Understanding how to vary curriculum and instruction to address multiple intelligences is a critical UDL skill. Click the speaker to go to an About.com website that provides links to recordings of speeches by Dr. Gardner on various multiple intelligences.
Several years ago, I coordinated the development of a major in Universal Design for Learning at the University of Charleston. Undergraduate students add four courses to their elementary or secondary education major to receive additional certification in Multi-categorical Special Education. Click the brochure to learn more about the U.D.L. major. Click the U.C. logo to go to the University of Charleston’s website.
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Building the Legacy
Click here to learn about the law that provides the foundation for the education of all students who have disabilities, including the implementation of universal design for learning. The website from NICHCY includes the following training modules:
¨ Welcome to IDEA
¨ IDEA and General Education
¨ Evaluating Children for Disability
¨ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
¨ Procedural Safeguards
More training modules are coming soon.
Free Online Workshops
Click the logo to go to Concept to Classroom by Thirteen Ed Online. The workshops provide interactive opportunities for demonstration, exploration, and implementation. The following topics are important skills to establish universal design for learning:
F Assessment, Evaluation, and Curriculum Redesign.
F Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning.
F Cooperative and Collaborative Learning.
F Inquiry-Based Learning.
F Interdisciplinary Learning in Your Classroom.
F Making Family and Community Connections.
F Tapping into Multiple Intelligences.
F Teaching to Academic Standards.
F Why Not the Net? An Interactive Tool for the Classroom.
You might be able to receive credit for completing these workshops.
CAST, the organization that coined the term Universal Design for Learning, researches UDL, provides support for teachers, and emphasizes technology as an essential component of UDL.
Check out the UDL textbook Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age. This site serves as model of textbook accessibility and includes valuable tools and supplements to address all learners’ needs.
This CAST website supports educators in their quest to learn how to implement UDL. Find information, tools, communities, and UDL toolkits.
The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard guides how to produce books and instructional materials in digital formats so they can be converted to accessible formats.
This ERIC article by Raymond Orkwis explains the essential components of UDL and also provides useful links.
Nancy Firchow’s article helps parents understand UDL but is useful to anyone who wants to learn the basics.
In Volume 15 of the Journal of Special Education Technology, David Rose discusses UDL in an article in each issue.
Is UDL possible in secondary school? The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition discusses the possibilities in this article.
VSA Arts (formerly Very Special Arts)
VSA’s mission is to make the arts accessible to students and adults with disabilities. They even offer a UDL award to children’s museums that make their programs accessible. View the work of gifted artists on their website.
Speaking of the arts, they are an effective tool for making academics accessible to kids with disabilities. Sally Smith developed the academic club concept, which has enormous potential for inclusion classrooms. These clubs are UDL at their best, IMHO. I provide a link to her book under resources.
Find a list of helpful Teacher Tips for including students with giftedness or special needs to help you implement UDL. Check pull-down menus for a variety of exceptionality issues.
UDL evolved from principles of universal design in architecture. Read principles of universal design that can help make schools more accessible facilities for all students.
Effective collaboration between general and special educators, administrators, and parents is essential for universal design for learning. This site provides extensive information for collaborating to meet the needs of students with emotional and behavioral disorders.
Dr. Marilyn Friend shares her expertise on co-teaching through recommended solutions and numerous links. Be sure to check out extensive UDL links.
Read this book by Price, Mayfield, McFadden, and Marsh online.
Learn strategies for including young children through age eight. Also see examples of effective programs.
“Children who learn together, learn to live together.” Find a philosophy of inclusion, legal requirements for inclusion, and resources.
Although the organization retired in 2006, the website maintains valuable resources for including students with special learning needs.
A classroom that is universally designed for learning will effectively address the needs of students who are gifted, as well as students who have disabilities. This website provides innumerable links on a variety of topics related to giftedness and curriculum.
Find technology for helping students with a variety of special needs learn to their fullest potential.
The website by New Horizons for Learning provides numerous links and resources.
Cooperative learning is a valuable strategy to use in the universally designed classroom. Find techniques, research, and discussions of related issues such as academic controversy and conflict resolution.
Kennesaw State University provides a good explanation of cooperative learning, descriptions of the five elements of cooperative learning, and techniques to use in the classroom.
Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D. provides an overview and strategies for implementing UDL.
Learn how to design accessible websites through links and videos.
The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee provides links and videos to assist in the development of UDL in postsecondary education.
Adaptive and assistive technology are essential for many students with disabilities to access general curriculum.
Find useful technology resources.
Site contains information and products for assistive and adaptive technology for a variety of disabilities.
Universal Design for Learning
Leaving No Child Behind
A general education teacher once told me how she ensured that a student who had frequent seizures remained an active participant and learner in her classroom. When he had seizure, she held him in her arms as she continued teaching the rest of the class. Instead of sending him to the nurse to rest after the seizure, she placed a bean bag beside his chair so that he remained in the classroom.
The learning of the other students was not interrupted, and the learning of the child with seizures was enhanced by her thoughtfulness. In fact, she assigned one former bully to help the student if he fell. The result? The two boys became good friends. This teacher truly left no child behind.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) occurs when teachers plan setting, instruction, and curricula that address the needs of all students, regardless of their learning, behavioral, or physical challenges. In addition, UDL teachers focus on student strengths and plan for the enrichment needs of learners.
In the past, schools provided accommodations and modifications as an afterthought when a student with an exceptionality received instruction in a general classroom.
Today, up-front planning that makes standard and objective mastery accessible doesn’t “dumb down” curriculum. Instead, the learning of all students, including those who are gifted, is enhanced by the integration of UDL.
The concept of inclusion predated the term universal design for learning. However, a child cannot be included, which implies a sense of belonging and active participation, if curriculum and instruction are not universally designed.
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Lesson Plans for UDL
Click the links for a lesson plan format for UDL. You have permission to make copies of the lesson plan for your classroom. However, any other use, linking, or adaptation of the lesson plan or instruction of how to use the form requires my written permission.
How can students who have different academic skills play learning games together to facilitate universal design for learning? Click the logo.
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