Guidance on Providing Open and Distance Learning for Students with Disabilities during School Closures: Enhancing Inclusive Learning under COVID-19

According to the World Report on Disability, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World
Bank, there are almost 2 billion people with disabilities over the globe, accounting for 37.5% of the world’s population (Inclusive City Maker, 2019). Children with disabilities are particularly at risk of exclusion from education. Especially, due to the COVID-19 response measures, persons with disabilities, including students, face more specific
barriers in carrying out their daily lives and learning. UNESCO (2020) mentioned that those with sensory, physical
or intellectual disability are 2.5 times more likely to have never been to school than their peers without disability
because they face more complex barriers.
Under the above background, this handbook discusses open and distance learning for students with disabilities
during COVID-19, through vivid stories and experiences. Particularly, it describes, through illustrative stories, innovative approaches on how to design learning activities in open and distance learning environments for students
with disabilities. Additionally, this handbook provides guidelines on designing accessible learning materials based
on Universal Design (UD). Finally, it provides guidelines for different stakeholders, including parents, policy makers,
teachers and designers on how to facilitate open and distance learning for students with disabilities.

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