Useful Teaching Techniques

Below you will find examples of teaching techniques in the classroom, laboratory, examinations, and fieldwork that benefit all students, but are especially useful for students who have disabilities.


  • Select course materials early so that students and the campus disabled student services office staff have enough time to translate them to audiotape, braille, and large print.
  • Make syllabi, short assignment sheets, and reading lists available in electronic format (e.g., CD, email, online).
  • Design course web pages to be accessible to students with disabilities. For further information , refer to
  • Face the class when speaking. Repeat discussion questions.
  • Write key phrases and lecture outlines on the blackboard or overhead projector.
  • Allow a few seconds of silence after introducing a new concept so students can process what you have said.
  • Post PowerPoints on Blackboard before the class period so students can print and write notes during the lecture.
  • Post a grading rubric for projects and large assignments so students know exactly what is expected.


  • Take the student on a tour of the lab she or he will be working in. Discuss safety concerns.
  • Assign group lab projects in which all students contribute according to their abilities.
  • Arrange lab equipment so that it is accessible to and visible by everyone.
  • Give oral and written lab instructions.

Examination and Fieldwork

  • Ensure that exams test the essential skills or knowledge needed for the course or field of study.
  • Some students will require extra time to transcribe or process test questions. Follow campus policies regarding extra time on examinations.
  • Consider allowing students to turn in exams via email or CD.
  • Attempt to include student in fieldwork opportunities, rather than automatically suggesting non-fieldwork alternatives. Ask students how they might be able to do specific aspects of fieldwork.
  • Include special needs in requests for field trip vehicle reservations.


  • The videos, Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities, Building the Team: Faculty, Staff, and Students Working Together and Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction may be freely viewed online at, or purchased in DVD format.

Additional Resources for Course Planning