Accessible Teaching and Learning

Accessibility is part of inclusive teaching and learning and is supported through accessible course design, accessible assessment and activity considerations, accessible document creation and resource sharing, and awareness of disability in higher education.  The Centre for Pedagogical Innovation can support accessible pedagogy needs and questions. Contact us at

This page provides information on some aspects of accessibility to consider in course and assessment design and also provides links to resources for more information.

Accessible Course Design and Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles to support inclusive and accessible course design. The guidelines as created through research done by CAST focus on three principles:

  • Multiple Means of Engagement
  • Multiple Means of Representation
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Each principle and guideline can support inclusive and accessible choices in course, assessment, activity, and resource design and creation. UDL can be applied contextually to different disciplines and course modality, to give meaningful and authentic opportunities for learners to share their knowledge, skills, and experience. The Educational Developers at CPI can support contextual design for courses using UDL. Please contact us at for more information and to book a consultation.

Universal Design for Learning Community of Practice

Applied Disability Studies (ADS) and CPI are happy to announce the creation of a community of practice for instructors, teaching assistants, and students focusing on Universal Design for Learning (UDL). If you are interested in joining the UDL CoP please contact us at

Accessible Classroom Resources

Strategies for creating Accessible Classroom Resources are documented at Creating Accessible Classroom Resources

When using videos for your teaching, ensure they have captions and transcripts.

Resources And More Reading About Accessibility

Why Is Accessibility Important?

Brock is committed to accessibility and inclusion and this commitment is highlighted in our Academic Plan. All five priority areas in the academic plan, support more inclusive and accessible teaching and learning, and thinking about UDL, accessible assessment design, and accessible resource creation are some ways to support the Academic Plan action areas.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is law in Ontario, and establish specific requirements for all Ontario organizations, including universities. As an inclusive university, we want to do what’s right, not just because we have to comply with legislation. Just as we are removing barriers to our facilities and infrastructure on campus, we are moving toward making teaching and learning more accessible. Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, Section 16 of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation of the AODA requires that educational institutions provide educators with accessibility awareness training related to accessible program or course delivery and instruction.

Having more accessibility in courses and in educational spaces increases about accessibility not only at Brock but throughout different communities. Awareness about disability, is an important aspect of building inclusive, trauma-informed and caring spaces.

As a society and within our organizations, we are shifting paradigms – moving away from focusing on an individual’s limitations or deficits (“the medical model” of disability), to think more about a social and human rights based model of disability.

This means proactively removing barriers to groups of people created by inaccessible design of courses, services or facilities. Accessibility means that we take reasonable efforts to provide our teaching and learning in a way that respects the dignity, promotes equity, and supports independence and authentic connection.

Flexible course design is important in order to create an accessible teaching and learning environment for a diversity of learners.

“We must meet the students where they are and bring them to where we want them to be. My use of a variety of simulations and teaching styles allows for greater accessibility by each of my students who indeed have a variety of learning styles.”

– Professor Marilyn Cottrell

“I find it very helpful to print out course materials before class, because I have a difficulty writing quickly, and rather than struggling to write everything down, I can focus my energy and attention on the class. All students can benefit from this practice.”

– Natasha Southwell, 3rd year

“The burden of adaptation should be first placed on curricula, not the learner”