Mapping the Challenges in Distance Learning for Students with Disabilities during Covid-19 Pandemic: Survey of Special Education Teachers

Mahardika Supratiwi, Munawir Yusuf, Fadjri Kirana Anggarani


The rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus has had an impact on various aspects of life, such as the economy, education, and socialisation. One of the social distancing policies in the field of education is the application of distance learning at the preschool, primary school, secondary school, special school, and college education levels. Its implementation has led to challenges for teachers, students, and parents, especially students with disabilities (SWD). The purpose of this study is to identify the challenges faced by the special education teachers (SETs) who have been providing distance learning for children with special needs during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study was conducted using a survey method by distributing questionnaires via Google Forms to 226 SETs in Indonesia. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics. The results show that most of the SETs (66%) stated that they had faced barriers to distance learning that came from parents, students, and other teachers, as well as technical barriers. According to the SETs’ perceptions, some of the barriers that came from parents included lack of coordination and communication, limited use of mobile phones, and limited time for parents to accompany the students. The barriers coming from students were boredom and their lack of abilities. Furthermore, the barriers from the SETs themselves included difficulties in adapting material to online learning, difficulties in monitoring and evaluating student progress, and the lack of direction and coordination from schools. Other technical barriers were the frequent blackouts and insufficient internet signal.



Challenges; Covid-19 Pandemic; Distance Learning; Special Education Teachers; Student with Disabilities

Full Text:



Al-Dababneh, K. A. (2018). Barriers preventing parental involvement in mainstream education of children with specific learning disabilities: parent perspectives. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 33(5), 615– 630.

Arnani, M. (2020). Kasus Pertama Virus Corona di China Dilacak hingga 17 November 2019 [First Case of Corona Virus in China Traced to 17 November 2019]. dilacak-hingga-17-november-2019?page=all.

Borup, J. (2016). Teacher perceptions of parent engagement at a cyber high school. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 48(2), 67–83.

Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities. (2016). Equity matters: Digital & online learning for students with disabilities. content/uploads/2017/04/ExecutiveSummary.pdf.

Currie-Rubin, R. (2019). Understanding the Roles of Families in Virtual Learning. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(5), 117–126.

de la Varre, C., Irvin, M. J., Jordan, A. W., Hannum, W. H., & Farmer, T. W. (2014). Reasons for student dropout in an online course in a rural K–12 setting. Distance Education, 35(3), 324–344.

Dhawan, S. (2020). Online Learning: A Panacea in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 49(1), 5–22.

Duraku, Z. H., & Hoxha, L. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on education and on the well-being of teachers, parents, and students : Challenges related to remote (online) learning and opportunities for advancing the quality of education. ResearchGate, April, 1–27.

Grolnick, W. S., Raftery-Helmer, J. N., Flamm, E. S., Marbell, K. N., & Cardemil, E. V. (2015). Parental Provision of Academic Structure and the Transition to Middle School. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 25(4), 668– 684.

Hoover, K. V, Walker, J. M. T., Sandler, H. M., Whetsel, D., Green, C. L., Wilkins, A. S., Closson, K., & Hoover- dempsey, K. V. (2014). Why Do Parents Become Involved? Research Findings and Implications. The Elementary Schools Journal, 106(2), 105–130.

Kemdikbud, P. web. (2020). Mendikbud Terbitkan SE tentang Pelaksanaan Pendidikan dalam Masa Darurat Covid-19 [Minister of Education and Culture Issues a Circular Letter on the Implementation of Education in a Covid-19 Emergency]. tentang-pelaksanaan-pendidikan-dalam-masa-darurat-covid19.

König, J., Jäger-Biela, D. J., & Glutsch, N. (2020). Adapting to online teaching during COVID-19 school closure: teacher education and teacher competence effects among early career teachers in Germany. European Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4), 608–622.

Lewis, L. L., Kim, Y. A., & Ashby Bey, J. (2011). Teaching practices and strategies to involve inner-city parents at home and in the school. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 221–234.

Napitupulu, R. M. (2020). Dampak pandemi Covid-19 terhadap kepuasan pembelajaran jarak jauh [The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on distance learning satisfaction]. Jurnal Inovasi Teknologi Pendidikan, 7(1), 23–33.

Parkes, M., Stein, S., & Reading, C. (2015). Student preparedness for university e-learning environments. Internet and Higher Education, 25, 1–10.

Putri, R. S., Purwanto, A., Pramono, R., Asbari, M., Wijayanti, L. M., & Hyun, C. C. (2020). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on online home learning: An explorative study of primary schools in Indonesia. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology, 29(5), 4809–4818.

Qian, M., & Jiang, J. (2020). COVID-19 and social distancing. Canadian Journal of Addiction, 11(2), 4–6.

Rahadi, F. (2020). Pembelajaran Daring Beri Tantangan Positif Guru dan Sekolah [Online Learning Provides Positive Challenges for Teachers and Schools]. daring-beri-tantangan-positif-guru-dan-sekolah.

Rice, M. F., & Carter, R. A. (2016). Online teacher work to support self-regulation of learning in students with disabilities at a fully online state virtual school. Online Learning Journal, 20(4), 118–135.

Rogers, M. A., Wiener, J., Marton, I., & Tannock, R. (2009). Parental involvement in children’s learning: Comparing

parents of children with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Journal of School

Psychology, 47(3), 167–185.

Satuan Tugas Penanganan COVID-19. (2020). Peta Sebaran Covid-19. Gugus Tugas Percepatan Penanganan

COVID-19 [Covid-19 Distribution Map. Task Force for the Acceleration of Handling COVID-19].

Singh, V., & Thurman, A. (2019). How Many Ways Can We Define Online Learning? A Systematic Literature Review

of Definitions of Online Learning (1988-2018). American Journal of Distance Education, 33(4), 289–306.

Smith, S., Burdette, P., Cheatham, G., & Harvey, S. (2016). Parental Role and Support for Online Learning of

Students with Disabilities: A Paradigm Shift. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 29(2), 101–112. UNESCO. (2020). COVID-19 impact on education.

Utomo, A. P. (2020, March 2). Indonesia Umumkan Kasus Pertama Virus Corona, Begini Pemberitaan Media


World Health Organization. (2020). WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard.

Young, K. (2008). An alternative model of special education teacher education socialization. Teaching and

Teacher Education, 24(4), 901–914.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Mahardika Supratiwi, Munawir Yusuf, Fadjri Kirana Anggarani

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


International Journal of Pedagogy and Teacher Education

Print ISSN: 2597-7792
Online ISSN: 2549-8525
Published by: Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Sebelas Maret
Ir. Sutami Street, No. 36A, Surakarta, Jawa Tengah Indonesia