How Can Universal Design Help Us Focus on Our Systemic Change Efforts?

Universal design strategies can help you create products and environments that are welcoming and accessible to all students, staff, faculty, and visitors on your campus. Universal design (UD) can be applied to instruction, services, information technology, and physical spaces, as noted below.


  • Class Climate
  • Physical Environments/Products
  • Delivery Methods
  • Information Resources/Technology
  • Interaction
  • Feedback
  • Assessment
  • Accommodation


  • Planning, Policies, and Evaluation
  • Physical Environments/Products
  • Staff
  • Information Resources/Technology
  • Events

Information Technology

  • Procurement/Development Policies
  • Physical Environments/Products
  • Information
  • Input/Control Output
  • Manipulations
  • Safety
  • Compatibility with Assistive Technology

Physical Spaces

  • Climate, Aesthetics
  • Entrances and Routes of Travel
  • Fixtures, Furniture
  • Information Resources/Technology
  • Safety
  • Accommodation

Universal Design in Education (UDE):

  • puts high values on both diversity and inclusion
  • rests on the definition and principles developed at the Center for Universal Design,
  • makes products and environments welcoming, accessible, and usable by everyone
  • is a process as well as a set of guidelines and strategies for specific applications.
  • can be implemented in incremental steps. (Burgstahler, 2007a-e)

For more information about UDE, consult The Center for Universal Design in Education.