Making Distance Learning Accessible to Students with Disabilities
These are challenging times.
Districts are creating entire systems of distance or online education from scratch, in a matter of weeks. The questions are endless. Do teachers have the technological skills, equipment or experience to implement these plans? Do families have enough computers for themselves and all of their children? Factor in the additional problems and questions around providing special education and services. How do we develop and implement plans that will enable our students to continue to obtain educational benefit while distanced from their traditional learning environments or settings and primary instructors?
With anything that we roll out, we need to also consider the exceptional stressors currently placed on families and students during this unique time and circumstances. Concerns about the health and safety of our family and friends. Economic impacts. The impacts of isolation and loss of normalcy on our ability to function and learn. These factors are multiplied in many ways when we talk about families with children with disabilities. We also have to consider our workforce...our administrators and teachers and special education providers who are impacted by these factors as well.
We know that many of our special education administrators, teachers and service providers are already hard at work planning for the learning needs of their students. We have tapped into many of these people to help us curate and identify some practices, implementation strategies and resources for getting started. This website was put in place to support staff during this period of rapid adjustment and gearing up. The design of this resource has focused on these two priorities:
Easy to Navigate
Providing these ideas and resources in a format that will be easy to access and reduce the cognitive overload of wading through internet, social media, website, blog and Padlet resources. We've done the wading for you so that you can quickly get started. Explore these areas to access guidance and curated resources to get you started.
Curating ideas that will enable us to plan, design and put in place learning options for students with disabilities that will be beneficial and that can be implemented within a short time and with the restraints we are dealing with. Explore the following areas to access guidance and resources to get you started.