CWU News

CWU Central Access looks to further expand outreach beyond campus

Central Access has become part of CWU Auxiliary Operations, under the Wildcat Shop.

The nationally recognized program makes a variety of accessible course materials available to service providers for CWU students with disabilities and their peers at universities across the country who also require—and benefit from—such services.

“This reporting move recognizes the opportunity for  to continue to be successful and expand as an enterprise operation to meet the growing needs of students and universities across the country,” said Joseph Pearson, director of Auxiliary Operations.

Central Access is an industry leader and innovator in providing accessible course materials in alternative formats of the highest clarity and quality—for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes, which can be difficult and time-consuming to produce.

Steve Wenger, Wildcat Shop director, added, “This change allows Disability Services to concentrate fully on what it does best—which is to provide needed resources internally within the university specifically. Meanwhile, the Wildcat Shop and Central Access will partner to reach other, and more, universities and entities inside and outside Washington with our products and resources that can also benefit them.”

Among those offered is the innovative Central Access Reader (CAR). Developed at CWU, the free, open source application is designed specifically for students with print-related disabilities. CAR is capable of reading Word documents and pasting text using only computer-installed voice commands. The principal goal is to support independence for all university students in attaining both their educational goals and undying success by providing equal and full access to necessary printed materials.

“We will continue to work with Disability Services to promote Central Access at conferences across the country as a way to increase distribution of what we can offer nationally,” Wenger pointed out.

Central Access also offers opportunities for student employees to learn about producing accessible materials, while growing professionally, and advancing overall community quality.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,