Examples of Universal Design in Post Secondary Education

Examples of Universal Design in Postsecondary Education

Universal design in postsecondary education:

  • puts high values on both diversity and inclusion.
  • rests on the definition and principles developed at The Center for Universal Design, http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/.
  • strives to make products and environments welcoming, accessible, and usable for everyone.
  • is a process as well as a set of guidelines and strategies for specific applications.
  • can be applied to instruction, services, information, technology, and physical spaces.
  • can be implemented in incremental steps.

Examples of Universal Design in Postsecondary Education

In Instruction

  • A statement on a syllabus that invites students to meet with the instructor to discuss learning needs.
  • Multiple delivery methods that motivate and engage all learners.
  • Flexible curriculum that is accessible to all learners.
  • Examples that appeal to students with a variety of characteristics with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, age, and interest.
  • Regular, accessible, and effective interactions between students and the instructor.
  • Allowing students to turn in parts of a large project for feedback before the final project is due.
  • Class outlines and notes that are on an accessible website.
  • Assessing student learning using multiple methods.
  • Faculty awareness of processes and resources for disability-related accommodations.

In Services

  • Service counters that are at a height accessible from both a seated and standing position.
  • Staff that are aware of resources and procedures for providing disability-related accommodations.
  • Pictures in publications and on websites that include people with diverse characteristics with respect to race, age, gender, and disability.
  • A statement in publications about how to request special assistance, such as a disability-related accommodation.
  • A student service website that adheres to accessibility standards (see http://www.section508.gov/ for those of the U.S. federal government).
  • Printed materials that are easy to reach from a variety of heights and without furniture blocking access.
  • Printed publications that are available in alternate formats (e.g., electronic, large print, Braille).

In Information Technology

  • Captioned videos.
  • Alternative text for graphic images on webpages so that individuals who are blind and using text-to-speech technology can access the content.
  • Procurement policies and procedures that promote the purchase of accessible products.
  • Adherence to standards for the accessible and usable design of websites.
  • Comfortable access to computers for both left-and right-handed students.
  • Software that is compatible with assistive technology.
  • Computers that are on adjustable-height tables.

In Physical Spaces

  • Clear directional signs that have large, high-contrast print.
  • Restrooms, classrooms, and other facilities that are physically accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs or walkers.
  • Furniture and fixtures in classrooms that are adjustable in height and allow arrangements for different learning activities and student groupings.
  • Emergency instructions that are clear and visible and address the needs of individuals with sensory and mobility impairments.
  • Non-slip walking surfaces.