Sharing Responsibility for Accessibility

Accessibility is a shared responsibility. Adhering to web accessibility guidelines while developing your course will benefit all students, including those with visual, hearing, mobility, and learning disabilities. 

Instructor Responsibilities

As the subject matter expert, the instructor:

  • designs and develops clear course structure and organization.
  • creates accessible course documents, link here for information can be found on accessible documents
  • uses captioned media, audio/video, where possible. 
  • uses alternative text descriptions for images, graphs, and tables.
  • ensures that software and web applications used in the course are accessible.
  • works with Student Disability Services (SDS) and/or the Center for Teaching Innovation to make course materials accessible. 

Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) Responsibilities


  • provides accessible course design and development consultation.
  • reviews existing and new courses for best practices and quality standards in accessibility.
  • facilitates the captioning process for course video and audio materials.
  • assists with determining which course materials may need to be made accessible.
  • provides recommendations for guides, tools, and information on how to make course materials accessible.
  • provides Canvas Course Template accessibility statement/resources. 

Student Disability Services (SDS) 

As the support service for student accessibility, SDS:

  • determines eligibility for disability services through review of documentation and assessment of individual student needs.
  • disseminates information to instructors regarding reasonable accommodations for students.
  • facilitates academic and environmental accommodations and services.
  • educates the campus community about disability issues.
  • assists Cornell students with disabilities to ensure access to the same opportunities as their peers with the greatest degree of independence possible. 

For more information, please contact: or visit Student Disability Services.