Michigan State University

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Your expertise is wanted!

We welcome your help in curating this bibliography. To suggest additional resources, comments, or insights related to inclusive teaching, please contact the following librarians directly, or fill out this form.

MSU Researcher Highlight

We want to feature MSU research on our website. If that is you or someone else you know, please contact the subject librarian(s) above, and we'll highlight it on our page!

Databases & Terms Searched: 

Main databases consulted to start this list were EBSCOHost, ProQuest Research Libraries, and ERIC using search terms such as "students with disabilities in higher education" and "special needs students in higher education." Other search terms such as "universal design and accessibility" and “inclusive teaching and accessibility in education” were also used to get narrower results.



Addressing accessibility is a fundamental aspect of equitable access and should be included as part of inclusive teaching initiatives. In March 2013, MSU Provost provided Updated Guidance on Accessibility Consideration (PDF) “specifically on the expectations for the use of what we then called eTexts here at Michigan State University.” In February 2019, an update to the expectation was disseminated to access the used of digital content for instruction.

The shift from print to digital text provides the potential to offer greater access to information for a wide range of students who are unable to use traditional printed instructional materials effectively. Students with disabilities, however, might encounter barriers in accessing digital content. Adding accessibility as part of inclusive teaching and ensuring class courses are universally accessible would benefit students regardless of their ability. To address this, a framework called Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is typically used by various institutions. Developed by Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), UDL is defined as “a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.” In short, UDL approach combines form and function to better understand students’ individual learning needs. It also provides a framework to help develop and create classroom culture based on student empowerment regardless of the level at which each student may begin.


Relevant Journals: 

Communication Education 

Communication Teacher 

Disability compliance for higher education 

Higher Education Research & Development

International Journal for Academic Development

International Journal of Disability, Development and Education

Journal of accessibility and design for all (open access) 

Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability (free access up to one year prior this year)

Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services (open access)



Anderson, J., Westwick, J., & Anderson, J. (2016). “More alike than different”: Learning about diversity from people with disabilities. Communication Teacher, 30(3), 159–164. 

Bedrossian, L. (2020). Share methods and practices of Universal Design for Learning with faculty. Disability Compliance for Higher Education, 25(10), 3–3.

Couzens, D., Poed, S., Kataoka, M., Brandon, A., Hartley, J., & Keen, D. (2015). Support for Students with Hidden Disabilities in Universities: A Case Study. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 62(1), 24–41.

Díez, A. M., López, R. G., & Molina, V. M. (2015). Students with disabilities in higher education: A biographical-narrative approach to the role of lecturers. Higher Education Research & Development, 34(1), 147–159.

Gorski, P., & Clark, C. (2002). Multicultural Education and the Digital Divide: Focus on Disability. Multicultural Perspectives, 4(4), 28–36.

Judy, A., & Christina, M. (n.d.). Universal Design for Learning and Digital Accessibility: Compatible Partners or a Conflicted Marriage? Retrieved March 3, 2020, from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2018/9/universal-design-for-learning-and-digital-accessibility-compatible-partners-or-a-conflicted-marriage

Marquis, E., Jung, B., Fudge Schormans, A., Lukmanji, S., Wilton, R., & Baptiste, S. (2016). Developing inclusive educators: Enhancing the accessibility of teaching and learning in higher education. International Journal for Academic Development, 21(4), 337–349.

Papadopoulos, G., Pearson, E., & Green, S. (2011). An Evaluation of Accessibility Simulations as a Means of Supporting Inclusive Practices in E-Learning. 3158–3167.

Toutain, C. (2019). Barriers to Accommodations for Students with Disabilities in Higher Education: A Literature Review. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 32(3), 297–310.

Guthrie, L. E. (Ed.). (2014). Postsecondary students with disabilities: Assessments of federal support and transition assistance. Nova Science Publishers. 
Ebook: http://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=e000xna&AN=667027

Kim, E., & Aquino, K. C. (Eds.). (2017). Disability as diversity in higher education: Policies and practices to enhance student success. Routledge.
Print (library catalog): https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?authtype=ip,guest&custid=s8364774&groupid=main&profilehttp://catalog.lib.msu.edu/record=b12202320~S39a 

Web Sources

Resource for instructors from Vanderbilt University addressing inclusive and accessible higher education classrooms—beyond accommodation—for a range of students with disabilities.

A set of checklists of accessibility questions recommended by MSU Digital Content and Accessibility Team for faculty to ask publishers, or other digital content providers, that faculty are interested in using in your course. For more information on support and training, visit MSU Web Accessibility Help & Resources.

Created by the National Federation of the Blind’s Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access, this resource offers information and guidelines to help colleges to be accessible. 

This resource from University of Washington provides guidelines and recommendations to proactively consider students with disabilities even before an accommodation request is submitted.

This information from Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education provides useful comparisons on accessible and inaccessible technology, ways to maximize inclusion by incorporating approaches for universal design, and potential barriers. 


Contact Info

Library Accessibility Working Group (LAWG)