Universal Design for Leraning

Exploring the topic of Universal Design for Learning [UDL]  through a simple google search I have discovered the following:

According to the Australian Catholic University   (2013) UDL is

“… is an approach to teaching that consists of designingcourse instruction, materials, and content to benefit a broad range of learners,including students with disabilities.

At the core of Universal Design for Learning is the principle of inclusiveness and equity: UDL provides equal access to learning, not simply equal access to information.”

and further

“It therefore takes into consideration the diversity of abilities, disabilities, racial/ethnic backgrounds, reading abilities, ages, and other characteristics of the student cohort.”

This is reiterated in the overall philosophy noted by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (2002). whereby they observe seven prinicples of UDL which are :

  1. Equitable Use,seeks to maximise the usefulness of design for everyone, identical whenever possible and equivalent when not, so that it avoids segregating or stigmatising any users.
  2. Flexibility in Use, values design that accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
  3. Simple and Intuitive Use,seeks to create ease of understanding for users, regardless of their experience, knowledge and language.
  4. Perceptible Information,seeks to ensure that design allows information to be communicated effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the userÕs sensory abilities.
  5. Tolerance for Error,seeks to minimise hazards and the negative consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
  6. Low Physical Effort,seeks to ensure that interaction with the environment can occur efficiently and comfortably and with minimal fatigue.
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use, seeks to maximise approach, reach and manipulation capabilities of users irrespective of their size, posture and mobility.

These principles can be broken into 3 overarching areas  providing teacher with the opportunity to categorise guidelines into a framework that is easily remembered. The National Centre on Universal Design for Learning  (2013) notes these as :

1. Provide multiple means of representation  – focusing on Language, Comprehension and Perception

2. Provide multiple means of action and expression  –  Focusing on Physical action, Expressive Communication and Executive function.

3. Provide multiple means of engagement   –  Gaining interest, Self regulation and sustaining effort and persistence

The National Centre on Universal Design for Learning  (2013) has comprehensively categorised resources with links and a Diigo bookmark under their noted principles, a link to this page is provided here and the Diigo page can be found here.



Australian Catholic University (2013). Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from http://students.acu.edu.au/office_of_student_success/equity_and_disability_unit_edu/for_staff/universal_design_for_learning

Australian Flexible Learning Framework (2002). What is Universal Design and how can it be implemented. Retrieved from http://pre2005.flexiblelearning.net.au/guides/universal.html

The National Centre on Universal Design for Learning (2013). About UDL: Learn the basics. Retrieved from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines

2 thoughts on “Universal Design for Leraning

  1. Pingback: Universal Design for Learning | Keeping Up With The Times

  2. Pingback: » universal design and the Australian Flexible Learning Framework ict and pedagogy

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