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Center for Teaching & Learning: Perspectives on Teaching & Learning

Supporting the MCPHS faculty and staff in their commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and learning

Inclusivity as a Teaching Framework

by Reena Lederman Gerard on 2019-12-02T00:00:00-05:00 in Educational Technology | 0 Comments

Before you read any further...

Open the A Taxonomy of Inclusive Design: On Disclosure, Accessibility, and Inclusion link and share what “inclusion” means to you in 3-5 words. This article is the first in a series and the exercise above is intended to open a conversation that explores students' needs and inclusivity in learning based on shared understanding. Recognizing these three concepts and their context is the start of developing an inclusive mindset for your teaching.

Disclosure or Self-Identity

The “What you see is all there is” (WYSIATI) principal (Kahneman, 2011, as cited in Gonzalez & O’Neil, para. 5, 2019) describes the unconscious process of discounting or not examining the unknown. Faculty who are unaware of their students’ difficulties (e.g., homelessness, mental illness, or low vision problems) may fall into a “I can’t see it, so it doesn’t exist” state of mind. The authors argue this can have significant negative effects on their students’ learning, and faculty must work to identify and remove learning barriers for all - this doesn’t mean that students must self-identify. What it means that faculty need to consider the possibilities and address them from a holistic perspective.


This article defines accessible as being available to all. In the classroom, this means that the course design, related materials, and instruction can be easily accessed by anyone.


The authors explain that the definitions of disclosure and accessibility “articulate...that students carry intersecting invisible circumstances”, and that faculty may not be aware, but the concerns cannot be discounted.

Inclusivity is the goal, and Universal Design for Learning principles, or UDL, are the starting place. It provides a framework for improving teaching and curriculum for all.

Gonzalez, L. & O’Neil, K. (2019, November 15). A taxonomy of inclusive design: On disclosure, accessibility, and inclusion. Retrieved from

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