Universal Design in Learning
Edith F. Miller, Ed.D., Interim Director of Disability Services
- Deficiency or abnormality
- Resides with individual
- Remedy is cure or normalization
- Professional determines course of action
Universal Curriculum Design
- Type of diversity
- Derives from interaction between individual and society
- Remedy is changes in interaction
- Individual participates in decisions
(Universal Design in Learning – UDL):
“Is the preparation of curricula, materials, and environments so that they may be used, appropriately and with ease, by a wide variety of people.” - Frank Bowe
Advantages of Universal Design
Principles of Universal Design
- Is planned and implemented in advance.
- Alters the environment or format, rather than requiring the individual to adjust.
- Burden is on the designer not the user.
- Can be used by many in various circumstances.
- Lower cost in long run.
- Equitable use
- Flexibility in use
- Simple and intuitive use
- Perceptible information
- Tolerance for error
Does everyone in the class have equal access to materials and information?
Flexibility in Use
- Power point slides
How can the lesson or assessment be adapted to meet the needs of everyone in the class?
Simple and Intuitive Use
- Allow the use of calculators and spellcheckers in class.
- Assess students with a variety of methods, not just exams
- Give options (e.g., essays or multiple choice exam; answer three out of five essay questions).
KISS Principle – Keep It Simple Style!
- Can everyone understand the concepts the way I presented them?
- Is the study guide helpful and relevant?
- Are my assessments clear and straight forward?
- Am I assessing the content rather than the ability to understand “tricky” language?
Is the information given during the lesson available to all students?
Tolerance for Error
- Can everyone hear it?
- See it?
- Read it?
- Manipulate it?
- Understand the information in the way in which it was presented?
- Provide guidelines for projects and papers regarding expectations and grading procedures.
- Provide warning of common hazards in written work, for projects, or in laboratory settings.
- Provide study guides for tests.
Create a welcoming classroom climate:
- Provide ground rules for discussion.
- Maintain confidentiality.
- Recognize personal experience.
- Attend to physical needs.
- Share your own experiences.
- Honor diversity.
- Provide inclusive syllabus statements.
All Students Benefit From:
Who Benefits from UDL?
- Accessible notes
- Sufficient time
- Power point slides
- Study guides
- Discussion groups
- Exams on disk
- Textbook outlines or notes
- Permission to tape record lectures
Change assumptions to consider diverse students, not just students with specific disabilities.
- Learning differences
- Cultural differences
- Language differences
- Age differences
- Physical differences
- Sensory differences
Adjust teaching style to meet the needs of a variety of learners.
Provide materials in different formats.
Assess in multiple ways.
Create a welcoming environment for a diverse student population.