Universal Design (also called Universal Design for Instruction, Universal Design for Learning, and Universal Course Design) considers the needs of the broadest possible range of students from the beginning.
Instructors who follow Universal Design techniques create their curriculum, instruction, assessment and environment to be usable by all students, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for accommodations. The Universal Design framework, first defined by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), calls for creating curriculum from the outset that provides:
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.
To learn more, visit these web sites:
- Universal Design of Instruction — Definition and guidelines from the University of Washington and The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina University.
- Universal Design Basic Principles — Powerpoint presentation in pdf format.
- Universal Design Instructional Methodologies — Strategies for instructors faced with specific challenges.
- Universal Design of Instruction — by Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D., (adapted from the publication Universal Design of Instruction: Definition, Principles, and Examples.)
- Universal Design Education Online — Web site to facilitate the study and teaching of Universal Design, sponsored jointly by the Center for Universal Design at N.C. State University, the IDEA Center at the University at Buffalo and the Global Universal Design Educator's Network.
- UW DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) — Site for an international center at the University of Washington, dedicated to increased success in careers and education for people with disabilities, and the promotion of accessible technology and Universal Design.
- UW DO-IT Faculty Room — Universal Design resources for higher education faculty, staff, trainers and administrators.
- Universal Design Instructional Video Demonstration — Biology Professor discusses Universal Design and demonstrates how she made it work in her lab class for a visually impaired student.
- UDI Online — Applying Universal Design for Instruction to Online and Blended Courses
- Qualified Hardware Universal Design Resources — Informational resources about universal design with a focus on building design.