Living with a disability or performing day-to-day tasks from a wheelchair can introduce a unique set of challenges that can make your daily routine significantly more complex. Simple outings, such as going to the grocery store or attending potlucks, can be complicated by a lack of accessibility. Even attending school and gaining a higher education can be difficult.
Regardless of the difficulty, it is imperative for everyone to have the opportunity to further their education. Although educational facilities have made tremendous strides in addressing accessibility issues, there are still substantial challenges to attending school in a traditional brick-and-mortar building. Fortunately, online education offers a unique opportunity for wheelchair users and others with disabilities to reach their educational goals.
The advent of online educational programs has been a complete game-changer for those looking to obtain a higher degree without the other obstacles. Rather, these educational opportunities can complement busy schedules and lifestyles. Below are the benefits and strategies to fully take advantage of all the opportunities online education can provide.
Benefits of Distance Learning
Particularly for those with disabilities, online learning provides a substantial number of benefits. Perhaps the biggest benefits is skipping right through all of the accommodation challenges that go with accessing different learning spaces, particularly at older schools that have not adapted architecture to be wheelchair accessible. Online classrooms offer the flexibility of working from anywhere that is convenient, whether that’s the library on campus or the comfort of your bedroom across the country.
For some, online education can also remove the stress of actually being in a large classroom with a lot of people. Rather than being forced into face-to-face interactions and over-stimulating environments, online education allows students to engage with their classmates in a manner that may work better for them. Communication happens through online discussion boards or video conferences.
Finally, in many situations, online education can be profoundly cheaper than attending classes on campus. Online students do not have to cover the cost of living in the dorms or paying for meal plans, which can enable them to live with family or in cheaper areas. Tuition may also be lower because classroom size limits are less of a factor. This all works to put money back in your pocket for other expenses.
If online courses seem like the right way for you to pursue your education, there are a couple steps to take to prepare yourself to make the most of it. Arguably the most important is finding that comfortable working space where you can capitalize on your productivity. Oftentimes these places are comfortable, clean, and with few other distractions.
Some experts actually believe that organization in a study space not only boosts productivity but can also increase confidence and general health. Organization can also help to boost motivation to kick off and finish big projects. These benefits can help you to be even more successful in pursuing your degree and making a good impression in the online classroom.
Find the Right Program
Before diving right into the first online program that becomes available, it is critical to do some research and make sure you are actually finding the right program for you. There are multiple things to consider, such as what you’d actually like to do with the degree when finished, how large are online class sizes, whether you will have opportunities to communicate easily with professors teaching the course, and so on. Making sure your program lines up with your needs can help ensure your ultimate success.
Some careers, such as those in computer and information technology, are expected to grow nearly 12 percent by the year 2024. These careers are often high paying and are often relatively easily accessible for those that are wheelchair bound. If you have an interest in technology and science, these fields will undoubtedly offer quality job opportunities after graduation.
As you are digging more into the type of career you’d like to have, speak with experts in the field about their experiences and make sure it is something you want for your future. Compare and contrast different online educational programs and speak with professors about what is to be expected should you sign up for one of their classes. Furthermore, try to get in touch with students that have been through the program and ask them about their positive and negative experiences.
There is no acceptable reason for education to be out of the reach of those that require wheelchairs. Online education lowers many of the more challenging barriers and provides real opportunities for educational success. Deciding to pursue online education, finding the right program, and getting yourself organized for success are major first steps in getting started.
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