Universal Design for Learning boosts student inclusion

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Thursday, 5 September 2013 16:08pm

Inclusion in the classroom for all students is greatly enhanced when educators consider and use the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework in their planning and teaching.

UDL is an approach to education which aims to give all students equal opportunity to learn. Under UDL principles, teachers use methods that allow them to reach curriculum goals while meeting the needs of students with diverse needs and learning styles.

A Massachusetts-based not-for-profit research and development organisation, Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) works to promote UDL amongst teachers. The video produced by CAST gives an overview that goes beyond access and looks at the three key components of the framework: multiple means of representation, multiple means for action and expression and multiple means for engagement.


View this video on YouTube.

Dr Joy Zabala from CAST visited Australia in August for a series of workshops focusing directly on UDL principles that give all students equal opportunities for learning. The workshops, attended by classroom teachers and special education teachers, looked closely at the UDL framework and guidelines to assist teachers in their planning and implementation.

The use of captioned and audio described multimedia in the classroom aligns with the UDL framework, promoting inclusion and student engagement in the learning process.

Media Access Australia’s Classroom Access Project, which sought to demonstrate best practice in relation to access to multimedia content for students with hearing impairment, was designed considering the UDL framework.

Interested teachers can join UDL Connect hosted by the National Center on Universal Design for Learning and browse CAST Learning Tools. CAST also provides a place to browse and build resources and lessons.

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