Why online learning is great for people with intellectual disability by Chris Beaumont, Endeavour Foundation
If there was ever a time to embrace online learning, this
At the height of COVID restrictions, we had to temporarily
close some of our services and that meant a change in routine for many of our
customers, which was difficult. Not wanting you to miss out on your usual
in-person learning opportunities, we quickly put together a suite of free
online learning programs specifically designed for people with intellectual
disability (It’s called Thrive Learning and you can check it out here). Even
though it hasn’t been up for long, we’ve been blown away with the feedback. There
are many reasons why we think online learning has been so popular for people
with intellectual disability. We’ve taken some of those top reasons and
highlighted them in this blog.
But first, will online learning replace face-to-face
No way. At least not for us. We think these online programs
are a great addition to face-to-face learning and support, but not a
replacement. What they give you is the opportunity to learn anywhere, anytime,
and about almost anything. What we’ve done with the Thrive Learning program, is
put a few of our favourite learning topics in one place so it’s easy for you to
get started. They also work in perfectly with the program at our Learning and
Lifestyle hubs. So let’s explore the benefits together…
1. It’s on your terms and easily works in with your
Routines are important to everyone, whether you have a
disability or not. They help you manage your time and help you get
things done that matter to you. Online learning programs can give you a sense
of achievement. They break things down into smaller, simpler steps so you can
learn new things without feeling overwhelmed. You can work through as many or
as few steps as you like, depending on how it fits into your day.
2. It’s cheap… and often free.
Let’s face it, learning new skills in real life can be
expensive – and that’s not even counting transport costs. Online learning has
made learning new skills cheaper and more accessible than ever before. We’re
really passionate about making sure that no Australians with intellectual
disability are left behind, especially in this time, so we decided to make our courses free
for the next little while.
3. Leaving the house can be hard, and you might not
always be up for it
Sometimes there are additional barriers for people with
disability when it comes to leaving the house. Anxiety, immune conditions,
safety concerns, fear of new places, financial barriers, lack of support or
transport to name a few. We want to make sure that people are getting support
in ways that work for them. Online learning means staying at home doesn’t mean
missing out on the activities you enjoy.
4. It can be tailored to people with intellectual
The vast, vast majority of online courses are not designed
for people with intellectual disability. They can be a confusing, detailed, and
not a great experience. We looked around at the start of the coronavirus
pandemic and realised that there wasn’t much already out there for our
customers. So we changed that. We used our education and specialist disability
knowledge to put together online
courses for people with intellectual disability. And as a bonus, at the
moment they are free.
5. It’s great if you live in a remote location
Living in a rural or remote part of Australia can mean there
is less to do, or that you have to travel further to do things. How far would
you have to travel to get to a gym each week? Or how long does it take you to
get to the nearest library? These might be things you enjoy that you can only
do occasionally because of where you live. Online learning has opened up more
opportunities than ever before as you can access it from anywhere.
6. It works really well with your regular in-person
If we stop exercising, we get unfit. The same is true of
learning. If we stop learning, our brains can get lazy and we can forget some
of the things we have learnt. By practicing at home the life skills you learn
through our in-person services, you will be reinforcing those lessons which
helps you move on to more advanced skills. The Thrive
Learning program cooking module is just one example where you can learn
about WHY you need a healthy breakfast, and HOW to make one too. Peanut butter
protein balls anyone? Yum!
7. It helps improve tech skills
As a bonus, online learning also helps us learn more about
using computers and other technological devices. By regularly logging into a course
and following the steps, you are not only becoming fitter and stronger, or a
better cook, but also a better tech-user. So are you ready to get started?
Ready to learn something new? Everybody still in their pyjamas? Ok, let’s go
have some fun online learning at home!
Posted on 03 / 11 / 2021
· Assistive Technology
· Disability Support
Related Resourceby Tag
Tag : Disability Support
Google Glass Apps for People with Disability Trialed by Telstra