Looking at online learning through the accessibility lens

Diana Greer and Donald Deshler outline the potential obstacles that children with disabilities face when learning online

ONLINE LEARNING IS GROWING AT A RAPID PACE, bringing with it a bevy of supplemental online resources easily incorporated into the traditional classroom. Indeed, the 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group revealed the number of school students in the US taking at least one online course was more than 6.7 million, an increase of 570,000 on the previous year.

What we know
● Time extensions benefit children with disabilities, but also have a variety of important limitations.
● Time extensions are appropriate when students lack skills that are not designed to be measured by the test, but are needed to access the items.
● Relevant interventions should be provided along with time extensions, to make the extensions less necessary in the future.

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October 2013