UDL Overview

Definition of UDL by Higher Education Opportunities Act

Image of the U.S. Capitol dome

The term UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that:

  1. provides flexibility in the ways: information is presented, students are engaged, and students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills
  2. reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all stuents, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.

Provided by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA).

Universal Design for Learning: Overview and Origins

From the book Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice by Anne Meyer, David H. Rose, and David Gordon

In the early 1990's, we (CAST) shifted our approach to address the disabilities of schools rather than students. We later coined a name for this new approach: universal design for learning (UDL). UDL drew upon neuroscience and education research, and leveraged the flexibility of digital technology to design learning environments that from the outset offered options for diverse learner needs. This approach caught on as others also recognized the need to make education more responsive to learner differences, and wanted to ensure that the benefits of education were more equitably and effectively distributed. (p.3)

Video Overview of Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (Part 1): Definition and Explanation

Universal Design for Learning: Guidelines

Universal Design for Learning (Part 2): UDL Guidelines