UDL is a framework that provides a blueprint for designing and developing flexible learning environments (i.e. online courses) that work for everyone. No more one size fits all.

From the CAST website:

“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.” This framework guides the development of learning environments that offer multiple means of:

Instructors can use UDL to guide the design of learning experiences or environments that are accessible and challenging for all.

Universal Design and Accessibility

While accessibility refers to course elements that need to be usable by learners with disabilities with or without adaptation, universal design addresses the needs of learners with or without disabilities. Accessibility is built-in the courses from the moment we are designing and developing the course.

Key principles of universal design include:

  • Equitable use (Lecture notes are published online in a format that can be read by all learners, including blind students who rely on a screen reader).
  • Flexibility of use (Students can access a printed version of a book or can use text-to-speech software if they access a digital version of the book).
  • Simple and intuitive (Course navigation is simple and intuitive regardless of student’s experience. Learning modules or units are labeled with meaningful names and not a “WK#1”).
  • Information is easily perceptible (Images can be perceived by visual learners; however, visual impaired learners depend on the alternate description that instructors provide on each image. A video presentation includes captions).

UDL Resources