Creating inclusive academic environments is a shared responsibility. Leadership, faculty, staff, and students all have a role to play in ensuring that students with permanent, temporary, or episodic disabilities have equitable opportunities to learn and participate in campus life, both in-person and online. We need to foster inclusive, equity-centred learning environments that celebrate, recognize, adapt to, and accommodate diverse learning needs.

As a community, we are committed to providing students with opportunities to develop and sustain self-reliance and tap into their strengths. Ensuring that the built environment, learning materials, and educational approaches are designed for universal access benefits everyone. Post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia value students with disabilities as integral contributors to accessibility and partners in learning.

This guide provides:

  • An overview of Nova Scotia’s accessibility laws
  • An overview of disability and accessibility
  • A short introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with links to additional resources
  • Strategies for teaching students with disabilities and/or who face barriers
  • A review of our roles and responsibilities as members of campus communities

In addition to text, there are embedded links to engaging learning assets, including:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Checklists and downloads

Here are two translated documents to support an adoption of this work in French:

The guide and learning assets are offered as touchstones, not a set of prescriptive steps you must follow. The materials aim to inspire and invite you to learn more and take action to create accessible learning environments. You don’t need to change everything at once! You’ll try some things, learn from them, and continue to integrate different approaches. A few iterative, meaningful changes can make a big difference.

Please use this material to learn, adapt, and grow your professional practice. Share it with colleagues and work together to make Nova Scotia campuses inclusive for all community members.


The NS Post-Secondary Accessibility Working Group gratefully acknowledges the faculty, staff, and students who contributed their time, energy, and expertise to the creation of this guide.

The NS Post-Secondary Accessibility Working Group recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Accessibility Directorate to develop these resources for Nova Scotia’s post-secondary sector.

This work advances commitments in Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Accessibility Framework.

This document is also available on the Atlantic OER site.

Accessibility features of the Web version of this resource

  • All images and infographics have Alternative (alt) Text.
  • All videos have closed captions and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. Thank you to the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) for filming and coordinating ASL interpretation and hosting the videos.
  • WC3 web standards have been applied.

Committee members include:

  • James Sanford and Marissa McIsaac, Acadia University
  • Terri Slaunwhite, Brenda Munro, and Michelle Robichaud, Atlantic School of Theology
  • Jacqueline Côté, Cape Breton University
  • Michelle Mahoney and Quenta Adams, Dalhousie University
  • Sarah Bond and Julie Fillmore, Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Amy Middleton, NS Accessibility Directorate
  • Bill Travis and Charisma Grace Walker, NSCAD University
  • Cindy Cook, Nova Scotia Community College
  • Rohini Bannerjee, Saint Mary’s University
  • Kerri Arthurs, St. Francis Xavier University
  • Eric Tufts, Université Sainte-Anne
  • Ian Wagschal and Rhema Ferguson, University of Kings College

Illustrations by:

  • Persona images in unit 5 by Bea van Leeuwen are shared under a CC BY license.

OER – Free to Use and Share
Accessible Teaching and Learning is an open educational resource (OER) published under a CC BY license.  You can use, share, revise, remix or print this resource as long as you give credit to the creators and include a link to the CC-BY license terms in e-versions.

Accessible Teaching and Learning reproduces content from other resources – some with different Creative Commons (CC) license types. Please check the license terms for content when creating adaptations of this edition.



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Accessible Teaching and Learning Copyright © by Nova Scotia Post-Secondary Accessibility Working Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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