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Disability, Chronic Illness, and Distance Education

Disability, Chronic Illness, and Distance Education
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Author(s): Christopher Newell (University of Tasmania, Australia) and Margaret Debenham (Independent Scholar, UK)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 10
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch092


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Distance education may be seen as both enabling and disabling in its application to, and relationship with, people with disability and chronic illness. Cutting edge work suggests that it can provide a suitable route to support the studies of students with disabilities and those with long-term health problems. However it is important that this should be regarded in terms of providing choice to students rather than requiring those who are identified as having impairment/chronic illness to undertake studies at a distance. Unless well designed and evaluated, as with any technology, DE can also become disabling in its impact (Goggin & Newell, 2003; Newell & Walker, 1992).

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