Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. Below are some recommendations based on UDL Quick Tips by the ACCESS Project. In addition, consider reviewing this primer on Universal Design of Instruction by the University of Washington's DO-IT Center.
Multiple Means of Engagement
- When establishing goals and objectives, begin by making a list of the knowledge, skills, and (if applicable) attitudes you want your students to achieve.
- Present information in multiple formats, including text, graphics, audio, and video.
- Whenever possible, tie new concepts to prior knowledge.
- Develop assessments directly from the objectives, even before designing course content.
Multiple Means of Representation
- Become familiar with student resources on campus, including DSPS, Student Success Programs, and others.
- Ensure that examples and content used in class are relevant to people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
- Create a welcoming class environment. Learn students' names, if possible, and use their names when calling on them.
- When applicable, have students explore the meaning and value of their learning experiences to them-selves and to society.
Multiple Means of Action & Expression
- Communicate high expectations for all students, while expressing your willingness to make “appropriate accommodations” for students with disabilities.
- Consider accepting alternative project formats: oral presentations, videos, newspaper articles, photo essays, radio documentaries, community research, web publications, etc.
- Emphasize time on task. Create assignments that require students to practice recalling and utilizing infor-mation. Brain research confirms the adage “Practice makes perfect.”
- Give prompt, ongoing, and instructive feedback to support learning and self-assessment.
CAPED promotes the full and effective participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of California postsecondary education. We advocate and facilitate equal educational opportunity through appropriate support services, curricula, instruction, policies and funding allocations. We work to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities, and to promote their independence, growth, productivity, and equality.
The DO-IT Center at the University of Washington developed The Faculty Room as a space for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions to learn about how to create on-site and online courses that maximize the learning of all students, including those with disabilities.
The Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN) is a grassroots organization that supports the scaled implementation and research related to Universal Design for Learning. Through collaboration, we support and promote the identification and development of models, tools, research, and practices designed to foster effective UDL implementation in educational environments. We encourage and welcome participation in these discussions.
Consult the following directory hosted by Vitalsource for a selection of "born accessible" textbooks which are certified to meet accessibility standards.
An additional way to increase equity and improve access is by incorporating Open Educational Resources (OER) in your class. Cuesta Library faculty has dedicated Specialists to support the adoption of OER and can advise how to take universal design and accessibility into account when researching options for your curriculum.
One example of OER which strives to meet accessibility standards is the directory of OER textbooks, including for STEM subjects, published by Pressbooks. Many of the publications available on this platform are not only available to be read online, but also ready for import into Canvas or available for download in a variety of offline formats.
If you are considering a textbook for adoption and have questions about accessibility please feel free to reach out to our Alternate Media Facilitator, firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, to ensure the materials you've created are as accessible as possible, consider referencing this Checklist for Accessibility before and after authoring electronic content.
To meet the needs of qualified students with disabilities, colleges must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act using academic adjustments and auxiliary aids.
Enforcement of these federal non-discrimination laws is provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), as well as through lawsuits filed directly in federal court.
To review a database of OCR resolution documents illustrating the breadth and depth of civil rights protections available to qualified students with disabilities, please visit the Office for Civil Rights Recent Resolution Search page.