Using Universal Design for Learning Strategies and Technologies to Include all Kids in the Classroom


“Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”
Ron Mace, Founder of the Center for Universal Design

"UDL is really a merging of general education and special education, a sharing of responsibility, resources and ownership. It gets away from the "their kids/our kids" divide between general ed. and special ed." - David Rose, A Practical Reader in Universal Design for Learning

Learn an overview of various UDL tools (assistive technology and educational technology) to help all kids succeed in the classroom.
Examples include using MS Word ® forms, Windows accessibility features, new and upcoming technologies – including podcasts and web 2.0 tools.


  1. Gain an overview of Universal Design for Learning strategies and technologies in a classroom setting
  2. Explore various ways to use web-based tools to differentiate instruction and set a UDL stage for learning
  3. Capture online resources for further education, training and reference
  4. Collaborate and connect with others to share information, resources, ideas and build an online community of learners

Click the sections on the left to gain information and resources on each area of this presentation.

Universal Design for Learning provides a blueprint for creating flexible goals, methods, materials, and assessments that accommodate learner differences.

Universal Design for Learning Calls for...
  1. Multiple Means of Representation - content: how delivered and what students know (Recognition network)
  2. Multiple Means of Engagement - process: how students will learn (Strategic network)
  3. Multiple Means of Expression - product; how students demonstrate knowledge (Affective network)

Handout: UDL Guidelines(CAST, 2014)
CAST professional learning
Video presentation: or


A. Students attending the 21st century classroom are coming to class with various technology skills that didn't even exist 5 years ago. Today's student skill sets are enhanced through the use of technology and specifically through the use of web-based and portable tools which enhance their own community and social involvement with their peers. Why not use some of these 'inexpensive' and 'readily available' tools as a learning venue in today's classroom setting?
B. Do you know how to download the latest music release or podcast onto an MP3 player? Do you know how to post a comment on a 'blog'? Or how to access your web links remotely? Web 2.0 tools such as webcasts, podcasts, blogs, wikis, and social bookmarks are being used in the classroom to supplement curriculum material for instruction. These tools enable students to enhance, supplement and provide access to a variety of materials and lessons that exist online or can be downloaded. As a differentiated instruction method, these tools and corresponding materials enhance learning for those with different learning styles, enhance understanding for those students with processing difficulties, provide accommodations for student with disabilities, and provide good Universal Design for Learning (UDL) teaching strategies.
C. The participant will learn about existing web tools through an interactive approach, research-based methods and examples, with many appropriate resources. Some examples of web tools are as follows:


Blogging has quickly become one of the most effective learning tools in recent education. It introduces students (and teachers) with new methods of communicating, improving writing, and motivates students to help them write more. Educators and now even some school administrators are blogging about school news, events, curriculum points and class activities and projects. Using blogs as a venue for writing/communicating, "there are no set standards, no boundaries, no restrictions confining you to conform your thoughts to any given set of rules and regulations" (, 2007). The writer doesn't have to worry about formatting, just write his/her thoughts down in a concise manner and at your own pace. Also, bloggers (blog writers) can gain an audience from their writing. Unlike a school paper, blog posts can receive feedback from students, teachers, parents, and ultimately, anyone in the world.


Podcasting is a newer method of communication allowing anyone to create audio files and post them to the Internet for others to download and listen to at any time. These audio files can be downloaded to a personal computer or handheld device such as an iPod or MP3 player (more generic term). Podcasting has rapidly become a new medium from commercial to school-based to individual talk shows on multiple subjects. The relative ease of production and low costs associated with the making of a Podcast has opened this new medium to the masses, including schools (, 2007).


CAST UDL Videos and Resources
"The Connected Classroom"
Web 2.0 - The Machine is us/ing us
Pay Attention beginning to 3:45; then 7:00 - ending
CAST videos on UDL


Web 2.0 tools and suggestions for school administrators Web2.0 debate"



Bardi, Nora, M.Ed., Assistive Technology Coordinator, Eugene Field Special Services Center
Behnke, Kirk, M.Ed., ATP, Education Specialist, Special Education Services, Region 4 ESC
Hohulin, Dave, Director of AT Coalition Services, UCP of Greater Chicago/Infinitech SW
Peters, Tricia, OTR, ATP Education Specialist, Special Education Services, Region 4 ESC
Wojcik Brian W., MS. Ed., ATP, Coordinator, Special Education Assistive Technology Center, Illinois State University

Region 4 Website