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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.
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: