A Qualitative Analysis of Remote Learning Benefits and Barriers Among Students with Disabilities

Handouts Media

Presented at 10:30am in Plaza Court 3 on Friday, November 19, 2021.



  • Rebecca Mushtare, Associate Professor, State University of New York at Oswego
  • Amy Fisk, Assistant Dean for Accessibility, State University of New York at Geneseo

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Interactive/Discussion
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


This session will share stories and findings from interviews conducted with self-identified SUNY students with disabilities about the benefits and barriers experienced as remote learners during the pandemic. Discussion will center on pedagogical strategies and policies for inclusive and accessible campus communities.


During fall 2020 we conducted 40 interviews (both synchronous and asynchronous) with SUNY Oswego and SUNY Geneseo students registered with the Accessibility Resources at their institution about their academic experiences during the pandemic. Our interviews included discussions of accessibility, accommodations, experience with online learning, barriers they faced when learning from home, how included or excluded they felt in their classes, and what teaching and learning strategies have been employed to be successful. During this session we will share some of our qualitative and quantitative findings with a focus on student narratives which illustrate the need for inclusive and accessible pedagogy and campus-wide policies. Participants are invited to engage in conversations and share valuable resources that center on pedagogical strategies and policies to support the success of all students in both in-person and virtual learning spaces.


  1. Students experienced both barriers and benefits from remote learning.
  2. Student narratives illustrate the need for inclusive and accessible pedagogy.
  3. Including student experiences in campus-wide policy discussions will reduce barriers and improve access.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Faculty Development & Support, Research, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Rebecca Mushtare

Rebecca Mushtare is an Associate Professor of interaction design in the Department of Art and Design and the Associate Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at SUNY Oswego. Mushtare’s research and publications focus on accessibility, design education, civic engagement, and community-based learning. Mushtare co-hosts the Tea for Teaching podcast with John Kane.

Amy Fisk

Amy Fisk is the Assistant Dean for Accessibility at SUNY Geneseo, overseeing support services for students with disabilities and working with key campus stakeholders to promote an equitable, inclusive campus environment. Her primary research interests are in the area of postsecondary education transition for students with disabilities, and the practice of non-traditional school psychology.


Qualitative Analysis of Remote Learning Slide Deck (powerpoint) Qualitative Analysis of Remote Learning Handout (PDF)