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Lockdown Moved All Teaching Online, But Disabled Students Have Asked For That For Years

Thursday 16 April 2020


From UK news outlet The Tab:



Lockdown moved all teaching online, but disabled students have asked for that for years

The ease with which universities moved all resources online showed that they could do it, but just didn’t want to

By Maddy Mussen
April 14, 2020
Copyright © 2020 The Tab.

Last month, as the country descended into its pre-lockdown state, universities closed, sent students home, and made all classes remote. Everything was moved online. There has been an outcry from students who feel disadvantaged by this new remote learning, as they’ve had their educational experience turned on its head.

But online learning is exactly what disabled students across the UK have been asking for for years. Students with disabilities have suffered as a result of online learning not being provided.

Some have been punished for low attendance, when they could not physically muster the strength to attend. Some have had to write essays on topics they knew nothing about, because they were bed ridden. Some have been disadvantaged by not being able to pause, slow down and replay their lectures when cognitive processing becomes too difficult for them.

This was the reality for disabled students for years, with universities denying their requests for remote learning and ignoring what they were going through without it. For the disabled students The Tab spoke to, this has been their reality for years – before a global pandemic forced universities’ hands.


‘I had to write essays about texts I had barely been taught’

Disabled students aren’t just asking for online learning to avoid punishment for non-attendance, though. It means that students who cannot physically attend can still learn, and catch up on seminars and spoken discussion they would have otherwise missed.

Amber, a Masters student at Exeter, who completed her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary University of London, has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This means it is near impossible for her to attend all lectures and seminars within a year, due to severe fatigue and contracting secondary infections from a weakened immune system. Amber missed three weeks of her first term at uni because of multiple hospital admissions. Her lectures were online, but as she does English Literature, seminars required attendance and were not accessible online.


Full article…



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