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Universal Design for Learning


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UDL is not a special education initiative, nor a general education initiative…it is an every child initiative. The roots of UDL are found in early civil rights and special education legislation that emphasized the right of all students to a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. What Universal Design is for the physical environment (curb cuts, ramps, motion-sensor lights), Universal Design for Learning is for education. Educators with a UDL mindset, apply design principles to make learning accessible, usable, and beneficial to each and every person. UDL is a framework for proactively designing learning environments and experiences – from the beginning – that enable ALL students to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning needed to be expert, lifelong learners.

UDL Forward!

UDL Forward! is a new project supporting Wisconsin educators’ use of Universal Design for Learning core competencies and technology resources as a means to provide effective remote and in-person learning experiences. UDL Forward! provides four intersecting options:

  • UDL Blasts - engagement with UDL fundamentals and free technology tools for immediate use,
  • UDL Learning Design Coaching Labs: apply UDL to real-world learning scenarios with access to technical assistance for specific student needs, particularly those who have traditionally been underserved,
  • UDL Community of Practice (CoP): learn and share what’s working and troubleshoot solutions to challenges within a professional learning network, and
  • A UDL Virtual Conference: a week-long conference Oct 20-23 (2-3 hours LIVE each day, conference content available 24 hours).

Sign up to the UDL Forward! project newsletter called, Guides on the Side! to receive it in your inbox and help move UDL Forward in Wisconsin! Subscribe to the monthly Guides on the Side (UDL Newsletter) here. In addition, UDL Forward! has a web page where you can register and find archived recordings of UDL Blasts, UDL Virtual Conference information, Learning Design Labs, and the Community of Practice. Click here to go to the new UDL Forward web page.The project is supported through regional CESA networks and CAST, the national technical assistance center for UDL.

Contact Jayne Bischoff with any questions.