INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL SECTION ON INTEGRATING ACCESSIBILITY INTO ONLINE LEARNING

Kristen Betts

Abstract


This special section of the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks on Integrating Accessibility into Online Learning is a compilation of papers, interviews, and webinars that provide an overview of the broad spectrum of issues related to accessibility, online learning, and student success. The proliferation of technology and online learning have transformed higher education in terms of national enrollments and instructional delivery. Data reveals that between fall 2002 and fall 2012, the number of higher education students taking at least one online course increased from 1.6 million to 6.7 million, representing a growth rate of 21 percent [1]. While online learning provides extensive new opportunities for students to enroll in degree and certificate programs, these opportunities are closely linked to accessibility. An institutional commitment to accessibility is needed to support success for all students. Universities must provide students with disabilities equal access to all programs including activities and services that allow an equal opportunity for them to actively participate and to achieve the same results as other students. This special section showcases research, trends, and recommended best practices to increase accessibility and student success in online learning for students with disabilities.

Keywords


accessibility, technology, disabilities, equal access, equal opportunity, procurement, online learning, online education, higher education, barriers, student success

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v17i3.378



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