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Faculty Services and Resources: Universal Design

Universal Design for Learning

What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?

"Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn" (from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning website).

Why should I consider UDL for my class?

By following the principles of UDL, you'll be making your class more accessible for ALL of your students. Making the information and materials you cover available in a variety of formats, for instance, supports not just those students with learning or intellectual disabilities, but also those who simply learn in different ways.

How much work is involved in making my class more accessible?

Adopting UDL practices can be as simple as changing the font on your presentations and handouts--just a few seconds! If you're eager to do more, there are more involved steps you can take, such as enhancing lectures, class interactions and activities, or assignments.

Where can I learn more?

There is a great deal of information available concerning UDL. To help you navigate the sea of resources out there, and to get a better understanding of the basics, we recommend exploring the following two websites:

  • National Center on Universal Design for Learning This site provides a wealth of information about UDL, where to learn even more, and how you can become an advocate.
  • CAST This website contains solid information about the basics and links to free learning tools. You can also explore CAST's extensive research and projects.

For more, also check out Lori Cooney's contributions to the left.

Helpful Resources

Lori Cooney (Project Coordinator and Universal Instructional Design Specialist at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston) provided us with a number of different resources from her presentation at the 10th Annual Learning Academy & 5th Annual Title III Professional Development Day "Universal Design for Learning to Diversify Instruction."