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Basic Course Forum: Adaptation


It is well-documented that the basic course is the front porch of the communication discipline (Beebe, 2013). Regularly part of general education, the basic course introduces students who may never experience another communication course to communication-based content. Because of the prominence of the basic course in general education, the scope of participating students is vast in terms of motivation and ability. This varied population may present several challenges for basic course instructors. One oft-forgotten issue, or an afterthought in course design, is the development and implementation of accessible basic course delivery and materials for students with disabilities. We believe it is necessary that basic course administrators and instructors recognize challenges faced by students with disabilities. Using both universal design principles and computer mediated access strategies, instructors can develop and implement a classroom climate that engages students across the spectrum of academic abilities. This is especially important in light of the increasing enrollment of students with disabilities.