You are here

Universal Design for Learning


UDL Logo

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!

The UDL Forward Community is an asynchronous and universally-designed environment in which educators engage in sense-making and resource sharing for UDL implementation. Committing to UDL means creating expert learners, designing environments and experiences with the UDL Guidelines and expert learner characteristics, and supporting systems change ensures equitable educational opportunities and helps Wisconsin educators operationalize the Wisconsin vision for equity.

Join the UDL Forward Community to engage in learning conversations, participate in events, and amplify how UDL is working in your school community.

Get Started with UDL:

  • UDL Blasts: Apply UDL fundamentals with free technology tools for immediate use to strengthen student engagement and formative assessment practices. These UDL Blasts get educators learning about UDL, by applying UDL. Get started implementing UDL with self-paced, or material to facilitate professional learning experiences in your school on 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. The Design Labs are cohort-based learning experiences. The 2022-23 upcoming dates for Learning Design Labs cohorts are pending.
  • UDL Virtual Conference: The 3rd annual UDL: A Principled Approach to Educational Justice was held virtually on October 5-6, 2022, with national keynote speakers, Wisconsin UDL implementation stories, and design lab experiences that activated authentic, relevant learning for each participant. Recordings of keynote speakers and session presentations can be found inside the UDL Forward Community along with engaging member discussions. 

Use the link to the UDL Forward Community to access the UDL Virtual Conference content directly. To join, follow the prompts on the screen to sign up. Questions can be directed to Jayne Bischoff, DPI UDL Consultant at