Mindful Online Course Design: A Universal Design Approach to Support Students with Cognitive and Emotional Challenges

Handouts Media

Presented at 11:15am in Virtual B on Thursday, November 19, 2020.



  • CAREY HAMBURG, Senior Instructional Designer, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Interactive/Discussion
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


The majority of our University student accommodations are for cognitive, emotional, and learning disorders, yet these are issues that we have neglected when helping faculty design and deliver online courses. This workshop will discuss our efforts to bridge that gap and broaden accessibility, while still keeping within a Universal Design framework.


According to our Office of Disability services, approximately 80% of our University requests for student accommodations are for such conditions as anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyslexia, and cognitive processing challenges. Unfortunately, these are issues that we rarely discuss when working with our faculty to design and deliver online courses.

This workshop will outline our efforts to expand our support to address these accessibility issues, while still keeping within a Universal Design framework. It will also detail design strategies and demonstrate practical solutions that aim to address those issues and improve the learning experience for all. Participants will be invited to share from their own experiences, discuss the implications for students and instructors, and brainstorm solutions to design challenges. Takeaways will include handouts for the outline, tip sheet, and shared presentation slides (assuming we meet F2F, or digitally if we meet remotely!


  1. Cognitive and emotional challenges are a neglected area of accessibility discussion in online course design.
  2. University online instructors and designers can address these issues with the proper support and training.
  3. The Universal Design framework suggests practical, actionable solutions to support students with these issues.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Psychological

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Faculty Development & Support, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)


Carey Hamburg is a senior instructional designer in the Office of Distance Learning after previously serving as E-Learning Media Specialist.

As a Senior Instructional Designer, he leads projects to improve the functionality of the learning management system, Moodle, and the integration of tools within it. He is responsible to provide timely one-to-one faculty support on challenging hybrid and online course design issues. He excels in supporting positive vendor relations and evaluating project details. Carey also delivers training on EduTools and Moodle related functions.

His background is in Art and Technology Integration. Carey is a graduate of UL Lafayette and completed an Master's in Communication at the University of South Alabama, with a focus in Multimedia Training Development. He has worked in a variety of educational settings as an instructor of both art and technology. Carey enjoys seeing the connections that emerge as educators and students explore the creative and effective possibilities of educational technology.