Focusing on digital accessibility in CWRU courses

To the Faculty of Case Western Reserve University:

As the start of another academic year nears, I am eager to see the innovation and insight each of you brings to your courses and research opportunities this fall.

There are myriad opportunities to enhance what we teach our students and how—and this year, we will place increased emphasis on digital accessibility to improve the academic experience for all of our students. Accessibility, often associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ensures that people of all abilities have similar access to information and services. You likely are familiar with some of the measures associated with physical accessibility, such as wheelchair ramps, elevators or Braille on signage.

Recently, Case Western Reserve introduced a digital accessibility policy to govern all digital content and systems at the university—from websites to software purchases to course materials. Our focus on digital accessibility aims to ensure individuals who have disabilities have equal access to the outstanding educational experience each of you helps provide, and aligns with guidance and regulations from the U.S. Department of Education and within the ADA. Most importantly, this focus is critical to our institution’s core values of providing an inclusive environment for all members of our community.

A committee of faculty and staff members began meeting in late spring semester to discuss steps to implement this policy—and the resources needed to do so successfully. This academic year, the core focus will be on how best to implement and plan for these necessary changes. I encourage you to work with the committee and provide your best thinking on how we educate all of our students at the highest level. Email to see how you can get involved. 

Meanwhile, you can start learning more about digital accessibility at Case Western Reserve by visiting, find specific resources dedicated to course materials provided by University Technology’s Teaching and Learning Technologies team, or even enroll in their introduction to accessibility Canvas course.

I wish you all an invigorating, exciting fall semester ahead.

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President