There are a total of 8 categories in which differently-abled students are classified, based on their disabilities – mental illnesses, medical impairments, hearing impairments, mobility impairments, vision impairments, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and acquired brain impairment. However, being differently-abled does not translate to the fact that an individual cannot perform well in their professional life or their academics. With the emergence of eLearning, differently-abled students can now gain knowledge in a better manner and find online studying to be more fulfilling.
Let’s Empower Them
Getting admission to a conventional education institute is something that has never been easy for differently-abled students. Online learning platforms have changed that for good. If we consider the current scenario, several universities and colleges have started using online learning platforms to impart education in a more effective manner. The concept of ‘virtual campuses’ is evolving at a quick pace. This means that more and more differently-abled students are getting the opportunity to enrol.
Today, web-based training modules and various other materials for learners are distributed online in an easy manner, using an LMS or a Learning Management System, which holds compatibility with modern standards. With its help, students are able to easily communicate with tutors and other students online.
LMS emerged from the evolution of learning online. It is a software application for the documentation, administration, tracking, reporting, delivery, and automation of educational courses, learning and development programs, and so on. Earlier, many schools were required to offer special capabilities in order to allow disabled students to attend. But fast-forward to today, LMS has helped make education more inclusive and virtual campuses continue to expand because of it.
Here’s more on how LMS can help differently-abled students: –
- For Learning Disabilities
Studying online offers differently-abled students the time and space that they would need in order to work. LMS presents the perfect opportunity for learners to study at their own pace. Also, with the help of IT systems and software, differently-abled students are able to manipulate digital text to change it to a style that is more comfortable for them.
With present-day Learning Management Systems, learning has become more democratic. This is because students are offered options associated with the place, time, and pace at which they wish to learn.
If you are designing a course in LMS, you can ensure certain things at your end to make learning easier for students with learning disabilities. For instance, you can include a lot of white space when you design a course. You can achieve this by putting two spaces between paragraphs and keeping them short. This is a great way of keeping the text sections distinct from one another. Doing so will make reading easier for a learner with ailments like dyslexia, one of the learning difficulties that many individuals face today.
- For Physical Disabilities
Physically disabled students get to stay in their comfort zone while learning with the help of LMS. This is because they no longer have to rush to campus or commute from class to class. Many present-day LMS platforms work anytime, anywhere. Further, integrated technologies such as voice-activated programs and voice-to-text are also present for students who cannot type.
- For Visual Impairments
Visually impaired students do not have to travel to campus, all thanks to LMS. Adaptive technologies such as braille keyboards and audio recordings are provided for their learning.
An LMS that has the ‘zoom’ feature can help learners with visual impairments as they can zoom out or zoom in on a particular page to figure out a suitable text or page size for themselves.
- For Hearing Impairments
With the help of LMS, students with hearing impairments can see video lectures along with subtitles, which is something that is not possible in an actual class. When text is the prime mode of communication with students and teachers, it makes learning as well as interacting easier.
Further, within an LMS, you also have closed captions which help with several representations of the same concept that have different styles and examples. This flexibility makes it a boon for different students to process information and learn at their own pace.
- For Psychiatric Disabilities
Students with psychiatric disabilities also get the chance to study and work in their comfort zone with the help of LMS. A known surrounding makes it easier for them to cope with anxiety and stress and helps them learn better via eLearning.
At the same time, they also have flexibility and convenience. They do not have to travel as they can attend classes from home and hence, they get convenient access to education. Moreover, online learning is more flexible than conventional schooling methods.
LMS is a system that makes it easy to map progress and arrange eLearning classes, thus making learning easier for differently-abled students.
The great thing about the technology used for eLearning is that it makes visual and auditory aspects accessible to every learner. Today, there are many tools, design standards, and teaching methods that work towards offering accessibility to differently-abled students within an online environment. Nowadays, learning management systems are designed to be more user-friendly and simplified, which is something that can encourage and persuade differently-abled students to learn more effectively.
All said and done, choosing an LMS that is accessible for any user irrespective of physical limitations and which can be used by people with disabilities will always be a step in the right direction.