What is Equal Access?
Because so much of the ADA mandated physical accessibility, we have come to think of accessibility only in terms of wheelchairs navigating curbs and entering buildings. In reality, accessibility spans every area of our lives. For a blind/visually impaired student, it means that books are translated into Braille or are made available in audio format (for a start). It means that someone who is a visual, non-verbal learner, is given opportunity to explore information and maybe even demonstrate what they have learned in a manner not limited to reading written word or writing a paper.
The University of Iowa's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity has defined equal access for their students as the following:
"In other words, equal access to education is achieved when physical and instructional barriers to learning are removed and the student is allowed to compete on the basis of his or her academic abilities alone."
"Assisting Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Instructors"