AccessCyberlearning: Advancing Knowledge to Improve the Experiences of Learners with Diverse Characteristics, Including Disabilities, in Online Learning

AccessCyberlearning works with current and future cyberlearning researchers, technology developers, and instructors to

  1. inform their research with what is known about student differences/disabilities.
  2. design innovative learning technologies and teaching strategies that are welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by everyone, including people with disabilities.
  3. ensure that project materials (e.g., websites, videos, curriculum) and activities (e.g., meetings, presentations) are welcoming to, accessible to, and usable by all participants.


AccessCyberlearning builds the capacity of cyberlearning researchers, technology developers, and instructors to fully include students with disabilities.

  • Online Community of Practice
    Stakeholders discuss strategies and share resources for promoting the participation of people with disabilities in online learning and integrating universal design and accessibility topics into courses and activities.
  • Capacity Building Institute and Webinars
    Stakeholders come together to share ideas and expertise regarding how to create more accessible, usable, and welcoming online learning experiences for everyone, including those with disabilities.


AccessCyberlearning shares resources.

  • Searchable Knowledge Base of questions and answers, case studies, and promising practices
  • Guidelines for making cyberlearning instruction and technologies welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities
  • Proceedings of a capacity building institute where stakeholders explored issues related to disability and cyberlearning

Impact of Our Work

AccessCyberlearning outcomes benefit society by

  • Increasing the participation of people with disabilities in online learning
  • Incorporating universal design principles into online curricula to make it effective to the broadest audience
  • Building on existing associations and networks and creating durable relationships among stakeholders that enhance the infrastructure for research and education 

"About 5.4 million students, or one in four, took at least one distance education course during the fall of 2012.” Source: National Center for Education Statistics


University of Washington
Sheryl Burgstahler, DO-IT Center, PI and Director
Lyla Crawford, Project Coordinator


AccessCyberlearning works with cyberlearning researchers, technology developers, and instructors to promote more inclusive online learning practices through the application of universal design principles and strategies. Project participants represent a diverse set of organizations that have secured Cyberlearning grants from the National Science Foundation(NSF) or are engaged in projects with similar goals. Individuals with disabilities inform all aspects of the project.


AccessCyberlearning is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program of the Division of Information & Intelligent Systems (Grant #1550477). The contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the NSF, and you should not assume their endorsement.