Online Learning for Students with Disabilities

Campus learning can sometimes create obstacles for students living with a disability. Here, we look at how online learning can help make your journey to graduation more comfortable. 


Students with disabilities face unique challenges when entering higher education. Although universities in the UK now provide accessibility services for disabled students by law, problems still exist such as coping with the lecture hall environment, navigating large campuses (which may be located across different parts of a city), and finding the right support services for your needs. 

For some students with disabilities, moving away from the familiarity of home and finding adequate housing in a new location also adds to the pressure of beginning a traditional degree programme. 

If you have a disability and are considering entering higher education, here are just a few of the ways that online learning could be the right choice. 

Better Access

Quote from Arden University student

Online learning provides flexible and easy-to-manage access to your learning materials. By simply logging onto the learning platform from your computer, you can find everything you need to progress through your course in one handy location. Personalised support is also available over the phone or email from your programme tutors and support staff. 

For students with mobility issues, this means that the university is brought directly to your home, allowing you to study within your comfort zone and removing the need to hurry from class to class. 

Students with visual or hearing impairments

Students with a visual impairment can use tools like braille keyboards and voice-to-text software to help with their learning. Being able to study at home in a familiar environment also takes away some of the added pressures of beginning a degree programme in an unfamiliar environment. 

Hearing-impaired students benefit from being able to watch pre-recorded lecture videos which are subtitled.

Most online learning programmes also follow a text-based format, and communication with your tutor and fellow students takes place mostly over email and chat forums, rather than face-to-face. 

For students with psychiatric disabilities

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, online learning also has advantages over campus study; you can avoid crowded lecture halls, busy campuses, and other locations that may cause anxiety or stress. The online format also allows you to retain control over your privacy and anonymity, if you wish to do so.