Students with Disabilities During Online Learning

Monzerrath Miramontes Castellanos, Staff Writer

As the coronavirus pandemic grinds the nation’s education system to a halt, teachers are struggling with the new normal. Special education teachers in particular are facing unparalleled challenges with transitioning both their teaching—and their students to home-based instruction. 

According to Kristopher Austin, Wilson’s assigned Career Developer, the special education students’ schedule remains mostly the same, as they are still on a regular schedule from 7:50 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. and enrolled in around six to eight courses. The zoom classroom has its ups and downs, as some students are benefiting from online classes, while others are having difficulty adjusting to the online platform and have not participated.

Austin said, “from my point of view, many of the special education students that are on my caseload have been benefiting from online classes. There have been a few students who have struggled with the online platform and have not participated.”

Since engagement between students and teachers/staff is limited with the online model, it is difficult for teachers to track how students are responding to lessons.

Austin stated that at this time it is too early to truly understand if the students are learning the material presented.

I find that it is quite challenging to “teach” via Zoom and other online platforms since instructions have to be repeated several times, attendance is a challenge and so is student engagement.”

It all depends on the student. While some students would prefer in-person interaction,  other students seem to be enjoying instruction from an online platform.