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K-12 Online Learning and Students with Disabilities: Perspectives from State Special Education Directors

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Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks Volume 17, Number 3, ISSN 1939-5256


K-12 special education policies and practices that ensure students with disabilities receive a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment are coming under pressure from the rapid expansion of online learning. Forty-six state and non-state jurisdiction special education directors responded to a brief survey about K-12 online learning. Findings demonstrated an increase in the number of states providing online instruction; indicated that students with many different types of disabilities participate in online learning; and described the directors' reflections on current issues as well as anticipated barriers to students with disabilities participating in online learning. Ambiguity and variability existed across state policies regarding online education as each state may have been in a different stage of adopting this relatively new approach to K-12 education. As a result, students bring to their undergraduate education a wide array of perceptions, attitudes, and prior experiences that may affect their learning outcomes.


Burdette, P.J., Greer, D.L. & Woods, K.L. (2013). K-12 Online Learning and Students with Disabilities: Perspectives from State Special Education Directors. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(3), 65-72. Retrieved February 20, 2020 from .

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