Innovative Pedagogical Approaches to Access and Mental Health

In this guide, seven instructors from the University of Toronto share their original and innovative pedagogical approaches to curriculum design that welcomes students with disabilities and mental health into their classrooms. These innovative approaches are designed to work within the parameters setup by the university (ie: evaluation, duration of semester, the process of disability disclosure and referral, etc.), and provide concrete ideas that effectively address issues of access and mental health.

This resource is intended for course instructors and teaching assistants working across disciplinary fields and who are interested in incorporating pedagogical approaches that address barriers in the classroom faced by students with psychological differences or disabilities. By following the easy “how-to” instructions developed and tested by the contributors in this guide, you will be able to incorporate these innovative teaching methods within your classrooms.

You can address disability and mental health through curriculum design to create a more inclusive learning environment. The approaches highlighted here include innovative approaches to group work, original evaluation and assessment approaches, and an innovative use of technology in the classroom. Access practiced through these approaches ensures that all students benefit from these considered and pedagogically-sound teaching methods.


Kris Kim, Learning Strategist, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Modelling Assignments Early

Sandy Carpenter, PhD Candidate, Department of History, Course Instructor
Lecture Capture

Maïka Sondarjee, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, Teaching Assistant
Playful Teaching: Charades

Charly Bank, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Earth Sciences
Independent Group Work

Alex Motut, PhD Candidate, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Acting WIT Coordinator
Low-stakes Writing

Anne McGuire, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Equity Studies Program
Accessible Pedagogical and Arts-Based Evaluations

Paola Bohórquez, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Acting Coordinator, ELL Program
A Translingual Approach to Assessment Practices


This publication draws on the scholarly work carried out by Fady Shanouda, PhD Candidate, TATP Social Science Coordinator, Laurie Drake, PhD Candidate, TATP Humanities Trainer, Sara Mazrouei, PhD Candidate, TATP Sciences Trainer. Please cite this publication in the following format:

Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation. (2018). Innovative Pedagogical Approaches to Access and Mental Health. Toronto, ON: Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, University of Toronto.