Day 21 Access for All

Access and Accomodations

I teach a variety of online courses including Developmental Writing English 0492 (4 credit hours) and Developmental Reading English 0482 (4 credit hours). Both of these courses require a placement test and are designed to assist students in preparing for college level writing and reading by further developing critical thinking skills.  Each course may require the use of academic support services like our College of DuPage Center for Access and Accommodations.  Faculty are e-mailed a list of students with disabilities that are currently registered in courses we are teaching.  Students registered with the CAA can present their teachers with a blue card identifying that they qualify for accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to our COD website:

College of DuPage is committed to equality of educational opportunities for eligible students with disabilities. If you have the ability to do college-level work and an educational commitment to succeed, we ensure access, provide accommodations and coordinate support services.
All students requesting accommodations need to self-identify with the Center for Access and Accommodations and provide appropriate documentation of their disability. Documentation may include a diagnosis of disability, academic history, intellectual assessment and recommendations for accommodations. Referrals can be made to outside agencies if students do not have documentation but feel that they might have a disability.
Once students contact the office, individual appointments are made to assess needs, explain services and give guidance through the COD process. Any information provided by students is voluntary and confidential.
It is best if students contact the office before classes begin for a smoother transition to College of DuPage. Services are available at both on- and off-campus locations.

Services Available:

  • Center for Access and Accommodations ID Card
  • Note-taking paper
  • Testing accommodations
  • Reading pen
  • Large computer monitors
  • Mobility assistance
  • Preferential seating
  • Sign language interpreters
  • FM system
  • TTY
  • Assistive technology (Zoomtext and JAWS/remote captioning)
  • Large print/Braille available to students
  • Short-term, barrier-free parking
  • Wheelchairs, both manual and electric, for short-term, on-campus use

Teaching developmental college courses online has a variety of benefits. According to, in addition to the convenience, online learning offers students with disabilities benefits in terms of flexibility that may not be as readily available in a F2F delivery format. Online courses are increasingly developed with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) standards. This means the information for the course will be presented in multiple ways. In an online class, for example, a reading assignment may already be available in regular text (e.g., as a .pdf file) and as an audio file (e.g., MP3). This automatically gives all students the flexibility of reading or hearing the information, saving it for use with assistive learning software like ZoomText, reviewing the file as often as needed, and converting it into study notes. Generally, online courses are much less dependent on lectures than F2F classes and increasingly involve more interaction with media like visuals, graphics, and closed-captioned videos.

Similarly, online students often have the flexibility to be engaged in the course, to express themselves, and to interact with classmates and/or the professor using a variety of means. For instance, if it is more feasible for students to reply to their professor or classmates with an audio file than a typed response, this is usually possible in an online course.

I find students are the most expressive to one another in a Discussion Board forum.  I’ve included a Discussion Board prompt that gets the conversation rolling in my English 0482 Developmental Reading online course every semester.

DB Prompt: In Unit 1 the definition of active reading is explained. Active reading involves taking responsibility and using available resources and techniques to improve and increase your understanding of a reading. Active reading also involves using reading strategies before, during and after reading. Do you consider yourself an active reader? Why or why not? What are the qualities needed for an individual to successful in college? Choose three qualities (behaviors, techniques or attitudes) that characterize a successful student. Discuss with your online classmates.

Student post:

I consider myself somewhat of an active reader.  I do love to highlight things I think are important but it is hard for me get and stay interested in what I read sometimes because I feel stupid. I don’t wanna feel that way. ever.  So i Google words that i need or want further meaning to.  I try to read things that spark my interest so i stay involved but i know life will not only throw books at me that i like.  I hope this class helps me learn the tools i will need to help me read things that might not peek my interest so I can learn more in life.

Student post:

Hello  my name is Ann, I want to talk about Active reader. I do think as myself a active reader. I be live in  taking notes while I read, I number the notes and with a sticky tab I number that and place it on the page from that note, so that helps me remember where that note came from and what it is about, I can also reread that page if I needed to. I did this in high school and tried hard. I do think I take good note sometimes. If you have a good attitude for anything you do, that will help you do what you are doing. maybe read a book, I like to put myself in the book as if I was there, or just image what it would be like to live in that time or place if the book is telling a story of the past, or any time or any world,  it will make it more fun to read. I like to try to set a time to do work for class, its hard for some people, I work 8 to 10 hour days, I have a family, I need to do  house work and cook for everyone, but if you have a good behavior and a good attitude for school and learn how to take notes and ask for help,  you should  pass your classes and have fun at the same time. I take this class online because I can’t come to campus. It helps.



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