Inclusion, accessibility, & accommodation


The idea that students are "digital natives" does not mean they are prepared for online learning. Students may need support as they join you in hybrid or online classrooms. It is important to acknowledge the effects of the broader social climate and physical environment on students’ personal lives and education. Hybrid and online learning settings add additional challenges to our lives. Students’ current environments may not be optimal for learning. What you need to know and how to get started creating an inclusive hybrid or online classroom.

Inclusive learning environments are ones in which students feel that their contributions and perspectives are equally valued and respected. Learn more about creating an inclusive classroom climate, setting expectations & connecting with your studentsteaching inclusively, & more.

Accessibility & Accommodation

As always, whether a course is taught in person or online, course materials should be accessible to all students. Student Disability Services works closely with faculty to support students who may need specific accommodations (e.g., support to complete classwork or additional time for examinations). In addition, for online instruction, Cornell offers an array of services to support faculty. The university has introduced additional resources such as Ally, a platform that enables instructors to quickly discover any accessibility issues. Also, the Center for Teaching Innovation can consult on ways to use specific tools (captioning video recordings, providing alternate text for images, and more) to facilitate accessibility in an online learning environment. Further, the library can help identify teaching materials that are already fully accessible and, in many cases, the judicious choice of such materials greatly alleviates accessibility issues.

Accessibility ensures that all students can equally access, use, and understand learning content. New accommodation needs may arise in hybrid and online learning environments. Moreover, making course content accessible to all students in these scenarios requires some adjustments in relation to face-to-face settings.

Get started with Accessibility & Accommodation