Unexpected Benefits of Virtual Learning; Personal Perspective from a Student with Disabilities

Virtual learning has made my life as a disabled student easier, not harder.


Annaliese Simons, Bear Hub Staff

Pretty much every news outlet has produced an article about how students are struggling with virtual learning. But for a disabled student like me, virtual learning has been a benefit, not a disadvantage.

When I was physically in school, I had to have a set of specific accommodations, called a 504, that helped me learn. Many of the accommodations were in place to deal with my symptoms: I left class early to avoid the sensory overload from crowded hallways, could carry a water bottle with me to relieve the anxiety of interrupting class, and had a pass to Student Services for whenever I needed to cope with a panic attack.

But now I’m at home. There are no crowds, because I’m sitting in my dining room. I can have water on the table. And the stress that would have caused panic attacks before is mostly gone.

I’m not the only one who feels this way, either – plenty of students agree that virtual school is less stressful. Junior Emily Ta says, “I think to some degree it’s more manageable because I think I just have more time.”

There are things I miss, of course. Club meetings are harder to hold over video calls, and nothing can replace waving to a passing friend in the halls. But overall, virtual learning has helped me immensely.

School is no longer something I fear. It’s just a thing that I do, like everyone else.