Universal design and accessibility in the composition classroom

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Brines, Margo
Grouling Snider, Jennifer
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
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This dissertation presents a case study centered on two sessions of an accessibility workshop facilitated at Ball State University for individuals associated with Ball State’s Writing Program. Twenty-one individuals attended the first workshop session, and six individuals attended the second session. The sessions focused on accessibility in relation to syllabi and multimodal assignments in two first-year writing courses: English 103, Rhetoric and Writing, and English 104, Composing Research. Each workshop session featured the same content and format. The study presents analysis of full group discussions in the workshop sessions and discusses the results of a questionnaire distributed to participants asking for their feedback about the workshop. Results of my analyses of disability statements in English 103 and English 104 syllabi are also discussed. Interviews were facilitated before the workshop sessions with three instructors who had taught or were currently teaching English 103 and/or English 104, and interviews were facilitated after the workshop sessions with ten instructors who had taught one or more sections of English 103 and/or English 104. The interviews provided data on instructors’ perceptions of accessibility in the composition classroom. Further, aspects of accessibility in multimodal projects that the interviewees assigned in these courses were analyzed. This study offers insights about instructors’ views of accessibility in composition courses. Further, it contributes to the limited area of research within the field of composition about faculty development efforts centered on accessibility.