Online Learning as a Form of Accomodation

Online Learning as a Form of Accomodation

Terence Cavannaugh
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch389
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An estimated three billion people, representing approximately half of the planet’s population, are in some way affected by disabilities, which includes an estimated 150 million from the United States of America (Half the Planet, 2001). According to the Twenty-Third Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (U.S. Department of Education, 2002a), concerning students with special needs between the ages of three and 21, the U.S. and its outlying areas are currently serving educationally more than 6,272,000 students classified as having a disability. The inclusion model, in which a special needs student participates in the “regular” classroom, has become the current classroom education standard. Today’s special needs students have increasing impacts on the general education teacher as, during the past 10 years, the percentage of students with disabilities served in schools and classes with their non-disabled peers has gradually grown to over 90% in 1998 (U.S. Department of Education, 2000b). Because of the large and increasing number of special needs students, assistive educational technology is growing in importance. The population of postsecondary students with disabilities has increased over the past two decades, and currently there are approximately one million persons in postsecondary institutions who are classified as having some form of disability (U.S. Department of Education, 2000b). In 1994, approximately 45% of the adult population who reported having a disability had either attended some college or had completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, as compared to only 29% in 1986 (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1999a).

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