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).
     
  • 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