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Education Is Now More Accessible to More Students

photo of group of students

By David Wood

We’re making progress on accessibility for all DCCCD students!

The latest sign of that is our Assistive Technology Server. This computer server gives our colleges the ability to provide assistive software to help students with disabilities access computers and the Internet.

Software will soon be available to help:

  • Blind students
  • Students with low vision
  • Students with color blindness
  • Students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia

One software package, WYNN, is ideal for students learning English as a second language.

The software can readily be made available on any Windows-based networked computer in computer labs, classrooms, libraries and learning labs at your college. The software is limited to computers owned by your DCCCD college.

When I first started working with assistive technology, it was not uncommon for a college to purchase one computer with one screen reader license. The computer would be pushed to each classroom, library and technology lab as the student needed it. This computer on a cart would bounce across campus, and tech support would have to hook up the computer, crossing their fingers that it would work. That was considered progress in those days.

A New Approach to Accessibility

Now, we will be able to accommodate students, including returning veterans, with disabilities through the use of technology on demand as they visit various technology-driven rooms at their college. Gone will be the days of one computer labeled “ADA Computer” with outdated software. We are ushering in a new approach; now the majority of our networked computers will already have the software installed and ready to go.

In addition to the advancements in making assistive software available, DCCCD is working with our instructors. We are providing them with presentations, workshops and accessibility checklists on how to make their online and traditional classroom courses accessible to all.

Internet technology staff members are in the process of installing the software. So, it is not yet available, but it will be soon.

Our goal is to serve our community “near and far,” providing a universally designed course format for both the traditional classroom and the growing online community. Doing so helps us meet the needs of all students interested in a quality education and experience. We look forward to being a part of our students’ success!

David Wood is information technology access coordinator at the R. Jan LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications, part of Dallas County Community College District.