IMPORTANT TO "Develop multiple means for presenting information, multiple means of expression and practice of knowledge and skills, and multiple strategies for engaging learners." I PLANNED TO USE THIS METHOD


I have learned the importance of organized, clear instruction for students that are cognitive impaired. 

I appreciate adding a checklist in your course. It would help with organizing. Often devoping multiple means for presenting information gives mutiple strategies for students


The following statements are really important for CTE instructors to realize:

Online instructors should be aware of three (3) specific definitions in the area of disabilities:

  • Impairment 
  • Accommodation
  • Accessibility 


Besides this being the “right thing to do” in order to remove barriers to attaining higher education, the U.S. Federal government has made it a legal requirement. Access to college programs, services and activities in the traditional “brick and mortar” college environment as well as the online versions must be available to every learner. These federal mandates, specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, will be discussed later in this course. It is important that online instructors understand the legal requirements and be proactive when developing and teaching online courses. Inclusion is seen as the responsibility of the educational institution and online instructor.

My opinion is that all disabilities should be viewed with a certain amount of feasibility and practicality when it comes to CTE fields which require courses with labs.  The degree of success for some however may be limited.  For instance, if a blind person is trying to learn "welding" or "machining" which require courses with labs, I believe there would be limited success in these areas and may even prove to be very hazardous to the persons health/safety.  Instructors would need to assume the liability of any injuries if they allowed the student to take the course/lab which would not be acceptable.  Also, even if the person with the disability managed to pass a course or two in the field (without completing a lab course) the likihood of a person with this type of disability in such a field probably would not find employment readily since employers would be hesitant to take the risk or be insured for such with someone of this disability in this field.    


All sorts of difficult issues including ones I have not acknowledged. This prompts me to understand rather than judge quickly.


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