Is Online Learning the Right Choice For Students With Disabilities?

Nowadays online education occupies a large niche – the size of the e-learning market exceeded $200 billion last year. The number of students opting for online education is growing from year to year. Also, e-learning offers certain benefits for students with disabilities as some ordinary schools and colleges don’t have special facilities for this group. However, online education is associated with several disadvantages as well. We shall discuss both in this post.

Advantages of Online Learning

Let’s consider some pros and cons of online college. E-learning offers multiple opportunities for children with disabilities as it doesn’t require physical presence. Unfortunately, students with disabilities experience bullying in ordinary schools quite often. In online schools, they can study from the comfort of homes and limit abusive interactions. In addition, e-learning has many other advantages like equality.

Easy Access

Another advantage of e-learning is that it’s easily accessible. A wide choice of courses is proposed online. Students can choose the most feasible curricula to reach their individual learning objectives. Besides, e-learning courses are flexible. Students can learn when they feel comfortable. According to my response, students with disabilities may consult online educators to leverage their knowledge. This helps to stay focused and get more attention to succeed in e-learning. It can be particularly useful for students with disabilities.

Equality of Students

As e-learning schools don’t require the presence of students in the class, discrimination in terms of religion, sex, age, physical disabilities or nationality is excluded. Besides, online education lowers the likeliness of bullying as students simply don’t see each other in real life. Therefore, students with disabilities feel more confident and can make friends easily to diversify the learning process.

Home Education

Home education is the best alternative for students who can’t attend ordinary schools. Besides, e-learning can be performed from any location that is very comfortable for those students who often travel or have disabilities. In addition, children with disabilities can choose learning speed according to their personal abilities. Home learning is a perfect solution for children having impairment of locomotor system and their parents as they don’t have to visit ordinary schools.


Quite often e-learning courses cost less than college or university education because some overhead expenses such as classroom costs or costs of paper textbooks aren’t included in the course price. All materials can be found on the internet and students may access them whenever they have time. Besides, students can save on transportation costs.

Useful Practice

In most cases, e-learning courses are designed according to the latest developments of technology. Therefore, students have a chance to practice useful computer skills and learn specific software functions.

Disadvantages of Online Education

Despite its obvious benefits, online education subject to certain disadvantages. These disadvantages are tied to a lack of socialization or motivation. Also, online education requires additional support from parents as in this case they’re totally responsible for the performance of their children.

Lack of Socialization

Children with disabilities are often deprived of communication with peers. When they’re getting ordinary education in schools, they have an opportunity to socialize, but online education doesn’t contribute to socialization. Children rarely interact with other students and teachers. Therefore, they can’t get important interpersonal communication skills. Also, the chances that they can become more independent are decreasing.


The atmosphere in schools or colleges is motivating because teachers encourage students to perform better. Additionally, there is a competition between students in the class that motivates students to work on personal development. From this perspective, e-learning is less motivational. This can be a problem because children with disabilities need even more encouragement. Hence, before making a decision to sign up for online courses, parents and children with disabilities should take all nuances of e-learning into consideration. For example, if a child is self-motivated and can complete an assignment independently, online education can be considered as a learning option.

Financial Aid

Some ordinary educational institutions in Australia provide financial help to students with impairments. Hence, when choosing to study online, this group of students misses the chance to get this benefit. All expenses are incurred by parents of children with disabilities.

Poor Time Management

As students can join online courses any time, they may lose their time management skills. If a student is aware of time constraints, this keeps him or her focused and goal-oriented. On the contrary, when students feel that they have much time for online course completion, they may feel relaxed or less motivated to finish this course within certain time frames. This doesn’t contribute to developing competitive skills in a highly competitive job market.

More Effort from Parents

Online learning requires more efforts, time and attention from the parents’ side. Children with disabilities need more help and cooperation when studying online. In this case, parents should perform many roles to reach the final goal. Therefore, parents of children with disabilities should think twice before sending applications to online courses.


Online learning is a good idea for children with disabilities if they’re self-motivated and can count on support from parents. There are no restrictions for online learning, but additional requirements are set to organizing studies. Online learning can be either a source of knowledge or a source of additional problems for the whole family having children with disabilities. So, if you’re ready to put more efforts in exchange for benefits offered by online education, go on and do it!