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Online Classes for Secondary Students with Disabilities

This my GED 578 Class Presentation in a Ferris Wheel. The subject above is online learning for disabled students

Walter Shu

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of Online Classes for Secondary Students with Disabilities

By: Walter Shu
Cal Poly Pomona
GED 578 Spring 2013
Dr. Roby

Online Learning for Middle & High School Students with Disabilities
In the last decade, online classes have became popular with students with disabilities. While most students take online classes for the ability to work from anywhere at any time, students with disabilities have an additional advantage in the ability to mask or hide their impairments (Bart 2009).
Introduction (Cont.)
Since students can hide their impairments in online classes, instructors may not be aware of that students have different kinds of impairments, which translates to different needs for each student. Instructors will need to be aware of what type of impairments the students might have.
How Instructors deal with Students
Students should notify the instructor in advance about their disability in order to customize the student's curriculum and determine what accommodations and adaptive equipment they might need. The needs of each student are different and that different types of approaches will be needed for each student.
How Instructors deal with Students
Students with disabilities need to use adaptive and assistive technologies in order to succeed in online classes. There are a wide variety of adaptive and assistive equipment available on market for student with different types of impairments.
Adaptive & Assistive Technologies
The Advantages of Online Learning
* The ability to take classes from the comfort of their own home.
* The ability to work at their own pace (the students' impairments slows down their learning speed) and on their time.
* Customized and adaptive instruction to fit the students' differing needs (Fitchen, et al. 2009).
Adaptive & Assistive Technologies (Cont.)
Adaptive technologies include: screen readers, lighted keyboards, captioning software, voice recognition, touch screens, special calculators, and touch switches (Brown 2002).
* 57% of students with physical disabilities and 59% of students with health disabilities graduate from high school and earn a diploma every year. About 22% of incoming college freshmen have reported to have a disability (Glimps 2008).

* Several million middle and high school students in the U.S. have at least some form of physical or mental disability (Crow 2008). About 15% of the entire school-age population in the U.S. has a disability (Brown 2002).
Introduction (Cont.)
* Online classes are virtual learning environments where students meet online instead of a traditional classroom in a building.

* Disability is one of the most significant issues that affects online classes at all levels. Accessibility and the needs of students are the most common problems that affected online learning for students with disabilities (Gerrard 2007).
Major Issues with Online Learning
* Accessibility to online classes has been the most common problem for students with disabilities. Many students find that without any assistance, they will not be able to access the material covered in class.

* Example: A blind student taking an online class will not be able to see anything on the screen, including PDF files and videos.
Major Issues with Online Learning (Cont.)
* Maximizing accessibility should be important in teaching online classes for students with disabilities.

* Instructors should also considered what types of impairments the should has and what appropriate adaptions are needed to help the student learn.
Major Issues with Online Learning (Cont.)
Technical difficulties is another major issue that most students face when taking online classes. Technical difficulties involves problems with the network hardware or software and/or the internet connections is not functioning (Fichten, et al. 2009).
State Standards
* Most states do not have certification standards for middle and high school teachers who teach online courses, including special education teachers. Most online classes in the secondary level are not bound by state or district rules (Vasquez III and Serianni 2012).

* Most teachers who teach online classes do not receive adequate training and planning (Brunvand and Abadeh 2010).
Universal Design
* Universal Design is the process of integrating the entire lesson into one package, using readily available material.

* Increases accessibility for students with disabilities and can be customized to meet a student's needs (Sapp 2009).
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) of 1990 and the Assistive Technology Act(ATA) of 1998 requires all middle and high school students with disabilities equal access to all services, including online services (Brown 2002).
Major Issues with Online Learning (Cont.)
Another major issue that affects online classes at the middle and high school levels are the availability of teachers that are properly trained in teaching online classes, including special education. While online schools have teacher training programs, traditional teacher preparation programs have not kept pace with the growth of online instruction (Vasquez III and Serianni 2012).
In Closing
* While online classes have many things that benefit middle and high school students with disabilities, but there are still some significant issues that has not yet been resolved, such as accessibility issues and lack of regulations in most cases.

* While we have made some progress in making online classes better for students with disabilities a lot of work still needs to be done.

1. Gerrard, C. (2007). Virtual learning environments: Enhancing the learning experience for students with disabilities. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 24(3), 199-206. Retrieved 26 May 2013 from ERIC.
2. Sapp, W. (2009). Universal Design: Online Education Media for Students with Disabilities. Journal of Visual Impairments and Blindness, 103(8), 495-500. Retrieved 24 May 2013 from Educational Research Complete.
3. Vasquez III, E. and Serianni, B. (2012). Research and Practice in Distance Education for K-12 Students with Disabilities. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 31(4), 33-42. Retrieved 25 May 2013 from Educational Research Complete.
4. Glimps, B.J. (2008). Are we preparing students with physical and health disabilities for the 21st century? Physical Disabilities and Related Services, 26(2), 1-12. Retrieved 10 May 2013 from ERIC.
5. Fitchen, C.S., et al. (2009). Disabilities and e-Learning Problems and Solutions: An Exploratory Study. Educational Technology & Society, 12(4), 241-256. Retrieved 29 April 2013 from ERIC.
6. Crow, K.L. (2008). Four Types of Disabilities: Their Impact on Online Learning. Tech Trends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 52(1), 51-55. Retrieved 3 June 2013 from Academic Search Premier.
7. Brown, J.M. (2002). Enhancing Online Learning for Individuals with Disabilities. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 91, 61-68. Retrieved 30 May 2013 from Educational Research Complete.
8. Brunvand, S. and Abadeh, H. (2010). Making Online Learning Accessible: Using Technology to Declutter the Web. Intervention in School and Clinic, 45(5), 304-311. Retrieved 10 June 2013 from Sage Premier 2011 Database.
9. Bart, M. (30 Sep 2009). Reaching Online Students with Learning Disabilities. Faculty Focus. Retrieved 4 June 2013 from: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/reaching-online-students-with-learning-disabilities/.
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