How Does COVID-19 Impact Students With Disabilities

Updated on May 5, 2022

At this point, it is no secret or surprise that the coronavirus has caused students around the world to be faced with many challenges. Very quickly, the whole education system changed for most students as colleges shifted to online-only classes. But students with disabilities in higher education faced a lot more challenges that have made their pursuit of education quite different than before, both in positive and negative ways.


Higher education institutions have often been criticized for engaging in learning disability discrimination as most of their systems are designed with non-disabled people in mind. COVID-19 has only amplified such issues in many ways. There are students and academics who are writing various essays on disability to create an awareness about these problems. When you read some examples of free disability essays online, you’ll come to find out how many obstacles people with disabilities actually have to face in their everyday lives. 

If you’re also interested in doing some research on written samples to write your own essay or paper on how the coronavirus has impacted students with disabilities in higher education, it is important to read about both the challenges and the opportunities that have arisen due to this pandemic. Let’s go over some important ones, so you are more aware of the effects of the coronavirus on such students. 

The Challenges

●       There is a large number of students who require in-person classes in order to get the knowledge they need. For example, a learning disabled student who needs close contact with their teacher may not be able to learn properly in an online-only teaching system. For such students, the best way to learn may be to continue physical classes which are not possible in many parts of the world right now.

●       While there are many universities that are incorporating physical classes with their online ones, the level of safety measures they take are not really consistent. This means that for students who are immunocompromised, the risk of getting infected with the virus is much higher. This only leads to more stress for them as they have to be even more careful in an environment that is not necessarily designed for them in the first place.

●       For those young people who cannot hear or see, it may be impossible to learn anything from online classes. Many people who have hearing problems rely on lip-reading to communicate with others. Not having access to physical classrooms leads to a much more difficult learning experience in such cases. 

The Opportunities

●       The shift to online studies is great for those students who suffer from physical or respiratory disabilities. Navigating college campuses for these students is not an easy feat, so having the ability to go online and participate in classes helps a lot of them in many different ways. This may also alleviate some of the anxiety that they suffer otherwise, as they don’t have to worry about engaging in physical activity. 

●       The learning experience for students with hearing disabilities can be improved by using transcription services that can convert what is being said in an online lecture into text. This kind of technology can help them learn in a better way but that is if the universities incorporate such systems into their teaching. 

●       Students who require a more assisted approach to their learning can be supported in a more involved way through online teaching. Often, such people feel excluded in group classes, so the online system can help them engage in one-on-one meetings with their teachers and receive the support they need.


There is no doubt that there is a that can be seen in how our educational institutes are designed and how they work. The effects of learning disabilities, or any other kind, are severe on students who have to battle with their situation each day just to get to their classes. This is the base of anxiety for many young people and it has been made stronger for many of them during this pandemic. It is, therefore, the responsibility of our educational institutes to ensure that all of their disabled students get the support that they require in order to get the most out of their studies, even in these difficult times.

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