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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 by applying UDL 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: Apply UDL fundamentals with free technology tools for immediate use to strengthen student engagement and formative assessment practices. Access on-demand overviews/uses of each featured tech tool in professional learning resources for facilitators or self-paced users on the UDL Blasts webpage.
  • UDL Learning Design Coaching Labs: Apply UDL to real-world learning design scenarios with access to technical assistance for specific student needs, particularly those who have traditionally been underserved. For training and coaching, contact UDL CESA Consultants today!
  • UDL Community of Practice (CoP): Learn and share how expert learners develop and what is working in settings across Wisconsin. Conversations to push thinking, and critically examine UDL implementation priorities will help participants use UDL as a framing for education justice through a statewide professional learning network. Subscribe to our UDL Newsletter for updates and next year’s meeting schedule.
  • UDL Virtual Conference: National keynoters promoting equitable learning for all using UDL principles and design practices, with stories and resources from Wisconsin leaders and educators. Save the date: Oct 7-8, 2021

The UDL Forward! project is supported through regional CESA networks and CAST, the national technical assistance center for UDL. Check the UDL Forward! webpage for 2021-22 calendar of events and registration – coming soon!

Contact Jayne Bischoff with any questions.