Why Universal Design?

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a process by which instructors design their course content to be accessible to all students. Although many people think that making content more accessible only helps people with disabilities access it, in reality, it will improve learning for all students in your class. By making course content able to be understood by people with difficulties with learning, you make it much easier for people without such difficulties to understand the content. Similarly, by following guidelines for contrast and text size which make it possible for people with limited vision to read handouts, you can help people with normal vision read the handouts more quickly. UDL is also about giving students multiple pathways for learning the course content, allowing them to “choose their own adventure” and learn the content in a manner that’s best for them.

Watch this short video for a quick introduction to the basic tenets of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

The Center for Applied Technology (CAST) is a non-profit education research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning. Their guidelines suggest when designing learning experiences through a UDL lens, one should provide multiple means of engagement, representation, and action/expression.

Visit CAST's website to review their UDL's guidelines in more detail.

If you’re interested in learning more, you may want to listen to this podcast with Tom Tobin, author of Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (co-author Kirsten Behling) and/or read From Accommodation to Accessibility: Creating a Culture of Inclusivity, by Martin LaGrow.

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Mon 8/5/19 9:39 AM
Mon 8/5/19 3:26 PM