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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

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.

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


  • Students with disabilities, chronic or mental illness.

    16% of all students at German universities

    25.4% of all students at Bielefeld University

    65% of those affected study with a mental illness

  • 97% of those affected have a non-visible disability, chronic or mental illness

    92% of those affected have difficulties in organising and carrying out their studies due to their disability

    73% of those affected have experienced discrimination during their studies

    10% of those affected have an officially recognised degree of severe disability.


    • Student survey University of Bielefeld 2023
    • Beeinträchtigt studieren - best3 2023


-> 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.

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