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Rose Library - Cleveland Community College

Universal Design in Education: Home

What is Universal Design for Learning?

In the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is defined as: 

"A scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that:

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

Why is UDL important?

Designing curricula using Universal Design principles helps ensure that materials are accessible to learners with disabilities.  But beyond that, this practice reshapes the learning environment in such a way that the diverse and varied learning styles and needs of all students are addressed, whether the student has an identified disability or not, thus providing every student the chance to be successful.  

The way students learn is as varied as their fingerprints, and the idea that there is an average student is a myth. UDL has this variability at it's core; there is no one size fits all when it comes to designing instruction.