Enabling Learning for Disabled Students

Authored by: Susan Crichton , Shelley Kinash

Handbook of Distance Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415897648
eBook ISBN: 9780203803738
Adobe ISBN: 9781136635571


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Educators and researchers have struggled with questions stemming from the intersection of distance delivery and technological affordances for students with disabilities (Kinash & Crichton, 2007). Central to these questions is how the prevalence of distance education might increase access to students with disabilities, what services are most important in supporting distance learners, and what standard accommodations and innovations specifically encourage diverse learners (Kim-Rupnow, Dowrick, & Burke, 2001, p. 37). In attempting to answer these core questions, additional issues arise, including, but not limited to; how educators can promote universal design (Burgstahler & Cory, 2008; Connell et al., n.d.; Rose & Meyer, 2002) in distance education by disrupting the traditional dependency on text with the thoughtful addition of visual and auditory interfaces which tend to be more inclusive; and how might the emergence of tablet devices supplement and, in some cases, replace assistive technologies.

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