Classroom Barriers

Learn about online and face-to-face classroom barriers rather than focusing on types of disabilities.

Include Accessibility in Processes

Incorporate accessibility considerations and testing into all standard operating processes so you—and the University—can sustain progress and ensure our digital content is accessible to all.

Teaching Resources

The University and faculty senates passed a resolution in 2019 recommending that faculty and instructors systemwide complete accessibility professional development activities. The Digital Accessibility Pedagogy Workgroup compiled the resources below in 2023 to support the resolution.


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Supporting Unit

Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS)

As a system-wide office, Academic Technology Support Services supports the UMN teaching mission in three areas: 

Contact Academic Technology Support Services to: 

Academic Technology Support Services publishes the Teaching with Technology monthly newsletter and the Extra Points blog.

Supporting Unit

Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing

The Bakken Center enriches health and wellbeing by providing interprofessional education, delivering innovative engagement programs, and advancing innovative models of care. 

Offerings include:

  • A public-facing Wellbeing Series 
  • Webinars
  • A variety of mindfulness and other programs
Professional Development, Public Web Page or Site

Canvas: Design an Accessible and Usable Course Site

Learn about good practices for creating course sites that are both usable and accessible to the widest range of students, including organizing content with:

  • A landing page 
  • Module layouts 
  • A limited menu

Time to Complete

10–25 minutes
Supporting Unit

Center for Educational Innovation (CEI)

CEI offers a variety of opportunities to deepen your learning and expand your practices on this topic and others. They include: 

Professional Development

Digital Accessibility Badging Program

The Digital Accessibility Badging Program teaches you how to create emails, slide decks, documents, and more in an accessible way, without using code. 

In each self-paced online workshop delivered via Training Nub and Canvas, you will learn skills and apply them to your everyday work.

Time to Complete

Each course 1–6 hours; full program 16.5 hours

Completion Credentials

Participants can elect to have course completion through their Training Hub learner record or complete an optional project to earn a digital badge. Completion of all 6 courses is not required: participants can elect to complete individual courses that pertain to their teaching/learning context.

Supporting Unit

Disability Resource Centers (DRCs)

The DRCs work with students, faculty/instructors, staff, and guests with disabilities to facilitate access and arrange reasonable accommodations. 

The centers also support University faculty, instructors and administrators to create more accessible and inclusive systems, processes, and learning environments.

Professional Development

ECHO: Equity and Diversity Certificate Hosted Online

ECHO is a program of 10 workshops. 

Participation in each workshop entails engagement in three learning activities: 

  • Reading materials 
  • Watching ​or listening to ​video​/audio​ clips
  • Group ​Discussion participation via Canvas and Zoom 

These activities represent and reflect three ways to learn and grow in equity and diversity work:

  • Intellectual learning
  • Emotional processing
  • Practicing skill 

Time to Complete

3 hours per worshop

Completion Credentials

Certificate is conferred upon completion of all 10 workshops.

Professional Development

Fundamentals of Disability Accommodations and Inclusive Course Design

The following professional development modules are required of faculty and instructors system-wide. Each module takes 20-25 minutes to complete via the Training Hub.

  • Module 1: Understanding Disability and Reasonable Accommodations
  • Module 2: Providing Reasonable Accommodations for Disability 
  • Module 3: Inclusive Course Design
Professional Development

Mental Health Training

Comprising eight, 20-minute learning modules that are available to all UMN employees, the Mental Health Training provides essential skills for supporting the needs of today’s students. The series includes the following modules, which can be completed individually or in sequence. Module 1 is a prerequisite for the others. Visit the Training Hub to register for each module.

  1. Student mental health on your campus - prerequisite module
  2. Making effective referrals
  3. Listening effectively to student mental health concerns
  4. Responding appropriately to student mental health concerns
  5. Situations of student suicidality
  6. The impact of identity and oppression on student mental health
  7. Beyond the individual: Promoting mental health for groups of students
  8. Taking action to promote student mental health: Applied project

Time to Complete

Approximately 20 minutes per module
Supporting Unit

Offices of Equity and Diversity

At the University of Minnesota, equity and diversity are advanced as “everyone’s everyday work” through both system-wide and campus-specific opportunities. 

Sign up for system-wide mailing lists to be notified of upcoming opportunities, and explore parallel resources and opportunities on your home campus:

Professional Development

Online Teaching and Design Program (OTDP)

OTDP is a program of nine asynchronous online modules delivered via Training Hub and Canvas. Each module enables learners to develop appropriate online strategies and technology tools and apply them to their own courses. 

The modules are most fruitful when they relate to an online or blended course the learner can develop or revise using skills learned.

Time to Complete

5 hours per module

Completion Credentials

Participants can elect to have course completion recorded through their Training Hub learner record or complete an optional project to earn a digital badge. Completion of all modules is not required: participants can elect to complete individual modules that pertain to their teaching/learning context.

Professional Development, Public Online Document

Practices to Support Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

Learn about  effective practices that can reduce stress, improve mental health, and reduce the need for accommodations in this online document, the result of a collaboration between the Center for Educational Innovation and the President’s Initiative for Student Mental Health. 

It is organized into relevant policies, quick wins, and longer-term holistic approaches and includes recommendations for department/unit heads. 

Time to Complete

10–15 minutes
Professional Development, Public Web Page or Site

Teaching Resources (Center for Educational Innovation)

Find lists resources, programs, and webinars, including resources that introduce skills to:

  • Design Effective Learning Experiences
  • Create Inclusive Learning Environments
  • Assess Student Learning
  • Reflect on, Evaluate, and Improve Teaching

The programs and webinars provide research-based and practical instructional support for developing accessible and inclusive courses and class sessions in face-to-face, online, and blended modalities.

Time to Complete

15–20 minutes
Professional Development, Public Web Page or Site

Teaching Support

Teaching Support resources and offerings are coordinated by four teaching and learning partners: 

  • Academic Technology Support Services
  • Center for Educational Innovation
  • Disability Resource Center
  • University Libraries

Through the Teaching Support website, faculty can request assistance through college and system campus support and find a monthly events calendar offering webinars, workshops, and self-paced courses. 

Many of the Teaching Support resources and offerings address current University priorities, including creating accessible and inclusive materials and learning environments.

Time to Complete

1 hour
Professional Development, Public Web Page or Site

Wellbeing Enhances Learning (WEL) Model

The WEL Model identifies key goals toward enhancing student wellbeing across six dimensions and supplies a descriptive list of practices that contribute to each goal: 

  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Security
  • Purpose
  • Community
  • Environment 

Each practice is accompanied by three suggested strategies and examples that can be adapted to a particular course. The WEL Model toolkit is a guide to implementing the model. 

Time to Complete

10–25 minutes

Accessible U

What is Digital Accessibility?

Digital Accessibility is achieved when all people can equitably access content on the web or in applications. 

Many of the applications we use to communicate, collaborate, and share enable accessibility, but access for all doesn't happen by default. Everyone who shares content in a digital format must take action to create an equitable experience for all.

Our Call to the U Community: Cultivate Inclusion in Digital Spaces

When we practice digital accessibility, we encourage our community to go beyond accommodating individual people with disabilities. Rather, our goal is to make content accessible to all at the point of creation, and in doing so, demonstrate one of our core values: that all people share equal rights to learn, work, and connect. 

Digital Accessibility Helps Advance the U's Mission

The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.

Board of Regents Policy: Mission Statement (PDF)

Community Agreement

About community agreements

Community agreements have many names: participation guidelines, community expectations, group contract, code of conduct, etc. Regardless of the title, these documents aim to set the tone, address inter-relational dynamics, and establish shared understandings between members of a workgroup. In a learning community, like ours, these points of agreement provide the support needed to deepen our collective engagement and do the hard work.