Why Universal Design for Learning?
"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 underscore 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." Excerpt from CAST website.
UDL ensures that:
All students have the challenges and supports they need for meaningful access to the curriculum and assessments that accurately measure their knowledge.
All educators have the strategies, tools and instructional materials they need to effectively address the diverse learners in their classrooms, including gifted students, English language learners and students with disabilities.
UDL can help States, districts and schools meet the goals of NCLB and IDEA.
Teachers want their students to succeed but they need an approach to education that will work for the many diverse learners in each classroom. With UDL, teachers can respond to individual differences. UDL provides the teacher with a variety of instructional materials, which can decrease the need for extensive adaptations and modifications. UDL allows students to work more independently and understand which supports they need.
UDL complements other reforms including Response to Intervention, 21st Century Learning and initiatives to increase graduation rates.
If education technology is used in a manner consistent with UDL principles it will be more effective for all students and provide a better return on the investment.
UDL can help lower referrals to special education.
UDL is recognized as an important educational reform in the Higher Education Act (HEOA) of 2008. See www.advocacyinstitute.org/UDL.
*The costs of NOT doing UDL are higher. See Cost Comparison.