What is UDL(Universal Design for Learning)?

     by Autism Europe

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an evidence-based educational framework that relies on research in learning sciences and cognitive neuroscience. It guides the development of flexible learning environments and spaces that can accommodate individual disabilities and diverse learning needs.

The principles of Universal Design for learning provide teachers with a structure to develop instructions that meet the needs of all learners, including those with disabilities.

The UDL principles require the creation of a curriculum that provides:

  • Multiple means of engagement to tap into the interests of learners with and without disabilities, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.
  • Multiple means of representation to give learners with and without disabilities various ways of acquiring information and knowledge,
  • Multiple means of actions and expression to provide learners with and without disabilities alternatives for demonstrating what they know,

The UDL curriculum consists of four parts: access, building, internalisation and instructional goals. The framework is designed to increase access to learning by reducing physical, cognitive, intellectual, and organisational barriers to learning, as well as other obstacles faced by learners with disabilities. The UDL principles aim to implement inclusionary practices in the classroom.

More information about UDL at the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) in the US here.

More information on the UDL guidelines here.

Example of a European Erasmus+ project using UDL: “Blended Learning in Schools: A Universal Design Approach”. More information here.

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