Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Site-wide links

RIT Ready: Moving Forward Into Fall
Faculty Course Technology Support
Blog » What We Know about Teaching with Universal Design for Learning

Rebecca Johnson--Both the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the Rochester Institute of Technology have a long history of exploring and advancing issues of access and inclusion in a variety of classroom situations. The first two resources, below, ClassAct and Teach2Connect, were developed at NTID and provide a wealth of resources and stories of how individual faculty have addressed access and inclusion in their classes. The third resource below is a primer developed by Marybeth Koon in Teaching and Learning Services that helps you ensure that your digital materials are accessible to all students in your classes. Below that you'll find a resource from Tulane University on how to address accessibility in your syllabus: from tools to strategies.

We will continue to update this page as faculty teams find and develop more resources. For more information on UDL, see the materials on our Access and Inclusion page.


Best Practices for Teaching (ClassACT) in NTID: ClassAct was developed to support instructors and staff who work with deaf and hard of hearing students (Deaf/HH) in mainstreamed academic environments.  The site focuses on teaching challenges and strategies, but you will also find information on communication strategies, support services and the classroom environment. The goal of the ClassAct site is to improve existing teaching practice by providing access to instruction for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in mainstream classes.

NTID Teach2Connect: This site contains information intended to provide instructors with classroom teaching strategies that foster collaborative learning among deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students. Additionally, this site provides valuable resources to assist faculty in finding answers to questions they might have when working with deaf and hard-of-hearing students in and outside of the classroom.

The Online Accessibility Teaching Element from RIT's Teaching and Learning Services provides a high-level overview of what online accessibility is and what it means for learners with disabilities, though many of the practices provided in this resource can benefit all students. Suggested practices in this document reflect the Section 508 Standards as well as the Web Content Accessibility Guildelines (WCAG). This document also features 

  1. Best practices for formatting electronic documents
  2. Best practices for creating or selecting web-based materials for course use
  3. Information from and links to resources provided by RIT's Disability Services Office, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and several national centers and institutions leading the way in universal access and design

Accessible Syllabus--Accessible classroom resources promote student engagement and agency: This digital project from Tulane University teachers and researchers grew out of the article “Teaching is Accommodation: Universally Designing Composition Classrooms and Syllabi” forthcoming in College Composition and Communication.


RIT Disability Services Office: The RIT Disability Services Office is committed to providing equal access to programs, services and physical facilities to students with disabilities. We strive to foster an environment where all students are welcomed, valued and respected. RIT faculty and staff who require work-related accommodations are directed to Human Resources.

CAST: Originally founded as the Center for Applied Special Technology, CAST is a nonprofit education research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning.

National Center on Universal Design for Learning: Founded in 2009, the National UDL Center supports the effective implementation of UDL by connecting stakeholders in the field and providing resources and information about UDL and advocacy, design, implementation, and community.

References from the Accessibility Tool Kit

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., Norman, M. K., & Mayer, R. E. (2010). How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching (1 edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bishop-Clark, C., Dietz-Uhler, B., & Nelson, C. E. (2012). Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Guide to the Process, and How to Develop a Project from Start to Finish. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing.

Boucaud, D. W., Nabel, M., & Eggers, C. H. (2013). Oxford-style debates in a microbiology course for majors: A method for delivering content and engaging critical thinking skills. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education : JMBE, 14(1), 2–11.

Brown, P. C., Roediger, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (1 edition). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press.

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning (3 edition). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Connelly, S. (retrieved 1.10.17). Setting the Terms of Your STEM Multimedia Assignment, retrieved from

Describing & Measuring Undergraduate STEM Teaching Practices. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Hazlett, C. (2013, November 13). Optimal video length for student engagement. Retrieved from

Henderson, C., & Dancy, M. H. (2007). Barriers to the use of research-based instructional strategies: The influence of both individual and situational characteristics. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research3(2), 20102.

Johnson, R. (September 15, 2016). “Connecting Classwork with Workplace Success,” Retrieved from

Weimer, M. (2013, January 23). Six Steps to Making Positive Changes in Your Teaching. Retrieved from

Weinschenk, S. (2011). 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (1 edition). Berkeley, CA: New Riders.

Resources from Centers for Teaching and Learning

Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation

Stanford University Teaching Commons

University of Texas at Austin Faculty Innovation Center

Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching



The Wallace Library
Room A-650
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623



© Copyright Rochester Institute of Technology. All Rights Reserved | Disclaimer | Copyright Infringement