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Creating a Culture of Access in Composition Studies

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Composition Studies/Freshman English News Volume 42, Number 2, ISSN 1534-9322


While the teaching profession has long been committed to the goal of accessibility, the movement toward that goal has proved dismally slow and frustratingly uneven. Consider, for instance, the printed articles and books that so many educators publish. They have not, as yet, taken on the professional responsibility of making sure that all such texts--both those aimed at students and those aimed at fellow teachers and scholars--are easily readable: by ensuring that they are in a digital form accessible by screen readers, by offering aural forms of such texts, or by providing large-print versions of such texts. In addition, conferences and classrooms are too often designed for nondisabled users. The authors describe the Computers and Composition Digital Press (CCDP), which has adopted an accessibility policy that articulates the goal of making projects available to users who have a wide range of needs and preferences for accessing communicative modalities (visual, aural, alphabetic). The authors also discuss the Composing Access Project, which is co-sponsored by the Committee on Disability Issues in College Composition and the CCDP, and is a collection of resources for creating more accessible conferences. Disability scholars have long advocated for more equitable conditions at conferences in the field. Furthermore, the resources address the creation of user-friendly social spaces that can be made more accessible with interaction badges and quiet rooms. Composing Access is expansive in its view of access, envisioning conference organizers, presenters, and attendees, the entire conference and professional community, as responsible for creating a culture of access that transforms the work of those in the profession.


Brewer, E., Selfe, C.L. & Yergeau, M. (2014). Creating a Culture of Access in Composition Studies. Composition Studies/Freshman English News, 42(2), 151-154. Retrieved July 6, 2022 from .

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