Universal Design for Learning - UDL

Accessibility in Distance Learning

"Where Do We Begin?"

Always Begin with Definitions-Common Vocabulary

What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?

“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.” It fosters student engagement by presenting information in multiple ways and allowing for diverse avenues of action and expression.


Introduction to Universal Design for Learning

Allison Posey, Ed.M., CAST Curriculum and Design Specialist

Click here for Allison Posey's webinar session recorded 11/8/2019


Katie Novak, EdD

UDL goes beyond providing supports for students with special needs. UDL honors all student variability and helps all students become expert learners by providing options and supports in an inclusive environment. Join Dr. Katie Novak, education consultant and practicing Assistant Superintendent of the Groton-Dunstable School District, MA, for a discussion on how Multi-Tiered Systems of Support can assist administrators, teachers, and the community with implementing UDL.

Click here for Katie Novak's webinar session recorded on 02/28/2019.

Click here for a link to Katie's articles and blogs.

Click here for a link to Katie's presentation slides

Why UDL?: A "Why" We All Have in Common

Debra Fitzgibbons, Coordinator Oregon Technology Access Program (OTAP)

Click here for Debra Fitzgibbons' webinar session recorded 11//2019

Discover the Learner using the UDL Lens

A Simple Thought Process

Graphic of the UDL planning thought process beginning with knowing your learners, looking at the goal, identifying barriers, looking at universal supports, and give it a go!

UDL Guidelines


A) Access to Technology for Distance Learning

  1. Is the learner familiar with the tool(s)?
  2. What support is required?
  3. Is a Re-SETT in order? (See Assistive Technology Assessment Frameworks below)

B) Access to Assistive Technology Tools and Supports

Assistive Technology:

"any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

IDEA 2004

Assistive Technology Service:

"means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes—

(a) The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;

(b) Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;

(c) Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;

(d) Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;

(e) Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, that child’s family; and

(f) Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of that child."

Sec. 300.6


Apple Tools for UDL - Webinar with Apple Educator Dr. George Cheung pending

Google Chrome Tools for All Learners

Mike Marotta

RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Specialist

Click here for Mike Marotta's webinar session recorded 11/9/2019

Microsoft Built-in Tools Education Presentation: Accessibility, Inclusion and Remote Learning

SETDA's eLearning Coalition Partners Webinar Series.

Click to access Microsoft webinar recorded 4/10/2020

PPT Deck: https://aka.ms/InclusiveDeck

Interactive Guides

· Inclusive Reading: https://aka.ms/InclusiveReadingDemo

· Inclusive Writing: https://aka.ms/InclusiveWritingDemo

· Inclusive Math: https://aka.ms/InclusiveMathDemo

· Inclusive Communication: https://aka.ms/InclusiveCommunicationDemo

Tools for All Platforms - Based on function

C) Access to Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Accessible educational materials, or AEM, are print- and technology-based educational materials, including printed and electronic textbooks and related core materials that are designed or converted in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of student variability regardless of format (print, digital, graphic, audio, video). IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) specifically focuses on accessible formats of print instructional materials. (AIM)

National Accessible Educational Materials. http://aem.cast.org/about/what-are-aem

Combining Assistive Technology & Literacy Intervention-The Best Multi-sensory Support for Dyslexia (And ALL Learners)

Closed Captioning: Not Just for Hearing Impaired

Universal Design for Learning: The Empower Trip Webinar Series

T.H.E.P.A.C.T. Framework

Simple UDL Strategies for Vocabulary, Literacy, Writing and Communication

Designing lesson plans to meet the needs of all learners upfront makes sense. What does that look like in the classroom? The purpose of this series is to expand teacher and parent knowledge of Tier 1 Universal Design for Learning strategies that may be integrated across all grade levels and across all content areas. The goal is to guide attendees to understand the relevance of the strategy and to demystify the concepts of Universal Design for Learning.

Click to access the recordings from the 2019-2020 UDL Suitcase Series