For some students that have physical or medical limitations, going to a traditional school can be difficult or sometimes impossible. Giving students the ability to work from their home or just about anywhere they can find a computer and an internet connection is a unique benefit of a cyber school that allows these types of students to gain a great education without putting themselves at risk.
As a top-performing Pennsylvania virtual charter school, we have witnessed the numerous advantages online courses give disabled students and are proud to be part of making a difference in their educational experience.
At 21st Century Cyber Charter School, all students are provided with a Macbook, which has unique accessibility software. For students with vision impairment, students have access to VoiceOver, Zoom, low-vision features, and speech-to-text. For students with hearing impairments, there is the ability to turn on screen flash, which flashes the screen when a system alert appears. The Macbook also has Dictation (convert spoken words into text) and Speech commands. The keyboard layout can be changed to enable accessibility shortcuts, and enable audio notifications.
Students whose fine motor skills are affected have the ability to utilize their school-issued laptop to submit all of their work, including lengthy writing assignments, which in the traditional school setting can be both strenuous and stressful.
Disability is a broad term. According to a recent study by the Disability and Information Technologies Research Alliance, about 49 million Americans (or 16 percent of the country’s overall population) claim to have a disability of some sort. There’s a wide range of disabilities out there and the most commonly reported ones in the study were learning disabilities, mobility impairments, ADD/ADHD, psychological conditions, and health-related impairments.
Any student with physical or medical limitations can benefit from Cyber School. The perks of taking online courses stem from the convenience and flexibility such schooling provides disabled students.
Because online learning can provide convenient access to education and is usually more flexible than traditional brick-and-mortar schools, students with disabilities who might require special accommodations or scheduled care can find time to do so without falling behind on their studies.
Another inconvenience for disabled students is daily transportation. Without the need for travel and transportation to and from school every day, cyber school helps make life much easier for students with disabilities. Thus, they can set up their own home learning area that meets all of their individual needs.
In contrast to widespread belief, enrolling as a cyber school student doesn’t have to have a negative effect on social development. Online students are encouraged and given the flexibility to interact with other classmates, join the school clubs, attend field trips, and many other activities that are offered by their online schools.
To get a better feel for what we’re talking about, ask around and see what other students with disabilities are saying about their cyber school experience and online learning altogether. We believe you’ll find that online learning is a viable option for disabled students, and one that has many benefits that can help get the most out of their education.