Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How Online Colleges Can Help the Disabled

Disabilities come in many shapes and sizes. When most people think of disabilities, they generally think of severe mental or physical handicaps because they are the most obvious. Other disabilities include the learning challenged and socially challenged. In many cases, online colleges are the only option for students with physical, social, or learning impairments.

Accessibility, accessibility, accessibility. The very first thing a physically impaired student must consider before enrolling in a traditional college is whether or not the campus is accessible for them. Attending a traditional college or university does very little for them if they get to the campus and discover that it is riddled with staircases and inconvenient seating arrangements. It is also difficult to concentrate on your studies if you're been ridiculed by your fellow classmates.

Many physically impaired students are able to not only experience life on a traditional college campus but, in some cases, even revel in the atmosphere. However there are also many physically impaired students who find themselves unable to fulfill their degree requirements while they are attending a traditional college campus. For these students, online colleges are often the best solution.

For students with disabilities that require outside assistance in order to complete basic skills like dressing and personal hygiene, taking classes at a traditional campus is nearly impossible. For these students, online colleges provide an opportunity to receive a college degree that they might not have been able to achieve otherwise.

When they attend an online college, they know exactly what they are getting when it comes to their environment. Because they're able to take classes in the comfort of their own home, they know that the aisles are wide enough, the floors aren't slippery, they won't be impeded by numerous staircases, and they won't have to worry about people not knowing how to accept their disabilities. All they have to do is sit back and concentrate on learning.

Online campuses are often the answer for students who are learning challenged as well. By taking classes online, they are often able to customize their study schedule to suit their own ability to learn and/or concentrate. Online classes offer the students a chance to study at their own pace, communicate with the teachers, and socialize with fellow students, via chat rooms and e-mails.

Socially challenged students, such as those with severe autism, often find it impossible to attend a traditional college on a traditional campus. The sheer volume of students, the large confining classrooms, the constant activity, the social clicks, and the imposing professors, are simply too much for the socially impaired students to accept and, all too often, they're overwhelmed and end up dropping out of college.

For these students, the seclusion of an online university allows them to relax and focus upon their studies. Not having to come face to face of their college professors and fellow classmates and remaining in a familiar environment is often all it takes for the students to achieve success.

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