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National UDL Task Force

National UDL Taskforce

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This presentation, created by the National UDL Task Force, provides an introduction to universal design and universal design for learning. It then illustrates how UDL applies to the whole curriculum and how UDL is being supported at the local, state, and federal level.

Text of National UDL Taskforce

  • 1. National UDL Task Force

2. UDL Task Force

  • More than 30 national education and civil rights organizations
  • Complete list:www.udl4allstudents.org

3. The Challenge All students have different learning needs, abilities, and preferences 4. The Need Provide learning opportunitiesin the general education curriculum that are: INCLUSIVE andEFFECTIVE FOR ALL 5. Universal Design for learning A scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice (Source: Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008) 6. Universal design for learning

  • provides flexibility in the ways
    • information is presented
    • Students respond or demonstrateknowledge and skills
    • Students are engaged
    • (Source: Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008)

7. Universal design for learning

  • reduces barriers in instruction
  • provides appropriate accommodations [and]supports
  • maintains high achievement expectations
    • (Source: Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008)

8. Civil Rights Legacy Universal Design Universal Design: Access for everyone! Old design: Some are denied 9. Universal Design

  • Consider the needs of the broadest possible range of users from the beginning
  • --Ron Mace

10. Universal design principles

  • Not an afterthought:Full access is designed from the outset
  • More cost-effective than retrofitting
  • More elegant and easy-to-use

11. Universal design (UD) examples

  • Ramps and curb cuts
  • Digital books with text-to-speech
  • TV and video captioning
  • Easy-grip tools
  • Electric doors

12. Universal design for learning

  • Combines new insights from brain research about the nature of learner differences

with a century of best practices in progressive education. 13. Defining UDL

  • Principles laid down by CAST in the 1990s
  • Federal support for UDL research, dissemination since 1999
  • Defined by federal statute in 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act

14. Universal design for learning

  • Eliminating or reducing barriers toacademicsuccess for all students
  • Valuing diversity in the classroom through proactive design of inclusive curriculum

15. Why UDL?

  • Schools are working to improve academic performance;
  • Todays classrooms include many diverse learners;
  • THUS, schools need to find ways to better meet the needs of all students!

16. UDL offers all students

  • More ways to access
  • More ways to participate
  • More ways to demonstrate learning

17. UDL principles in action 18. What are the UDL Principles?

  • In each area of the curriculum providevariedandflexible optionsfor:
    • Representing information
    • Action and expression
    • Engagement

19. Multiple Representations of Information

  • Examples
    • Offer text-to-speech, video, audio, and other multimedia; integrate assistive technologies into learning environment
    • Provide vocabulary support and background knowledge
    • Highlight critical features & main ideas

20. Multiple Means of Action and Expression

  • Examples
    • Let students show what they know with voice recording, graphic displays, performance, etc.
    • Provide models of expert performance
    • Offer executive-function supports such as graphic organizers, outlines, etc.

21. Multiple Means of Engagement

  • Examples
    • Vary levels of challenge and support to prevent frustration or boredom
    • Tie work to real-world examples
    • Where possible, give choices
    • Teach self-assessment and reflection

22. UDL applies to the whole curriculum 23. Goals Traditional

  • Learning goals may get skewed by the inflexible ways andmeans of achieving them.


  • Learning goals are attained in many individualized ways, by many customized means.

24. Materials Traditional

  • Mostly print and everyone gets the same materials.
  • Few options


  • Variety of materials, media, and formats to reach learners with diverse abilities, styles, and needs equally well.

25. Methods Traditional

  • Teacher-centered (lecture)
  • Homogeneous grouping
  • Burden on student to adapt to get it


  • Interactivity
  • Heterogeneous grouping
  • Rich supports for understanding, independent learning

26. Assessment Traditional

  • Confuse goals with means
  • Summative when its too late to adjust instruction!


  • Many possible means as long as they measure learning!
  • Supportsinstructional improvement

27. UDL Guidelines 28. UDL Guidelines

  • In-depth guide for practical application
  • Resource for curriculum developers
  • Checklists for teachers
  • Go towww.udlcenter.org

29. With UDL, more students are

  • Engaged in their own education
  • Learning at greater breadth and depth
  • Achieving at higher levels
  • Motivated to continue learning

30. More educators are

  • Teaching effectively in classrooms with diverse student needs
  • Spending more time oninstruction and facilitatinglearning
  • Helping ALL learners succeed

31. Local and state supports for UDL

  • Local
    • Evolution of general educator and special educator roles
  • State
    • State standards and benchmarks
    • Curriculum adoption policies
    • Professional development initiatives

32. Federal supports for UDL

  • Statutes and regulations
    • No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    • National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)
    • Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

33. Higher Education Opportunity Act

  • Defines UDL
  • Technical assistance for UDL practice
  • Infuses K-12 teacher prepwith UDL
  • Report cards by States and IHEs on UDL implementation

34. Federal investment in UDL

  • US Department of Education
    • Office of Special Education Programs
    • Institute for Education Sciences
    • Office of Postsecondary Education
  • National Science Foundation

35. UDL informs product development 36. UDL informs product development 37. What can you do now?

  • Apply UDL to your instruction
  • Demand universally-designed products
  • Share your UDL resources and lesson plans with others
  • Advocate curriculum adoption policies that require UDL principles

38. For More Information

  • National UDL Task Force www.udl4allstudents.org
  • CASTwww.cast.org
  • National UDL Centerwww.udlcenter.org

39. For more information

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