Publication date: November 3, 2016
The Center on Online Learning for Students with Disabilities (COLSD) has released the 2016 version of its annual publication Equity Matters: Digital and Online Learning for Students with Disabilities. This year’s publication focuses on promising practices for addressing the needs of students with disabilities in full-time virtual, blended, and supplemental online settings. The publication summarizes state and territorial policies related to students with disabilities, research on students with disabilities in online settings, the shifting roles of parents and teachers in K-12 virtual education, and state educational agency responsibilities.
This report on K-12 blended and fully online lessons employs the Universal Design for Learning framework to explore and evaluate the appropriateness of online content and instruction, especially for the struggling learner and those with disabilities. Invited In seeks to offer information to administrators, teachers, and parents to help them understand the online materials used by K-12 students and be able to determine how to foster optimal K-12 online learning options for struggling learners and students with disabilities.
Equity Matters: Digital and Online Learning for Students with Disabilities presents some preliminary understandings from a number of Center research projects and experiences to inform the various stakeholder groups of the emerging trends, outcomes, challenges, and promising practices in this developing field of practice. Special education was founded on, and continues to operate as, a collaboration among students with disabilities, families, professionals, and policymakers. In addition, the digital education industry’s growing, major influence in this realm of education makes collaboration with this sector critical. The overall goal of this publication is to spark discussion, reflection, and debate, with a focus on enhancing understanding within all participant groups, leading to the design of more responsive systems, practices, and policy to support enhanced outcomes for all learners—especially students with disabilities.