After two years of the pandemic, most classes are returning to in-person instruction and on-campus resources are mostly returning to pre-pandemic conditions. But, for Charlotte Iradjpanah, a student at San Diego State Open University, her life will remain cautious in the face of COVID-19.
Iradjpanah is 47, an SDSU alumnus, and has a disability that requires her to receive services and housing.
For Iradjpanah, being able to attend classes from the comfort of her own home has been a “godsend”, she said.
“The comfort of a heated chair, the calm atmosphere and the Zoom classes gave me the comfort I needed to perform better,” Iradjpanah said.
Being able to take her classes online also meant that Iradjpanah was able to continue caring for her mother and father, who are both physically limited.
“I live with my two elderly parents and we are all physically limited in one way or another. So, we are here to help each other, and I don’t want to grab something and bring it home to them,” Iradjpanah said.
Iradjpanah was able to continue taking online classes for the spring 2022 semester, but the possibility of online classes for the upcoming fall 2022 semester remains unknown. Iradjpanah received mixed messages from advisers and the administration she contacted.
“My adviser doesn’t think they’re going to continue like this. [offering online classes] for the 22-23 academic year. I am really worried about those who may have weakened immune systems or live with those who have weakened immune systems,” Iradjpanah said.
For Iradjapanah, the option of taking classes online could decide whether or not she can continue taking classes at SDSU.
“For the next academic year which [the absence of online classes] would mean I’m 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’m really interested in putting on my academic resume when I apply to the University of San Diego master’s program.”
The University of San Diego offers many of its master’s degree programs through 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 can benefit from accommodations to enable them to receive an education. Title II also specifies public entities must operate in a manner which makes them accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, entities must also respect reasonable accommodations requested by persons with disabilities.
At SDSU, individuals with disabilities must register with the Student Ability Success Center (SASC) in order to receive accommodations. SASC provides academic support, mobility assistance and employment assistance to students with disabilities who require such services.
The Student Ability Success Center had no one available to comment on the status of online course accommodations for people with disabilities.
SDSU students interested in receiving information about Student Ability Success Center housing can visit their website. here.