Applications of Universal Design in Education

In Instruction

  • Class climate
  • Interaction
  • Physical Environments and products
  • Delivery methods
  • Information resources and technology
  • Feedback and assessment
  • Accommodations

In Services

  • Planning, policies, and evaluation
  • Physical Environments and products
  • Staff
  • Information resources and technology
  • Events

In Information Technology

  • Procurement, development, and use policies
  • Physical environments
  • Content
  • Input 
  • Output
  • User interface and navigation
  • Compatibility

In Physical Spaces

  • Planning, policies, and evaluation
  • Appearance
  • Entrances and routes of travel
  • Information resources and technology
  • Safety
  • Accommodations

Universal Design in Education

  • rests on the definition and principles developed at the Center for Universal Design: "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." ncsu.edu/ncsu/design/cud
  • puts high values on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • strives to make educational products and environments welcoming, accessible, and usable for everyone.
  • is a goal, a process, as well as a set of guidelines and strategies for specific applications.
  • can be implemented in incremental steps.
  • can be applied to instruction, services, information, technology, and physical spaces to ensure welcoming, accessible, and usable products and environments for students, instructors, staff, and others.

Examples of Universal Design in Education

In Instruction

  • Multiple delivery methods
  • Multiple assessment options
  • Multiple means of interaction
  • Captioned videos
  • Accessibility designed curriculum, documents and web pages
  • Examples that appeal to students with a variety of backgrounds and interests
  • Content outlines and other organization tools
  • Instructor awareness of processes and resources for making disability-related accommodations

In Services

  • Service counters that are at heights accessible from both a seated and standing position
  • Pictures in publications and on websites that include people with diverse characteristics
  • A statement in publications and on websites that tells how to request disability-related accommodations and other assistance
  • Printed materials that are easy to reach from a variety of heights and without furniture blocking access
  • Computers, publications, and online resources that adhere to accessibility standards
  • Captioned videos
  • Staff awareness of processes and resources for making disability-related accommodations

In Information Technology

  • Captioned videos
  • Computers, documents, and online resources that adhere to accessibility standards
  • Procurement policies and procedures that promote the purchase of accessible products
  • On-site computers that are compatible with assistive technologies, comfortable for right-and left-handed users to operate, and located on adjustable-height tables in an uncluttered area

In Physical Spaces

  • Clear directional signs that have large, high-contrast print
  • Restrooms, classrooms, and other facilities that are physically accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs or walkers
  • Furniture and fixtures in classrooms that are adjustable in height and allow arrangements for different learning activities and student groupings
  • Emergency instructions that are clear and visible and address the needs of individuals with sensory and mobility impairments
  • Non-slip walking surfaces

Acknowledgement

AccessCollege is directed by DO-IT at the University of Washington and funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Grant #P333A050064, and the State of Washington. Any questions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the government.

Copyright ©2020, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2007. Permission is granted to copy these materials for educational, noncommercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged.

The Center for Universal Design in Education

Founder and Director: Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D. University of Washington
Publications, videos, web resources at uw.edu/doit/CUDE