The benefits of distance education include being able to choose a school that may be too far away to attend in person, not having to waste time commuting to classes, being able to fit study time into a tight schedule, and being able to self-pace the learning. For people with disabilities, distance education has the advantage of greater accessibility.
Students have more choices in schools, programs and courses with distance learning, since they need not live on or near the school's campus. They can take courses from multiple schools and from the best professors and instructors in a field. Their classmates may come from all over the country or from all over the world, giving students exposure to greater diversity of thought and the opportunity to collaborate on coursework with these other students.
Because there is no commute and no in-class waiting time, there is more time for learning. Listening to a lecture or participating in an online class discussion can fit around a job or childcare schedule. Students can move through course materials quickly or repeat lectures and spend more time on difficult concepts.
Students with limited mobility can access courses easily from home. Assistive devices such as screen readers, Braille keyboards, electronic pointers and speech-recognition programs enable students to participate effectively online. Plus, they have the opportunity to interact without others knowing they are disabled, removing the barrier of stigma against disability.