Inclusive Teaching and Accessibility

Inclusive Teaching is Excellent Teaching. Ensuring that your students feel they are respected, heard, and belong in your class is the best way to facilitate learning and participation.

Please download this accessible syllabus template and/or the online course accessible syllabus template in order to have an inclusive syllabus. This syllabus meets formatting and screen reader accessibility standards and includes necessary Robert H. Smith and UMD policy language.

For more information on accessibility and to inquire about faculty training, visit The Division of Information Technology.

UMD's Accessibility Resources

UMCP’s Accessibility and Disability Services Office is an excellent resources for faculty and students alike to access information about testing/course accommodations. As a faculty member, it is our responsibility to be well prepared and aware of these services in order to support students who require accommodations and ensure they can succeed. If you have any questions about accommodations or the accommodations process, please contact the ADS front desk at 301-314-7682 or email adsfrontdesk@umd.edu.

  • Keep student privacy as a top priority when dealing with accommodation requirements
    • Never address it with a student during class-time
    • Ask questions directly to the student not to friends or group-members
    • Never share accommodation letters with others
  • How to Access a Student's Accommodation Letter
  • Remind students on canvas, in your syllabus, and during the semester to bring their ADS form to you in order to sign it and prepare any assignment adjustments. In order to facilitate those adjustments at the testing office:
    • Utilize the ADS Online Instructor Portal
    • Confirm student test/exam requests (i.e., date and time)
    • Complete the required Test Authorization Form (TAF) on the portal to provide instructions for administering the test/exam
    • Upload a copy of your upcoming test, exam, or quiz
    • Email adsfrontdesk@umd.edu with any questions (as early as possible in the semester!) For all final exam and other test-related questions, email adstest@umd.edu.

Inclusive Instruction

Some of the best pedagogical practices are inherently inclusive, for example facilitating group work and warm-calling.

Inclusive Course Design

Applying the principles of UDL (Universal Design for Learning) to your course design is a great way to ensure that you are creating an inclusive learning experience.

Engaging International Students

Excellent teaching for international students is just excellent teaching. When teaching multicultural classes: make the implicit explicit, clarify expectations, and be transparent in your instruction. This addresses common challenges and supports better learning for international students (and domestic students too!) Remember that small things make a big difference e.g. even adjusting a rubric to allow points for bringing written assignments to UMD’s writing center.

Accessible Documents

Ensuring all of your teaching resources are accessible to all students is an important and necessary part of teaching in modern higher education. Accessible resources optimize learning and access for all students and particularly ensures that students with accessibility and disability accommodations are included and catered for in your instruction.

File Downloads

Download some of the following accessible templates to update your course materials or presentations.