Online classes may leave, eliminating their accessibility

Online+classes+provided+accommodations+that+are+not+available+in+an+in-person+environment.

Courtesy of Freepik

Online classes provided accommodations that are not available in an in-person environment.

by Eugenie Budnik, Staff Writer

After two years of the pandemic, most classes are returning to in-person instruction, and on campus resources are mostly going back to pre-pandemic conditions. But, for San Diego State Open University student Charlotte Iradjpanah, her life will remain COVID-19 cautious. 

Iradjpanah is 47 years old, is an SDSU alumni and has a disability which requires her to receive services and accommodations. 

For Iradjpanah, being able to take classes from the comfort of her own home has been a “godsend,” she said.

“The comfort of a heated chair, quiet atmosphere and Zoom classes have allowed me the comfort to perform better,” Iradjpanah said.

Being able to complete her classes online also means Iradjpanah has been able to continue taking care of her mother and father, both of whom are also physically limited. 

“I live with both my senior citizen parents, and we are all physically limited in some way. So, we are here to help each other out, and I don’t want to possibly catch something and bring it home to them,” Iradjpanah said. 

Iradjpanah has been able to continue to take online courses for the spring 2022 semester, but the possibility of online classes for the upcoming fall 2022 semester remains unknown. Iradjpanah has received mixed messages from the advisors and administration she has reached out to.

“My counselor doesn’t think that they are going to continue that [offering online classes] for the 22-23 academic year. I am really concerned for those who may have a suppressed immune system or live with those with a suppressed immune system,” Iradjpanah said. 

For Iradjapanah, the option to take online classes could decide whether or not she will be able to continue taking classes at SDSU. 

“For the upcoming academic year that [the absence of online classes] would mean that I am unable to do anything at my alma mater with you guys,” Iradjpanah said. “There are already courses that are going to be offered that I am really interested in to put on my academic resume when I apply to University of San Diego’s masters program.”

The University of San Diego offers many of its masters programs via an online or hybrid format, allowing for flexibility among their graduate student population.

Title II of the American Disabilities Act of 1990 applies specifically to educational institutions to ensure that students with disabilities are able to receive accommodations which make it possible for them to receive an education. Title II also states public entities must operate in a manner that makes them accessible to individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, entities must also adhere to the reasonable accommodations requested by individuals with disabilities.

At SDSU, individuals with a disability must register with the Student Ability Success Center (SASC) in order to receive accommodations. SASC offers academic support, mobility assistance and employment assistance to disabled students who are in need of such services. 

The Student Ability Success Center did not have anyone available to comment on the status of online class accommodations for individuals with disabilities. 

SDSU students who are interested in receiving information about accommodations from the Student Ability Success Center can visit their website here.