Instructional Technology Workshops

Accessibility 102: Universal Design for Learning

Level: Intermediate

Teachers want their students to succeed, but a one-size-fits-all approach to education simply does not work. How can teachers respond to individual differences?

Universal design is an approach to the design of all products and environments to be usable by everyone, to the greatest extent possible, regardless of age, ability, or situation. Universal design benefits everyone by accommodating limitations and providing a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone, not just a single individual.

Designing for a wide range of users from the beginning of the building process can increase usability without significantly increasing the time it takes to build. The results benefit everyone and reduce modifications later when students, instructors, or content change.

In this workshop, you will learn best practices in making educational materials inclusive for all learners. You will learn concepts of giving learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge, providing learners with alternatives for demonstrating what they know and providing learners with multiple levels of engagement in regards to course content.

Topics discussed:

  • Curriculum design that guides educators in planning for systematic learner variability.
  • Identifying common technological barriers and accessibility barriers encountered by individuals with disabilities.
  • Identifying the benefits of the Universal Design process and understanding the continuous improving cycle of learning, reflection and growth.
  • Identifying and understanding UDL principles and guidelines regarding representation, action and expression, and engagement.
  • Implementing and utilizing universal design techniques.
  • Considerations when choosing course texts that have accessible formats, providing informational images, multimedia, and accessible course equipment.