Online Learning and Students with Disabilities: Parent Perspectives

Paula J. Burdette
National Association of State Directors of Special Education

Diana L. Greer
Center for Research on Learning, University of Kansas


While research has been conducted on parental involvement in K-12 online learning, none of this research relates specifically to the parents of students with disabilities. Thus, researchers developed a survey around the following constructs: parental roles, instruction and assessment, communication and support from the school, and parental challenges. Researchers then distributed the survey to parents who had a child with a disability enrolled in an online setting. This article describes the survey findings based on 119 qualified responses from across the United States. In general, parents were pleased with the outcomes that their children were experiencing in online learning, but some issues still exist for educating students with disabilities within this environment.

About the Author(s)...

Paula J. Burdette is a senior policy analyst for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. She has written more than 60 policy analyses on various IDEA-related topics and conducted nationwide surveys with students, parents, teachers, and administrators regarding current trends in online learning for students with disabilities. She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Diana L. Greer is an assistant research professor in the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas and the Project Director of the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities. Greer’s Ph.D. is in special education with an emphasis in online learning.

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