Designing for All: Universal Design for Learning
Abstract: Meeting the needs of diverse learners is an essential element of effective education. As educators, we have a legal obligation to make courses accessible for learners with documented disabilities, but we have an ethical duty to do so for all learners. Unfortunately, higher education seems to be failing certain populations. We propose the solution to addressing these shortcomings in accessibility and inclusion is to apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL) when creating course content. By implementing multiple means of engagement, multiple means of representation, and multiple means of action and expression, course designers can ensure they are providing options at every dimension of learning to meet learners where they are. UDL should be the norm that educators use to design and create content. By providing proper UDL training, challenges become manageable and courses can be created in ways that meet the needs of all learners.
Presider: Stephanie Boger, UH - now University of Central Arkansas