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Central Access Reader and CAR Check: Engaging Faculty and Students in Document Accessibility

| Proposal No: 1940

Bios & Handouts


  • Wendy Holden, , CWU
  • Marshall Sunnes, Coordinator of Central Access, Central Washington University

Disability Area:            

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

We will be discussing CAR and CAR Check, Central Access's free TTS and accessible document evaluator programs. You can use these tools right away to engage faculty to create their own accessible document (including math)for their class, and still keep a high standard.


The Central Access Reader (CAR) and CAR Check were created by Central Access, Central Washington University’s (CWU) accessible media processing lab, in order to provide the best access to accessible media and help faculty ensure their in-class documents are accessible. For many individuals on campus, CAR is their first introduction to text-to-speech (TTS) technology. As faculty gain an understanding of the capabilities of CAR, their obligation to contribute accurate, accessible materials becomes apparent. Individuals with disabilities benefit from the widespread availability and usage of CAR, as well as from the evolving attitudes about accessibility. CAR Check is a free add-in for Microsoft Word that provides practical feedback on how to make a document accessible. CAR and CAR Check are free resources helping promote the creation of an inclusive campus that celebrates diversity.


  1. Alternative media solutions for class handouts, including math
  2. Faculty outreach
  3. Learn about Central Access's free TTS program that supports math, and the free evaluator add-in for Word

Speaker Bio(s)

Wendy Holden

Wendy Holden is a Disability and Accessibility Consultant, responsible for student accommodations and faculty outreach, at Central Washington University. Holden also oversee Central Access, the accessible media production center on campus. Holden is a passionate advocate, working to eliminate barriers at the university. By educating the campus community about disability as diversity, Holden hopes to make CWU a safe and welcoming environment for students with disabilities. Being involved in the creation of Central Access Reader (CAR) has provided her with many opportunities to talk to people about accessibility, on both the local and national level. She is excited to collaborate with other institutions about ways to best serve students.

Marshall Sunnes

Marshall Sunnes is Coordinator of Central Access, Central Washington University’s (CWU) accessible and fee-for-service alternative media processing lab. Sunnes started working for Central Access as a student, and now works as a full-time employee. Sunnes believes that accessible media can be both high quality and economical. Sunnes has started free software initiatives like the Central Access Reader and CAR Check. These free resources engage anyone to make documents accessible, without a background in disability services or accessibility, and to have access to quality TTS software that can support a variety of needs. He is confident that accessibility can be a collective mission for all.