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Universal Design Principles
Universal Instructional Design (UDL) provides a blueprint for creating flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments that accommodate learner differences.
"Universal" does not imply a single optimal solution for everyone. Instead, it is meant to highlight the need for multiple approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners.
UDL mirrors the universal design movement in architecture and product development. Think of speakerphones, curb cuts, and close-captioned television all universally designed to accommodate a wide variety of users, including those with disabilities.
Embedded features that help those with disabilities eventually benefit everyone. UDL uses technology's power and flexibility to make education more inclusive and effective for all.
A universally-designed curriculum offers the following:
- Multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
- Multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know, and
- Multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.
Learn more about Universal Instructional Design at the following websites.
- Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/
- Center for Applied Special Technology - Founded in 1984 as the Center for Applied Special Technology, CAST http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html is a not-for-profit, education research and development organization that works to create opportunities for all students, especially those with disabilities, by using technology to make education more flexible and accessible.
- ACCESS Project (ACCESS to Postsecondary Education through Universal Design for Learning) at Colorado State University. http://accessproject.colostate.edu/
- Tools for the Design of Universal Instruction (UCONN)
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