Universal Design

Universal Design for Learning is an approach to teaching that consists of proactive design and the use of inclusive instructional strategies that benefit a broad range of learners, including students with disabilities. In other words, the principles of Universal Design benefit all students and prevent the need for “retro-fitting” teaching methods when a student in class discloses a disability. Below are some ways of implementing UDL in a classroom environment:

  • Deliver course instructions and requirements clearly and in multiple ways (orally, printed form and on course website)
  • Make lecutre slides available before class to assist students with note taking and allow students who are struggling with screen time to print the slides before class and take handwritten notes 
  • Ensure that lectures, sections, review sessions, etc. are held in physically and programmatically accessible space
  • Consider calling for volunteers from the class to share a copy of class notes on the course website
  • Collaborate with AEO to provide captioned videos, and display all video material with captions
  • Communicate clearly facing the class, using a microphone when in a large class or lecture hall
  • Use multiple instruction methods that are accessible to multiple learning styles

Please refer to the resources below for more information on Universal Design:

Universal Design for Learning Overview – Overview of UDL with practical tips from Professor Thomas Hehir’s courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
UDL on Campus – Website dedicated to information and resources on Universal Design for Learning in higher education