Inclusion Now 59

Learning in Lockdown

Inclusion Now magazine hears from prominent Young disability rights campaigner, Daniel Jillings, about his experiences of COVID-19 learning.

Young campaigner for Deaf and Disabled people's rights, Daniel Jillings, sat at his home computer, doing his school work remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Overall, I have liked being at home, but it has been hard work sometimes. My school normally sends work for me to complete via an app called Show My Homework and I complete it and send it online. Sometimes the teachers give us links to videos to watch for the lessons, but it has been harder if subtitles are poor quality. There are lots of online things that I can’t enjoy at all, as they aren’t captioned. It’s difficult and frustrating when things don’t have captions.

Since January, I have also had live lessons (on Microsoft Teams). For these, I need to use two screens so I can see what the teacher is sharing, as well as following my BSL interpreters. It can be tiring because I am focusing on my laptop all day. The technology is simple for me, but it needs a lot of energy to concentrate, especially if there are a few live lessons on the same day.

My Teachers of the Deaf have regular video conversations with me to ensure that I understand the work and to go through some topics, which is really helpful for me. I do prefer staying at home, as I have more free time and it’s easier for me to focus on work and get it done quickly. Overall, learning at home has been good for me, as I have people in school who make sure things are ok for me. I am worrying about returning to school mainly due to the face masks being used all day and the safety of school is one of the main concerns for me. Even with the support I have, it will be difficult to communicate with the other people with masks and things like that.

Also, check out Daniel’s recent blog and video on returning to school with face masks