Universal Design: Principles and Models

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Cell phones equipped to send digital messages provide accessibility for people who are deaf, but are also convenient if you are in a meeting or in a noisy environment. These are examples of the principles of universal design in action. More recently, efforts are being made to develop and apply this concept in educational settings. One of the pioneers of this effort was Frank Bowe — Adopting universal design as a framework within which to plan our services, construct physical spaces, deliver instruction , and organize academic programs will result in a more welcoming and inclusive campus climate.

The accommodation model of disability services is currently the most prevalent model in the postsecondary setting.

Universal Design: Process, Principles, and Applications

Many disability service professionals would defend this model as a social model approach. When we explore it closely and compare it to the universal design approach, it is clear that it is more aligned with medical model thinking. This realization, for many disability service providers, results in a recognition that a paradigm shift must occur in the DRC office before it can occur across the campus. One way to approach this paradigm shift is to engage in a strategic planning process. In Spring we laid out a strategic plan that flowed from our stated core values, and we created a vision statement for the department as well.

She's an avid soccer player, loves music of all kinds, and plays flute in the school band. Katherine's focus is developing Bridget's vocabulary and language comprehension skills and her use of age-appropriate syntax. After Katherine and the fourth-grade teacher completed a UDL Class profile and Curriculum Barrier Analysis, these options were included in the fourth-grade classroom curriculum to support and scaffold Bridget's learning:.

The UDL framework provides a flexible, responsive curriculum that reduces or eliminates barriers to learning. Using a UDL approach, SLPs and other educators offer curriculum options that present information and content in varied ways, differentiate the manner in which learners can express what they know, and engage students in meaningful, authentic learning.

With UDL, more students are:.

Universal design

Finally, UDL allows Katherine and other SLPs to teach effectively in diverse classrooms and spend more time on instruction facilitating learning rather than retrofitting a "one-size-fits-all" curriculum. The bottom line is: UDL helps educators meet the needs of all students. Hitchcock, C. Equal access, participation, and progress in the general education curriculum.

Rose, A.

Hitchcock Eds. The universally designed classroom: Accessible curriculum and digital technologies pp. National UDL Center. UDL examples and resources. Retrieved on May 28, from www. Rose, D. Universal design for learning. Peterson, E. McGraw, Eds. Oxford: Elsevier. Retrieved April 23, from www. Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. The future is in the margins: The role of technology and disability in educational reform. A practical reader in universal design for learning. The universally designed classroom: Accessible curriculum and digital technologies.

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In fact, they are a heterogeneous group struggling to learn for a wide variety of reasons: Sensory or physical disabilities. Emotional or behavioral challenges.

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Learning disabilities or reading difficulties. Autism spectrum disorders. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Lack of appropriate background knowledge. English-language barriers. UDL principles The UDL framework values diversity through proactive design of an inclusive curriculum, thereby eliminating or reducing barriers to academic success.

According to the following three UDL principles, each area of the curriculum should provide multiple, varied, and flexible options for representation, expression, and engagement: Principle 1: Provide multiple means of representation recognition network. Principle 2: Provide multiple means of action and expression strategic network.

Beyond Accessibility to Universal Design | WBDG - Whole Building Design Guide

Principle 3: Provide multiple means of engagement affective network. Goals are typically described as learning expectations.


  1. Large signals in switching converters!
  2. The 7 Principles.
  3. Beyond Accessibility to Universal Design?
  4. Authority, Responsibility and Education?

They represent the knowledge, concepts, and skills students need to master and are usually aligned to state standards. Recent national discussions about Common Core Standards have heightened the critical importance of linking goals in Individualized Education Programs IEPs with state standards and classroom expectations. Methods are generally defined as the instructional strategies used by educators to support student learning. Methods should be evidence-based and supported by an analysis of learner variability.

UDL methods are flexible and adjusted through consistent monitoring of student progress. Materials are the media used to present content and demonstrate learning.

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UDL materials offer multiple media options and include embedded supports. Assessment within the UDL framework refers to the process of gathering information about a learner's progress using a variety of methods and materials.

Common Methodologies

UDL assessments are particularly concerned with accurately measuring learner knowledge, skills, and engagement by maintaining construct relevance and reducing or eliminating irrelevant or distracting elements that interfere with the assessment's validity. Case 1: Adam After Adam contracted meningitis at the age of 4 years, he was left with a severe bilateral hearing loss.

After Katherine and the teacher completed a UDL Class Profile and Curriculum Barrier Analysis, they included these options in the kindergarten curriculum to support and scaffold Adam's learning: Multiple means of representation: Video captioning and video description i. It is based on three main principles. Each principle has a set of detailed guidelines which provide an evidence-based approach to understanding how we can improve learning through tools and resources.

What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?

Each principle is aimed at helping educators improve how we present information, engage students, and create inclusive assessments and evaluations. UDL principles can be applied to the overall design of a course as well as to the specific instructional materials and strategies such as lectures, learning activities, learning resources, discussions, group work, handouts, on-line instruction, labs, field work, and demonstrations. Universally designed curriculum provides students with multiple or flexible ways of viewing or listening to information representation , expression, and engagement and makes a classroom more inclusive.

Universally Designed curriculum reduces the need for special accommodation for students with disabilities. As educators we are often challenged to design and deliver curriculum for an increasingly diverse student population.