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  • Accessibility Services

    Logo der ZAB, bunte Kreise mit Schriftzug Zentrale Anlaufstelle Barrierefrei
    Teaching staff, instructors, lectures in Lecture Hall with live captioning on large monitor
    © ZAB - Bielefeld University

Accessible teaching

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"States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning (...)". (Art. 24, sentence 1 UN CRPD).

Teaching staff, instructors, lectures in Lecture Hall with live captioning on large monitor
© ZAB - Bielefeld University

Accessible teaching enables all students to participate equally and effectively in higher education. This applies not only, but especially to students with disabilities, chronic-psychological or chronic-somatic illness.

The foundation for accessibility in teaching is an informed view of the teaching staff, instructors, lectures: Teaching staff, instructors, lectures who are aware that barriers may exist and who are sensitized to the possible effects of disability and illness can take this into account when planning their teaching.

The impact of disability and illness can be completely different and very specific. For this very reason, a crucial basic requirement of accessible teaching is that lecturers are willing to talk to individual affected persons about individual challenges and possible solutions. Signaling a willingness to talk at the beginning of the semester and pointing out the counseling services is already a good starting point.

It goes without saying that accessibility in teaching also applies to the teaching staff. Teaching staff, instructors, lectures with individual needs can find information on accessibility in the employee portal.

Offers for teaching staff, instructors, lectures

Teaching staff, instructors, lectures arerequired by law to make their digital teaching and learning materials as well as their digital learning spaces accessible. Instructions and information on how to do this are available on the Digital Accessibility portal.

Teaching staff, instructors, lectures can also have the digital accessibility of their courses and teaching materials evaluated by the ZAB during the semester. In addition, the ServiceDesk Barrierefrei is available to teaching staff, instructors, lectures to have documents checked for accessibility.

The ZAB offers training on digital accessibility in the personnel development programme for researchers, instructors, lectures (PEP). Presentations on digital accessibility in courses, impulse lectures and awareness-raising events are also part of the ZAB's training portfolio. Faculties can contact the ZAB directly to request training events.

Checklists are available to help with the organization of accessible symposia and conferences, both digital and face-to-face. They guide organizers briefly and concisely through all the important aspects of accessible events outside of regular teaching.

It is advisable to inform students at the beginning of the semester about the advisory services offered by Bielefeld University. Teaching staff, instructors, lectures can use a prepared slide for their presentations. There, contact points of the university for students with individual needs are listed.

An overview of accessible Lecture Halls and seminar rooms is available in the Campus Life section.



-> Field report Anika - hearing impairment

-> Video interviews - Studying, working and teaching with disabilities

People with disabilities, chronic or mental illnesses describe how they deal with their disabilities and the individual solutions in studying, teaching or working.

In addition, you can find videos about the equipment of the workrooms of the ZAB.

-> What is digital accessibility?

The video briefly introduces the question of what is meant by digital accessibility.


For all questions regarding the implementation of barrier-free teaching, employees can contact the ZAB and the representative for students with disabilities or chronic illness.

  • Students with disabilities, chronic or mental illness.

    11% of all students at German universities

    18% of all students at Bielefeld University

  • 96% of those affected have a non-visible disability, chronic or mental illness

    89% of those affected have difficulties in organizing and carrying out their studies due to their disability

    9% of those affected have an officially recognized degree of severe disability.


    • Student survey Uni Bielefeld WiSe 18/19
    • study impaired - best2 2016/17

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