Online Learning and the Minority

How Online Learning is Affecting Individuals with Special Needs

Elizabeth Houlihan

COVID-19 has taken a toll on society, specifically for students. Millions of students across the country are taking part in online learning. This probably won’t be too hard for the general population, due to us being technological masters. However, what about the population that can’t adapt to this new process? 

      Minority groups such as individuals with special needs seem to be getting hit harder with this new online learning than most. An employee of Adams 12 School District by the name of Emily Houlihan works in Student Support Services and volunteered to share her experience with these students and their experience. Everyday, she attends Rocky Top Middle School and works with individuals with special needs. She has first hand experience with how the students are struggling to adapt to this new way of life. 

   Houlihan stated, It’s having a great negative impact on their social, emotional well being and academics. A lot of students are losing skills and regressing.”.  Individuals with special needs do best when they follow a schedule, most of the time if that schedule is tampered with, that individual can go backwards in their progress. And with online learning being a huge disturbance, students are losing all that they have learned. 

   With this, it is easy to believe that online learning for this group of students has forced their education to take a wrong turn, Houlihan responded to this with I think that the school district is doing everything they can to maintain their IEP goals but you cannot recreate in person classroom accommodations virtually. So therefore, it has compromised IEP goals. Which are actually government binding documents. “. The term “IEP” stands for “Individualized Educational Plan”. Adams 12 is doing everything they can to continue these goals for their students, but if the school district is unable to, they could get sued.